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Kids learn to cook food that helps them heal

Seattle Children's Specific Carbohydrate Diet helps patients with IBD.

Knowing how to cook is an important life skill. On today's menu: spaghetti squash with kale pesto.

It's a dish that fits the requirements of a strict nutritional therapy called the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or SCD. It centers on whole foods -- cutting out things like grains, milk and sugar. The diet also helps the kids in this cooking class live a pain-free life.

According to Seattle Children's Dr. David Suskind, the diet improves symptoms and decreases inflammation in patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Both Dr. Suskind and Dr. Dale Lee are champions of this alternative treatment.

"It is a very difficult diet to do but for folks willing to learn about it and to participate in this the results can be quite amazing. And I think when you see the results, you see yourself as a patient or your children doing well. It's worth the hard work," Dr. Lee said.

It's worked for Avi Shapiro. The 16-year-old was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in the eighth grade after months of dealing with severe stomach pain and weight loss. That all changed when he started SCD. Now Avi is determined to help others like him. In fact, this cooking class was his idea.

"I really envisioned it as a place for kids on SCD could come and forget about having weird food," Avi said, "and just be in a group of kids that did the exact same thing."

Avi lobbied Seattle Children's to start a support group to educate others about the benefits of SCD. While the kids cook, their parents also have a chance to connect.

"I'm just really glad that there's been this kind of response from the community and I'm really looking forward to continuing it for years to come," said Avi.

Evening is your guide to Seattle and the Pacific Northwest. Watch it weeknights at 7:30 on KING 5 TV or streaming live on KING5.com. Connect with Evening via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or email eveningtips@king5.com.

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