What does a dietary aide do?
From time to time, we all rely on someone else to prepare our food. Dietary aides help prepare food, serve meals, and clean up in the kitchen in a dining hall, or in residents’ or patients’ rooms at assisted living facilities and hospitals. As a dietary aid, you carry out a variety of tasks to support the food preparation process in accordance with residents’ or patients’ medical nutrition therapy diets and by federal, state, and facility sanitation and infection control regulations. Typically, you report to a dietary cook or manager. A well-respected dietary aide is kind and patient, and respects the rights of residents, patients, and their families. To thrive in this role, you need to be able to complete your tasks according to schedule and be able to lift heavy goods. As a dietary aide, you sometimes need to help patients and residents eat their meals, and you always report back to your manager about food intake. You take the lead in maintaining a clean workspace and wash dishes and kitchen equipment. Additionally, you track food and non-food items, plan menus, track expenses, set up and take down dining areas, remove garbage, and help out with nutrition educational efforts. You must be able to meet the physical demands of the job and follow instructions for recipes, dietary needs, and meal orders. Experience working in institutional food service and knowledge of dietetics will help you stand out. Depending on your facility and state, you may be required to participate in training, continuing education classes, or have a certificate related to food service such as ServSafe. There is no formal career or education path for this role and employers typically do not require a degree.