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Abstract

Chefs need to be academically prepared to ensure their menus are nutritionally balanced while meeting the demand for taste, low cost, and convenience. Culinary educators at post-secondary institutions balance culinary and nutrition knowledge with the needs of patrons, staff, and management. Based upon previous nutrition inquiry, educational intervention lessons on protein and sodium were designed and pilot tested with two groups (n1=20) and (n2=21) of post-secondary culinary arts students. These educational intervention lessons improved knowledge of protein and sodium as measured on topic specific knowledge test instruments. The difference before and after the education program on protein was statistically significant for 14 out of 19 survey items. For the sodium intervention lesson, changes for eight items out of 26 were statistically significant. The evidence suggests that the intervention lesson for improving applied knowledge about dietary proteins and sodium through an intervention lesson is positive. It is recommended that culinary arts post-secondary programs incorporate reinforcement lessons on the applications and the techniques of healthy cooking into their curricula to meet the needs of their constituents. Decisions on academic emphasis based on current nutrition research and trends can contribute to wider availability of healthy foods served away from home. The depth and level of applying nutrition concepts to food preparation behavior is affected by the academic experiences of the culinary students as they aspire to work in professional kitchens in menu and recipe development. Keywords: nutrition education, culinary education, chef, chefs’ education.

 

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