Program aims to link nutrition, child wellness

SAN ANTONIO — The essence of pediatrics is prevention. As a pediatrician, I am intimately familiar with the use of vaccines to prevent diseases such as polio, measles, mumps and rubella. This approach has yielded great dividends, protecting millions of children worldwide from the devastating effects of these diseases. What if we could do the same for other chronic medical problems such as high cholesterol, Type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and obesity?

I think we can. Not with vaccines but with our food and how we eat it.

I have spent a significant part of my career as a pediatric gastroenterologist and nutritionist worrying and wondering about the rise in childhood obesity and diabetes and how our children and grandchildren are going to fare as adults when they are challenged by these health issues so early in their lives.

Mark Gilger Op-Ed in Express News

Children’s Hospital Announces Innovative Culinary Health & Education Program

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is developing unique friendships that leaders there hope will help lead the way in the reduction of obesity and get people on a healthy eating path.

On Wednesday, CHRISTUS Santa Rosa Health System President and CEO Pat Carrier announced the creation of the culinary health and education program that will do three things:

  • offer a teaching kitchen, designed by the Culinary Institute of America, to offer hands-on nutrition and cooking courses that will be available for patients and the general public in the fall of 2015.
  • implement a healing garden; a 2.4 acre area for patients, families and staff members to pray, reflect and learn through interactive experiences, starting in the fall of 2015.
  • launch a “prescriptions for produce” program so that physicians can write prescriptions for fruits and vegetables to people that will help prevent illness. A launch date for this phase has not been set.

Texas Public Radio – by Ryan Loyd

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio unveils ground-breaking culinary health and education program

Children’s Hospital of San Antonio unveils ground-breaking culinary health and education program to reduce childhood obesity and improve access to good nutrition for patients, parents and the community.

SAN ANTONIO (June 4, 2014) –– Healthy eating and nutrition are central to keeping children well, so with help from The Culinary Institute of America, San Antonio (CIA), Goldsbury Foundation, and H-E-B, the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio unveiled today its pioneering new culinary health and education program aimed at reducing childhood obesity and improving access to nutritious food for patients of the Hospital and the community at large. Copy and paste this bitly link to watch the video:

As the major health care provider for children in the region, the Children’s Hospital of San Antonio is perfectly positioned to take a holistic approach to child wellness by the creation of this multifaceted program.