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Child Nutrition: There's an App For That!

5 Great Apps to Teach Children about Nutrition

Fitday Editor

In our increasingly health-conscious society, much attention has turned to helping children learn more about food and nutrition to ultimately live healthier lifestyles. Research has demonstrated that doing food-related things together such as cooking, eating family meals and preparing snacks can elicit an interest in healthy eating. And for the tech-savvy kids? There’s an app for that! With a variety of formats, nutrition apps for mobile devices can help kids learn about food groups, nutrition facts, cooking methods, and healthy food choices through fun games and tools.

In a review done for the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, the following five apps were identified as fun, useful and kid-friendly tools for learning about the importance of food as fuel for the body.

Veggie Circus Farm

An app designed for young children, Veggie Circus Farm helps children learn about their vegetables. Directed by Brianna the butterfly or Brian the bee, the app teaches kids the names of vegetables and their basic nutrition benefits. The fun graphics and engaging games help children learn about vegetables and increases some foundational learning skills at the same time.

Eat and Move-O-Matic

This app helps kids to understand the relationship between food and exercise. They can learn about the foods they eat and how they help fuel their body for their favorite activities. The app matches the calories they eat with the time it takes to burn them off, with activities that range from doing homework to dancing to running. Eat and Move-O-Matic also offers ideas and tips for healthy alternatives to high-calorie foods like burgers and fries.

Smash Your Food

Enjoyed by children and adults alike, this popular app lets users smash food to see its actual sugar, salt and oil content. Kids will enjoy smashing real images of burgers, crushing milkshakes, exploding cans of soda and pounding pizza to smithereens. Kids can also compare the smashed numbers to what is recommended for these items. App masters can unlock or buy new fridges to keep the smashing and learning going.

Perfect Picnic

Perfect Picnic makes children the master of their own picnic park, teaching food safety skills with a goal to create the safest picnic operation in the park. Kids learn the importance of washing their hands before handling food, using thermometers to measure internal food temperatures, keeping perishable foods at safe temperatures, and keeping preparation surfaces clean. In managing their picnic park and keeping park visitors happy, kids can learn how to make the biggest and best picnic park in town!

Healthy Heroes 1 & 2: Nutrition for Kids

As the Healthy Heroes, kids are charged with the task of saving the city of Yogopolis from Hungry Monsters. By fending off the Hungry Monsters with healthy foods such as fruits and vegetables, kids can learn what foods fit into these nutrition-packed food groups and the value of healthy eating habits. In Healthy Heroes 2, children must again work to save their world by journeying to find the five food groups to restore nutritional balance, using the USDA’s MyPlate model.

With kids being connected and online more than ever before, embracing technology can be a very effective way to deliver valuable information. This is particularly true when it comes to guiding them towards healthier lifestyles. Nutrition apps can not only educate kids about better nutrition and exercise, but also entertain them in the process – making them a wonderful way to cultivate healthy learning!

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Sarah Dreifke is a freelance writer based in DeKalb, IL with a passion for nutrition education and the prevention of chronic disease. She holds a Bachelor of Science in both Dietetics and Life Sciences Communication from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Currently, she is working towards a combined Master's Degree in Nutrition and Dietetics as well as a dietetic internship at Northern Illinois University.

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