The importance of special dietary menus

the importance of special dietary menus

A lot of thought and planning goes in to a menu. From creating and implementing certain dishes that capitalise on seasons and seasonal ingredients, to special events or an establishment’s theme (Greek, Italian, etc…). Menus will always need to go through some form of change to remain fresh, exciting and relevant. One way in which menus are changing is by providing alternatives for those who have special dietary requirements.

What kind of dietary requirements should you take in to consideration?

Generally, the main dietary needs to consider are food allergies and intolerances, as well as veganism, vegetarianism, and religious and cultural restrictions.

  • Allergies affect 1 in 10 infants, and 2 out of 100 adults
  • Intolerances affect almost 25% of the population

One of the best examples as to the necessity behind having a menu where dietary requirements are catered for is Coeliac Disease.

Coeliac Disease is an autoimmune disease where the body mistakes dietary gluten for a harmful substance, and therefore produces antibodies to fight it as though it was an infection. The effect on a person with this disorder over time is the flattening of bowel villi (finger-like projections that capture and absorb nutrients and minerals), which leads to nutritional deficiencies and gastrointestinal symptoms.

In fact, according to Coeliac Australia the disorder has become so wide spread that it affects approximately 1 in 100 Australians. Yet this may just be the tip of the iceberg, as it’s believed that close to 75% of cases are undiagnosed, which means that approximately 160,000 people have coeliac disease and don’t know it.

So, what actually is gluten?

If you’ve been in the food industry for a while, there is a good chance you know already, but if you’re just starting out gluten is a common protein found in wheat, rye and barley. While somewhat contentious, Coeliac Australia also includes oats in the list of products gluten can be found in.

Therefore, if you’re looking to tweak your menu to offer dietary related alternatives, you need to be able to easily identify products and ingredients that will compliment your changes.

Bakers Maison has a range of gluten free loaves, rolls and muffins for you to choose from, so contact us today to obtain a product list to help you create delicious food for your customers.

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