Before enrolling in online nutrition classes, consider your reason or reasons for taking them. If you are pursuing a degree in nutrition or licensure as a nutritionist or dietitian, you will need to make sure that these classes are recognized by the government agency or professional board that will issue your credentials. In cases where you are taking online nutrition classes for your own enrichment, approval by third-party agencies may not be as crucial, but you’ll still want to investigate the reputation of the course provider and its instructors so that you know you’ll be learning credible information. Other factors to consider include the cost of taking courses and the ability of the school to offer a quality online learning experience.
In many jurisdictions, you need to be licensed to offer nutrition or dietary advice to others. Each jurisdiction and organization sets its own requirements for credentialing, but you may be required to complete a university or postgraduate degree as well as an extensive internship working in a clinical nutrition setting. Credentialing boards may also require you to complete continuing education courses to renew your certification or licensure. In all cases, you need to make sure that the online nutrition courses that you take are approved for licensing, certification, or the renewal of these credentials. The best way to be assured of this is to ask the board or organization for a list of approved courses and programs.
If you want to take online nutrition classes out of curiosity or because you think that doing so would enhance your current career, you'll still want to ensure that the courses you take offer legitimate instruction. Get information from schools that provide online nutrition classes and investigate each school. Find out whether the school is accredited by a recognized accreditation agency in your jurisdiction and look at the qualifications of the instructors as well. Ideally, the instructors should have a postgraduate degree in nutrition or dietetics and should be licensed or credentialed as nutritionists or dietitians. If you know any nutritionists, ask them for school and course recommendations.
You may find that there are significant differences between the course offerings of different schools. If you are interested in studying a very specific area of nutrition, such as weight loss or vegan diets, you'll want to look for schools that offer specialized coursework in these areas. Other things to look into include the fees and tuition rates of each course provider as well as their course formats. Some may offer you the opportunity to study completely independently, while others may require you to complete a course on a firm timetable. Take your own schedule and finances into consideration while choosing which course or courses to take, particularly if you have multiple training options available to you.