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Eight-year-old Nicolas Come had an epiphany last year; while other kids his age were playing with their friends or mastering basic mathematics in school, the self-proclaimed, “Picky Eater” Nicolas decided to develop an entirely new, digital business model to support First Lady Michelle Obama’s efforts promoting healthier living and fighting childhood obesity. Knowing how much he enjoyed learning to grow his own food and cooking the resulting healthy ingredients with his family, he outlined and diagramed an idea for a mobile application and supporting technology that would be, “By Kids; For Kids” — allowing them to share healthy recipes, cooking training and tips, and other healthy options in an easy, fun, digital format.
Convinced and emboldened that his idea was important, Nicolas bravely pitched his idea (by himself, while standing on a chair) to over 90 technical experts during a recent Sacramento Hacker Lab Hackathon (a weekend coding competition), recruited a team of designers and content developers, and ultimately developed the concept for this new digital platform, known as “Nicolas’ Garden.”
The Nicolas’ Garden website and mobile app will allow children and families to share recipes, create meal plans and shopping lists, learn easy and fun cooking tips, play health-related games, and link to other healthy programs and services. In the next version, kids will earn points and badges for interactivity, healthy choices, and participation. A map of local healthy eating events will be available to support farmers markets, restaurants and other activities.
“It’s going to show kids that growing and cooking their own food can be fun,” describes Nicolas. “The ‘Nicolas’ Garden’ mobile app will let kids help their families be healthier and teach them that sharing our good food ideas can help everyone!”
Nicolas and his team will be launching the new mobile app and digital platform at Soil Born Farm’s annual, “A Day On The Farm” event on Sunday, May 19, 2013. Nicolas will be Soil Born Farm’s official, “Spokes-Kid,” promoting all of the farm’s hands-on activities, entertainment and year-round, educational programs. Nicolas and his volunteers will also man tables and host his own area at the Soil Born event to help parents and kids find and download the Nicolas’ Garden app, share recipes, host entertaining food games and vegetable jugglers, and other fun, hands-on activities.
“I’m really proud of him,” states Stephane Come, Nicolas’ Father and Nicolas’ Garden volunteer. “When Nicolas brought up the idea, I made a deal with him. I told him that if this was important to him, I would support his efforts, but he needed to take the first steps. The Hackathon and high-level designs were his first steps. Just a few months later, his mobile app and a nonprofit organization were born! He now has me and everyone around him believing that using the latest technology to communicate healthy messages is the best way to encourage children and their families to lead healthier lifestyles.”
Convinced that that Nicolas’ Garden Mobile app should be a vital tool to support Sacramento’s “Farm-to-Fork” initiative, Nicolas’ recently attended a Farm-to-Fork panel discussion and introduced to the attendees the Beta-version of the Nicolas’ Garden Mobile app, to an impressed and excited audience. He hopes to lead a fun, family event at Sacramento’s “Farm-to-Fork Festival” in September, in addition to linking his app to all of the “Farm-to-Fork” educational tools and programs in the next version.
Also, Nicolas is making an assertive effort to gain First Lady Michelle Obama’s attention regarding his mobile app and how it can support her efforts. He has submitted recipes that he developed for his mobile app to the First Lady’s Healthy Lunch student recipe contest, and will be lobbying heavily in the next few weeks to be chosen by the First Lady and judging panel to be California’s representative to the White House, to prepare his recipe at a State Dinner this summer. He also hopes to have an opportunity to interview and upload the First Daughters’ favorite recipe(s) to the Nicolas’ Garden mobile app, for children around the world to see and try.
“Kids my age and their families like mobile apps,” Nicolas concluded. “You can be anywhere in the world and share important information on a digital platform. I think if all kids shared recipes and other healthy links using my Nicolas’ Garden app, they would learn that growing and eating good food and being healthy can be fun!”
For further information regarding the Nicolas’ Garden mobile app, or the upcoming Nicolas’ Garden mobile app launch activities at Soil Born Farms’, “A Day On The Farm” event, please visit: https://www.facebook.com/NicolasGardenOrg and the Nicolas’ Garden website.
Source: Press Release