Apps that Teach Kids About Nutrition

Posted on: 10.08.2017.

Author: Ana G

Some of the most important life lessons you can teach your children involve nutrition and healthy eating. Nowadays, childhood obesity rates are increasing all over the world. In the US particularly, obesity has tripled since the 1970s. Among school children aged 6 to 19, one in five is now considered obese. Introducing children to the concept of nutrition from an early age can help to counter this social trend.

While the food choices you make as a parent set an example for your kids, there are also some great apps that allow your kids to learn more about nutrition in their own time and in entertaining ways. 

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These apps are designed for young minds and come in numerous formats. Those for younger children may be more game-based, while those for older children offer basic learning or research tools on vitamins and minerals, food recommendations, and nutrition facts. Other apps might explain the digestive system or provide lessons in healthy meal preparation.

When kids learn how to be mindful of what they eat, they start asking questions. Age-appropriate apps that are also fun to use will provide your kids with all the information they need to make smart food choices and lead healthier lives.

 

This Is My Food – Nutrition for Kids

This app allows children to discover interesting facts about the food they eat. It includes information on food categories, classifications, nutrient benefits, and the digestive process. This Is My Food utilizes a highly interactive graphical format so kids aged 4 and above can learn through exploration. They will gradually learn about topics like grocery shopping, meal ideas, and developing positive dietary habits.

 

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This is also a great app for teaching your kids how to cultivate their own herb garden as a fun and healthy hobby. They will learn nutritional information and benefits of delicious herbs and get even more immersed in the experience with the ability to create their own garden journal using photos and audio recordings.

This Is My Food empowers kids to constantly learn about what qualifies as a well-balanced meal, and why it is important to growth and development. Your children will develop a habit of exploring a built-in knowledge base for further information and at the same time learn fun facts about fruits and vegetables, including agricultural information and the best seasons for growing them.

 

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Kids can navigate easily between five major sections. In "My Dishes", for instance, children can explore different meals and tap on each dish to learn interesting facts about its preparation and diet benefits. The "My Favorites" section allows them to take photos of foods or ingredients they want to include in their own meals. In "My Top 5", kids can keep track of the foods they have sampled and also the ones they like the best, with dynamic links and indicators of nutritional benefits.

Rather than boring energetic youngsters with pages of text, facts are presented in this app through interactive images and helpful voice narrations appropriate for children. Everything your kid learns about nutrition is also reinforced through games such as matching images or brief quizzes. This Is My Food will encourage your kids to learn about their own food choices in a visual, interactive format they'll enjoy using.

 

Eat and Move-O-Matic

Developed by New Mexico State University, the purpose of this app is to teach kids the relationship between diet and exercise. The app enables them to quickly compare the calories in the foods they eat to the time it takes to burn them off through various activities, such as dancing or playing sports.

 

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Compatible with most iOS devices, Eat and Move-O-Matic is an entertaining app with a strong visual theme that resembles a video game. Designed for kids aged 9 to 11, the app will provide tips on finding healthier alternatives to calorie-rich fast food such as pizza or donuts.

When children choose a particular food, its caloric information is immediately supplied. The selected food appears to the left while exercise and calorie-burning information appears to the right of the screen. Healthy choices are noted with a light bulb symbol and clicking on those options reveals additional tips.

By investigating the relative advantages and consequences of the foods they eat, kids are encouraged to make healthier choices.

 

Nicholas’ Garden

Designed for children aged 5 to 15, this app was inspired and influenced by a 9-year old boy. It takes a practical view of nutrition by emphasizing lessons on shopping and cooking. Consumerism is a part of our lives that has a huge impact on the choices we make. Nicholas’ Garden addresses the importance of this concept by implementing fun activities that lead to making more informed food choices.

Nicholas' Garden is a kid-friendly mobile app that allows children to create more nutritious recipes. They can use the app to create their own shopping lists and get help while preparing healthy snacks and meals for the whole family.

 

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Available for Android devices, it encourages interest in nutritious dining by allowing kids to put together their own recipes, both individually and in groups. They can review different types of produce or spices to invent original and healthy new dishes for the family table. They can also upload and share their recipes. Coming up with nutritious and tasty dishes will give your kids a sense of pride and accomplishment.

 

Smash Your Food

Your kids will love using this award-winning app. Not only will they learn about healthy eating, but also have fun as they smash digital junk food.

The app requires kids to guess the amount of ingredients like sugar, salt, and oil contained in the 10 most common foods they usually encounter, such as chips or sodas. After they pull a digital lever to smash the image in colorful explosions, they will learn what the real nutritional content is. While sugars, salts, and oils plop and drop into virtual measuring cups, the app’s audio and visual effects make things even more entertaining. Guessing the exact numbers will earn them two stars, while good estimates will get them one.

 

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The app also calculates nutritional requirements based on your child's weight, gender, and activity level to determine acceptable choices. Based on this information, the app displays personalized dietary recommendations in colorful charts.

The learning principle behind the app is to make a subconscious connection between unhealthy virtual food and food in real life. Some of the good habits that Smash Your Food app helps develop include checking and understanding the nutrition labels on grocery products. By making better guesses and reaching higher scores in the game, kids develop skills they can use while shopping for groceries.

 

Conclusion 

It is important to teach your children how to eat healthy as early as possible. For today's increasingly tech-savvy children, a very effective way of doing this is through apps that are fun and entertaining to use.

Before determining which app is right for your child, however, make sure to factor in your child’s age and interests. To be sure that the app is suitable for your child, a good idea is to test it yourself first. You will also want to check the app for any built-in advertising.

Apps are affordable teaching tools. With the right choice, you will find that other than providing educational entertainment, a nutrition app will also impart dietary guidance that can potentially benefit your children their entire lives.