How do I Become a Nutrition Educator?

Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In order to become a nutrition educator, you must first complete training in nutritional health. There are undergraduate programs, graduate programs, and certification programs that are offered for people who want to increase their knowledge about nutrition or become a nutrition educator. While studying, it is important to also try to get experience in the field. There are a number of organizations that work to provide nutrition education to the public. Interning or taking an entry-level position in one of these organizations is a great way to get experience.

A nutrition educator may help others maintain a healthy diet to aid in weight loss.
A nutrition educator may help others maintain a healthy diet to aid in weight loss.

There are a number of paths that you can take after you become a nutrition educator. You can decide, for example, to work with a specific population such as children, senior citizens, or people struggling with eating disorders. You may also decide to specialize in a specific kind of nutrition such as nutrition for people who have dietary restrictions. This group could include people who are vegetarians, vegans, or who are lactose intolerant. Your work could also include people who have to keep to a gluten-free diet or follow a macrobiotic diet.

Nutrition educators may help parents create healthy meal plans for children.
Nutrition educators may help parents create healthy meal plans for children.

Once you have decided what kind of nutrition eduction interests you most, you can begin seeking out jobs that target the population or groups with whom you want to work. It is important to make sure that you have a well-formatted resume and curriculum vitae with all of your relevant experience. If you've given presentations in the past, or led workshops, or even if you have teaching experience, you should note that in your credentials.

Nutrition educators can teach people who are lactose intolerant about dairy alternatives.
Nutrition educators can teach people who are lactose intolerant about dairy alternatives.

Anyone who wants to become a nutrition educator has to work well with people and have the ability to communicate information in a clear and engaging manner. This skill can be developed by watching other talented educators at work and through practice. Nutrition conferences are a great resource as they will allow you to watch experts in the field instruct attendees. These conferences may also have panels and workshops that deal specifically with nutrition education.

Some nutrition educators work with a specific population, such as children.
Some nutrition educators work with a specific population, such as children.

Another great way to develop your credentials and gain recognition as you become a nutrition educator is to maintain a personal website and blog. This will allow you to post your own articles on nutrition, link to any press that you have received, and even post videos of yourself during instruction sessions. You can also use this outlet to post your resume and curriculum vitae. Be sure to also include your contact information so that potential clients or employers can contact you.

Nutrition educators may choose to focus on babies and young children.
Nutrition educators may choose to focus on babies and young children.
Diane Goettel
Diane Goettel

In addition to her work as a freelance writer for wiseGEEK, Diane is the executive editor of Black Lawrence Press, an independent publishing company based in upstate New York. She has also edited several anthologies, the e-newsletter Sapling, and The Adirondack Review. Diane has a B.A. from Sarah Lawrence College and an M.A. from Brooklyn College.

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Discussion Comments

FlwerChild

I live in a very Latin neighborhood in CA and it really is sad to see the poor nutrition among the children and immigrant families. My dad grew up in a small town in Mexico, eating rice, beans, tortillas and occasionally meat. Green veggies were rare. At the same time, these were people who were going out and working hard labor for 8+ hours a day. So, when families who are used to that kind of diet come here or to any major city and try to eat that same diet, it's not healthy. Top that off with the terrible snacks and sodas that are so dominant in the grocery stores in the area, they're not getting the nutrition they need. I made a trip to one of these grocery stores and the majority of food on sale were bags of chips, cookies and other unhealthy food. Meanwhile, the produce section was in a tiny corner. These families would benefit so much if they had a better understanding of what they should be eating.

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