Vote by August 14 for Applications Designed to Help Children Learn about Healthy Lifestyle
Attention, kids and parents interested in nutrition and exercise! There will (soon) be an app for that!
Turns out the U.S. Department of Agriculture is embracing technology in trying to encourage children to embrace a healthy lifestyle. A special competition, which is part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! Campaign designed to end childhood obesity within a generation, is encouraging software developers, game designers, students, and other innovators to create fun and engaging software tools and games that help children, especially those ages 9-12, learn to eat better and be more physically active.
Nearly 100 submissions games and mobile applications have been submitted for consideration. You can try them out at this site and vote for your favorites through August 14. The public, along with a panel of judges, will determine the 12 winners, who will be awarded a total of $60,000 in prizes at a White House ceremony in the fall. There are five categories of apps: physical activity, calorie content, menu planner, MyPyramid and nutrition facts.
So what are some of the applications? Here’s a partial list:
- BreakPal, which focuses on fitness while sitting at the desk. This app provides micro-workouts that can be done in a small space and without equipment.
- Food Hero, which is a game designed to encourage kids to make nutritious food choices and become more physically active. Participants become a Food Hero by eating right and completing a set of running, biking and swimming challenges.
- Rhythmatics Kids, which encourages kids to walk, jog or run in pace with the beat of the music played by their mobile device.
- Fitropolis Stackers, which helps kids learn about fats, sugars and calories in food.
- Fitter Critters, which is a game platform focused on transforming children’s attitudes toward eating and nutrition. In the game, children are given responsibility to make nutritional choices for a virtual pet.
- Food Buster, which is a game that asks children to carefully stack food items so as not to break the scale due to calories, sugar and saturated fat.
- The Snack Neutralizer, which is a tool designed to be used in the classroom. The tool’s goal is to help students think about the consequences of what they eat.
- Work It Off!, which is a mobile application designed to teach children the correlation between the calories they consume and those that they burn.
- PapayaHead, which is a tool designed to allow each family member to develop a unique profile of food likes, dislikes, allergies and unique nutritional requirements.
- Tony’s Plate Calculator, which is an online tool to help children to calculate the nutritional value of a particular food, an entire recipe, or a full day’s worth of food.
- Chef Solus and the Food Pyramid Adventure, which is a video game that brings the food pyramid to life. Parents receive progress reports for each level that their child completes, as well as tips and activities about key nutrition messages that the child has learned through the game. This game is available in English and Spanish.
- Creature 101 Social Health Network, which creates a magical world known as “Tween.” In this world, previously healthy creatures are facing the consequences of food and lifestyle choices.
- Earn the Stars, which is a merit-based tool designed to educate, motivate, recognize and reward children for making good nutrition and fitness choices.
- Eating Madness, which is a fast-paced game in which the player must eat healthy food, avoid unhealthy food and limit their calories in order to win.
- Fit For Survival, which gives children control over a man who is stuck on an island. The child is responsible for helping the man eat a balanced diet each day to survive.
- Healthy Harvest Maze Game, which teaches children about fruit and vegetables.
- iNutri8-Basic,which involves solving a puzzle about the food pyramid.
- Kevin’s Build a Meal Tool, which helps children learn about calories and food servings as they develop a meal plan based on USDA guidelines.
- Lunch Line, which is a game that copies the school-lunch line, including multiple food choices.
- Pick Chow, which is a website that is designed to empower and inspire children and parents to embrace an active and healthy life.
- Revolting Vegetables, which is a game designed to help children learn how to eat a balanced diet.
- What Food Am I?, which is a game designed to help children assess the foods they’ve previously eaten, analyze their eating habits, and learn to eat a balanced diet.
- Smash Your Food, which helps children learn how much sugar, salt and oil may be hidden in their favorite food.
Take a few minutes to check these out and vote! Children everywhere will be thankful that you did!