Career Profile: Dietetic Technician
Everyone has to eat to live, but not everyone gets the right nutrition to stay healthy. That’s where dietetic technicians can help. These people work together with dietitians and their clients to provide good, nutritious meals to keep people healthy. If you enjoy working with food, it might be the right job for you.
What kinds of meals do you eat at your house? Do they include fruit, vegetables, and proteins like eggs, meat, or beans? At home, people can normally plan their meals to be as nutritious as possible, although they might not always eat very well. When they are in a hospital, school, or other institution, they might not be able to control what they eat. Also, sometimes people choose the wrong foods because they cannot afford good options or they dislike healthy choices.
Dietetic technicians work with dietitians to help people eat well. Often, they work in hospitals, nursing homes, food manufacturers, schools, or other places where many people eat or get their food. Often, the dietitians will plan meals for seniors or students and the dietetic technicians will do the actual cooking and helping the people eat. Often, the technicians have to observe how much food the people eat and keep records so that the dietitians can change the menus if necessary.
Education can be a large part of what dietetic technicians do. Helping people understand why they should eat vegetables instead of marshmallows is good for all clients, but people at different ages also have different needs.
When people get older, for example, they generally eat less than they did when they were forty or fifty years old. Children also need certain foods to help them grow, but adults eating the same diet could become fat. Some people need to cut out almost all of the sugar in their diets to avoid diabetes, while others are allergic to peanuts or wheat. Dietetic technicians need to know all of the different possibilities and be able to find plans that fit each person’s needs.
In some cases, dietetic technicians do the same work as dietitians and might need a university degree. This can be useful, but many dietetic technicians have a two-year certificate in food services from a place like the Canadian Healthcare Association. Ryerson University’s website has information on some of the programs available in Canada, and other universities or community colleges are also good places to try. Some employers might hire people without official qualifications, but getting some training is a good idea to help open up job possibilities.
Working as a dietetic technician is not usually physically demanding, but it can involve cuts and burns from cooking and emotional strain from working with difficult people. Anyone getting into this field should be patient and organized, and also be able to cook well. Being able to plan meals that are delicious as well as nutritious will help make the job easier since people will be glad to eat something that tastes good. If you love planning meals and preparing food, this might be the job for you.
Dietitians of Canada. “Education.” https://www.dietitians.ca/Become-a-Dietitian/Education.aspx.
Neuvoo. “Dietetic Technician Salary in Canada.” https://neuvoo.ca/salary/?job=dietetic+technician.
Payscale Canada. “Average Dietetic Technician Hourly Pay.” https://www.payscale.com/research/CA/Job=Dietetic_Technician/Salary.
Ryerson University. “Food and Nutrition-Related Training Programs in Ontario.” https://ce-online.ryerson.ca/ce/default.aspx?id=3842.
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