A holistic nutritionist advises clients on what diets will enhance their physical, mental, and spiritual wellbeing. This is done through private sessions with the clients to identify their health needs. The nutritionist observes the clients’ progress over time and makes necessary adjustments to meal plans. They could recommend natural supplements. Holistic nutritionists can also schedule group sessions to nurture healthy dietary changes within a community.
In most states, a nutritionist has to be licensed or certified. This post gives you a guideline on how to earn your credentials as a holistic nutritionist.
Earning your bachelor’s degree
To be eligible for a career as a nutritionist, you need to have earned a bachelor’s degree in nutrition, dietetics, or a related field. Luckily, there are quite a number of accredited holistic nutrition schools offering both online and offline training programs. Students focus on such topics as:
- Health care and physical fitness
- Properties of unprocessed foods
- Healthy grocery shopping habits
- Importance of diet in disease prevention,
- Herbal sciences, and so on
Most degree programs require you to have completed a supervised internship by a licensed nutritionist before you are licensed. Some accredited holistic nutrition schools offer students externship opportunities so that they can train and at the same time, get practice hours.
Licensing and certification
While the licensing requirements may vary from state to state, most of them involve passing a state exam. However, you must have completed 500 hours of practice under a licensed nutritionist to qualify for the state exam.
On passing the exam, you are licensed and certified by the National Association of Nutrition Professionals. You can work in a hospital, a doctor’s office, a health store, become a nutrition writer, or start your own private practice.
By using a nutritional analysis of your clients, you will be required to help them pinpoint health goals and come up with a plan that helps achieve these goals. This profession does not eliminate the need for a medical doctor. Therefore, a holistic nutritionist needs to know when to seek help from other healthcare professionals when their skills do not meet the clients’ needs.
Continuous education in holistic nutrition
Continuous education is a requirement in most states if you want to maintain your license and certification’s validity. Most accredited holistic nutrition schools offer Masters Degrees in Holistic Nutrition. By advancing your degree, you can specialize in a specific study area such as geriatric nutrition.
To be certified as a holistic nutritionist, you need a bachelor’s degree in nutrition or a related field, go for an internship, and pass a state exam. However, these requirements may vary from state to state. Be sure to find out what the requirements are in your particular state.