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Nutrition, Healthier Foods and Special Diets

  • Interactive and engaging with colourful animation
  • Online, self-paced and in your own time
  • Instant certificate on completion

£45 +VAT

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  • 2-3 hours to complete
  • Online access
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Course Overview: Nutrition, Healthier Foods and Special Diets

The Nutrition, Healthier Foods and Special Diets course has been created you provide you with a thorough grounding in basic nutrition. This module is useful to anyone interested in eating healthily, but particularly relevant to anyone working in a catering environment and health promoters.

By completing this course you will be minimising the risk of bad publicity as well as widen your knowledge.

On completion of this course learners will be able to:

  • Plan healthy meals based around current dietary guidelines
  • Understand how to plan healthy meals for different groups of people and age groups
  • Understand specific standards and recommendations that apply to catering for certain groups of people with special requirements
  • Understand how food preparation and processing affects the nutritional value of food
  • Understand the significance of information on food labels

When you've completed this online training you will sit an online test and, once successful, you can download your Virtual College and City & Guilds certificate.

Course details

The subjects covered in this module include:


Guidelines on Healthy Eating

  • Healthy eating advice
  • The eatwell plate
  • Fruit and vegetables
  • Bread, rice, potatoes, pasta
  • Milk and dairy foods
  • Meat, fish, eggs, beans
  • Foods and drinks high in fat and/or sugar
  • Using the eatwell plate
  • The Governments 8 tips to eating well
  • 1. Base your meals on starchy foods
  • 2. Eat lots of fruit and vegetables
  • 3. Eating more fish, including a portion of oily fish every week
  • 4. Cut down on saturated fat and sugar
  • 5. Try to eat less salt
  • 6. Get active and try to be a healthy weight
  • 7. Drink plenty of water a day
  • 8. Don't skip breakfast
  • 5-a-day
  • What counts as a portion?
  • The health benefits
  • Tips for achieving 5-a-day

Nutrition Basics

  • What is energy?
  • Sources of energy
  • The energy content of some foods and drinks
  • The nutrients
  • The macronutrients
  • Types of fat
  • Sources of fat
  • Essential fats
  • How much fat?
  • What are carbohydrates?
  • Sources of carbohydrate
  • How much carbohydrate
  • Sources of protein
  • How much protein
  • The micronutrients
  • Fat-soluble vitamins
  • Water-soluble vitamins
  • Major minerals

Nutrition Throughout the Lifecycle

  • Preconception
  • Pregnancy and breastfeeding
  • Weaning to 12 months
  • Pre-school and school aged children
  • Nutritional guidelines for schools
  • Adolescents
  • Adults
  • The elderly

Diet and Health

  • Energy
  • Energy balance
  • Under- and over-nutrition
  • What is obesity?
  • Calculating body mass index (BMI)
  • BMI categories
  • BMI chart
  • Obesity and health
  • Treating obesity
  • Diet and disease
  • Common diseases
  • Risk factors

Special Diets

  • Vegetarian diets
  • The nutritional quality of vegetarian diets
  • Vegetarian sources of protein
  • Vegetarian sources of iron
  • Vegetarian sources of vitamin B12
  • Catering for vegetarians
  • Ethnic minority groups
  • Catering for ethic minority groups
  • Food allergy and intolerances
  • What are food allergies and intolerances
  • What is an allergen?
  • Food intolerance
  • Coeliac disease
  • Catering for people with food allergens and intolerances

Food Processing and Labelling

  • What is food preservation?
  • Food preservation techniques
  • What is food processing?
  • Food processing techniques
  • Effects of processing
  • Methods to reduce nutrient loss
  • What is fortification?
  • Reasons for fortification
  • Some of the nutrients used in fortification
  • Types of foods used for fortification
  • Food labelling
  • Reasons for food labelling
  • Food labelling requirements
  • Ingredient list
  • Nutritional labelling
  • Nutrition information
  • Traffic light system
Target Audience

This nutrition course is aimed at those who are employed in catering environments preparing and serving food and involved in the selection of menus, recipes and ingredients.

It is also relevant for those in the health care sector including community workers, carers, care workers, fitness trainers, weight management professionals and the education sector including school caterers and teachers and others involved in the promotion of health.

It would also be appropriate as part of lifestyle education for people of all ages, and especially for young people, and anyone interested in healthy eating purely for themselves and their own family.

Those involved in the promotion and marketing of food products and services would also benefit from studying this course.


On completion of this course you will be able to print a Virtual College and City & Guilds certificate.

CPD Accreditation

This course is City & Guilds accredited and CPD certified.

Entry Requirements

There are no specific entry requirements for this course.


Approximately 2-3 hours. The length of time taken depends entirely on how quickly you can study and absorb the material. The course is self-paced with approximately 130 interactive screens. You do not have to complete all the training in one session. Your progress will be recorded throughout.

How it Works

This is a general guide to how the learning management system works.


This is an online course, all the training will be taken through your browser window. There will be no face-to-face sessions with instructors nor will you receive any training material through the post.

If you wish you may print out any page of the training material and may also print the notes you took during the training. You can also revisit the training material at any time, even after you have completed the course.


The material for this course has been broken down into several smaller lessons, each lesson dealing with a specific area of the overall subject.

The lesson consists of a series of pages in which an instructor will talk you through the lesson material at a pace that suits you. Pages may also include supporting pictures, graphs, animation or extra sounds to help with the learning where appropriate. Some lessons will include challenges/quizzes to help you keep in touch and interested in the material.

Lessons can be taken in any order and each lesson may be PAUSED and RESUMED at any stage. When all lessons in the course have been completed our system will realise and automatically record that you have successfully completed the course.


The course is self-paced so you decide how fast or slow the training goes. You can complete the course in stages revisiting the training at any time, however the training and test usually take between 2 to 3 hours to complete, depending on learning speed.

Learners are required to achieve a 75% pass mark to successfully complete the course. If necessary, the learner may attempt the test 3 times at no extra cost, having revisited the training material. If learners have not achieved the 75% pass mark, further attempts may be given by contacting Learner Support.

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