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This is a guest blog by Ingrid Canudo, current student studying BSc (Hons) Nutrition.

Leaving home for the first time can be very stressful for everyone; thinking about making new friends, understanding your course, moving to a new area can all cause anxiety. As well as all this you are now in control of your eating habits. We all know that maintaining a balanced diet is important for our health and well-being. After all, getting enough nutrients is what keeps us healthy and active; this is going to be more important if you want to make the most of your studies. It is essential that you are alert in lectures especially after late nights, and also have the energy to complete all your assessment tasks, as well as everything else that University life will throw at you.

As part of my 3rd year placement I have had the privilege of working in the catering and hospitality department at Bournemouth University where I am doing my course. I have been able to research the catering needs of those who use the catering outlets at the university and have made some nutritional suggestions for improving what is on offer. As part of the catering team, I am working on innovative ways of producing new recipes for the menus and different concepts for people who are vegan. Many students tend to skip breakfast because of the time constraints. So some of the new concepts I am working on are the design of a full nutritional protein smoothie and ‘super-energy boost’ along with fruit smoothie bowls.

These new recipes will give you good nutrition at the beginning of the day and they will also help you to feel full for longer.
It is exciting to follow this concept from the research stage to the point of sale, as well as counter design. Perhaps the most exciting part of the project was the tasting of different recipes.

Research suggests that the nutrients in fruit and vegetable smoothies will boost your brain function and make your mind feel clearer. Surely this is something that all students would find helpful.If you’ve ever tasted Kimchi you will know what the hullabaloo is about! It is good news for vegans and will be offered in the Weymouth building next semester. Some of y ou will not know what Kimchi is – well it is a range of fermented vegetables which can be mixed with other foods like chicken or tofu.

Based upon customer feedback the food development team decided that it would be a good idea to offer noodles as a daily staple on the menu; from my research I found that Kimchi is a very popular and trendy dish at the moment and so we decided to integrate the two dishes to make ‘house’ Kimchi with noodles.
This will be a quick energetic meal for hungry students and will be offered at a competitive price. This is a real tasty, nutritional dish with some great flavours, look out for this in Weymouth House from September.

The third project that I am involved in is a ‘Macro Bowl’ food concept. My research showed that the salad bars in the catering outlets were very traditional and heavily mayonnaise based. Food trends are showing that consumers want something new, fresh and wholesome. I discovered that ‘Macro bowls’ are very popular in a number of trendy city centre locations and we decided that this concept would be well received in a University environment.

A ‘Macro bowl’ is a container which can be filled with raw or roasted vegetables served on a bed of whole grains, greens and seeds topped with a healthy dressing. As well as looking incredibly vibrant with all the different colours you even get to choose what you want in your own jam-packed bowls. They are super nutritious and will leave you feeling full until your next meal! Look out for the brightly coloured vegetables in the ‘Macro bowls’ on the salad bar in the Fusion Building.

What I have taken on board during this student placement has provided me with experience in a commercial environment, I have learnt the importance of research when trying to improve and develop different catering options for various outlets. It has been very helpful to me to discuss my ideas with the Catering Manager and Executive Chef and I believe that we have identified a much better product because of the teamwork that was involved. Working in a big catering organisation has shown me the importance of the everyone having a specific role and keeping focused on that role for the good of the whole organisation. We look forward to seeing you at the catering outlets on Talbot Campus next academic year. Come and try our new ideas and recipes, but please remember to give us your feedback as this really helps us to develop even further. Hope to see you around campus at some point!

 

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