Thinking of becoming a nutrition assistant? That’s wonderful news! You’re entering the health industry at a very exciting time. More and more these days, people are realizing the vital role nutrition plays in overall health and well-being and relying on nutrition practitioners to help them improve their health.

As a nutrition assistant, you can create a rewarding career helping others heal their bodies through food. But getting the right nutrition education is a critical part of the equation. It can have a profound influence on both the impact you can make in others’ lives and your future career success.

That’s why today’s post is all about what to look for in a nutrition training and how Health Coach Institute can help you become the best nutrition assistant you can be. We’ll share more about that in a bit.
First, let’s talk a bit more about what nutrition assistants do and how they’re different from dietetic assistants and other nutrition professionals.

Nutrition vs. Dietetic Assistant/Dietitian Assistant/Dietary Assistant

Nutrition assistants are just one of a number of important players in the nutrition and health industry that help support the work of nutritionists and dietitians. Here’s a quick breakdown of the key players, the roles they play, and their education requirements.

What is a Nutrition Assistant?

Nutrition assistants work with nutritionists or dietitians to support patient health and wellness through proper nutrition and meal planning. Typically, they work in healthcare facilities where they help create nutrition plans for individuals or organizations to improve nutrition and prevent or treat illness. They also plan and implement educational programs. Nutrition assistants work closely with patients to determine their dietary and nutritional needs, plan around dietary restrictions, and monitor progress. They also observe patients for signs of malnutrition, allergic reactions, and other potential risk factors.

To become a nutrition assistant, one typically needs at least an associate’s degree in nutrition, health and wellness, or a related field. Certificate or licensure may also be required, depending on the state the nutrition assistant resides in and their level of job responsibility.

What is a Dietetic Assistant?

Dietetic assistants perform a similar role to nutrition assistants, but under the direction of a registered dietitian. Primarily, they help patients plan for good health by offering nutritional guidance in the form of menu planning, counseling, and education. They can be especially helpful for patients who are on strict food regimens, like those with food allergies, eating disorders, kidney disease, or diabetes.

To become a dietetic assistant, a candidate must earn an associate’s degree in nutrition and food management at a minimum, though employers tend to prefer some type of experience in the field of nutrition and dietetics as well.

What is a Dietitian Assistant?

Dietitian assistants (also referred to as dietetic technicians) work alongside registered dietitians like dietetic assistants. They help plan menus for individuals and groups, offer counseling on how to make healthy food choices, and may help with ordering food and managing budgets for nursing homes, schools, daycares, hospitals, and prisons.

To become a registered dietetic technician (DTR), you must complete an associate’s degree that has been approved by the American Dietetic Association, complete a certain number of supervised training hours, and then pass the Commission on Dietetic Registration exam.

What is a Dietary Assistant?

Dietary assistants, also called Dietary Aides, work under the supervision of a licensed dietitian to prepare nutritious meals. In addition to meal preparation, Dietary Assistants also help with serving and cleaning up after meals, recording and monitoring meal consumption, and may also educate patients on various nutritional requirements they’re being asked to follow. Generally, an associate’s degree in nutrition or a related field is necessary for this role.

What Should Your Nutrition Training Cover?

If you’re looking for a career in nutrition and dietetics where you can make a real difference in others’ lives, you’ll need to enroll in a nutrition training that prepares you to do just that. Your nutrition training should teach you how to help your patients on a holistic level (addressing all areas of health) and how to help them go from knowing what they need to do to transform their health to actually doing it. It should teach you how to get to the root cause of each patient’s unique needs and tailor a plan of action that gets real, sustainable results.

There are four “key ingredients” we strongly recommend you look for in the training you choose.

These include:

1. Functional Nutrition training
2. Personal growth and habit transformation coaching
3. Business and marketing training
4. Mentorship from a successful nutrition practitioner
These four key ingredients together will give you the skills, knowledge, and confidence to launch a successful career that transforms lives—which is precisely why they’re the four pillars of Health Coach Institute’s nutrition training curriculum.

Our proven system has helped over 10,000 nutrition practitioners around the world create wildly successful careers changing others’ lives for the better—and it’s an excellent foundational training for anyone who’s interested in becoming the best nutrition practitioner they can be. To learn more about what some of our graduates who are working in the dietetics field are saying about our program, click here to visit our Dietetics page.

Learn More About Our Approach to Nutrition and Dietetics

Our six-month training program teaches a practical, functional approach to nutrition. We designed our curriculum in collaboration with the world’s top nutrition physicians and experts to:

  • Teach you a new healthcare paradigm that will set you apart from other practitioners in the field
  • Prepare you to help others create healthier lifestyle habits that stick
  • Help you launch a high-impact career you’ll love

To learn more about our revolutionary approach to nutrition and how our training program can help you turn your passion for nutrition into a meaningful career, click here to watch our webinar now.

Start Your Health and Wellness Coaching Career with HCI

Coaching is a great career that you can help others, while also learning how to help your own personal growth. Health Coach Institute is a top health and wellness coaching certification program. Join our Become a Health Coach program and begin coaching in 6 months! If you are already a coach and want to advance your skills, check out HCI’s Coach Mastery program. Feel free to get in touch with with one of our clarity coaches directly, by calling 1-800-303-2399.


Health Coach Institute provides aspiring Health and Life Coaches with the tools, training, and support to make a great living transforming lives.