What do Dietitians and Nutritionists do?

Plan and conduct food service or nutritional programs to assist in the promotion of health and control of disease. May supervise activities of a department providing quantity food services, counsel individuals, or conduct nutritional research.

  • Counsel individuals and groups on basic rules of good nutrition, healthy eating habits, and nutrition monitoring to improve their quality of life.
  • Assess nutritional needs, diet restrictions and current health plans to develop and implement dietary-care plans and provide nutritional counseling.
  • Advise patients and their families on nutritional principles, dietary plans and diet modifications, and food selection and preparation.
  • Consult with physicians and health care personnel to determine nutritional needs and diet restrictions of patient or client.
  • Monitor food service operations to ensure conformance to nutritional, safety, sanitation and quality standards.
  • Organize, develop, analyze, test, and prepare special meals such as low-fat, low-cholesterol and chemical-free meals.
  • Develop curriculum and prepare manuals, visual aids, course outlines, and other materials used in teaching.
  • Make recommendations regarding public policy, such as nutrition labeling, food fortification, and nutrition standards for school programs.
  • Purchase food in accordance with health and safety codes.
  • Plan and conduct training programs in dietetics, nutrition, and institutional management and administration for medical students, health-care personnel and the general public.
  • Plan, conduct, and evaluate dietary, nutritional, and epidemiological research.
  • Coordinate diet counseling services.
  • Select, train and supervise workers who plan, prepare and serve meals.
  • Manage quantity food service departments or clinical and community nutrition services.
  • Develop policies for food service or nutritional programs to assist in health promotion and disease control.
  • Inspect meals served for conformance to prescribed diets and standards of palatability and appearance.
  • Advise food service managers and organizations on sanitation, safety procedures, menu development, budgeting, and planning to assist with the establishment, operation, and evaluation of food service facilities and nutrition programs.
  • Write research reports and other publications to document and communicate research findings.
  • Coordinate recipe development and standardization and develop new menus for independent food service operations.
  • Prepare and administer budgets for food, equipment and supplies.
  • Plan and prepare grant proposals to request program funding.
  • Test new food products and equipment.
  • Confer with design, building, and equipment personnel to plan for construction and remodeling of food service units.

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