What You Should Know About Cultural Competence As A Dietitian Nutrition Coach

by | Jun 16, 2021

As a dietitian nutrition coach, you can best serve your clients with greater cultural competence. We must educate ourselves on the unique needs and challenges that clients of different cultural backgrounds may face. This allows us to be better equipped to work with others and help build long-term healthy habits that work for their life! Before we dive deeper into this topic, allow me to introduce myself: 

My name is Tony Stephan and I’m a dietitian business coach. I help RDs make more IMPACT and more INCOME through nutrition coaching. However, before I became a dietitian business coach, I was a dietitian nutrition coach just like you. I served thousands of nutrition coaching clients over a time span of 12 years. My successful nutrition coaching business is what led me to where I am today. Now, let me share with you some tips on becoming a more culturally competent RD nutrition coach so you can best serve your clients!

What Is Cultural Competence?

Being culturally competent requires having a commitment to understand the beliefs and behaviors of others. It also means being able to reflect and converse about our own beliefs, attitudes, morals, skills, and thoughts that may affect our encounters and the services we provide to those of different cultural backgrounds. 

You must develop a level of self-awareness about your own beliefs and attitudes in addition to those of your clients. This means you should commit to understanding the following:

  • food preferences
  • cultural dietary practices
  • potential barriers to good health

Why Is Cultural Competence Important?

As a dietitian nutrition coach, you must understand that healthy eating habits will look different across different ethnic or cultural communities. Nutrition recommendations should be highly individualized based on the client’s culture, food preferences, geographic location, and food accessibility. The more individualized your recommendations can be, the greater your client will like you and trust you. The more trust you have, the more effective your nutrition coaching will likely be! 

If cultural differences are not acknowledged and understood, it will be difficult to positively impact your client’s health and wellbeing. 

How Can I Be More Culturally Competent As An RD Nutrition Coach?

Transcultural C.A.R.E. Associates is an organization that provides cultural competence information to health professionals. According to their expertise, there are five pillars we should aim to achieve. These include cultural awareness, encounters, knowledge, skill, and desire.

As an RD nutrition coach you have to develop awareness by first reflecting on your own beliefs, attitudes, and food culture. Cultural knowledge involves acknowledging where you lack knowledge. (Yes, we ALL lack some knowledge in this regard!) Then, you can commit to doing your own research to learn more about other cultures and their food practices or traditions. With a desire and commitment to serve, you can develop cultural skills to appropriately customize nutrition coaching for your clients! 

Remember, the United States is full of such a wide variety of cultures! Therefore we must be able to understand the cultural food and health beliefs of our clients to provide the MOST effective support. 

If you are a dietitian looking to start your own nutrition coaching side hustle or build a thriving 6-figure business, you’ve come to the right place. I’m proud to be a part of the movement of dietitian entrepreneurs who are making more IMPACT and more INCOME! In the Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification, we teach our students how to set their dietitian nutrition coaching business up for success.

The Dietitian Nutrition Coaching Certification

Designed for RDs who want to connect their formal education into real world application!

Recent Posts


Take My FREE Training

Online Nutrition Coaching Business Blueprint Training

Join Our
Facebook Community

for Dietitians & Nutrition Experts