An appetite for life at the Sydney Seaford School

From left: Letizia Sasanelli, Jude Hamilton, Rebecca Scupham, Maggie Beer, Michelle Miller, Alison Yaxley and Olivia Farrer

In March, staff and students from Nutrition and Dietetics attended the Maggie Beer Foundation ‘Creating an Appetite for Life’ Education Program for food service staff working in aged care. The 2-day workshop, held at the Sydney Seafood School in Sydney, aimed to educate cooks, chefs and food service managers to promote the MBF mission to improve the food experience for older Australians in residential care. Flinders University staff Alison Yaxley and Olivia Farrer, along with students Jude Hamilton (BND Hons), Rebecca Scupham (MND Research) and Letizia Sasanelli (MND), attended to conduct an evaluation of the program and to collect data from participants to inform research into food service satisfaction and food service staff perception of dietitians working in aged care. Presentations included sessions on nutrition for older adults by Rosemary Stanton, food safety legislation by Rodney Jilek and James Shepherd, and becoming a change agent by Dr Lee-Fay Low. There were also practical demonstrations by Peter Morgan-Jones from HammondCare, celebrity chef Alex Herbert and of course Maggie Beer herself which engaged everyone with ideas to strengthen the dining experience. Participants left inspired and ready to pass on their new-found knowledge to staff back at their workplaces. Our staff and students were gratified to see the passion and dedication of these food service personnel who really want to make a difference to the life of those in residential aged care. More workshops are scheduled this year.

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