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Integrating Nutrition and Food Science to Create Healthy Recipes

11 Jun 2019

When learning something new, experiential learning is important as it make learning more relatable for the students and increases the effectiveness of learning. With this in mind, the International Medical University incorporated the Principles of Food Preparation Module as part of the curriculum of its undergraduate programmes of Bachelors in Nutrition (Hons) and Dietetics with Nutrition (Hons). As part of this Module, students are given the opportunity to develop healthy recipes by integrating the principles of healthy eating along with their nutrient content, with the guidance of a chef and dietitian. This activity provides the Year 1 students a learning opportunity on how to translate principles of food science with nutrition into creating healthy recipes in the Food Preparation class. And what a better way to do this than with the guidance from Leonard Yap Thien Vern, chef and dietitian who is also our IMU alumnus from DN1/13 cohort!

Rather than follow rigid recipes to learn about cooking changes during poultry preparation, Chef Leonard taught students how to utilise available ingredients from the food pantry in preparing their poultry meat to understand the science behind poultry nutrient composition and cooking methods. The students then demonstrated their creativity in preparing innovative yet delicious and nutritious chicken recipes such as buttermilk Korean chicken, roasted herb and spicy chicken, chicken on fire, and spiced breadcrumb chicken breast with refreshing mint dip.

Some quotes from our students
“We really had fun learning how food science principles affect the juiciness and tenderness of our chicken recipes while still preserving the nutritional values of the meal. We can apply this learnt skill to our future practice as a dietitian/nutritionist for better community health.” Crystal Ooi, DN 1/18 cohort.
“I appreciate that a dietitian must also have good understanding of the principles of food preparation in order to make tasty, attractive meals that our clients would love to eat.” Phang Ching Yi, DN 1/18 cohort.

Chef and Dietitian Leonard mentioned that “In this day, reproducing a dish from a recipe is no longer enough, instead one must understand the “why’s” and “how’s” of a recipe. A dietitian who understands this, bridges the gap between dietary recommendations and day-to-day practice in real life.” Related articles: Professional Chef Guides Nutrition & Dietetics Students in Developing Healthy Recipes IMU Nutrition and Dietetics with Nutrition Students Create New Delicious Treats!

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