Navigating your child through the world of health can be a daunting task and a huge responsibility. The information your kids learn now will set the framework for how they navigate food and fitness for years to come, and into adulthood.
As tablets and smartphones gain more prominent roles in our children’s lives, we’re leaping at the opportunity to share how they can benefit you, too.
These child-friendly and super-fun apps will start the conversation surrounding health.
The best part? They’re FREE!
WebMD Baby (0-2)
Congratulations! If you’re a very recent parent, this app will be your saviour. WebMD Baby is your one-stop-shop for documenting those special first moments in one place, with tips on how to recover from pregnancy, too. It’s a computerized diary that also sends you parenting and medical tips based on your child’s unique health needs. From feeding, to napping, to diaper changing, to paediatrician visits, you won’t miss a beat. (Available on iOS and Android)
Nutrition and Healthy Eating (3-5)
This fun and interactive app goes back to basics by introducing toddlers to the food groups. Thanks to its vibrant graphics and cheerful sound effects, youngsters will treat this lesson in health and nutrition as they would an afternoon of cartoons. Bo, the jolly main character, invites users to prepare healthy feasts for her friends’ parties. (The Nutrition and Healthy Eating app is only available on iOS)
Nicolas’ Garden (6-8)
Designed by an eight-year-old – and intended for that demographic – Nicolas’ Garden allows you to take pictures of your food, submit recipes and share them with your peer on the app. In doing so, children are introduced to serving sizes and prep time, while helping them develop an understanding of the components of a healthy meal. Plus, “Nicolas Approved” recipes like mini chicken burritos and grilled Russian kale seem like “parent-approved” options, too. (Available on iOS and Android)
Want to teach your children the relationship between food and exercise? Spin the wheel with Eat-And-Move-O-Matic. Not only does it indicate the caloric value of certain portions of your children’s favourite foods, it outlines the exercise necessary to burn it off, too. This game, though engaging and comprehensive, requires a basic understanding of math, so it’s suitable for elementary students in higher grades. The only caveat? There’s no option to customize your child’s height, weight and age, so the caloric expenditures are all estimates. (Only available on iOS)
It’s never too late in the game to get excited about health and fitness – and this is where Endomondo comes in. This community-driven app succeeds as an accessible resource for teenage boys and girls. Challenge your friends to some friendly athletic competition to boost results. If you’d rather make fitness a solo endeavour, the app is useful for logging personal stats and setting goals. (Available on iOS and Android)
Calorie Counter (Parents)
As parents, it’s in your best interest to eat – and pack – lunches that are chock-full of nutrients and low on the bad stuff. Calorie Counter provides the pros and cons of certain foods with easy-to-digest grade sheets. Type the food in manually or scan the barcode of the package to get the verdict. It sheds light on nutrition way beyond calories. (Available on iOS and Android)
Family Health Compass (Whole family)
Make Family Health Compass part of family game night by tracking vital information like blood pressure, body composition, and steps taken in a day with its built-in pedometer. Fun and easy to use for the whole family, the app evaluates your health in the most holistic sense. It’s a great organizational tool, too, since the data of your family can be stored within. (Available on iOS and Android)