Recently, I was teaching an in-house course where the staff restaurant provided a buffet lunch. They positioned fresh and colourful salads at the start and these looked so appetising we all piled our plates high with a selection of salads. In the afternoon, I observed that everyone in the group remained bright, alert and engaged right through to the end of the day, there was no post-lunch slump.
Despite Jamie Oliver’s restaurant chain recently appointing administrators, you are probably aware of the impact he had in demonstrating a link between the quality of food served and student behaviour and performance, which resulted in Government updated guidelines for providing healthy school dinners to pupils.
Dame Eileen Sills, Chief Nurse, Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust says “Good nutrition and hydration are essential to help patients make a speedier recovery from illness and for better health.“ as the opening statement in the nutritional strategy for the hospital Trust.
A hospital in Manchester removed sugar from staff meals to reduce obesity and improve staff attitudes towards food.
These are all examples of chefs and catering managers making a difference to people’s health – and productivity – through the provision of well balanced, nutritious meals.
For those in the hospitality and catering industry, nutrition can often be forgotten in our quest to provide tasty and innovative dishes.
The benefit to offering healthy meals for staff, patients or students is immediately obvious in terms of performance or productivity. The general public are also becoming more conscious about food choices, and many high-street restaurants are making the headlines for the wrong reasons as unhealthy meals are highlighted and vilified regardless of flavour (See: How many calories are in a high-street restaurant meals!; High Street Salads contain more salt than pizzas).
The government regularly issues and updates nutritional guidelines and as chefs and catering managers we have a responsibility to;
Understanding the components of nutrition, the link between nutrition and health and the requirements for adapting meals for special diets for religious or health reasons is the basis of the Level 2 Healthy Food and Special Diets Course. This 1-day course is available for in-house training or individual places are available on my public course dates and it is an ideal way to increase staff focus on healthy food.
I have also created a FREE guide for chefs and managers which will give you
Download your FREE Guide to Providing Healthier Meals from my resources page.
If you would like to know more about nutrition or to arrange an in-house delivery of the Level 2 Healthy Food and Special Diets course please contact me.
Rod Carver - Level 3 Food Safety Attendee
Academy Training Manager