Chicago expo blends fun and learning about healthy living

Your family’s New Year’s resolutions can get a boost March 8-9 at the first-ever Healthy Children Conference + Expo sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Healthy Children Conference + Expo

  • 10 a.m.-6 p.m. March 8, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. March 9
  • Donald E. Stephens Convention Center, Rosemont
  • Advance registration , at the door; free kids.
  • Sessions in English and Spanish. The website also offered in


“It’s a blend of entertainment and fun and also learning. You often don’t see that kind of event available for parents and other caregivers,” says Dr. Jennifer Shu, medical editor of “This is really for the whole family.”

The conference will feature a host of speakers, including iCarly TV show star Reed Alexander who has penned a recipe book.

Families also will find more than 60 healthy programs that tackle healthy living, safety and family life, a play zone for kids and healthy family-friendly cooking lessons, plus lots of entertainment.

Shu says she hopes families will take away from the conference the most current information they need, with the backing of the AAP’s 60,000 pediatricians, to keep themselves healthy. Conference session topics range from the latest in newborn care to sports injuries to teen issues.

Of all the activities, Shu, who is leading several of the sessions, says she is most looking forward to the cooking demonstrations.

“I really think it’s important for kids to be an active part of their own nutrition, and if you get them involved with the cooking and preparation, they are more likely to eat healthy food,” Shu says. The day also will include strategies for healthy eating, with recipes.

Organizers hope this conference will be the start of hosting similar conferences for families across the country.

Chicago Parent is a media partner in this event.

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