As you may have seen on my social media pages I recently did an interview on Plantbased Pixie’s Youtube channel for a feature called ‘What actual nutritionists do’ This has inspired me to do a little blog post on ‘a day in the life of’ for those that have been asking what I do (I will do a blog post to follow on the steps to take to become a Registered Nutritionist)
A typical day does not really exist for me (thankfully as I get bored easily!) but I have some exciting and not so exciting responsibilities that I will share for any budding nutritionists out there.
My work as a Company Nutritionist in the Out of Home Sector:
Recipe Development is my favourite part of the job, working with chefs to develop healthy, innovative dishes for our brands is really fun! This can be anything from nutritious children’s menus to protein packed recipes. It is great to be able to work in professional kitchens, giving advice to some incredible chefs… and of course trying all the food is a bonus too!
A crucial part of my job is working with suppliers to ensure that products meet certain requirements such as salt and sugar government targets. This is not only important to develop healthy dishes internally but engaging with suppliers and informing them of government targets is just as vital for the wider Public Health.
Once the development side is done it is then time to look at menu claims and nutrition guides – this is where I work with marketing to ensure all menu claims meet the EU nutrition and health claims regulations but are also clear and concise for the guest. For example, for a dish to be legally named ‘high in protein’ it has to have at least 20% of the energy coming from the protein.
To produce a nutrition guide I calculate the nutrition for every dish for about 9 different nationwide brands – as you can imagine this takes up a lot of my time but it is one of the most important parts of the job. More people are wanting to know what is in their food when they eat out and rightly so, as over 1/3 of calories are consumed out of the home so by giving the guest the choice of nutrition information they can make an informed choice.
I am also very privileged to work with some external stakeholders such as Public Health England, The Soil Association and The British Hospitality Association (where I have recently coauthored a nutrition guide you can find here) This is crucial for my personal development and I have met some amazing Registered Dietitians and Nutritionists who I continue to learn from, giving me the ability to then use this knowledge for internal policy writing.
My life as a nutritionist does continue outside of this job but maybe that is for another blog post. I love being a Registered Nutritionist in the Out of Home sector but I do feel there is a bigger need for more of us within the industry. Registered Nutritionists can have a positive impact on menu briefs, supporting development chefs, writing internal policies and the most important part… the guests dining out experience by playing a huge part in increasing the healthier options available!
Any questions please send me an email and I will be happy to answer!