When it comes to teaching kids good nutrition, few ideas can compare with smashed burgers and veggie-eating monsters. A look at seven kid-friendly nutrition apps we love.
Three cheers for cyber nutrition! Without it, how else would kids get access to treat-seeking robots and flying carrots?
We speak here of apps designed to enlighten kids about good nutrition. From university-designed trivia games to a junk food smasher, these apps offer relevance to kids across age groups.
And boy are there a lot of them! So we took time to learn about many. Following are what we consider some of the best for teaching kids about veggie nutrition.
This is My Food – Nutrition for Kids Designed for kids from kindergarten through second grade, this app offers activities that support to basic healthy-eating habits. Kids can rate different foods, learn about the various mealtime ingredients and build their own sandwiches. Engaging illustrations encourage kids to learn through exploration.
Smash Your Food Want to see what’s in that doughnut? This entertaining app shows kids of all ages what’s in the foods they eat – literally. A smashing device squishes burgers, pies, beverages and other snacks. It then reveals how much salt, sugar and oil each contains. A web game as well, it offers healthy food alternatives while providing parents with tips. Bonus: This app won Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids contest!
Snack Planet Thanks to the University of Nebraska, Lincoln, for this one. The app dispatches a robot, Optimis, to promote healthy snacking and exercise. The goal is to assist Optimis through a maze while the clock runs. Along the way the player grabs healthy foods. Kids can dance and skip with Optimis, but if they let him take unhealthy snacks, the time and score are reduced.
Healthy Heroes – Nutrition for Kids Monsters have run amuck! It’s up to the kids who play (and become) Healthy Heroes to stop them. Hungry monsters have come to destroy Yogopolis, and the only way to stop them is by feeding them fruits and veggies (junk foods make the monsters angry). This game relies on the nutritional knowledge of the players to do so. Made for kids ages 6 to 8, Healthy Heroes is an adventurous way to learn about good nutrition.
Catch the Carrot Here, kids are challenged to answer a range of trivia questions about different foods, including veggies. When a question is answered correctly, food falls from the virtual sky and the player must catch it in a shopping cart. Points are earned with each food item in the cart. But players have to beware about overfilling – if they move too fast, the goods can tumble out! It is designed to be played as a family game or used individually.
ZisBoomBah The goal of this app is to make healthy choices a part of a kid’s daily routine. It does this through quests that combine real-life activities with games. Along the way, kids learn about healthy food, how to eat better, the psychological issues around eating well and fun ways parents and kids can cook together. It also includes kid-friendly recipes. Made for kids in first through sixth grade.
Veggie Circus Farm Research shows that kids are more likely to eat foods they recognize. This app helps do that by taking kids 1 to 2 year old to Veggie School. There, they learn about 15 veggies, including their pronunciation. There’s also a Veggie Play feature, so kids can play games with veggies and exercise their brain skills. The Veggie Show, meanwhile, is a circus that helps kids remember their different veggies. Kids earn sticker prizes that they can play with on the Prize Page.
These apps should help make eating better a team task. Before loading any app, we advise reading its reviews and making sure it’s a good fit for you and your kid. Ideally, the app will leave enough of an impression to influence healthy everyday activities.