You’ve probably heard the staple ‘try for five’ or ‘five plus two’ when it comes to eating right. General guidelines tell us that we should all aim to eat at least five portions of fruit and veggies every day (don’t know about you but that sounds easier than it often is!).
Diet, health and nutrition are a vital part of our lives and our communities. It might not be an area you think about much when it comes to careers – but it’s an up and coming industry with lots to explore!
Let’s take a closer look.
What is the Diet, Health and Nutrition Industry All About?
According to the Department for Health:
“Good food and nutrition is important to good health and wellbeing and reduces the risk of disease. Healthy eating means choosing the right foods and knowing how much to have.”
Diet, health and nutrition play a major role across many different areas of society. From the foods that end up in our local supermarkets, how certain foods are marketed and promoted to audiences, to nutritional guidelines for children, adults and those with long-term medical conditions.
Food and nutrition are big parts of our lives, and it makes sense that there are professionals out there researching, advising and guiding us to make better-informed choices about the foods we eat.
7 Jobs You Didn’t Know You Could Do
National Nutrition Week runs every October from the 10-17th; hopefully, you had some guidance and information about it at school, but essentially the week aims to raise awareness and education around nutrition and how we can all eat and live a little better.
Nutrition and health are things we need to be aware of all year round, so we thought there was no better time to take a look at some of the careers and professions you could pursue in this exciting industry:
- Early Years Nutritionist: Passionate about food and love kids? This could be the perfect career match for you! Early years nutritionists work within clinical, healthcare, and educational settings to advise, guide and support parents with young children to ensure they get the best possible nutritional support. They can work with childcare providers to ensure meals meet dietary requirements and work with parents one-to-one to overcome fussy eaters or help uncover children who may have sensory issues with eating and food textures.
- Clinical Dietitian: A clinical dietitian may work within the same environments as a nutritionist, but they have additional accreditations that allow them to work in clinical settings with patients needing diet support. This could be people with medical diagnoses such as diabetes, where diet and nutrition play a vital role in health management. Dietitians work one-to-one with patients to understand their circumstances, health and needs, and develop diet plans to aid recovery or health management.
- Athlete Nutritional Consultant: Athletes in training have strict nutritional needs, and they’ll often work with a nutrition consultant to help them reach and maintain their athletic and fitness goals. Like a dietitian, these nutritionists will work with athletes to understand their goals and help develop a plan that will get them there. It can be a specialised role, requiring a high level of physiological knowledge that can be applied to get the results athletes want without burning out or injuring themselves.
- Sustainable Food Consultant: As more and more restaurants seek to implement sustainable practices within their kitchens and ensure the food they use meets sustainable and ethical standards, they may work with a sustainable food consultant to help them. These consultants work with restaurant chefs and teams to understand their menus and help them source local, sustainable produce that helps them deliver a high-quality dining experience to guests. They can also help chefs and kitchen staff grow their knowledge about sustainable and seasonable produce.
- Food Technologist: Food technologists oversee all aspects of food product development, reviewing and approving nutritional data, writing product specifications and enforcing government required labelling regulations. Their roles tend to be a mix of research and analysis combined with quality assurance and control to ensure the brand they work with delivers high-quality products.
- Nutritional Researcher: Diet, health, and nutrition are still fields everyone is keen to learn more about. Nutritional researchers explore what’s happening in the industry, research new avenues, and publish their results. Their findings usually have direct implications across different areas of the food chain: from farming and agriculture to packaging and what ends up in our supermarkets.
- Public Health Nutritional Advocacy: Hot on the heels of nutritional researchers are nutritional advocates. These individuals typically work within the Department of Health and ensure that research trickles down to where it is most needed. Whether that’s in schools and the meals they serve, care homes and hospitals, or guidance to expecting and new mums. Their work is usually a mix of research and analysis, policy development, and policy implementation. The ‘try for five’ campaign? That was the work of public health nutritional advocates.
How Do You Get Started?
So there you have it! What do you think? Any new roles that surprised or inspired you?
Getting started with a career in diet, health, and nutrition can be done in several ways.
- Pursue an accredited degree program in nutrition and dieting.
- Get stuck in with a TAFE course as a nutritional specialist or a diploma in non-clinical nutrition.
- Start your path as a nutrition assistant apprentice.
Whatever your preferred pathway – there are entry points to get you on your way.