If you want to soak up all the knowledge that a nutritionist likely had to pay for, then look no further. The free courses I chose are of the highest quality and the most comprehensive. You would not only be able to take care of yourself better but your family members as well.

Alison

Alison hosts a very impressive and thorough course series in human nutrition. One can select an introductory course or pursue Alison’s “Diploma in Human Nutrition” which grants an individual a downloadable PDF certificate upon completion. Time will tell if diplomas from Alison will be recognized by employers in the United States.

 

The learning format is similar to a slideshow presentation but with interactive graphics, illustrations, and photos. The courses are split up into modules which are sub-divided into topics. Each module follows with a multiple choice assessment to evaluate one’s mastery of the content. Users can only earn Alison diplomas if they score 80% or better for the entire course. The cons with Alison include the fact that course production is funded via ad revenue (the sidebar ads can be distracting since courses are not full screen) and the credentials of the course creator are not verifiable.

Alison

Alison hosts a very impressive and thorough course series in human nutrition. One can select an introductory course or pursue Alison’s “Diploma in Human Nutrition” which grants an individual a downloadable PDF certificate upon completion. Time will tell if diplomas from Alison will be recognized by employers in the United States.

 

The learning format is similar to a slideshow presentation but with interactive graphics, illustrations, and photos. The courses are split up into modules which are sub-divided into topics. Each module follows with a multiple choice assessment to evaluate one’s mastery of the content. Users can only earn Alison diplomas if they score 80% or better for the entire course. The cons with Alison include the fact that course production is funded via ad revenue (the sidebar ads can be distracting since courses are not full screen) and the credentials of the course creator are not verifiable.

Coursera

Coursera offers two knockout courses taught by Maya Adam, MD, Lecturer at Stanford School of Medicine: Child Nutrition and Cooking and Stanford Introduction to Food and Health. It may be a better approach to take the introductory course first followed by the one for children. Each course is split up into weekly topics with several videos to follow plus a multiple choice quiz at the end.

 

The production value is amazing and Maya stars in all of the videos either lecturing from her own home (sometimes with her children in the kitchen) or behind the scenes as she uses a “virtual chalkboard” to explain concepts (similar to Khan Academy). Coursera often sells certificates for completion (≤ $100), which are starting to get recognized by employers, but not with these two courses. There are no advertisements with the ability to go full-screen and the audio transcripts can be translated into several languages.

Khan Academy

As the pioneer in the free online learning, one would expect Khan Academy to have an entire category of video lectures dedicated to human nutrition but unfortunately that is not the case. However, it makes this list because Maya Adam once again made great use of the “virtual chalkboard” and has an awesome lecture series on Khan Academy’s website titled “Growth and Metabolism.” This is really for the studious individual that loved Maya before and is interested in more advanced concepts.

 

For people that learn better when there is comedy involved, a gentleman named Hank from Crash Course Biology presents a hilarious take on the human digestive system that is still very detailed and accurate coupled with the use of several visual aids. This video can be found directly beneath “Growth and Metabolism.” Again there are no advertisements here but the con is that nutrition-related content is harder to find.

Khan Academy

As the pioneer in the free online learning, one would expect Khan Academy to have an entire category of video lectures dedicated to human nutrition but unfortunately that is not the case. However, it makes this list because Maya Adam once again made great use of the “virtual chalkboard” and has an awesome lecture series on Khan Academy’s website titled “Growth and Metabolism.” This is really for the studious individual that loved Maya before and is interested in more advanced concepts.

 

For people that learn better when there is comedy involved, a gentleman named Hank from Crash Course Biology presents a hilarious take on the human digestive system that is still very detailed and accurate coupled with the use of several visual aids. This video can be found directly beneath “Growth and Metabolism.” Again there are no advertisements here but the con is that nutrition-related content is harder to find.

EDX

This is the absolute best that the world of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has to offer in the field of nutrition. Three free courses that are of college-level difficulty (seriously) are available with edX: Nutrition and Health Part 1 - Macronutrients and Overnutrition; Nutrition and Health Part 2 - Micronutrients and Malnutrition; Nutrition and Health Part 3 - Food Safety (ad free). Professor Sander Kersten of Wageningen University in the Netherlands and his team have put together the most elite and detailed nutrition program for the public and it is second to none.

 

A combination of pre-recorded lectures (with animations), assigned readings, quizzes, projects, group discussion, and a final exam will make any serious learner feel that “this is the real deal.” Like Coursera, certificates for completion are available for a nominal $50. Start soon because these courses will begin to be “archived” in May of 2017.

Texas A&M Agrilife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service was created decades ago to provide outreach programs that improve the quality of life of Texas residents and it continues to impress. Faculty of the Texas A&M Nutrition Department came up with 32 MOOCs that are free with an optional $5 certificate upon completion (could look good on one’s resume coming from a public university). The courses are similar in set-up to Alison’s learning format but the graphics and not interactive.

 

On the positive side, the courses are narrated by an A&M professor who is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a MS or PhD and the professor often shares additional information that does not appear on the slides in the module. Signing up for a course is more difficult than the other options on this list because the process is not streamlined with social media like Facebook. Each course has a pre/post assessment and is ad free.

Texas A&M Agrilife

The Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service was created decades ago to provide outreach programs that improve the quality of life of Texas residents and it continues to impress. Faculty of the Texas A&M Nutrition Department came up with 32 MOOCs that are free with an optional $5 certificate upon completion (could look good on one’s resume coming from a public university). The courses are similar in set-up to Alison’s learning format but the graphics and not interactive.

 

On the positive side, the courses are narrated by an A&M professor who is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist with a MS or PhD and the professor often shares additional information that does not appear on the slides in the module. Signing up for a course is more difficult than the other options on this list because the process is not streamlined with social media like Facebook. Each course has a pre/post assessment and is ad free.