We spent the day today at Veggie Fest which was a fascinating combination of mindfulness and food. Every half hour you could take free lessons in meditation. There were lectures on healthy eating, cooking demonstrations, and snacks galore from the obviously healthy (watermelon) to the ones probably best consumed in moderation (thick cheese pizza).

The best part was that even though we did a lot of walking around in the heat, my six year old son had a great time. For him, this was Taste of Chicago.

It was great because so many vendors had foods that were gluten, dairy, and corn free. There were also plenty of nut free choices. We enjoyed toasted hemp seeds from Cousin Mary Jane (astonishingly healthy snack by the way…I don’t think I have ever seen such an impressive vitamin and mineral label anywhere), chocolate “ice cream” by NadaMoo as well as smoothies and juices. We could have had salads, we just got full eating all the new foods. And salad is something we were already familiar with.

We did not feel marginalized or strange. There was none of that “are you being difficult on purpose?” look that can get old. The need to be gluten and dairy free was taken in stride.

I have not been to taste of Chicago in years. It is a great food festival, it just isn’t much fun when you walk for a mile in 90 degree heat seeking something besides watermelon that you can safely consume.

The festival only runs one more day, but I think we will be back next year. It was so nice to be able to show my son how something like this works and how you can try food you otherwise wouldn’t know about. The mere fact that we could go up to so many and buy or try something to eat was great. Here were thousands of people on some sort of “special” diet.

It can be daunting to go to a food court and realize that you can’t eat anything. It is joyful to show your child a place where you can wander around and enjoy many choices.

I highly recommend it and no I don’t get anything from anyone for doing so!

Here is the link to the Veggie Fest site

And here is one to NadaMoo

And one to Cousin Mary Jane