Culinary Nutritionist Certificate: Is it Important?
We have entered a new era in our history where chronic disease has reached epidemic proportions. Everyone knows someone who has either suffered from, or is currently plagued with cancer, heart disease, uncontrolled diabetes, and the list goes on. Cases of allergies are on the rise and while anaphylactic shock only accounts for roughly 1.5% of all cases.
Recent research shows that these numbers have increased by 1% just in the last five years, equating to about one out of every 50 people, which still may be a low estimate. With this being said, many people admit to feeling unprepared to handle future episodes from food-related allergen exposures, identifying the need for awareness in both recognition and in therapeutic strategies for management. What does this data have to do with a certified culinary nutritionist? Everything!
According to new regulations released in September of 2017, every healthcare facility in the Hampton Roads region, as well as nationally, must have a culinary nutritionist also known as a certified dietary manager on staff by the year 2020. This is particularly important in institutions where there is not a fulltime dietitian.
This legislation is in response to severe shortages in healthcare workers, but also because facilities need to provide the best care possible for a wide array of disorders, many of which require careful planning for therapeutic diets. For these reasons and many others, the field of culinary nutrition is one of the fastest growing careers in both healthcare and hospitality.
Professional Certification: A Hallmark of Successful Culinary Nutritionists
There is no greater time than now to become a certified culinary nutritionist and the certification itself is a vital piece that employers seek out on resumes. Having the certified dietary manager credential puts you above the crowd when pursuing employment in the healthcare industry, especially in light of the aforementioned regulations that may have employers under pressure to find the best candidate for the job.
The culinary nutritionist has a unique set of abilities allowing them to create amazingly decadent dishes full of color, texture and flavor for people with very specific dietary concerns. This is both dynamic and imperative to the healthcare industry especially because of the current paradigm shift toward prevention. Food is the problem, but it can also be the solution!
Culinary professionals are excellent candidates for careers in culinary nutrition. Not only because of their expertise in the kitchen but also because of their innate flexibility, management skills, and their talent to make delicious alterations at the drop of a toque! Just because someone is diagnosed with a disease or chronic condition, they do not have to be sentenced to a lifetime of eating bland, tasteless foods perceived as healthy. A culinary nutritionist can create dishes that taste and even look indulgent while using their culinary marvel to enhance nutritive value with tools of the trade that only formal education can deliver.
How Do I Get There?
In order to earn a culinary nutritionist certification, it is absolutely essential to start with an accredited program that provides guidance and support every step of the way. Formal education is a critical piece in the pursuit of success because it allows a potential student to gain the expertise they need for an extremely demanding, yet challenging and fulfilling field.
Completing a culinary nutritionist program also sets a student up for two key opportunities; one as a certified culinarian from a chef’s perspective, and the other as a culinary nutritionist upon passing the certified dietary manager exam through the Association of Nutrition and Food Service Professionals. This prestigious organization is the governing body behind certified dietary manager certification.
The best part about formal education is that upon degree conferment, students become immediately eligible to sit for the certified dietary manager exam. Completing the right program is the most direct route that can pave the way to certification through proper preparation, real world experience from credentialed instructors and most importantly, by placing student needs at the forefront of everything.
Are you interested in becoming a culinary nutritionist? If so, you'll want to start with an Associate of Applied Science Degree in Culinary Arts and Applied Nutrition. ECPI University's Culinary Institute of Virginia offers this degree at an accelerated pace. For more information, connect with one of our helpful admissions advisors today.
It could be the Best Decision You Ever Make!
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Gainful Employment Information – Culinary Nutrition - Associate’s