Whether you’re a medical professional, personal trainer, registered dietitian or a parent, advanced nutrition education or recertification can enhance your life and profession. Classes and courses cover topics ranging from sports nutrition and metabolism to weight-loss techniques and plans. A nutrition course usually involves two or three classes, and often leads to some type of certification. Students can also take individual classes to enhance their nutrition knowledge or skills without earning certification. Courses and classes are both inherently valuable, and often work hand-in-hand.
Common Nutrition Classes
While degree programs in nutrition travel specific roads based on areas of concentration, most certification programs offer a wide range of topics within the umbrella of nutrition and tend to appeal to a broader range of students. The course professor, teacher or facilitator will generally be an expert in the field of nutrition and brings his/her insight to topics such as battling weight through diet, planning meals for peak athletic performance, and communicating information about vitamins, minerals and supplements. Examples of classes include:
- Nutrition and You: Functional Foods – Based on the premise “you are what you eat,” the class explores the effect of certain foods on the human body. Common, public knowledge of functional foods is limited, and cutting edge research has much to share on the connection between diet and the human body.
- Weight Management and Nutrition in the Life Cycle – The needs of the human body change throughout its lifecycle- a child and an adult need carbohydrates, fats, and proteins in varying amounts. With nearly 60 percent of American adults classified as obese or overweight, this class positions its students to help clients set and achieve healthy weight loss goals.
- Introduction to Sports Nutrition and Performance – Students learn how to help athletes achieve peak performance through healthy meal planning. Students also explore how supplements, powders and sports drinks enhance sports performance.
- Public Nutrition and Wellness Education – This course delves into nutrition as it applies to health and disease prevention. To better inform clients (or themselves), students will gain a base knowledge of critical information concerning vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, as well as the techniques needed to communicate their benefits.
Taking a Nutrition Class or Course Online
Nutrition courses and classes are offered both in the classroom and online. While the classroom option is the more traditional, many students find online learning is more suited to their needs. Classes and coursework are flexible and offer an “at your own pace” approach. Assignment schedules are accommodating, and allow for better job/school balance.
Because students learn from home, they save the expense of traveling to campus. While it is recommended that students develop a solid study schedule and routine, that routine can depend solely on the student’s schedule. Lectures and assignments are sent to the student electronically to be scheduled within available time.
Who should enroll in online nutrition courses? – Students who are looking for a flexible learning schedule should consider online nutrition courses. Working professionals who require nutrition certification will particularly appreciate the convenience of online courses.
What kinds of classes are offered? – Expect to see classes ranging from personal diet management to metabolic reactions to an exploration of carbohydrates, fats and proteins. Specific course work and class goals are set by professors and facilitators.
When does it start? – Nutrition certification programs have rolling start dates because they exist independent from brick and mortar buildings. Most have start dates within each quarter, and some have them monthly.
How much does it cost? – Cost varies from program to program, but on average a student can expect to pay between $500 and $1,500 for a course. While this is certainly an expense, courses that lead to certification can also translate into increased earnings.
What is the necessary technology comfort level? – The required technology for an online nutrition class is no more complicated than that used to find this guide. Students should be comfortable emailing attachments, posting responses in discussion threads, researching on the web and watching instructional videos.
Mass Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in Nutrition
MOOCs give students of all types the chance to learn about a subject and experience study at the college level. While not offered for credit yet, the accessibility of MOOCs has opened educational doors to a larger portion of the population. The following MOOCs are available for free online.
Food, Nutrition & Your Health (Open2Study): Covers nutrition basics, the development of eating disorders, and the benefits of various diets.
More Info: https://www.open2study.com/courses/food-nutrition-and-your-health
Nutrition for Health Promotion and Disease Prevention (Coursera): Basic information on diets specific to certain diseases. Evidence-based models examined.
More Info: https://www.coursera.org/course/nutrition
Introduction to the U.S. Food System: Perspectives in Public Health: Exploring issues in America’s food system and how they related to public health.
More Info: https://www.coursera.org/course/foodsys
Nutrition, Health, and Lifestyle: Issues and Insights (Coursera): A seven-week course focused on nutritional concepts and their place in mainstream media today.
More Info: https://www.coursera.org/course/lifenutr
Child Nutrition and Cooking 2.0 (Stanford via Coursera): Basics of health eating for children and how to prepare such meals for kids of all ages.
More Info: https://www.coursera.org/course/childnutrition
Nutrition and Physical Activity for Health (Coursera): An introduction to how healthy eating habits and exercise can lower obesity and increase longevity.
More Info: https://www.coursera.org/course/nutritionforhealth
Healthy Sustainable Diets (ScHARR): An introduction to sustainable diets as a concept and how to choose food that works.
More Info: Course Sites
Improving Global Health: Focusing on Quality and Safety (Harvard via edX): An introduction to the field of global health quality.
More Info: https://www.edx.org/course/harvardx/harvardx-ph555x-improving-global-health-1679#.U0hpjMcqOMM