If you are considering a career in nutrition or simply want to educate yourself on healthy eating, you may want to consider online nutrition classes. Online classes are rapidly rising in popularity and many accredited schools across the nation allow you to get the education you need without leaving your home.
A nutritionist plans meal programs to encourage healthy eating habits. Careers for nutritionists include planning the meals for public schools, colleges and similar institutions, child care centers, and hospitals or nursing care facilities. A nutritionist could also be a consultant for people looking for a healthier lifestyle, either for weight loss or to manage their diabetes, high blood pressure or other health problems.
There are a multitude of online nutrition courses available. There are many from accredited colleges and universities as well as some that will brush you up on the basics but are not accredited. While most legitimate online nutrition classes are taught by practicing or certified nutritionists, their usefulness will depend on your needs and goals. Here are some tips to help you choose a program that’s right for you.
Know Your Goals
Before making a decision on which course to go with, you need to decide what you want to do with the education you get. Are you looking for a degree in order to become a certified nutritionist or dietitian? Or are you simply looking to brush up on your knowledge to better serve yourself and your family? Knowing what you want can help you choose a nutrition course that best fits your needs and possibly save you money.
Find a Focus
Finding a focus will help you narrow down your options when you select an online course. If you are simply trying to help your family eat better, you can search for nutrition classes that focus on healthy eating. You will not need a certificate or degree from an accredited college or university for this purpose. You may be able to find online community outreach or continuing education courses from a local college. The advantage to using a local school is that you may be able to get a face-to-face meeting with the instructor if you need extra help.
However, if your goal is to start a career to help a specific group, like diabetics or those with high blood pressure, than you will need to find a nutrition course that will allow you focus your education on that topic and will be accepted by the medical community.
Do Your Research
Now that you’ve decided on your goals and narrowed your focus, you need to find the right institution for you. First and foremost, make sure the organizations you are considering are legitimate. Check them out with the Better Business Bureau and find out what others say about them and the classes they took. There are several websites dedicated to offering low-cost nutrition classes, but are not able to give you college credits. This does not necessarily mean the information learned will be useless, especially if you are not seeking a degree.
If you are seeking a degree, then you want to make sure the institution is accredited and that the degree you earn will be recognized by your state. Most states require a license or certification to work as a nutritionist and that means having a degree your state will honor. You will need to find out if a degree from an online program or a particular institution is honored by your state. Some states may require a certain number of hours interning in the position before you can be licensed or certified. If this is the case, you’ll want to check with the institutions you are considering to see if they provide an internship opportunity.
Finding useful online nutrition classes will be easy if you take the time to assess your goals, focus your needs and do your research.