Chartwells School Dining Services and Morrison Management Specialists have announced the establishment of a nationwide distance-learning dietetic internship program that prepares interns to become registered dietitians in schools after securing a Bachelor's Degree in Food and Nutrition.
Chartwells, which manages dining services for over 550 public school districts and private schools nationwide, gives interns an opportunity to participate in nutrition education, food allergy management, menu and recipe development, as well as traditional foodservice management functions. The inaugural class of Morrison-Chartwells dietetic interns began last fall and produced some noteworthy accomplishments.
In February, Chartwells collaborated with South Middle School in Brockton, MA, to promote the "Be a Flexitarian" program. The dietetic intern developed promotional materials for the tray line and bulletin boards in the cafeteria. The intern also discussed with students the benefits of incorporating more vegetarian options into their diet. Many students opted for the hot meal—a vegetable stir fry—instead of pizza. By the end of lunch, many students were proclaiming themselves "Flexitarians."
Interns at Edison (NJ) High School hosted a Heart Healthy Snack Attack station this past Valentine's Day. The goals of the event were to encourage healthy eating by promoting and educating students and staff about healthy snacks, as well as obtaining feedback from students about their snacking habits. This information was used to assess the current snack food menu and explore student suggested changes. Healthy Snacking take home messages were provided for the students and their families.
At Newtown (CT) Public Schools, interns worked a "Chefs 2 Schools" event featuring guest chefs Barrie Lobo, Jeremy Santana and Glenn Brunetti, who prepared and served 1,250 hot and cold salad bowl meals as free samples. They also hosted "Snack Attack" and "Get Your Plate in Shape" promotions. The sampling events were very popular, with as much as 47% of the student population partaking in the healthy snacks offered by the guest chefs.
"Leadership from dietitians is rapidly growing in school nutrition programs as Chartwells partners with its school districts to help educate students and their families about the joys of healthful eating," says Margie Saidel, MPH, RD, LDN, Vice President of Nutrition and Sustainability for Chartwells. "Our dietetic internship is adding value to our schools by allowing more districts to experience working with nutrition professionals."
For more information on the Chartwells/Morrison Distance Dietetic Internship Program, visit www.rdinternship.com