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Kids health: There’s an app for that by Kimberly N. Alleyne | August 30, 2012 at 9:19 AM

August 30, 2012

Class is back in session and kids are donning the latest fashions, tweeting about classes, and trying to stay a download ahead of the latest technology trends.

But, before the juggle of homework, exams and pep rallies blur each school day, tech-loving students, and their parents, can tap or click their way to health and fitness success.

Research by University of Illinois researchers suggests that physical activity boosts academic performance, so if kids want to stay at the head of the class and keep health and fitness a top priority, there is an app for that.

Guessing Game: Smash Your Food

The Smash Your Food app makes a guessing game of learning caloric content of foods. Kids watch a HD video of high-calories foods being smashed, guess the amount of sugar, sodium and oil, and then pull a lever to reveal the right answers.

The app, the brain child of Marta De Wulf, a private-practice nutritionist in Seattle, was a winner in first lady Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids contest in 2010.

“The objective is for children to learn nutrition by leveraging the latest technology, and to empower them to make healthy decisions for the right reason, not because they’re told to,” De Wulf says.

Kids watch as individual foods, such as fries and doughnuts, and whole meals, such aS hamburgers, fries and soda are smashed. They can then advance to different levels by earning points based on their game play. An android app is in development.

“It’s been interesting to see the behavior changes children are making,” De Wulf says.


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