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Health Professions Students Learn about Dietary Concerns

Juniors in the Health Professions Pathway Program at Manalapan High School recently learned about dietary food preparation in an interactive presentation by representatives from Applewood, a continuing care retirement community. Applewood is a part of the CentraState Healthcare System.

Norma Dorer, Director of Dining Services, Healthcare, spoke with students about food preparation for residents with specific dietary concerns. Ms. Dorer discussed the diet standards for those with dysphagia (difficulty swallowing) and how food and drinks are prepared differently for those individuals. Food and beverages must follow the International Dysphagia Diet Standardisation Initiative (IDDSI) framework and pass specific testing methods. Students attempted to pass the IDDSI testing methods by creating thickened water and performing a gravity flow test on the mixture. Afterward, students sampled premade orange juice, apple juice, and lemon water that meet the IDDSI framework.

Santina Valente, Employee Relations Business Partner for Senior Services, also spoke with students about possible careers in this area of the healthcare industry.