Nourish Your Career: Recipes to help you thrive in your work and life

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The latest projections from the BLS are for a robust 21 percent increase in job for nutritionists and dietitians through Ann Kulze, a family physician and author of the book Dr. There has been this flood of dazzling science telling us that diet and great health and diet and disease are inextricably linked. Of course, even the perfect storm impacts some areas with more force than others.

So, while overall demand for knowledgeable nutrition specialists who can translate the latest USDA and HHS dietary guidelines into plain English and steer individuals, institutions and companies toward the right food choices, has increased, there are some sectors of the market that are expected to grow at a faster rate than others. For example, a breakdown of the BLS employment predictions reveals that jobs for self-employed nutritionists are only expected to increase by a modest 2. At the other end of the spectrum, employment for nutritionists and dietitians in physicians offices is expected to grow by Nutritionists in this area of specialization might work in a number of settings, including at a college or university with an athletic program, or as part of the services offered by a fitness or recreational sports center.

This area of specialization lends itself to a wide array of career paths, including hospital and clinic work, school cafeteria consulting, and child daycare center oversight.

Offerings to Nourish Your Career & Life

In the latter role, a nutritionist or dietitian might help plan snacks and meal for children, counsel parents on home meal preparations, or teach the children the fundamentals about good eating habits. For the right kind of person, a career in nutrition can mean going out into the community and working with individuals and families who require dietary guidance.

In some cases, this work funded by hospitals, in others by local or state governmental agencies, and in others by nonprofit organizations. Another important consideration when planning for a career in nutrition is location. Demand for nutritionists and dietitians can vary from city to city, state to state and region to region. The BLS is estimates that 14, new jobs for nutritionists and dietitians will be added by , bringing the total to 81, The map below will help delineate where those new jobs are likely to appear over the next decade.

According to the BLS, 31 percent of the nutritionists and dietitians currently working are employed by state, local and private hospitals; 13 percent have government jobs; 9 percent work in nursing or residential care facilities; and 14 percent are employed in the offices of healthcare practitioners and outpatient care centers.

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That only adds up to 67 percent, which means there are a whole lot of people working in the field of nutrition who fall outside of those numbers. For example, as the farm-to-table, sustainable food movement has taken hold, positions for trained nutritionists have opened in the grass-roots agricultural industry. Indeed, anywhere that food is grown, prepared, or served, nutritionists may find themselves welcome, particularly as awareness about allergies, food sensitivities and healthy living grows.

Like many of the most challenging and rewarding pursuits, a career in nutrition is something of a hybrid calling that blends the science of medicine and biology with intuition, empathy and communications skills of a psychologist or a social worker and blends in some of the flair of the culinary arts. It all depends on which path you chose in nutrition, but there is a baseline combination of knowledge and skill that can be helpful across the wide array of jobs in the field. For starters, a nutritionist or dietitian should have a firm grounding in the life sciences , including biology, physiology and biochemistry, and be comfortable with medical terminology and protocols.

Obviously, this is crucial for anyone seeking to pursue a career in nutritional research or aiming to work in a clinical setting.

For example, a client with hypertension is probably more likely to heed dietary advice if it is clearly and thoroughly explained, and if the risks of deviating from that diet are clearly illustrated. So, communications and language skills are also important on the job. A nutritionist or dietitian working one-on-one with patients can also benefit from the training associated with therapy and counseling.

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Even nutritionists and dietitians who gravitate toward the management positions have to be able to successfully work together in teams with other healthcare professionals or corporate decision makers. A little psychology can go a long way in such situations. Finally, careers in nutrition are often centered on general problem solving. That may mean using whatever data you have on hand to figure out why a particular patient or client is having difficulty with certain foods, or it could come down to trying to find the right balance between short-term food costs and the long-term benefits of a healthier diet.

In either case, intellectual flexibility, deductive reasoning and knowledge of the most up-to-date research in the field can be a major advantage. It goes without saying that those who cultivate these skills most assiduously often happen to earn larger salaries. However, it appears to offer a fairly accurate picture of the range of salaries in the general field of nutrition. Her passion for good food and good health is absolutely contagious. My favorite article thus far is Sacred Salt. I believe our bodies are created to function best when consuming foods as they were perfectly designed in nature.

Salt is one of these foods that has been demonized as the cause of a myriad of disease. Sacred Salt looks at the many health benefits of salt, how best to use salt in your diet, and, of course, where to find my favorite brands to stock in your kitchen. Upgrading the salt in your shaker is a simple first step in upgrading to a more nourishing lifestyle. Balance means taking some time each week to read a book, work on a creative project, spend some time outside, or do something else I enjoy. What is your best tip for maintaining a healthy diet in the midst of a busy life?

Think about food. Learn tasteful ways to prepare nourishing meals. Plan your day around what and when you will eat.


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Try organizing your meals the day prior my mom used to help me make my school lunch the night before — why did I ever get out of that habit? Read restaurant reviews and menus online to find fresh foods that will satisfy your palate. With a nutrition degree, jobs in food safety, health care , corporate wellness, and education all become possibilities for you.

Here are 14 good examples of jobs in nutrition:. Finding new ways to improve the safety, flavor, or nutritional value of different food products is the job of food product development scientists. They come up with processes and formulations to improve food quality while controlling costs.

Many positions call for advanced degrees, but some are open to those with a bachelor's degree. Typical tasks of nutritionists include assessing a client's dietary needs, consulting with a variety of health professionals, and creating a customized nutrition plan. In some cases, they also offer nutritional counseling. The process for learning how to be a nutritionist varies widely from state to state, so be sure to research the requirements in your area. Ensuring that the development and production of food items comply with all applicable laws is the task of regulatory affairs specialists.

Their job is to make sure that the company they work for operates within the rules. It's important to stay on top of food and dietary legislation and conduct regular reviews of processes. Most employers look for a degree in nutrition, food science, or a related field. Drawing on an understanding of both nutrition and human behavior, a nutritional therapist takes a holistic approach to wellness and assesses all aspects of a person's lifestyle in order to develop a nutritional plan.

For a nutritional therapist, salary and job duties can both vary widely, depending on how much experience the person has and what licenses or certifications he or she holds. Food labeling specialists are responsible for coming up with the nutritional labels on food products. They make sure that product ingredients, nutritional facts, and allergen warnings are accurate and in line with industry regulations.

They might also be in charge of getting the legal approval to use labels such as gluten-free or kosher. A bachelor's degree in nutrition or food science is typically required.

A growing number of private businesses and corporations are hiring wellness consultants to provide guidance on healthy eating and exercise habits. These consultants might offer general tips on nutrition and health or lead seminars on how office workers can manage stress or avoid muscle fatigue. You'll need strong customer service skills for this kind of work.

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Reviewing and analyzing the safety and sanitation procedures at companies that process, manufacture, or serve food is the primary focus of food safety auditors. They conduct inspections, write reports, and sometimes educate workers on policies and procedures. You'll need at least a bachelor's degree; it also helps to have experience in food service or packaging.

Public health nutritionists are big-picture people who strive to improve the nutritional habits and overall health of a specific community or population group; they don't generally work with individual clients. They identify nutritional problems and develop institutional programs and strategies to address those issues. You may need to become an RDN to get into this career. Like clinical dietitians, clinical nutritionists evaluate the dietary needs of patients in health care institutions and create eating plans tailored to each patient's unique condition.

The difference is that while dietitians have prescribed training and licensing requirements, the rules for nutritionists vary widely between states. Certification is available from professional organizations such as the Clinical Nutrition Certification Board. Schools, hospitals, care facilities, and other institutions rely on nutrition services managers to plan and coordinate the large-scale delivery of nutritionally appropriate meals. This role involves planning menus, procuring supplies, managing budgets, and overseeing food preparation.

You'll need at least a bachelor's degree in nutrition, dietetics, or food services management. Focusing on malnutrition and hunger in disaster zones or developing countries can be a rewarding way to put your nutritional knowledge to work. Humanitarian nutritionists evaluate the food supply systems in different areas and develop programs to fill any nutritional gaps. They might set up a mobile center to treat malnourished children or advise villagers on the best items to plant in a communal vegetable garden.

Nutrition educators develop programs to promote healthy food choices and habits. They often work for government agencies that serve new mothers or low-income groups.


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They might offer information about basic nutrition along with tips on budgeting and food safety. They might also be responsible for screening candidates for food assistance services and helping applicants with paperwork. As a nutrition writer, you could channel your food and diet expertise into e-books, newspaper columns, magazine articles, or web content. Possible topics include anything from trends in healthy eating to the latest research on specific vitamins or nutrients.

Most of this work is freelance.

The Role of the Nutritionist/Dietitian

Formal training in nutrition will give you more credibility; courses in journalism or communication will also help. In a hospital, nursing home, or other clinical care setting, nutrition assistants typically help prepare food, distribute meals, and ensure that patients get the proper nourishment. They talk to patients about food preferences, record how much each patient ate, and report any dietary issues to the supervising nutritionist or dietitian. Nutrition jobs exist in a variety of great sectors. Do you have the skills you need to create the future you want?