Beating the Texas Heat

By Emily Kasmiroski, Baptist Dietetic Intern
Reviewed by Katy Bowen, MS, RDN, LD, Community Outreach Director, CHEF

Summer is upon us and while we think about vacations and spending the day in the sun, hydration is the key to beating the Texas heat! Hydration is a critical component for keeping you and your family healthy and on the go this summer. Water is considered an essential nutrient and is needed for all body functions. It also is sugar-free, caffeine-free, and calorie-free, making it the best choice for hydration.

While drinking water is the first thing that comes to mind when we think hydration, did you know that there are many foods that contain large amounts of water? Foods such as watermelon, cantaloupe, honey dew melon, strawberries, tomatoes, green peppers, cauliflower, cucumber, celery, spinach, broccoli, and baby carrots all have high water content. These fruits and veggies all make great additions to add extra flavor to plain water.

Generally, your child should drink six to eight cups of water each day and eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables.

Enjoy this CHEF approved recipe for enhancing your water and staying hydrated!

Cucumber Mint Infusion


  • 1 English cucumber, thinly sliced
  • 1 small bunch mint
  • 2 quarts water


  1. Combine cucumber, mint, and water in a large pitcher. Press down gently on the cucumber and mint with a wooden spoon to muddle a little.
  2. Let the water infuse in the refrigerator for 2-4 hours.
  3. Serve with ice. You may also top with a bit of seltzer water for carbonation.

CHEF Teaching Kitchen: Bringing Families Together

by Matt Sirgo
Downtown San Antonio
May 11, 2018

“We learn new things every time we come here,” says Donelle Tedder, student of the Culinary Health Education for Families (CHEF) Teaching Kitchen at The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio. “Yeah, the best thing I could cook before was cereal,” jokes her sister Dalia. CHEF Program Director Maria Palma explains that the family dynamic of the classes is purposeful. “It’s all centered around healthy food,” she explains, “But it’s really about family bonding and growth together.” When families participate in healthy cooking together, they develop good habits that improve the health of the household.

“Man I put all this hard work into it. That means it’s going to taste twice as good,” says Donelle. When she was diagnosed with “new onset” diabetes, her doctor referred her to the CHEF program to make sure she had the tools to maintain a healthy diet.

Today she, her mother Debbie, her sister Dalia and two other families are making burger bites and trail mix, just two of many healthy recipes they’ve learned at CHEF. The instructor for this lesson, Maria Palma, is a graduate of the Culinary Institute of America and former nutritionist for the San Antonio Food Bank.

The CHEF team at the Children’s Hospital Teaching Kitchen includes Medical Director Dr. Julie La Barba, Nutrition Education Specialist Celina Parás, Program Coordinator Rebecca Vance, and Chef/Program Director Maria Palma.

This all started in 2015 when, in response to skyrocketing obesity and diabetes rates in the community, the Goldsbury Foundation and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio partnered together to create a childhood nutrition initiative.

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Health Official: San Antonio’s High Obesity Rate ‘Not a Factory Defect’

by Roseanna Garza
Rivard Report
May 10,2018

In order to keep San Antonio healthy and thriving for another 300 years, the community must address the epidemic of childhood obesity that has had a devastating impact both on the city and the state, local health leaders said Wednesday.

“Childhood obesity is preventable through community education and action,” said Linda Hook, assistant professor of nursing at the University of the Incarnate Word. “As our great city celebrates its 300th anniversary, [we aim] to address childhood obesity in an effort to raise awareness and positively impact quality of life.”

More than 50 community members gathered at Holy Spirit Hall on the city’s Eastside for a panel discussion to review the local prevalence of childhood obesity, what is being done, and what can be done to address issues, trends, and solutions.

The prevalence of obesity continues to rise in San Antonio. In 2014, the San Antonio Metropolitan Health District reported that 71 percent of adults in Bexar County were overweight or obese. Of children aged 10-17 in Bexar County in 2013, 27 percent of black and Hispanic children were obese, as were 12 percent of white children, according to a report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

As rates continue to increase across the state, Texas could be faced with a vastly overweight population – nearly 75 percent – by the year 2040, according to the Department of State Health Services.

Arming people with “helpful, healthful” information about how food customs, food choices, and related health issues impact future well-being is essential to improving public health and quality of life, said Hook, the panel moderator.

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