Unit of competency details

SITHKOP004 - Develop menus for special dietary requirements (Release 1)


Usage recommendation:
Supersedes and is equivalent to SITHKOP402 - Develop menus for special dietary requirements•Equivalent • Unit updated to meet the Standards for Training Packages. 02/Mar/2016

Release Status:
ReleaseRelease date
1 1 (this release) 03/Mar/2016


SchemeCodeClassification value
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 069901 Nutrition And Dietetics  

Classification history

SchemeCodeClassification valueStart dateEnd date
ASCED Module/Unit of Competency Field of Education Identifier 069901 Nutrition And Dietetics  09/Aug/2016 
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Unit Of competency

Modification History

Not applicable.


This unit describes the performance outcomes, skills and knowledge required to develop menus and meal plans for people who have special dietary needs for health, lifestyle and cultural reasons. It requires the ability to identify the dietary requirements of customers, develop special menus and meal plans to meet those requirements, cost menus and to monitor and evaluate the success of menu performance.

The unit applies to all hospitality and catering organisations that prepare and serve food. This includes hotels, clubs, restaurants, educational institutions, health establishments, defence forces, cafeterias, kiosks, cafes, residential caterers, in flight and other transport caterers, event and function caterers.

It applies to those people who operate independently or with limited guidance from others such as senior cooks, chefs, catering supervisors and managers.

No occupational licensing, certification or specific legislative requirements apply to this unit at the time of publication.

Pre-requisite Unit


Competency Field

Kitchen Operations

Unit Sector


Elements and Performance Criteria



Elements describe the essential outcomes.

Performance criteria describe the performance needed to demonstrate achievement of the element.

1. Identify menu requirements.

1.1.Identify dietary and cultural or religious menu requirements of different customer groups.

1.2.Assess contemporary dietary trends and regimes.

1.3.Liaise with other professionals  to identify and confirm customer requirements.

1.4.Identify health consequences of ignoring special dietary requirements of customers.

2. Develop menus and meal plans for special diets.

2.1.Select a variety of suitable foods and meals for specific requirements.

2.2.Identify appropriate combinations of food to meet macro and micro nutrient requirements.

2.3.Develop menus and meal plans that promote good health and reduce the incidence of diet related health problems.

2.4.Prepare cyclic menus and balance nutritional requirements and variety.

2.5.Incorporate sufficient choice of dishes into the menus.

2.6.Recommend food preparation and cooking methods to maximise nutritional value of food.

3. Cost and document special menus and meal plans.

3.1.Calculate expenditure items  to determine production costs of menu items.

3.2.Calculate portion yields and costs from raw ingredients.

3.3.Assess cost-effectiveness of proposed dishes against budgetary constraints and choose products that provide high yield.

3.4.Use correct terminology in menus and meal plans.

4. Monitor special menu performance.

4.1.Seek ongoing feedback from customers and others and use to improve menu performance.

4.2.Analyse the success of special menus against dietary goals and customer satisfaction.

4.3.Adjust menus based on feedback and success.

Foundation Skills

Foundation skills essential to performance in this unit, but not explicit in the performance criteria are listed here, along with a brief context statement.



Reading skills to:

  • read and interpret complex details of health-related problems and cultural meal requirements.

Writing skills to:

  • write comprehensive menus, meal plans and recommendations for cooking methods.

Oral communication skills to:

  • listen and respond to routine customer feedback, and ask questions of health and other professionals to inform menu choice.

Numeracy skills to:

  • calculate the cost of producing dishes for menus and meal plans.

Learning skills to:

  • continually research information on emerging dietary trends.

Problem-solving skills to:

  • evaluate diet-related health problems and design varied menus to address them
  • identify budgetary constraints and adjust menus to include the most cost effective options.

Planning and organising skills to:

  • access and sort information required for menu design to coordinate a timely and efficient development process.

Technology skills to:

  • use computers and software programs to cost and document menus and meal plans.

Range of Conditions

Specifies different work environments and conditions that may affect performance. Essential operating conditions that may be present (depending on the work situation, needs of the candidate, accessibility of the item, and local industry and regional contexts) are included.

Range is restricted to essential operating conditions and any other variables essential to the work environment.

Other professionals  must include the appropriate:

  • allied health professionals
  • dietitians
  • medical specialists
  • nutritionists.

Expenditure items  must include:

  • ingredients
  • labour
  • operational costs of the kitchen
  • wastage.

Unit Mapping Information

SITHKOP402 Develop menus for special dietary requirements


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694


Assessment requirements

Modification History

Not applicable.

Performance Evidence

Evidence of the ability to complete tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit in the context of the job role, and:

  • develop and cost at least six menus or meal plans that individually or in combination meet at least six different special dietary requirements as specified in the knowledge evidence
  • two of the above menus or meal plans must reflect one or more cultural or religious dietary requirements as specified in the knowledge evidence
  • two of the above menus or meal plans must address the special dietary requirements of different customer groups as specified in the knowledge evidence
  • evaluate each of the above menus by obtaining at least two of the following types of feedback:
  • customer satisfaction discussions with:
  • customers
  • employees during the course of each business day
  • customer surveys
  • improvements suggested by:
  • customers
  • managers
  • peers
  • staff
  • supervisors
  • suppliers
  • regular staff meetings that involve menu discussions
  • satisfaction discussions with:
  • customers
  • allied health professionals
  • dietitians
  • medical specialists
  • seeking staff suggestions for menu items
  • develop above menus and menu plans within commercial time constraints, demonstrating:
  • methods for responding to feedback and adjusting menus
  • basic principles and practices of nutrition.

Knowledge Evidence

Demonstrated knowledge required to complete the tasks outlined in elements and performance criteria of this unit:

  • culinary terms and trade names for:
  • substitute ingredients used to produce dishes with special dietary recipes
  • ingredients suitable for meeting basic nutritional needs
  • ingredients that cause common allergic reactions
  • food additives and preservatives
  • main types and culinary characteristics of special diets that are part of contemporary Australian society:
  • eating regimes:
  • elimination
  • macrobiotic
  • exclusions for allergies, contraindications with medicines or food intolerance
  • fat-free
  • fluids
  • food preferences
  • food restrictions
  • gluten-free
  • high carbohydrate
  • high or low energy
  • high or low protein
  • high fibre
  • lacto ovo
  • low carbohydrate
  • low cholesterol
  • low fat
  • low gluten
  • low kilojoule
  • low sugar
  • modified sodium or potassium
  • modified texture
  • nutritional requirements
  • portion size
  • substitutes:
  • gluten-free flour
  • yeast-free flour
  • non-sugar sweeteners
  • sugar-free
  • type one and two diabetes
  • main types and culinary characteristics of cultural or religious diets that are part of contemporary Australian society:
  • halal
  • Hindu
  • kosher
  • vegan
  • vegetarian
  • main types of customer groups that have special dietary requirements:
  • adolescents
  • athletes
  • children
  • defence forces
  • elderly
  • health care
  • ill or injured
  • infants
  • international tourists
  • nutritional and energy requirements due to physical condition
  • people in areas affected by disaster or environmental extremes
  • people from different socioeconomic groups
  • people in remote areas
  • those with weight problems:
  • underweight
  • overweight
  • obese
  • meaning of:
  • drug-food interactions
  • food allergy
  • food intolerance
  • key health and legal consequences of failing to address special requirements:
  • allergic reactions
  • anaphylaxis
  • food sensitivity or intolerance reactions
  • basic principles and practices of nutrition:
  • nutrients and their food sources
  • influences on food choice
  • food and beverage selection influences
  • food labelling and interpretation
  • role and implications of using food additives and preservatives
  • health implications of food choices
  • role of good nutrition in avoiding dietary diseases
  • effects of various cooking methods and food storage on nutrients
  • primary components of Australian Dietary Guidelines, in particular those for older Australians, children and adolescents and their use in menu planning
  • methods and formulas for calculating portion yields and costs from raw ingredients:
  • butcher’s test
  • standard measures
  • standard yield tests.

Assessment Conditions

Skills must be demonstrated in a hospitality industry business operation or activity for which special menus and meal plans are prepared. This can be:

  • an industry workplace
  • a simulated industry environment.

Assessment must ensure access to:

  • computers, printers and software for costing and developing menus and meal plans
  • Australian Dietary Guidelines
  • recipes that accommodate a range of special dietary requirements.

Assessors must satisfy the Standards for Registered Training Organisations’ requirements for assessors; and:

  • have worked in industry for at least three years where they have applied the skills and knowledge of this unit of competency.


Companion Volume implementation guides are found in VETNet - https://vetnet.gov.au/Pages/TrainingDocs.aspx?q=68c40a93-e51d-4e0f-bc06-899dff092694