Teenage girl buying colored peppers at a farmers market.
Image by Amanda Mills CDC

What comes to mind when you think of food?

What does it mean to you?

Maybe it’s this morning’s breakfast that you grabbed while running out the door to make it to class  or work on time.

Or perhaps it’s watching the famous chefs on the Food Network preparing gourmet dishes.

Or is it the feeling of soil crumbling between your fingers as you prepare a garden bed for the first seeds of spring?

Or maybe you think of the traditional foods of your family’s culture, recipes shared for generation to generation, and special foods shared around the holiday table.

In this book we present another dimension of food – the vehicle to deliver a variety of tiny molecules known as nutrients to your body. As you read, we hope you begin to understand that consuming foods with the right  mix of nutrients promotes wellness,  whereas the wrong may have detrimental effects on health.

In developing this open learning resource (OER), we leaned heavily on the previous work of other OER authors. In the spirit of open education, we’ve built on their foundation, updating it and tailoring the material to the needs of our students. In that same spirit, we’re sharing it so that others can use it or revise the content to meet their needs.

This OER is divided into 13  units that roughly correspond to one week of learning in our one-semester college course.  Each unit comprises six to ten sections. The end of each section includes self-check questions to test your understanding of the content. When possible, we’ve embedded short videos and links to website to expand upon and enrich the content of the text.

A note to students:  We hope you enjoy reading  this book and learn from it and wish you a lifetime of healthy  eating and wellness!

A note to educators:  We invite you to adopt this material as is or  modify it as needed for your teaching. We will appreciate your feedback, suggestions, and corrections regarding the content. If you plan to use this OER, we ask that you please contact Janet Colson at the address below so that we can track where the resource is being used and contact you if there are updates.

  • Janet Colson, PhD, RD
  • Nutrition and Food Science Coordinator
  • Middle Tennessee State University
  • Phone: 615 898 2091
  • Email:

Image Credit:

Photo by  CDC/Amanda Mills.  (2011) Source: Public Health Image Library at




Icon for the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Introduction to Nutrition and Wellness Copyright © 2022 by Janet Colson; Sandra Poirier; and Yvonne Dadson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

Share This Book