“Food is for eating, and good food is to be enjoyed… I think food is, actually, very beautiful in itself.” – Delia Smith
While there is no specific guide, master plan handed to human beings regarding what to eat and what not to eat to have a healthy and happier life, perhaps you have been struggling with emotional issues from your family members, or due to life stress generally, there is a versatile therapist to guide you through the dark days of life. More so, if you are in need of a fitness lifestyle, there are specialized trainers who are dedicated to training you personally, which will help you catch up with the lifestyle gradually. In the same vein, there are qualified and certified nutritionists who are dedicated to using their experience to better Nigerian citizen's lifestyle pertaining to what they consume daily.
Indeed the food you consume has a great effect on your health and based on several scientific studies, changing your diet plan can help you regulate, prevent and also stop a majority of the health challenges faced by human beings. Certain diseases such as diabetes, obesity can be controlled and manage through meal plan proposed by an expert nutritionist.
Nutritionists are professionals that advice and formulate food plans that make you healthy and also prevent you from being exposed to some diseases. Through meal plans prescribed, you can be able to manage chronic health conditions, while also preventing any form of allergies and help maintain your health.
Some go as far as formulating a meal plan that would help their client solve potential health challenges or medically related issues.
However, you might think wisely and ask yourself the question of how to become a nutritionist in Nigeria as their impact in the general society cannot be overemphasized. Besides, you might have heard or come across nutritionists that are practicing the career without a Bachelor's degree from a higher institution of learning; however, 95% of the employers are interested in employing graduates of certified nutritionist courses from an accredited university in and out of Nigeria.
Know the very importance and essence of how important the role of a nutritionist is to our society; a great number of them work in the private sector or in the public sector. Basically, their take-home is largely dependent on their qualification, the number of years of experience, their present job title, and other factors. Perhaps, if you have thought of being a nutritionist, it would then interest you to know that how to become a registered nutritionist is easy and includes few educational pursuits in the right direction.
Working in the Public Sector as a Nutritionist
Clearly, the public sector (government jobs) is the largest employer of labor in Nigeria, and as a matter of fact, several individuals love to work with the government due to job security. More so, working in the public sector includes working with the federal government, state government, and agencies. While they also enlighten the public about how their health could be affected by their choice of meal. Places like the hospitals, universities, fitness centers, counseling pregnant women, and nursing mothers in nursing homes are part of the major places nutritionist work, relating to the public sector.
Most obtain higher qualification degrees in specialized courses where they become an authority and also are able to perform their work as a nutritionist with an obvious specialty. The essential thing that qualifies you as a nutritionist working in the public sector is that you have undergone relevant training from an accredited institution recognized and approved by the INSTITUTE FOR DIETETICS. It is then another point to ponder on where to study nutrition courses that are accredited and certified by the relevant authorities and bodies. Among the list, of course, you would be offering when you are enrolled for a nutrition course includes international nutrition, public health nutrition, animal nutrition sports nutrition, and many other courses.
Basically, the human anatomy, biological composition of the human body, combined with other biochemistry courses, are included in the nutritionist curriculum taught in Nigeria higher institutions. Besides, there are some professional ethics that are related to you as a registered and qualified nutritionist. This conducts and ethic can also help you differentiate your roles and responsibility as a nutritionist working in the public sector.
Depending on the area of your specialization, there are several potential places you can perform your duties in the public sector which includes:
- Working with the government (Federal, State, and Local): Clearly, the Nigerian government at all levels has one or two hospitals under their care, and this means there is a need for a qualified nutritionist. The nutritionist employed by the government is therefore responsible for attending conferences, implementing nutrition-health policies, and educating the general populace about good diet plans. Also, government-supported workshops, schools, and agencies have a nutritionist on their team, educating participants about their lifestyle regarding nutrition. Besides, they work with health departments, the ministry of health, public health sectors, and other government agencies set up to care for public health in general. It is now imperative that nutritionist jobs are more available through the government established agencies in Nigeria.
- Working as a nutritionist in a hospital: there is no doubt, there are different categories of individuals on a sickbed, and they are in need of medical treatment or nutritional treatment. New mothers, pregnant women, infants, and elderly people who have any health issues are advised by a certified nutritionist and provided with a diet plan they can follow to boost the health status. To achieve better health, nutritionist and dietitians come together to formulate a meal plan for their patients, which in turn would be a boost for their overall health. Hospital patients who might be suffering from diseases such as type 2 diabetes cancer or cardiovascular-related health issues are advised against much sugar and salt.
- Working as a nutritionist in schools: At tender ages, children and young adults are supposed to be fed with balanced and nutritious diets that would help them grow and also help them perform well in their academics. Nutritionists work in school cafeterias while they draft out meal plans, and also introduce recipes that are healthy and convenient to make. They are also involved in advising the students or pupils on how to make the right choice regarding their meal choice.
- Working in the universities: Although offering a helpful hand at the school cafeteria, nutritionists are also involved in food research clinical trials and conducting diet surveys. Delivering seminars, research papers, and publishing journals are major responsibilities of a nutritionist that works in the university settings.
There are different categories of places you can work as a nutritionist, and there are many jobs available for you if you are working in the public sector as a certified nutritionist. However, in some case, a nutritionist that works in the private sector might earn more, but the public sector avails you the opportunity to touch lives.
Working in the Private Sector as a Nutritionist.
Generally, a nutritionist working in the private sector is certified and has undergone the right training from the higher institution of learning. The categories of jobs available for a nutritionist in the public sector are also available for nutritionists working in the private sector; however, the organization they work with are managed by individuals and are related to nutritionist jobs. You can as well become a consultant and have individual clients you attend to.
There are different jobs being offered to a nutritionist in the private sector, and the common ones include
- Working with a fitness center: The need for some clients to shed off excessive weight takes them to the gym. Therefore a nutritionist working with a fitness center helps the clients to lose weight by creating a diet plan which in turn helps muscle gain. Their main objective is to help participants of the gym shed off weight, advise them on the right diet, and dish out helpful tips to accomplish their target.
- Private consulting/Practice: Nutritionist working in the private sector is aimed at helping their client achieves their desired set goals. This could mean a healthy diet living and general consulting. Some premium client hires private nutritionist to help their family achieve a better eating habit. Prices of services offered to individual clients in Nigeria are dependent on how wealthy the client is, and also how experienced the nutritionist is also.
- Working with food companies: Indeed, there are several food companies that exist in Nigeria today; however, manufacturing food material needs the supervision and input of a certified nutritionist. The regulated ingredients, the science of combining recipes, and certifying new food products are responsibilities of nutritionists working with food companies in Nigeria. food companies like Dangote foods, Flour mills, Nestle, Cadbury, and other reputable ones.
- Working with an international organization: NGOs, international organizations like UNICEF, ECOWAS, WHO helps create awareness in Nigeria as regards proper feeding both in children and adults. They need the services of a qualified nutritionist to help build necessary awareness and develop nutrition campaigns that would influence the developing world. The rural community tends to feel the impact of this international aid organization through the help of the hired nutritionist working to achieve a healthier community.
The key requirement of a certified nutritionist is possessing the right skills that can make him or her successful in the career line. It, however, does not have anything to do with you working in a public or private sector of the career, the essential thing still remains you being able to discharge your duties properly and help clients achieve their goals.
Helpful Tips from Experienced Nutritionist.
When you require advice regarding your electrical wiring in the home, you speak directly to an electrician, while any plumbing services you need as a homeowner, you would reach out to a plumber. This then means that if you need any legal advice, you will consult your lawyer; the same is applicable for any nutrition need you want. Whenever you are having a consulting session with a professional nutritionist, you are assured of receiving tips and details information on how you can have a better feeding lifestyle.
Below are some tips from an experienced nutritionist in Nigeria:
- Be sure you are well hydrated in the morning: Definitely, water is important to your body, and your overall health is dependent on the intake of water. It is recommended that when you are up, you should take at least three glasses of water. This would help you flush out waste, and any form of constipation is prevented. Although whenever you get started, you might feel it is an inconvenient task, as the days go by, your body would adjust to it. Water is also believed to boost the efficiency of your organ and fill your stomach.
- Make veggies 50% of your meal: since a tender age, eating of fruits and vegetables has been encouraged, and it still applies till today. An expert nutritionist has suggested that you complement your meal with high vegetable content as they help the body grow better and rebuilding the tissues. Pasta, potatoes, and foods high in carbohydrates are advised to be balanced with a lot of vegetables.
- Consume snacks that are high in protein: snacks in the nuts category like almonds, peanuts, walnuts, fruits like oranges, banana, apples, vegetables like carrots, cucumbers are among the list of recommended fruits and vegetable that are nutritious. Consuming vegetables would also help you reduce the intake of sugar and also helps you eat less of calories
In Nigeria today, nutritionists are needed in all sectors, as they help individuals live a healthy lifestyle through a well-planned meal. Diseases that are chronic are well managed and subsided through the help of a professional nutritionist and they help have an effect on the overall health and wellness of the citizens. Nigerians needs nutritionists to learn from them how well they can have a healthy lifestyle through what they eat.