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Boost your Business by tapping into the special diets market

Did you know that 1 in 4 of us admit to being on a diet “most of the time”. Or that around 10% of the UK population follows a vegetarian or gluten, nut or dairy free diet?

By including dishes on the menu that meet the needs of people with dietary requirements you not only attract new customers, but also offer more choice to existing customers who may be looking for alternative dishes.

We know how challenging it can be to meet a wide range of dietary requirements so Pelican has a service: “Pelican Nutrition.” This service is run by our registered nutritionist and dietitian who is ready to help you plan and create your menu.

EDI Level 2 Healthier Food and Special Diets

One of the many solutions we provide is a nationally recognised training qualification – EDI level 2 Healthier Food and Special Diets.

This one day course will enable you and your team to develop your knowledge and understanding of the nutritional qualities of food; help in preparation of healthy recipes and cater for special diets.

The qualification would suit those working in catering within restaurants, pubs, hotels, schools, hospitals and care homes; particularly anyone involved in the selection of ingredients, recipes and menus.

Our off site training courses are attended by individuals from different businesses, Alternatively, the Pelican Nutrition Team can organise group inhouse training for your staff at your premises.

What you will learn

• Develop knowledge and understanding of the importance of good health and the principles of a balanced diet.

• Learn how to apply best practice in the preparation, cooking and serving of dishes to ensure that changes to nutritional content are minimised.

• Gain an understanding of different types of special diets and their causes and effects on individuals.

• Special dietary requirements covered include vegan, food allergies and intolerances, coeliac disease, heart disease, and diabetes.

• Be aware of practices to be followed when preparing, cooking and serving special diets.

• Understand the responsibility of food providers to inform customers of the content of products or dishes.

Case study

Mike Jackson is Senior Dining Services Co-ordinator for a leading high quality care home provider in the South East with nine residences to oversee. He attended the EDI Level 2 Award in Healthier Food and Special Diets run by the Pelican Nutrition team.

Mike says, “At our care homes we offer five star care to our residents and part of that is making sure they’re getting healthy and nutritious food. Sometimes that means fortifying an individual’s diet if a resident is lacking in certain vitamins or minerals, so I wanted to take the course to enhance that area of my knowledge.

“Every month the dining service steering group meets to discuss where we need to take the dining service and how we’re going to get there. We’d all done an in-house nutrition training course that Anna-Maria had put together for us, but we felt we were keen to progress that with the EDI qualification which is nationally recognised, so we decided to have the 27 dining service co-ordinators take the Level 2 course.

“On the day the course worked very well; it was very professional, with a nice relaxed training atmosphere. I picked up a lot of good ideas from Anna-Maria as well as the other co-ordinators. It was a really enjoyable day. It wasn’t like being lectured to, it was stimulating and fun.

“It’s nice being able to deliver food I know is healthy and nutritious to our residents. They choose what they want at each meal, from cheese on toast to a full roast dinner if they want it, and we cater to order. We receive diet notifications so we know if they need specific nutritional elements in their food, and after the training I know I have the knowledge to be able to fulfil that.

“It’s great when we talk to the residents about their food that we know what we’re talking about, and we have the knowhow to be able to cater for what they want, as well as what they need. And if they need it we’re able to help the staff to use their diets to improve the residents’ health. Sometimes within a week or ten days of eating a proper diet we can see massive progress in their wellbeing. I’m really glad that the training has helped me to deliver that, and I have the recognised qualification to demonstrate that level of expertise.”

To find out more…

If you would like to find out more about this qualification, menu support or menu calorie labelling, please contact us on 01252 70522 or email

Anna-Maria Holt

Company Dietitian and Health & Wellbeing Lead at Pelican Procurement Services

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