Certificate programs for dietary managers train students in several aspects of nutritional care and food service administration. Students commonly work with registered dietitians, learning to offer nutritional guidance and supervise food operations in hospitals, nursing homes, correctional facilities, school systems and large childcare centers.
Programs commonly require 270-400 hours of study and qualify students to take the credentialing exam for dietary managers. Some programs mandate a period of on-site fieldwork under the supervision of a registered dietitian or nutritional preceptor; other programs can be completed entirely online. Program lengths vary, but can often be completed in 8-12 months.
Online Dietary Management Courses
The following courses in dietary management are commonly offered online as part of certificate programs.
- Fundamentals of Nutrition Course: The nutrition and dietary needs people have throughout their lives is the focus of this course. Topics include nutrients and nutrient metabolism, nationally recognized dietary guidelines, menu planning and diet manuals, principles of modified diets and environmental factors that affect food availability.
- Food Planning and Management Course: This course explores food preparation and cooking techniques in relationship to available resources in diverse food service facilities. Class content includes sanitation and safety, food quality, menu planning, recipe standardization practice for specific locations and food service equipment maintenance.
- Management Skills Course: Developing the skills needed to effectively manage and plan resources is a crucial step in becoming a dietary manager. This course teaches students to manage others in food service departments through modules on meal service supervision, policy and procedure writing, food and supply purchasing, interdepartmental communication, computer skills and solution-oriented problem solving.
- Nutrition Therapeutics Course: This class covers nutritional for therapeutic settings. Course content includes the dietary management of diseases such as diabetes, renal disease, cancer, heart disease and obesity. Students also analyze essential aspects of nutritional screening and assessment.
- Sustainability in Food Service: Given the increasing cultural importance of sustainability, this course trains students to implement environmentally friendly practices in a food service organization. Subjects covered may include recycling, purchasing practices, organic foods, and resource conservation.