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Meal planning is an essential skill for anyone interested in culinary arts or seeking a healthier lifestyle. With the rise of the internet, online courses offer a convenient and accessible way to learn and master this skill. Whether you are a professional chef, a nutritionist, or simply passionate about cooking and wellness, there are numerous meal planning courses and certifications available online. In this article, we will explore the ten best meal planning courses and certifications online that can help you enhance your knowledge and expertise in this field.

1. Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN)

The Institute for Integrative Nutrition (IIN) offers a comprehensive Health Coach Training Program, which includes a module specifically focused on meal planning. This program equips participants with the knowledge and skills necessary to guide clients in creating personalized meal plans tailored to their unique dietary needs and preferences. The course covers topics such as portion control, balanced nutrition, allergy considerations, and sustainable food choices. Upon completion, students receive a certification to become a Certified Health Coach.

2. The Kitchn Cooking School

The Kitchn Cooking School offers an online course that includes a module on meal planning. This course is suitable for beginners and covers the basics of meal planning, grocery shopping, and recipe selection. Participants will learn how to create weekly and monthly meal plans, optimize ingredients, and save time and money through effective planning. The course also includes tips on organizing and stocking a pantry, as well as strategies for adapting recipes to meet specific dietary requirements.

3. Rouxbe Online Culinary School

The Rouxbe Online Culinary School provides a comprehensive Professional Cook Certification Program, which covers various aspects of meal planning. This program is suitable for aspiring chefs or anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of culinary arts. Participants will learn essential skills such as menu planning, recipe development, and creating balanced and visually appealing meals. The course also covers topics like seasonality, sourcing ingredients, and developing meal plans for special dietary needs.

4. eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification

For those interested in meal planning from a plant-based perspective, the eCornell Plant-Based Nutrition Certification course is an excellent option. This online program, developed in collaboration with the T. Colin Campbell Center for Nutrition Studies, provides a comprehensive understanding of plant-based nutrition and its impact on health. Participants will learn how to plan and prepare nutritious plant-based meals, with a focus on whole-food ingredients. The certification is co-authored by T. Colin Campbell, renowned for his research on the benefits of a plant-based diet.

5. Udemy: Meal Planning Mastery

Udemy, a popular online learning platform, offers the “Meal Planning Mastery” course, which is designed to help individuals master the art of meal planning. This course covers topics such as creating balanced meals, meal prepping, and time-saving techniques. Participants will learn how to adjust meal plans for different dietary requirements and explore strategies for overcoming common obstacles in meal planning. This self-paced course is suitable for beginners and offers lifetime access to course materials.

6. Health Coach Institute Meal Planning Mastery

The Health Coach Institute offers a specialized “Meal Planning Mastery” course as part of its comprehensive health coaching programs. This course is designed for aspiring health coaches or individuals interested in improving their meal planning skills. Participants will learn how to create customized meal plans for clients based on their health goals, dietary restrictions, and preferences. The course also covers strategies for meal prep, grocery shopping, and overcoming challenges in maintaining a healthy diet.

7. International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) Online Learning

The International Association of Culinary Professionals (IACP) offers online learning opportunities, including courses on meal planning. These courses target culinary professionals, providing them with advanced knowledge and techniques in meal planning and recipe development. Participants will learn how to create menus for special events, consider dietary restrictions when planning meals, and apply seasonality principles to their meal plans. IACP’s courses are taught by experienced culinary experts and offer valuable networking opportunities within the industry.

8. The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program

The Culinary Nutrition Expert Program, offered by the Academy of Culinary Nutrition, is a comprehensive online certification program that includes modules on meal planning and culinary nutrition. This course is suitable for nutritionists, chefs, and health enthusiasts looking to deepen their understanding of the connection between food and health. Participants will learn how to create customized meal plans, analyze recipes for nutritional value, and apply culinary techniques for optimal health benefits. This program also covers topics such as gut health, food allergies, and cooking for specific health conditions.

9. Stanford Introduction to Food and Health

Stanford University offers an online course called “Introduction to Food and Health,” which covers a range of topics related to nutrition and meal planning. Although not specifically focused on meal planning, this course provides a solid foundation in understanding the role of food in health and disease prevention. Participants will learn about macronutrients, micronutrients, and the impact of different diets on overall well-being. This course can be a valuable starting point for anyone looking to delve deeper into the world of nutrition before pursuing specialized meal planning courses.

10. FutureLearn: The Science of Medicines

FutureLearn offers a free online course called “The Science of Medicines,” which is ideal for those interested in the scientific aspects of meal planning. This course provides insights into the compounds and mechanisms behind the medicines we consume. While not a traditional meal planning course, it offers a fascinating perspective on the chemistry of food and its effects on the human body. Understanding these principles can be valuable in creating meal plans that address specific health concerns or optimize nutrition.


Whether you are a culinary professional, health coach, or simply someone passionate about cooking and wellness, there are numerous online meal planning courses and certifications available to enhance your expertise. From comprehensive programs like the Institute for Integrative Nutrition’s Health Coach Training to specialized courses such as eCornell’s Plant-Based Nutrition Certification, these online resources can equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to create personalized and balanced meal plans. By investing time and effort into these courses, you can unlock a world of possibilities to improve your culinary skills and assist others on their journey to better health and nutrition.