Dietary aide classes can culminate in professional certificate or an associate's degree in nutrition and dietetics. These programs are widely available at two-year community colleges and vocational schools. Students will learn about food preparation, menu planning, nutritional requirements, and dietary management in dietary aide classes. Coursework combines classroom study and practical experience planning nutritional programs and preparing nutritious meals. Special focus may be given to how one's diet can support a healthy immune system, optimal growth and development, and athletic performance. Course topics will include:
- Community care
- Elderly nutrition
- Infant nutrition
- Food service provision
- Children's nutrition
- Health care food service
Nutrition and Food
In the beginning dietary aide course Nutrition and Food, students examine the relationship between food and nutrition for both children and adults. They examine how sound nutrition affects an individual's mental, physical, and emotional health. Some lectures focus on the affect nutritional choices have on children's growth and the ability to learn. Recent developments in the field are also discussed; how nutrition research can change our perception of which foods are healthy and which should be avoided is discussed in detail.
Concepts in Nutrition
The research-based intermediate-level Concepts in Nutrition course, gives students the opportunity to study nutrition concepts in sports nutrition and disease management. They examine the role of good nutrition in managing cardiovascular disease and diabetes. Students learn to modify diets to meet the needs of individuals based on their various health concerns, and, in the case of athletes, their rigorous schedules. This course also examines how vitamins and fast food affect overall nutrition.
Food Service Dietary Aide
In the intermediate Food Service Dietary Aide course, students gain practical experience assisting cooks and chefs. They prepare food for basic meals by washing and chopping vegetables and gathering ingredients. They create simple appetizers, entrees, and desserts under supervision. Students are also responsible for making sure meals are nutritionally balanced.
Dietary Management Training
The Dietary Management Training course provides experience and training to individuals interested in becoming dietary managers. Students work with licensed nutritionists and dieticians to provide nutritional options for individuals with diet concerns. While learning techniques for running a kitchen, they also develop leadership skills used in managing staff such as cooks, chefs, and dietary aides. Usually, this course requires students to gain practical experience working in the field; this experience include creating healthy food options for hospitals, nursing homes, and restaurants and supervising others.
Dietary aide courses and classes teach students skills in nutrition, meal planning, and food preparation so they are prepared to work in the field.