Thursday, August 25, 2011

Nutrition Programs Put You In Important Positions

Food is an essential part of every human being’s life. We must ensure that we are properly nourished, eat enough fruits and vegetables, drink enough water, and that we monitor our intake of foods that are high in calories and unhealthy fats. Those important considerations become even more important in places such as hospitals, seniors’ residences, nursing homes and extended care facilities. They are also vital for airline food service companies, restaurants, industrial cafeterias and community agencies. These entities must ensure that they are following health guidelines and providing their clients, patients and employees with nutritious choices. Professionals who offer advice in this area have been trained in one of Canada’s nutrition programs.

As previously mentioned, one job of Food and Nutrition Managers is to offer nutritional advice. However, there are many other functions these professionals carry out. All employees in food and nutrition management perform in accordance with the code of ethics. One important aspect of their job is to create master menus, and follow standardized recipes and production procedures. They may also supervise the preparation of food products and special feedings, food distribution, and operation procedures according to standards. Lastly, all Food and Nutrition Management professionals are well versed in sanitation. Titles in the field include: dietary managers, nutrition technicians, food and nutrition managers, food service coordinators and quality control technicians.

Professionals learn these skills at nutrition programs such as the one offered at Centennial College. This undertaking lasts two years and results in an Ontario College Diploma. The program proves its reliability through an accreditation from the Canadian Society of Nutrition Management (CSNM), which ensures that graduates are automatically eligible for membership in the CSNM and OSNM (Ontario Society of Nutrition Management). CSNM membership is a requirement of the Ontario’s Ministry of Health and Long Term Care to work in a long-term care facility and most acute care facilities.

The nutrition program provides knowledge in: nutrition and food service, business and human relations. This is conducted through a balance of academic and hands-on learning. For the hands-on portions, students use the Hospitality Management Centre to learn the practical aspects of quantity food preparation and service and conduct experiments to learn the physical food properties in food management degree programs. In addition, the final seven weeks of the program consist of supervised work experience in a health care facility the placement. During this time, students are able to apply what they have learned as well as gain more knowledge by working alongside industry professionals.

Meanwhile, lecture-based courses include: Principles of Sanitation, Safety and Hygiene (students will study the requirements of sanitation, safety and hygiene as practiced in the health care food service industry); Food Properties Analysis (students will have an opportunity to develop basic skills in food preparation and presentation, physical and chemical changes that occur in food production and the role of food additives in the food industry); Nutrition (emphasis is placed on the study of the essential nutrients and their contribution to good health as well as the application of nutrition knowledge in assessment and planning); and more.

To apply for one of the only post-secondary nutrition programs in the Greater Toronto Area, you must present at minimum an Ontario Secondary School Diploma or equivalent or be 19 years of age or older. In addition, you must have compulsory English 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent and Math 11M or U or 12C or U or skills assessment, or equivalent.

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