What Makes a Great Nutrition Educator?

What Makes a Great Nutrition Educator?

The online MS in Nutrition Education provides valuable information throughout the program to develop skills to stand out as an effective nutrition educator.

Read on for a list of tips that you can use to make sure that you are engaging your audience and making a lasting impression.

Learn about your target population

While we may be passionate about certain topics, your nutrition clients may be more interested in learning about something else. It is important to know the needs and interests of your clients so that you can present information that will excite and engage them. As a nutrition educator, you may also want to make sure you know a bit about your audience so that when you suggest things they will be capable of implementing it in their lives.

Be compassionate and understanding

While the nutrition advice and suggestions you give may seem easy, many people struggle with making changes and behavior change can take time. Be understanding and open to where your clients are in their willingness to change and hear out some of their challenges and barriers to healthy eating. Start small with people who find making the changes difficult and provide support when needed.

Include activities and food demos

As a nutrition educator, it is important to keep your audience engaged and excited throughout your consultations, lectures or presentations. Think of activities that you can do to get them involved and try a food demo or tasting so they can try healthy foods. Your participants are more likely to remember information that they learned in an applicable way and this can be an effective tool in creating a memorable learning atmosphere.

Be approachable and use humor when appropriate

Often times nutrition educators can be labeled as the “food police” so it is important for your audience to know that there is no judgment and that the goal is progress, not perfection. Be approachable so that the audience feels comfortable asking questions and use some humor when appropriate. Have fun with it!

Keep up with the latest research

Nutrition is an ever-changing science and it is important to keep up with the latest research and trends to provide effective information. Read nutrition journals, talk to other professionals and continue to learn and research nutrition information frequently.

Evaluate yourself

One of the best ways you can learn is to have your participants and other outside sources evaluate your work. While this can seem daunting, this is an effective way to learn what you are doing well and what can use some improvement. Use the suggestions to continue to build your skills and learn from any mistakes.

About Allison Tepper
Allison Tepper is a Registered Dietitian licensed in both Washington, DC and Maryland. Prior to coming to American University, she had both counseling and food service roles at Georgetown University working with students, faculty and staff with a range of needs including food allergies, general healthy eating, sports nutrition, medical nutrition therapy, eating disorders and more. She specializes in intuitive and mindful eating and helping clients have a healthier relationship with food.

To learn more about American University’s online Master of Science in Nutrition Education, request more information or call us toll free at 855-725-7614.