Kids and healthy eating habits do not usually go hand and hand. Healthy eating habits are learned rather than just acquired, but have you ever tried to teach kids to eat healthy? Well, here is a bit of a secret: since kids are more involved than ever with technology, harnessing the power of that technology is a great way to teach them something as mundane as healthy eating. Check out these apps to get you started.
This one has to top the list because it was inspired by and partly designed by an eight year old kid! An app designed by a kid for kids to promote healthy eating, what could be better? This is a great little app that provides simple recipes that kids can help make (or make on their own). Kids love the fact that they can try out recipes, take pictures, share them with friends, and recommend recipes as well. Get the kids in your classroom interacting about healthy food options, and their parents are likely to thank you! Platform: iPhone Cost: Free.
A cute and engaging app for preschoolers and kindergarten students, kids will love the interaction with Bo and his friends. The app reinforces the food groups, as well as making healthy eating choices. Three games are included to reinforce concepts and make health and nutrition fun. Platform: iPhone and iPad Cost: Free.
Recommended for kids around six years of age, this is another fantastic healthy eating app. It may be a bit more advanced than Nutrition and Healthy Eating!, so makes a great follow-up. The app features 16 free levels that involve sorting, stacking, and plating a variety of foods from the garden. A total of 64 levels are available, including lessons on recycling. Platform: iPhone/iPad Cost: first 16 levels free.
Everyone loves Elmo, and here is a great way to learn about healthy eating from our favorite furry friend! This app is actually an eBook designed for kids ages three to six. Flip through the pages to hear the story read. Be sure to tap on Elmo on each page to hear his questions, laughter, or other responses. Ten recipes are included. Platform: Windows Phone Cost: $1.99.
Like the Big Block Party, this is another eBook type app designed to help kids learn about healthy eating choices. The storyline is engaging and can be read by the app or a person. Three simple puzzles are included to reinforce the ideas, and various elements of the pages are interactive (producing sounds and expressions). Platform: iPad Cost: $2.99.
Catchy tunes collaborate with bright colors to create an attractive app for kids age three to six. The basic premise is teaching the names of colors, fruits, and vegetables, which is accomplished through games that required tapping and placing items in a shopping care, while disposing of rotten food in the recycle bin. Other modes require rapid fire feeding of healthy snacks to one of the characters. Platform: iPhone/iPod touch (also iPad compatible) Cost: $1.99.
Put a space twist on nutrition with this engaging app for kids age four and up. Meal orders are given to a cat who braves the dangers of space to gather ingredients and cook the meal. Various levels and storylines are available. The recipes can actually create healthy meals and are available for use. Platform: iPad Cost: $1.99.
Definitely for the older crowd, this app is great for teens learning healthy eating habits. One of the best features for kids in this age group is the ability to scan a barcode and see the nutrition grade for the food item (A to D). If the item does not get a passing grade, healthier options are suggested. The app can also be used to track calorie intake, dietary choices, and exercise: a great way to get teens started on the path to a healthy life. Platform: Android and iPhone/iPad/iPod touch Cost: Free.
A great app to teach kids about calories. Choose different foods and find out how much running or swimming you would have to do to burn those calories off. Helps kids learn to think before they put food in their mouths. Platform: iPhone and iPad Cost: Free.
This app will help kids learn about eating foods in season: why foods are healthier in their season, when to find which fruits and vegetables, and offer preparation tips and recipes. Platform: iPhone/iPad Cost: Free.
Samantha Kotey is the editor for AvatarGeneration and has a background in educational technology and virtual worlds. A mom of two, she is passionate about all things related to toys and technology.