Imagine going to the grocery store with peanut butter on your list. When you get there, you realize there are over 20 different types of peanut butter – smooth, chunky, light, reduced fat, natural, organic, etc. Then, try to compare the nutrition labels and ingredients. This is a difficult task! We know healthy eating is important. However, too many choices, difficult words, and limited time make such selection frustrating. Well, it has just gotten a bit simpler – all you need is a smart phone. Here are some phone apps (most are free) for you and your students that make healthy eating as easy as pie.
FOODUCATE (free – iTunes or Android)
Fooducate is an app that allows you to scan a food item’s UPC barcode – it then displays a grade (A through F) for the nutrient density of that food – the more dense with nutrients, the better it is for you. The grading takes into account such things as high salt content, high fructose corn syrup, additives, trans fats, and artificial colors and flavors. Each food item is graded, calories and notes are provided, and healthier food choices are listed as alternatives.
WATER WORKS ($1.99 – iTunes)
The Water Works app tracks how much water you drink in a day, and then charts your progress over time. The more water you drink, the more water fills the on-screen jug until you reach your goal. Especially in these scorching summer months, it is important to stay hydrated – this app will help you do just that.
5-A-DAY (free – iTunes)
Similar to the water app, this app records the number of fruits and vegetables you eat each day. Fun sounds and screen rewards encourage you to eat more produce, a great way to get nutrients and fiber. The app also tracks and charts your progress for the day, week, and month so you can see your improvement.
LOCAVORE ($2.99 – iTunes)
Seasonal produce is often the most affordable and best tasting. Plug your state into this app, and it will list the foods that are at their peak freshness. It also maps the locations of nearby farmer’s markets, so you can buy locally too.
NUTRITION TIPS (free – iTunes and Google Play [Android])
The Nutrition Tips app is just that – over 500 useful tips to help you remember, understand, and learn good nutrition.
RESTAURANT NUTRITION (free – iTunes and Android)
At home, you know exactly what you put into a dish when cooking. When you go out to eat, however, it is hard to know exactly what you are eating and whether it is as healthy as you might think. This app provides the calorie, carbs, protein, and fat content for more than 60,000 menu items in over 250 restaurants, helping you find the nutrition fit that works for you.
GOOD FOOD NEAR YOU (free – iTunes)
If you’re hungry and can’t decide where to go for dinner, this app is perfect. Type in your location, and this app will list healthy options at nearby restaurants – based on fat content or based on the distance from your location.
Now there are no excuses – healthy eating is just a click away. Enjoy – bon appétit!