Students will explore the food people eat and how it affects the physical and psychological well being of individuals and the public. These major courses teach students optimal food intake and information about specific nutrients, foods, and food groups. Nutritionists may work in a school, hospital, or even a weight loss center and will encounter people of all ages and backgrounds.
Prospective nutritionists can expect to learn about a variety of topics in school, including:
Prenatal and Infant Nutrition
Students will study how the body's nutrient needs change before and during pregnancy, and explore various health factors, including smoking, drugs, exercise, lactation, and breastfeeding, and how they affect the growth of infants during the first year of life.
Students will learn about balancing fat, protein, and carbohydrates for athletes to help achieve optimal physical performance. They will also explore the type and quantity of fluids and foods as well as vitamins, minerals, supplements, and organic substances best used for specific sports.
Understanding the basic make up of foods, including fat, protein and carbohydrates is key working in this field. During these courses, students will gain a deeper understanding of food values by balancing these components with water, calories, minerals, fiber, and other elements that make up foods.
Students will learn to create specific diets for people with health problems like obesity or high performance diet plans for athletes. The goal is to give personalized nutrition counseling based on a client's specific health needs and personal food preferences.
Multicultural Health and Nutrition
Students will become familiar with food culture in specific regions, including information on diet and health. Topics in these classes will include food and drink in various countries, global food trends, and the evolution of food throughout history.
The best classes will teach students several vital skills, including:
Students will learn how to interact with patients and clients in order to get accurate information for dietary planning. Students will learn how to explain diet issues in simple terms and ask personal questions about health and diet.
A nutritionist will need to make adjustments to a patient's diet plans should any special circumstances arise that may affect the overall health of a patient. Students taking such courses will discover how to make proper food substitutions, address any food allergies, and create diets for clients with special needs.
Students should develop creative thinking skills to solve specific dietary problems by studying food values and food groups. By enrolling in these courses, students will learn how to get creative with diets and recipes to meet specific nutritional requirements, while also meeting the needs of a client or patient.
Students will discover the importance of active listening to understand patient or client needs in order to create diets that are effective and realistic. Students are also taught to ask questions and note responses and body language to assess what a patient wants and needs.
Planning and Organization
Planning and organization are two key skills that students will focus on while studying this subject. These major courses also teach students to consider exact food measurements, daily and weekly meal planning, and the effect that meal presentation has on clients.
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