12 Best Free Online Food and Nutrition Courses 2022

Just like water, everybody needs food to survive. The quality and the amount of food we put into our bodies determine how we will ultimately feel and look day after day. A food and nutrition career gives you in-depth knowledge and therefore allows you to teach people the importance of keeping healthy eating habits and managing health issues. 

FAQs
What is Food and Nutrition?
What Careers Can You Get in Food and Nutrition Courses?
What should you know before you go for a major in food and nutrition?

The Top 13 Free Online Food and Nutrition Courses
Stanford Introduction to Food and Health
Child Nutrition and Cooking
Healthy Practices: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Community and Family Participation
Weight Management: Beyond Balancing Calories
Designing Your Weight Loss Plan
Introduction to Food and Our Environment
The Dairy Production and Management
Cooking for Busy Healthy People
Systems Science and Obesity
Feeding the World
Rebuilding Our Relationship with Food
An Introduction to the US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health
Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Food and Nutrition?

With scientific research and technologies, people can now identify the quantity of nutrition in food consumed: water, fruits, vegetables, and even those chemically processed foods. Courses in Food and Nutrition give all the necessary skills and learning to process, research, and preserve nutrition components like protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, fiber, etc. 

The courses also cover other essential science subjects like water, nutrients, Health-Check Parameters, Modern Food Microbiology, Food Facts and Principles, Food Science, Nutrition and Diets in Diseases, Nutrition for Fitness in Sports, Malnutrition, Obesity Management, Renal Disorders, Nutrition in Weight Management, Investigations and Normal Parameters, Nutrition and Diabetes and Anemia, Hypertension, bone health, and so much more. 

With all these industries that define the course curriculum, the scope of Food and Nutrition courses is very wide. Plus, the food industry doesn’t see any setback and is a field where something is always trending. So if you have the right skills and experience, you can secure a promising career in Food and Nutrition, whether in sports, fitness, medical, food processing, or science and research. 

Free Online Food and Nutrition Courses - fact

What Careers Can You Get in Food and Nutrition Courses?

There are many careers related to food and nutrition science degrees, like nutritional therapy or food technologist. But there are also several roles you can do that don’t necessarily connect to a food and nutrition degree. After all, food science is a broad degree, so it’s not a wonder to find so many other career options available. 

Food technologist/scientist. This role compels you to work with a production team to closely research and develop new and innovative recipes using either new or existing ingredients. The recipes created must satisfy a particular condition, like having low sugar or low-fat content. Or it must be suitable for a specific purpose, like ready-made meals or lunchtime takeaway foods. As a food technologist, you ensure that all the food products are safe and top quality and that all the legal requirements are carried out. This career demands a very high standard of safety and cleanliness, the best problem-solving skills, and creativity. You have to be a good team player as well! Although this is a demanding job, it is enriching in the end, especially when the products you’ve taken part in creating finally make it to the shelves. 

Nutritional Therapist. If you have the knack to interpret and understand complicated concepts and facts, and you can explain these things in an informative way, a career in nutritional therapy might just be right for you. You get to work privately in this job, working with people one-on-one, creating their dietary recommendations according to their circumstances. The bottom line is that you will help these people prevent illness or keep their symptoms from worsening. 

Quality Assurance Manager. This is the ‘police role’ in the food industry. As a quality assurance manager, you will check different food products and ensure that they meet the proper standards imposed by a regulatory board and comply with all external and internal requirements. You are also the one to gather and interpret data on the latest standards and procedures and report the results to your senior management. Sometimes, you may even pitch in your suggestions to improve them. 

This job needs you to have a solid and logical mindset. You should be strategic and organized, with impressive problem-solving skills. As you make your way to the top, having the best leadership skills is also essential. 

Chef. Some people thrive in a busy and fast-paced world, and a career as a job might be a good idea. Working in the kitchen is long and unsociable, but becoming a chef is a rewarding career if passionate about cooking. Although you don’t have to have a food degree for this role, having one is helpful to gain a better understanding of the food industry. As a chef, experience is necessary, so anything that can help you advance your career can incredibly help.

Marketing Manager. If you seek a more creative role, get a job in food marketing. Whether you focus on social media, packaging, advertising, or consumer research, food marketing entails various aspects of developing and maintaining an existing or new image, brand, or product on a particular selling point. 

Food marketing is challenging, especially when dealing with perishable products that rely on changing consumer trends and supplier conditions. But this is a career that will help shape your creative interests and a perfect way to put the knowledge you learned from your degree to the test. 

Nutritional Aide. As a nutritional aide, your job guarantees healthcare patients receive the right food portions and special dietary requests. You are the one that prepares and distributes foods on trays and clears these away after each patient’s meal. You are also expected to adhere to stringent safety protocols, offer compassionate interaction with your patients, and report hazards. 

Nutrition Writer. Any freelance writer can become a nutrition writer once they become knowledgeable in food and diet. Many writers get the experience by writing health-related articles for newspapers or magazines before moving on to jobs focusing solely on nutrition and food. 

Health Educator. As a health educator, your job is to implement and spearhead youth development programs and community outreach programs so your audience becomes aware of healthy living. You prepare exercise programs, informative guides, and activities for a particular target demographic that supports your program. 

Health Coach. You are responsible for ensuring people will reach their exercise and nutritional goals. To be a successful health coach, you have to be fun, well-organized, energetic, and a good problem solver that can seamlessly manage a handful of clients simultaneously while making sure they remain motivated to stick to their health plans. 

Naturopath. Naturopaths are trained to help patients look for alternative options other than medicine. You will focus on natural treatment plans and remedies, and this often includes botanical medicine, nutritional supplements, or diet therapy that will help heal a patient. 

Dietitian. A dietitian has a specific certification that differentiates them from a nutritionist. However, both jobs have strikingly similar scopes and are responsible for assessing and diagnosing nutrition-related health problems before creating a nutritional health plan.

Nutrition classes

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What should you know before you go for a major in food and nutrition?

Food and nutrition majors focus on several fields: from social sciences to biology and even chemistry, since you will have to learn how a dietary pattern can affect human health. As you know these things, you can teach others to make better and healthy choices: from creating menus for school lunches to teaching people what and what not to eat based on their personal needs and unique circumstances. 

So what do you expect in nutrition major coursework? Regardless of the field, food and nutrition majors should have an introductory course on nutrition principles. Some majors might also study other topics on nutrition across a human life span, global food availability, distribution, or food preparation.

While most schools require core curriculums, some students must enroll in multiple science classes that may include physiology, chemistry, or biology. There are also nutrition majors that need to complete a pre-professional experience or an instructor-approved practicum. This may consist of volunteer work at a homeless shelter or food pantry or job shadowing. 

Some schools offer a didactic or coordinated program as well. This means they cover the coursework that students need so they will become dietitians. But after they graduate, they still have to complete an accredited internship program before taking the registered dietitian exam. 

How do you know that this course is for you? Simple. If you have an interest in social and biological sciences, then this is a good course. You should have a passion for learning how diet plays a crucial role in a person’s overall well-being and that you should have a personal goal to share this knowledge with other people.

Food and Health classes

The Top 13 Free Online Food and Nutrition Courses

The field of nutrition is a rewarding and exciting one because it involves a handful of aspects of the food journey. Below are the top 12 free online food and nutrition courses that you should not miss. 

Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

Stanford (Online) University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 1

People and food will always go hand and hand, and this free online course defines this relationship. Although essential, this will still give you clear information, which acts as a wake-up call to stop eating processed foods. You will obtain the practical skills and knowledge that you need to start improving your eating habits. It will help you shift your focus away from negative discussions about health and nutrition. Instead, this will guide you to practical talks about natural and healthy foods.

Upon completing this free online course, you will understand the difference between healthy and unhealthy foods. Plus, you will learn a compelling rationale that will help you go back to simple home cooking and its importance of putting efforts to live healthier and longer lives.

The course is divided into five parts:

  1. Background on Food and Nutrients: This is where you will study the cultural and social shifts that contributed to modern-day obesity. You will review the nutrients in foods, along with their functions in the body, and how you can start eating healthy by choosing your foods wisely. 
  1. Contemporary Trends in Eating: You will discover how highly processed foods differ from natural and whole food and how eating too many processed meals can compromise one’s health. Sugar is also discussed in this part, especially since people have consumed sugar extensively in recent years. 
  1. Future Directions in Health Part 1: This is where you learn about sustainable solutions and challenge yourself to eat healthy foods frequently. Practical tips in preparing healthy and enjoyable foods are also taught in this section.
  1. Future Directions in Health Part 2: You will find practical tips for healthy grocery shopping, how you can read labels, and how to assemble a well-balanced meal. This section also teaches you the key ingredient for success: moderation.
  1. Cooking Workshop: You can find several instructional cooking videos to help you with your cooking and fitness journey.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  •  Shareable Certificate
  • Suitable for beginners
  • It takes seven hours to complete
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Child Nutrition and Cooking

Stanford (Online) University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 2

This is a free course that is informative and will help you learn so many facts and new things. It is designed to help you study conventional child nutrition and how each family’s individual decision can impact total health. You will also learn about the many health risks directly associated with childhood obesity. Enrollees can also learn what makes a good and healthy diet for both adults and children and how you can prepare simple, delicious, but healthy meals to inspire you to a lifelong celebration of doing easy home-cooked meals. 

You are also prepared to become leading health providers, parents, and teachers of the present and future. There are also so many texts, materials, and resources that may sometimes include the personal opinions of some instructors. However, these are not statements of endorsement, advice, or views of Stanford University. 

The course is broken down into five topics:

  • Why Home Cooking Matters
  • What Constitutes a Balanced Meal?
  • From Supermarket to Dinner Table to School
  • Sustainable Eating
  • Labels, Allergies, and Taste 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  •  Shareable Certificate
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes eleven hours to complete
  • So many resources (videos, books, handouts)
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Healthy Practices: Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Community and Family Participation

The University of Colorado, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 3

This course gives you an overview of healthy practices in US public schools and includes nutrition and physical activity in the school setting. You will also learn the regulatory programs in the US that will support healthy students through nutrition programs and nutrition education. Enrollees also will explain moderate to vigorous physical activity or MVPA and recognize the latest methods for evaluating and measuring what courses are physical activities. 

In this free online course, you will understand how eating and exercising impact student success. Real-life examples of programs in school settings are also introduced and are aimed at helping you recognize the impact of having improved health. The course has four modules: School Nutrition, Physical Activity, Home, Community and Attendance, and Healthy Eating and Active Living Programs in Actions. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes 9 hours to complete
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Weight Management: Beyond Balancing Calories

The Emory University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 4

Over the globe, obesity has become a significant problem. This course delves deeper and looks into the root cause of obesity, as observed and explained by the latest science. You will understand how the food environment has evolved over the years and how this has altered human biology to resist sustained weight loss and over-consume calories. The content and flow of this free online course are thought-provoking and optimum. There are also quizzes designed with an inclination toward a practical application to help you apply the learnings after the course. 

Once you grasp the physiology behind obesity, you will understand how the body prevents and manages weight gain. You will also understand how a sedentary lifestyle, coupled with inadequate sleep and too much stress, can alter the body’s appetite control system, which later causes weight gain. Practical tools and strategies are also provided so you can make a long-term and sustainable weight management program. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Takes 18 hours to complete
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Designing Your Weight Loss Plan

Case Western Reserve University, via Coursera

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This course is designed to help you come up with a great weight loss plan. In this 5-week free online course, you will be guided through the critical steps in creating a personalized weight loss plan. The system is very informative and easy to follow, and the videos are apparent. However, there is no guarantee of weight loss after you complete the course. Instead, you will have a solid framework for an evidence-based and effective weight loss program.

This course is designed for healthy people with no history of chronic diseases like high blood pressure, diabetes, lung disease, or heart disease. Upon completing this free online course, students will:

  • Obtain an attainable weight goal with a particular time frame of weight loss;
  • Set strategies for eating in restaurants, grocery shopping, dealing with hunger, eating at social occasions, and emotional eating;
  • Develop a realistic plan for a constant progress evaluation;
  • Gain a solid understanding of the challenge of maintaining weight loss.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Shareable Certificates
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes 11 hours to complete
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Introduction to Food and Our Environment

Stanford (Online) University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 6

This free online course leads you to become a more sustainable eater. You will explore many topics like how food production can impact the environment or why protein consumption and meat production are the usual debates around sustainability. You will also learn about the boons and banes of the different kinds of fishing, agriculture, and food packaging. You will also focus on how to make more environmentally friendly decisions daily.

Students will learn two major things:

  • How to eat that will boost your health and the health of the environments, making sure that you make the most of the resources readily available to you;
  • How you can become an environmentally-conscious buyer, whether you are eating out or buying at your local grocery store.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes six hours to complete
  • Beautiful story animations 
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The Dairy Production and Management

The Pennsylvania State University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 7

An eight-week online course, the Dairy Production, and Management program consists of a comprehensive lecture on nutrition, genetics, animal health, reproduction, sustainability of dairy production systems, and farm economics. You will also learn about the dairy business from internationally recognized professors in dairy science. The course is divided into eight parts:

  • Orientation and Dairy Genetics
  • Forage Production and Pasture Management
  • Feeds, Hay and Silage Making, and Feed Processing
  • Nutrition Basics, Requirements, and Feeding of Lactating Cows
  • Calf and Heifer Nutrition & Feeding of Dry Cows
  • Dairy Reproduction
  • Animal Health and Milk Quality
  • Farm Economics and Environment 

What’s great about this course is the many resources that are provided. Every week, you will watch four to nine videos, and you will receive additional reading materials. Multiple-choice question quizzes are also given once in a while. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible Deadline
  • Paid certificate available ($49.00)
  • Takes 16 hours to complete
  • So many resources available (videos, handouts, reading materials)
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Cooking for Busy Healthy People

Stanford University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 8

This course teaches you some essential recipes for home-cooked meals from two professional chefs who are very keen on healthy eating. They will teach you the standards of principle-based cooking so you can get away from following recipes exactly as they are. Here, you will understand the creativity and healthy food choices will lie in your ability to alter kitchen recipes using only whatever is available in your pantry.

Learners will:

  • Know about preparing and cooking meals through a principle-based approach to healthy cooking using available ingredients.
  • Understand the procedures for preparing plant-forward food that delights the taste buds and protects health.
  • Have an easy time cooking regularly by having the right ingredients in the kitchen

This 12-hour course is divided into four parts:

  • Foundations of Healthy Cooking: You will learn a set of fundamental, essential cooking ingredients so you can cook frequently using what you have in the kitchen. You will also learn to apply principle-based cooking to make flexible meals instead of getting tied down by recipes. 
  • Cooking with Maya: The instructor shares her favorite recipes, including making healthy but still yummy desserts. We all know it’s challenging to eat desserts and stay fit. Thus, Maya will share her collection of healthy dessert recipes. 
  • Cooking with Israel Garcia: Chef Garcia will teach you how to cook plant-based recipes. No meat in the food, but still packed with the right flavor and nutrients. 
  • Cooking with Jacopo Beni: Learn to cook traditional and seasonal comfort food from this innovative Italian chef.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable certificate
  • Flexible deadline
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes 12 hours to complete
  • Easy recipes
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Systems Science and Obesity

John Hopkins University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 9

This course introduces you to the essential tools of data analysis and theory building that you can use better to understand the growing number of obesity cases among humans. The whole idea of this course is to study the obesity pandemic as an emergent property of complex and nested systems. Although the course heavily focuses on obesity, this module will explore more ways and approaches that can be used to treat other non-communicable diseases. 

Topics of the course include:

  • Obesity problems across place and time;
  • Theories explaining the growing population of obese people;
  • Roles of economic and environmental resources in obesity;
  • Tools and concepts of systems science;
  • Agent-based models, social network models, and systems dynamics models.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Takes 11 hours to complete
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Has four industry experts as instructors
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Feeding the World

The University of Pennsylvania, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 10

This course will study the concepts that drive current food production science (urbanization, population growth, resource constraints, emerging affluence, and other underlying biological limits). The main focus of this free online class is on livestock production. This will also cover all the major food animal species (swine, beef, poultry, dairy), so you will learn more about their universal life cycles, emerging societal issues, and constraints to production. 

The course includes the following modules:

  • Population Growth and Global Animal Industries
  • Issues Surrounding Animal Production
  • Animal Feeds and Environment
  • General Animal Production, Efficiency and Food Safety
  • Dairy Production

This course is geared towards students who opt to gain a better understanding of animal food systems. Some experts deliver this from the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Takes 20 hours to complete
  • Ideal for beginners
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Rebuilding Our Relationship with Food

Stanford University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 11

This is a course that will let you explore the history of our ever-changing food environment and the science behind the obsession with unhealthy eating. You will also learn some solid methods to rebuild your relationship with food, along with ways to practice self-compassion and mindful eating. This is also where you will learn how to personalize a meal plan to protect your relationship with food and ultimately boost your health and overall wellness.  Topics of this course include:

  • What Happened to Our Relationship with Food?
  • Moderation, Balance, and Food
  • How to Practice Self-Compassion and Moderation
  • Practicing Mindful Eating (Loving the Foods That Will Love You Back)

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes eight hours to complete
  • Very informative course
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An Introduction to the US Food System: Perspectives from Public Health

John Hopkins University, via Coursera

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 12

A free online course, this program offers a concise introduction to the US Food system and how food production practices and our food choices to eat impact the world. You will learn political and historical factors that shaped today’s food system and study alternative ways and approaches from farm to fork. This free online course has six topics:

  • Is Climate Change Vindicating Malthus? Food Security and the Right to Food
  • Food System Sustainability and Resilience
  • Ecological Perspectives on Food Production
  • Food Animal Production and Public Health
  • Food and Farm Policy Perspectives
  • Improving Food Systems: Stories from the Field

A team delivers this course of experts from the John Hopkins Center for a Livable Future. There are also guest lecturers from different disciplines like policy and agriculture, and public health.

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible Deadlines
  • Takes 24 hours to complete
  • Ideal for beginners
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Sustainable Food Production Through Livestock Health Management

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (via Coursera)

Free Online Food and Nutrition Co 13

What are the effects of infectious diseases on sustainable animal-based food production? This relatively new course is designed to answer this question with numerous food production sectors in mind, including dairy, pork, poultry, and beef. What’s focused on this lecture is more on practical problem-solving and is directed towards gearing you with the right platform to develop the necessary skills needed in sustainable food production. 

In this course, topics include:

  • Animals and Sustainable Food Production
  • Diseases as a Barrier to Sustainability
  • Animal’s Response to Infectious Disease
  • Our Role in Fighting Infectious Disease
  • Our Role in Preventing Infectious Disease
  • Infectious Disease and the World’s Food 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Ideal for beginners
  • Takes 19 hours to complete

A career in food and nutrition is an enriching career. If you think you have the passion and the willingness to play a role in this field, then go for it. Nutrition plays a crucial part in individual and public health. If you have a nutrition degree, you have the professional expertise in helping people make the right dietary choices.