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National Nutrition Certification Program (NNCP) 2023

Time limit: 90 days


Full course description

Thank you for your interest in the National Nutrition Certification Program. This online training course was created to increase the nutrition knowledge and teaching skills of nutrition educators. It is designed for those who teach nutrition education to the public.

NNCP is a free service provided by the SNAP-Ed program in Utah (Create Better Health), and it is administered through the Utah State University Extension program. The course contains 21 modules including a pre- and post-assessment. Course content was validated through expert review by registered dietitians. Parameters of study for this program included: increase in nutrition knowledge, improvement in teaching technique/ability, job satisfaction for the educator, and lower programming costs related to training. 

The lessons and learning objectives include: 

Welcome & Pre-assessment 

  • Instructions on how to navigate and complete the online training course 
  • 30 multiple-choice questions 

Scope of Practice 

  • The difference between public health nutrition education and individual counseling 
  • Laws for certification and license to practice within a state 
  • Proper use of a referral list for services 
  • Reliable web sites Reliable experts 
  • Concepts of junk science and nutrition quackery 

Dietary Guidelines for Americans & MyPlate 

  • The 5 food groups in MyPlate 
  • Descriptions of ounce, cup, and serving equivalents from each of the five food groups 
  • Nutritional benefits of each of the five food groups 
  • Concept of discretionary calories 
  • Introduction to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans 

Basic Nutrition & Metabolism 

  • Basic functions of vitamins, minerals, water, and phytochemicals 
  • Sources of fat and water-soluble vitamins and minerals 
  • Deficiencies and toxicities of vitamins and minerals 
  • Sources of phytochemicals and their health claims 

Types of Physical Activity 

  • Identify the components of physical activity 
  • Understand the principles of intensity, frequency and duration 
  • Learn the benefits of each component of physical activity 

Vitamins, Minerals, Water & Phytochemicals 

  • 6 classes of nutrients; which are macronutrients and which are micronutrients 
  • Which nutrients yield energy and how much energy each yields per gram 
  • Basic mechanics of digestion, absorption, and transport of nutrients in the body 
  • Meaning and nutritional relevance of the following terms: 


  • Definition of a carbohydrate 
  • Differences between simple carbohydrates and complex carbohydrates 
  • Foods that contain simple and complex carbohydrates 
  • Carbohydrate metabolism 
  • The dietary recommendations for concentrated sugars, starches, and fiber 


  • 3 classes of lipids and their functions 
  • Difference between saturated fats, monounsaturated fats, polyunsaturated fats, and trans fats 
  • Difference between the lipid transport proteins: chylomicrons, VLDL, LDL, and HDL 
  • Essential fatty acids, their relationship to health, and their dietary sources 
  • Dietary recommendations for fat and cholesterol and the health implications of an excess of these nutrients 


  • Protein and amino acids 
  • Essential and non-essential amino acids 
  • Protein-containing foods 
  • Protein metabolism 
  • Dietary recommendations for protein consumption 
  • Relationship between protein and health 

Time Management – Making Healthy Choices 

  • Creating a meal plan using MyPlate® recommendations 
  • Time saving tips for shopping 
  • Shopping behaviors and how shopping tools can help individuals and families save money 
  • Basic grocery store layout and its impact on shopping behavior 
  • Components of food labels, their purpose and how they benefit health 
  • Meal preparation methods 
  • Shortcuts for cleaning up after cooking 
  • Affordable ways to incorporate physical activity into a lifestyle 

Food Safety 

  • The difference between foodborne infections and intoxications 
  • The four steps to FightBac!® (Clean, Separate, Cook, Chill) 
  • Commonly occurring natural toxicants in foods and ways to avoid them in food preparation 
  • Types and uses of pesticides, and how to handle food safely 
  • Regulations governing additives and differentiate between intentional (direct) and indirect food additives 
  • How to choose and store fresh, frozen, and canned products 

Body Image, & Body Composition 

  • Identifying a healthy body composition 
  • Relationship between body composition and health 

Energy Balance & Diet 

  • Energy balance in terms of energy in and energy out 
  • The relationship between energy balance and weight 

Weight Stigma 

  • Understand the consequences of weight stigma 
  • Understand ways to decrease weight stigma 

Chronic Diseases 

  • Major chronic diseases affecting Americans 
  • Incidence and prevalence of major chronic diseases 
  • How major chronic diseases develop 
  • Relationship between diet and major chronic diseases 

Pregnancy, Lactations & Infancy 

  • Changes in maternal physiology during pregnancy 
  • Implications of poor maternal nutrition on the infant 
  • Energy requirements in pregnancy and pregnancy weight gain recommendations 
  • Important nutrients to obtain in pregnancy and foods that contain these nutrients 
  • Substances to avoid during pregnancy and their related health consequences 
  • Food safety issues related to pregnancy and their health consequences 
  • Common health problems or ailments associated with pregnancy and ways to alleviate the symptoms 
  • Appropriate diet for a lactating woman 
  • Community resources available to lactating women 
  • Appropriate feeding practices in early infancy 
  • Development of infant feeding skills 
  • Progression of the introduction of solid foods Unsafe feeding practices in infants 

Childhood Nutrition 

  • Childhood obesity statistics and possible causes 
  • Recommended servings from each food group 
  • Ways to make family meals more successful and effective 
  • Reasoning behind the importance of food safety for children 
  • Appropriate snacking 
  • Appropriate physical activity 

Art of Teaching 

  • Capabilities and limitations of the human learner 
  • Advantages and disadvantages of various educational methods and techniques 
  • Five parts of the universal learning model and their functions 
  • Three parts of a presentation (introduction, body, conclusion) and what each should provide 
  • Steps in preparing for and delivering a successful food demonstration 

Culinary Skills: Kitchen Essentials 

  • Basic culinary terms 
  • Proper use and care of knives 
  • Mis en place 

Culinary Skills:  Recipes and Kitchen Math 

  • Understand and manipulate recipes 
  • Determine AP or EP costs. 
  • Scaling recipes 
  • Selecting proper cookware and tools 

Culinary Skills: How Heat Moves 

  • Components of food structure 
  • Basics of how foods react to heat 
  • Methods of heat transfer 

Culinary Skills: Basic Cooking Techniques 

  • Terms for basic cooking techniques 
  • Dry cooking methods 
  • Moist cooking methods 
  • Combination cooking methods 


  • 100 multiple choice questions to assess comprehension and understanding 
  • No time limit 
  • Certification requires 80% passing rate 
  • Certificate is valid for 3 years 

Sign up for this course today!