Christus Children’s Hospital promoting fun, healthy eating for patients through its Summer Snack Series

SAN ANTONIO – “Food is medicine.” That is the message Christus Children’s Hospital wants families in our community to hear.

Diet and nutrition play an important part in our health, and Christus is helping families learn about this through its Summer Snack Series.

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Every Tuesday, from noon to 1 p.m., culinary experts join patients and their families in the hospital cafeteria. They pick a recipe from the Culinary Health Education Program, or CHEF, which works with Christus.

A chef makes the recipe and puts it out for families to enjoy. Those families then get the chance to take the recipe home and make it themselves.

“We have a bag of all the ingredients so they can make it at home with the recipe. Then, we found some of our families don’t have the cooking supplies, so we have all the cooking supplies for them to make it at home if they need that,” said Heather Borowieck, medical director of CHEF.

Giving these families the opportunity to make meals at home teaches them about the importance of food as medicine.

“The importance of culinary medicine is how much diet does affect your medical health,” Borowieck said.

The Summer Snack Series began in 2015 and is funded through a grant from H-E-B. It is provided at no cost to families and is for inpatients and outpatients.

“We can just give you something that you can’t find anywhere else –– using food as medicine, getting back to that healthy cooking, things like that,” said Borowieck.

In addition to learning a new recipe, culinary experts also discuss nutrition, help with menu planning and teach the importance of trying new foods.

“It’s a fun class. All the kids like it; all the families like it. They’re trying new foods that they wouldn’t necessarily try at home,” Borowieck said.

The series only happens during the summer, but CHEF is in the community throughout the year, hosting health events for everyone. They also offer nutrition programs and health classes.

You can learn more about CHEF’s impact on our community by clicking here.

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