Children's Hospital of San Antonio has opened a 'culinary health and education program' which will make sure children get healthy food, and a focus on health and wellness aimed at preventing childhood diabetes, obesity, and hypertension, 1200 WOAI news reports.
The groundbreaking step puts the hospital in the forefront of what is called the 'culinary medicine movement,' which seeks to incorporate healthy food into a long term health and recovery plan.
Dr. Mark Gilger, who is the Chief of Pediatrics at CHoSA, concedes that the hospital is the last place you would look to find high quality food.
"If anything, they're known for orange jello," he joked.
But CHoSA's effort, which is being done in conjunction with The Culinary Institute of San Antonio, the Goldsbury Foundation, and HEB will include the Children's Hospital Teaching Kitchen, designed to offer hands-on nutrition And cooking courses crated by the CIA in conjunction with the physicians at CHoSA.
CHoSA will also become the country's first Children's Hospital to be surrounded by extensive teaching and healing gardens, designed by the local architectural firms OVERLAND and CO'DESIGN, to include 2.4 acres for patients and families to play, pray, and learn through interactive experiences and about the foundations of a healthy diet.
"We are literally going to surround the hospital with gardens," Dr. Gilger said. "And not just roses and flowers, but real vegetable gardens."
"What we eat makes a big difference, and we have developed one of the most unique partnerships in the United States," he said.
The initiative goes so far as to include doctors actually writing prescriptions for fruits and vegetables.
In addition to eating the food grown in the gardens, children who are long term patients at CHoSA will also be given the opportunity to spend some time in the gardens, giving today's mostly urban kids a look at where their food comes from.
Doctors have long maintained that there is no 'genetic imperative' that kids hate fruits and vegetables. They are simply conditioned to dislike healthy foods due to long exposure to sugary and fattening processed foods and make the choice not to like fruits and veggies. CHoSA hopes this unique project reverses that trend.