top holistic nutrition certification canada

A Holistic Nutrition Certification will not make you successful. Getting certified is merely the beginning of your journey as a holistic nutrition practitioner. After you get your certificate in holistic nutrition, you will need to work hard and stay dedicated to your craft if you want to become a successful holistic nutritionist.

Are you ready to learn how to become a holistic nutritionist in Canada and get your career started? Read on!


The goal of the article is to help you pick the right holistic nutrition program for YOU. We aim to provide an honest and unbiased overview of all the options that are available in Canada, however, we DO NOT guarantee the accuracy of the information contained in this article. This article is based solely on the information gathered from the schools’ and associations’ websites. For more details, please contact the holistic nutrition program providers directly. Note: This article contains some affiliate links.

Before we go over all the holistic nutrition programs available in Canada, we are going to touch on a few points that are often overlooked yet are important to consider when deciding what nutrition course to choose.

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The Truth About Holistic Nutrition Certifications

Your clients don’t care

When people approach you for nutrition consulting, they either want to look good or they want to feel better. They don’t care what certificate you hold or how many letters sit after your name.

Your clients want results. They come to you for help, hoping that you will lead them to their health and wellness goals in the fastest and most effective way possible. And as you probably now realize, a piece of paper isn’t going to do this for you. At best, you have the bare minimum to show someone that you maybe know something.

When people approach you for nutrition consulting, they either want to look good or they want to feel better. They don't care what certificate you hold or how many letters sit after your name. Click To Tweet

Being certified doesn’t mean you’re fully ready

Nutrition consulting is an art that requires a careful blend of theoretical knowledge and applied coaching skills that can only be developed through consistent practice. Just because you’ve decided to become certified in holistic nutrition doesn’t mean you will be fully prepared to work with clients. No matter how much you study, there isn’t a single program out there that can get you 100% ready to deal with all real-life situations right after you graduate.

Although most schools do a great job getting you set up with real-life case studies and practicums, you will still need to build up your practical experience over time after you become a holistic nutritionist. Only then will you feel comfortable tackling all the situations that present themselves to you.

And even if you’ve been researching nutrition for a long time on your own, that doesn’t give you the tools to adequately guide someone through the intricacies of food choices, lifestyle and behavior changes. Nutrition is an ever-changing industry with new research coming out daily.

It is your responsibility, and yours alone, to decide which program will be best suited to you. It is also your responsibility to continue your education once you’ve completed your program.

Nutrition consulting is an art that requires a careful blend of theoretical knowledge and applied coaching skills that can only be developed through consistent practice. Click To Tweet

Why You Should Get A Holistic Nutrition Certification

Despite those truths, there are still many good reasons to get certified as a holistic nutrition practitioner.

1. A certification is required if you want to purchase liability insurance. Under no circumstances should you advertise or sell your nutrition consulting services if you do not hold valid liability coverage.

2. A certification is a system. This means that someone took the time to review the nutritional information that was available to them and package it in a systematic way. Following a holistic nutrition program is the most efficient way to acquire a baseline of knowledge that will help you move forward in the health industry.

3. A certification is the first step toward a job. Most clinics and gyms looking to fill a holistic nutritionist position won’t even consider you if you aren’t certified. By becoming a certified holistic nutritionist, you drastically increase your chances of getting hired after you graduate.

Following a holistic nutrition program is the most efficient way to acquire a baseline of knowledge that will help you move forward in the health industry. Click To Tweet

Should You Study Holistic Nutrition Online Or In Person?

Both traditional learning and its online counterpart have pros and cons, so it’s important for you to understand what to expect before you step into – or log into – your first holistic nutrition course.

Some key areas to consider before deciding which one will work best for you are:

Flexibility. How much time can you dedicate to learning each day? Are you able to attend your nutrition course full-time or do you need to fit it around your current job/studies?

Discipline & self-motivation. Can you work at your own pace or do you need someone to hold you accountable? There are usually significant differences between the structure of online vs in-person courses which might impact your ability to stay on track.

● Social interaction. What amount of social interaction are you expecting while working on your holistic nutrition certification? Do you thrive in an individual study environment? Or do you require motivation and feedback from your peers to stay motivated and succeed?

To know which method of learning will be best for you, we recommend that you give each one a try. Most schools offer one-day sit-ins on classes or sample online courses that you can take. These hands-on experiences will help you determine the learning method that is right for you.

Deciding between studying online or in person should be based on 3 important factors: schedule flexibility, discipline & self-motivation, and social interaction expectations. Click To Tweet

Ready To Start Now?

If you are looking for a simple course to start learning online, take a look at the The Natural Nutrition Coach® (NNC) Certificate program. This online course covers all the information you need to get started in the nutrition industry including all your nutrition business essentials, how to effectively coach your nutrition clients, DFY handouts and templates and much more. Enter the Coupon Code HUB for a CAD$50 discount at checkout.

The Natural Nutrition Coach® (NNC) Certificate program

Online VS In-Person Learning: Which One Do YOU Prefer?

[BLOG] Online Vs In-Person Learning

Did you take your holistic nutrition program online on in person? Click the link to vote now! Click To Tweet

How To Choose A Holistic Nutrition Certification

A while ago, we ran a poll in our Facebook Community. In that poll, we asked our members to share the main deciding factors that pushed them to pick a nutrition program above all others. The results of this poll might help you pick the right holistic nutrition certification for YOU!

holistic nutrition course poll

Top Holistic Nutrition Schools In Canada

If you are someone who thrives in a classroom environment, you should find a holistic nutrition school to help you become a holistic nutritionist. To find a school near you, use the map of all the classroom locations in Canada that we created for you.

Canadian School Of Natural Nutrition (CSNN)

Canadian School Of Natural Nutrition Logo Holistic Nutrition Diploma Program 2

CSNN At A Glance
Established: 1994
Number of Locations: 12 + Online Distance Education
Duration of Program: 2 years (part-time), 1 year (full-time), or less than 1 year (accelerated format)
Tuition Fees: approx. $6000

The Canadian School Of Natural Nutrition is the largest provider of holistic nutrition education with 14 provincially-licensed classroom locations across Canada, plus Online Distance Education (see separate listing in “Top Online Holistic Nutrition Certifications” below). They are focused on providing their students and graduates with practical career tools that they can use to succeed in their professional career. They also emphasize student support networks and services with their Alumni Association.

Their program in natural nutrition includes 18 holistic nutrition courses (with 1/3 of them being science courses), real-life case studies, and a final board exam available in a part-time (2 year), a full-time (1 year), or an accelerated learning (<1 year) format. The program requires approximately 1200 hours to complete (including self-study time).

CSNN Offerings also Include:

    • Interest Workshops and Certificates: Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Certificate, Holistic Culinary Certificate workshops, and Introduction to Natural Nutrition Certificate.
    • Practitioner Workshops and Certificates: Continuing Education courses, Advanced Holistic Nutrition (AHN) workshops, and Certificate Packages.
    • Workshops are available at select CSNN branches. Please contact your preferred branch for details.

Tuition fee: $5940 for the Natural Nutrition Program. Payment plans and student loan fundings are available at select branches.

CSNN Graduate Experiences

Melissa Evanson Profile Picture
Melissa Evanson I chose the CSNN Vancouver, nighttime part-time program. I loved the case study focus! It was between there and IHN and at the end of the day found the curriculum comparable but my gut instinct told me to go with CSNN. Sooo happy I did!
Natasha Asselstine Profile Picture
Natasha Asselstine I was between CSNN and IHN and chose CSNN because they have less classroom hours, so I felt that I could work part-time easier. I was also enticed by their cooking classes. 

The Institute Of Holistic Nutrition (IHN)

Institute Of Holistic Nutrition The Industry Leader In Training Nutrition Professionals

IHN At A Glance
Established: 1996
Number of Locations: 4
Duration of Program: 2 years or 1-year options
Tuition Fees: approx. $6890

The Institute Of Holistic Nutrition delivers their part-time (2 years) and full-time (1 year) Diploma programs in 4 physical locations including Vancouver (BC), Toronto (ON), Ottawa (ON), and Mississauga (ON). IHN focuses on providing their students with a blend of leading-edge research education and traditional practices.

Tuition fees: $6890 including a  none-refundable $500 registration fee. Multiple payment plans are available

IHN’s Diploma Program in Applied Holistic Nutrition is comprised of over 19 courses, +713.5 total in-class hours and a mandatory 100-hour co-op placement program.

Institute Of Holistic Nutrition Graduate Experiences

Monica Kennie Profile Picture
Monica Kennie I attended IHN in North York , ON. So glad I did! THE most impressive professors ever! I learned so much! I wanted to attend in person so I could ask all the questions I needed to live! Best school ever!
Nadya Pecherskaya Profile Picture
Nadya Pecherskaya I loved the supportive, encouraging, healthy atmosphere of IHN. I liked how different all classes and all the instructors were, so we could each gain something different from the program.

Pacific Rim College (School Of Holistic Nutrition)

Pacific Rim College Logo Holistic Nutrition Diploma Program

Pacific Rim College At A Glance
Established: N/A
Number of Locations: 1
Duration of Program: 3 years
Tuition Fees: $29700

Pacific Rim College’s School of Holistic Nutrition offers an extensive 3-year Diploma program in Victoria, BC.

This Diploma of Holistic Nutrition is by far the most comprehensive classroom program of holistic nutrition in Canada. It includes cooking and clinical coursework amongst other practical courses, as well as complete theoretical components.

Their 6-semester program is comprised of over 35 courses for a total of 2115 hours.

Tuition fees: $3700 for the Holistic Nutrition Certificate (4 months) and  $29700 for the Diploma of Holistic Nutrition. This program is recognized by Canada Student Loans.

As of September 2018, Pacific Rim College also offers Online Holistic Nutrition Courses eligible for Continuing Education Units.

To learn more about the school, don’t forget to listen to this interview with Cordelia McFadyen, Dean of the Holistic Nutrition Program at Racific Rim College.

Pacific Rim College (School Of Holistic Nutrition) Graduate Experiences

Amy Ritchie Pacific Rim College School Of Holistic Nutrition Graduate
Amy Ritchie No other course offers the clinical experience Pacific Rim does which I feel made a dramatic difference to my knowledge, skills and confidence in working with clients. I transferred from a dietician program and it was important to me to have the most comprehensive training and Pacific Rim offers that with over 3 years of full time studies and mandatory clinical hours. Most of our professors were doctors or nutritionists who were always willing to go the extra mile to ensure we got the highest standard of education. Also, because of the standards for this program are so high, many insurance companies now cover my services which makes a huge difference for clients looking for affordable care. I highly recommend Pacific Rim!

Top Online Holistic Nutrition Certifications

For many of you working a full or part-time job, attending a holistic nutrition school isn’t an option. But there are other ways to become a holistic nutritionist than to attend a school. Many companies actually offer holistic nutrition courses online. We have listed below the Canadian providers who can help you get your nutrition certification online.

CSNN – Distance Education

Canadian School Of Natural Nutrition Logo Holistic Nutrition Diploma Program 2
Alongside their on-site programs, the Canadian School Of Natural Nutrition also offers a distance education program comprised of 18 courses spread over approximately 1100 hours of study. This is one of the most extensive holistic nutrition programs you will find online.

This online holistic nutrition program must be completed in less than 24 months.

Tuition fees: $5295 including all textbooks + a $100, none-refundable registration fee. Payment plans are available.

CSNN Distance Education Graduate Experiences

Lauren Jonker Profile Picture
Lauren Jonker I chose CSNN because I am a Canadian citizen currently living in South Carolina. Having a certificate that both USA and Canada would recognize was really important to me. I was able to register with the NANP with the addition of two AHN classes. As far as the pros and cons there are always some. Although I am an independent worker – as a distance student I craved more interaction and connection with the school, but I am pleased with the education I received. Since my graduation at CSNN they have changed the format of the program to be more interactive, which I think is a definite plus.

Alive Academy

Alive Academy Online Holistic Nutrition Program Logo

Alive Academy offers a few different holistic nutrition programs online. These programs range from a Sports & Fitness Nutrition Certificate Program (3 courses) to a Nutritional Consulting Diploma Program (7 courses).

Tuition fees: $1497 for the Sports & Fitness Nutrition Certificate Program up to $3893 for the Nutritional Consulting Diploma Program.

Each course can be completed individually or be purchased in a bundle at a special rate.

Alive Academy Graduate Experiences

Krista Goncalves Profile Picture
Krista Garrah-Goncalves I factored in quite a few parameters when I chose the Holistic Nutrition program I ended up doing – Alive Academy Advanced Nutrition Diploma. But the most important factor at the time (6 years ago) was that it had to be fully online/digital (I was not only pregnant, but my family was in the middle of moving from Vancouver to Kelowna), and fairly comprehensive in the coursework as I had already done a B.Sc with a minor in Dietetics (and was a certified Fitness Trainer), so I was looking for something a bit “beefier” in content. It worked fine for me at the time, but I would make a different choice if I was doing it all over again today. I am now partial to the CSNN as I feel their program is more in line with what kind of Nutritionist I ended up being.
Ruth Heyerdahl Profile Picture
Ruth Heyerdahl I chose Alive Academy Holistic Nutritional Consulting program and love it … I compared price and staff of three schools. I chose Alive because “the price was right”, I loved the staff, two friends who have very high profiles as nutritionists graduated from there (but I found that out after I had decided to choose Alive), it was the only school that offered online courses that looked half-decent (as I was working 60+ hours a week and didn’t have the energy to drag my butt to a physical school at the end of a day), and the administrator was amazing. I have loved Alive and have made some very good friends through it.

Nutraphoria (School of Holistic Nutrition)

NutraPhoria School of Holistic Nutrition Logo light green TRANSPARENT RED copy

Nutraphoria offers two different holistic nutrition education programs online: a Holistic Nutrition & Health Coach Program (Tier 1) and an Advanced Diploma – Holistic Nutritionist program (Tier 2). The advanced program (3 course sections or 14 total courses) is over 2000 hours in total, includes real-life case studies and requires you to complete the Tier 1 program first (4 course sections).

Tuition fees: $1946 for the Holistic Nutrition & Health Coach Program and $3150 for the Advanced Holistic Nutritionist Program.  

Each program takes about 9 to 12 months to complete.

Nutraphoria Graduate Experiences

Andrea Saliba Profile Picture

Andrea Saliba As a busy Mom of 3 children, I appreciated the fact that I was able to study Holistic Nutrition from the comfort of my very own home. Anytime I needed assistance, the staff was right there to help me and explain anything I needed help with.

I feel fortunate to have found such a flexible and very educational online program.

Within 1 year, I had completed the course and am currently assisting clients towards leading a healthier lifestyle through proper diet and exercise.
I absolutely love being a Nutrition Coach and am constantly learning. I plan to return to NutraPhoria to complete 6 more months towards becoming a Nutritionist. I can’t wait!

Edison Institute of Nutrition

Edison Institute Of Nutrition Online Holistic Nutrition Certification Online Logo

The Edison Institute of Nutrition offers an Introduction Program (4 courses, 2-12 months to complete), a Diploma in Holistic Nutrition (29 courses, 1-3 years to complete), as well as some Advanced and Post-Graduate Mentorship Programs.

The Diploma in Holistic Nutrition is one of the most in-depth online holistic nutrition program available with over 2000 hours of total study time.

Tuition fees: $715 including the registration fee and books for the Introduction Program and $3900 + registration and textbooks for the Diploma in Holistic Nutrition.

International College Of Natural Health & Traditional Chinese Medicine

International College Of Natural Health And Traditional Chinese Medicine Logo

The ICNH-TCM offers an Orthomolecular Nutrition for Professionals Diploma Program that takes about 12 months to complete with about 440 hours. It is comprised of 6 courses.

Tuition fees: $3160 + $220 in books for the Orthomolecular Nutrition for Professionals Diploma Program.

The College Of International Holistic Studies

The CIHS offers a Diploma in Orthomolecular Nutrition. This online nutrition program is composed of 10 courses + 25 case studies, spread out over 1025 hours and 24 months.

Tuition fees: Not available at this time

Download Our Complete Contact List To Start Your Student Journey

We've compiled a contact list for all the holistic nutrition schools and programs to help you find the best match!

Download this free handout to get started on your holistic nutrition journey!

We respect your privacy. Powered by ConvertKit

Accredited Holistic Nutrition Programs

Once you have obtained your holistic nutrition certificate, you can become the member of an association that will provide professional benefits and resources to help you demonstrate your credibility in the industry while growing your nutrition business.

Since nutritional consulting is not a regulated profession, these associations help uphold high educational standards while providing strict codes of ethics for their members.

The benefits of joining an association are numerous but are specific to each organization. To learn more, please consult the website of the associations listed below.

Member benefits can include:

● Saving on conferences, trade shows, books, supplements, gym memberships or other

● Listing on a practitioner directory

● Early access to job postings and other professional opportunities

● Free webinars

● Additional credentials

● Personal and/or professional insurance coverage

Online tools for nutrition practitioners

● etc…

Each association has their own educational standards and not all holistic nutrition programs are recognized across the board.

To find out about accredited nutrition programs, consult the comparison table below (Updated Dec 2017)

Canadian School Of Holistic Nutrition 

Institute Of Holistic Nutrition 

Pacific Rim College - School Of Holistic Nutrition

Edison Institute Of Nutrition (Online)

Alive Academy (Online)

Nutraphoria (Online)

International College Of Natural Health - TCM (Online)

The College Of International Holistic Studies (Online)





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Which Nutrition Program Did You Choose To Become A Holistic Nutritionist?

Our hope is that this article will help you start a successful career in holistic nutrition!

If you enjoyed the read, please take a minute to share this guide with your fellow nutrition enthusiasts, students or practitioners so we can grow this industry in a positive and meaningful way!


Lynne is a Registered Holistic Nutritionist, meal prep mastermind, wife and mother of three. Lynne’s dreams and creativity have brought Holistic Nutrition Hub to fruition so that all Nutrition Practitioners can better help their clients and attain their business goals.

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