SAN ANTONIO – CAST Med is a local public high school in San Antonio ISD that helps students focus on the medical field and get a jump start on their passion and their future.
Just a few weeks into the semester, these students are putting down the pencils and laptops and picking up the recipe books.
CAST Med held a first-of-its-kind conference teaching students how to live a healthier lifestyle.
"Most of the choices that people make are unhealthy, and if they can see that it's easy to make stuff at home, then they might want to ... try to eat healthy," freshman Gavin Ross said.
Ross is one of the hundreds of students who are getting fresh food and a fresh look at a healthier lifestyle.
"We show them that it's easy to make food that tastes great, isn't too expensive and doesn't take a lot of time," Katy Bowen said. "When we make all these recipes we're basically showing them that as future practitioners, future physicians, future nurses, future dietitians, future nutritionists ... healthy eating is so important. We can give people nutrition advice, but at the end of the day, we have to teach them how to make healthy foods like these."
The conference wasn't just about eating. There were also hands-on activities to teach student how and why to buy specific foods.
Mike Rivas with the San Antonio Food Bank says it's important for students to "understand exactly what's healthy and what the cost is to some of these items that are out there."
"We're actually doing an exercise with the kids and giving them a budget: $30 for the entire week, and how would they use that $30 in terms of being able to feed themselves for the week?" Rivas said.
And part of a healthy life means dealing with the day-to-day stresses.
"Students in our school, and probably in many schools, are under a lot of stress due to homework assignments, or maybe some events that are taking place in their life," CAST Med Principal Eddie Rodriguez said. "One of the sessions that they will be attending is a yoga practice so that they learn how to de-stress themselves and how to deal with pressures that may abound."
Ross says he's ready to take what he learned home with him: "I want to show my dad what I learned today. So, might cook him something."