Tastefully Yours appoints dedicated aviation nutritionist in first for the industry.

Wednesday 24th October 2012

In a first for aviation catering Tastefully Yours, the Atlanta, GA-based inflight catering experts headed by President and leading inflight experience expert Paula Kraft, has appointed a full time nutritionist to support and develop new menus for its extensive aviation client base.

Heather Hibbin, who comes from a long line of aviators and holds a PPL herself, has taken up this unique role of dedicated aviation nutritionist which will focus on enhancing the client offering. Heather's new position starts with immediate effect and will complement the existing 15 strong catering team based at Tastefully Yours Atlanta headquarters.

The new position has been created in response to a growing demand from executive passengers who are becoming increasingly aware of the properties of their inflight diet. According to Kraft passengers want to know more about where food is sourced, which types of ingredients are being used, additive information and how it will affect their body with respect to energy, health, sleep patterns, mood levels, fatigue and weight.

Furthermore Hibbin will also be creating menus that will support crew activity to ensure they can perform at optimum levels during flights so reducing the risk of fatigue and potential risk.

"A dietician working in aviation understands the differences a person's body encounters at altitude and can therefore provide specifically chosen menus that will support not only the passengers comfort but also support crew's operating capability," says Kraft about the significance of the appointment. "A well fed crew is less likely to become sick so down time for owners and operator is also reduced," Kraft continues.

Hibbin will be responsible for creating lighter versions of existing menus, providing qualified nutritional information about menu ingredients, creating menus for special dietary requests and devising menus that balance with the body's circadian rhythms, for passenger and crew alike.

Commenting on its current offering Kraft explains, "We already work with nutritional labelling of inflight meals but recognised that a full time expert would better serve our aims of providing healthy food whilst taking into account the specific considerations of eating at altitude."

Kraft has also been developing Safety Management Systems for food handling and predicts that utilising the knowledge of a registered dietician will address safety issues such as body fatigue, tiredness from breaking of normal eating patterns and the effects of food interaction on the body at altitude.

Heather joins Tastefully Yours from Cobb & Douglas Public Health Nutrition Services where as part of the organisations remit for protecting the county's health concerns she was responsible for the assessment of clients for nutritional risk and provided motivational counselling to support clients' lifestyle changes and food choices. She is also a frequent presenter at district meetings and is used to speaking publicly on the subject of nutrition.

"Working with Tastefully Yours presents a whole new set of challenges for me and it is exciting to think that the nutrition knowledge I have can enhance the experience of crew and passengers alike. Together with Paula's aviation awareness I hope we can generate an even more valuable service for our executive aviation client base," says Hibbin about her appointment.

The nutritionist appointment is part of a wider overall commitment to the aviation catering Safety Management System that Paula has developed to improve the standards of service within this particular sector.

This has already been presented to the NBAA Flight Attendants Committee at their Chicago Symposium held in June 2012, and whilst at NBAA 2012 she will join the inaugural meeting of the newly formed European Flight Attendant Committee to discuss how the SMS information can be incorporated into their meeting at next year's EBACE to be held in May in Geneva.


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