Lots of hospitals have made their menus healthier, but Seattle Children's is taking that a step further by growing some of their own produce. Not only are those foods making their way into the hospital kitchen, they're also part of a take-home prescription.

Some of the visits are not your typical hospital visit, but that's the whole idea.

I wanted to come out of the clinic and try to get kids active, hands on seeing where their food comes from, from when a seed is planted to what it turns into, said dietitian Kirsten Thompson.

Thompson's goal is to get her patients to eat more fruits and vegetables. And it seems to be working.

It s amazing what they will eat just seeing it grow in the garden, she said.

For young Ayden and Gydeon the enthusiasm is unmistakable.

There s another one! There s an old one right here. Oh my gosh, said Ayden.

And the taste?

Way better. As a gardener myself I know how much better carrots taste when they re grown in the garden or how fun it is to go pick your fresh basil when you want to put in a salad or make fresh pesto or your own salsa. It tastes amazing. You can definitely tell the difference, said Thompson.

That's also the reason for a second garden planted this year close to Seattle Children's hospital kitchen.

The great thing about having the garden here on campus is that we can pick it at the peak of ripeness, said chef Ryan Garcia.

For now, Garcia is starting small, catering to patients on the cancer ward.

They love it, and the concern of their families was they weren t eating because they weren't liking the food, said Garcia.

As the garden grows, the plan is to incorporate more items into hospital menus. On the other side of
campus, Thompson keeps planting seeds - seeds in the dirt and more importantly, seeds in the minds of her young patients.

Seeing how excited they are when the plant a seed and they come back the next week and it s grown up. That's an amazing reward and it s really exciting to see that something's really clicking, said Thompson.

Patients also get to take seeds and plants home to start a garden of their own.

The gardens are tended by the Bloom for Children's Guild and other volunteers.

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