Most culinary nutrition courses are offered through undergraduate or graduate level degree programs related to health science or culinary arts. There are generally no special admissions requirements for this major, which is often offered by universities and culinary institutes.
Here is an outline of common concepts taught in culinary nutrition courses:
- Human body functions
- Health needs of the body
- Vegetarian diet systems
- Sports nutrition needs
- Food management
- Community health
- Cultural relations to food
Culinary nutrition courses provide an understanding of food allergies and intolerance as well as how the nutrients in food affect the human body. These classes teach students how to cook while dealing with these challenges.
List of Culinary Nutrition Courses
Basic Nutrition Course
In a basic nutrition course, students study the needs of the human body and how nutrients and vitamins affect its functions. They research how food choices that people make influence their physical health and moods, as well as how nutrition can be used to promote a healthy lifestyle. Topics include carbohydrates, water, vitamins, minerals and proteins. Some courses also discuss the relationship between crash diets and diseases.
Vegetarian Nutrition Course
In this course, students learn about vegetarian diets from vegan to macrobiotic. Vegetarian nutrition focuses on the benefits and risks of a vegetarian diet. Some courses focus on menu choices, and showcase opportunities to add depth and flavor to vegetarian food with the addition of herbs and spices. A look at international cultures that primarily eat fish and vegetables help students discover cultural substitutions and menu selection.
Sports Nutrition Course
A course in sports nutrition discusses the proper intake of vitamins, water, fats, carbohydrates and proteins to prepare an athlete for an optimal performance. Sports nutrition courses are often intended for those seeking jobs in medical, athletic and education fields. Researching pharmaceutical, hormonal and nutritional supplements help future nutritionists recognize the characteristics of common health and drug issues. Students also study the perfect balance of food and water for pre- and post-workout by accounting for hydration and weight loss. They may take this course any time during their degree after the basic nutrition course.
Nutrition Management Course
A nutrition management course is often required for those who want to work in a food or human services field. Food management for hospitals, schools, restaurants and nursing homes must incorporate this knowledge so that the proper nutrients are given to the elderly, children, health patients or large groups. Pricing of food and special diets must also be taken into account when planning ahead. Students learn to organize, order and prepare meals in bulk. This course is best taken near the end or middle of a culinary arts or hospitality program.
Food and Culture Course
This course focuses on an anthropological look at food; students learn rituals involving food, global ingredients, how food is cooked and the dietary needs of various cultures. It can be taken near the end of a culinary arts or nutritional health program. Students learn the origins and diversity of food. Topics include food production and gathering, ingredients preparation and regional availability. In many instances, cultures look at food symbolically and religiously. Other angles include gender bias and body image issues.