First Lady Michelle Obama’s “Let’s Move” campaign has raised awareness about the problem of childhood obesity. A new app called Smash Your Food, now available in the Apple App Store for $2.99, aims to make it easier for parents and kids to learn about healthy foods together.
Smash Your Food was the winner of Michelle Obama’s “Apps For Healthy Kids” National Contest and was selected from hundreds of submitted games by industry leaders, including Mark Pincus, CEO Zynga (Farmville), and Steve Wozniak, Co-Founder, Apple Computer. Developers were challenged to “develop fun and engaging software tools and games that drive children, especially tweens (ages 9-12) – directly or through their parents — to eat better and be more physically active”.
The concept behind Smash Your Food was developed by a nutritionist with over 20 years of experience working with children. A giant robot smashes 40 real foods like burgers, french fries, milkshakes, soda and more. Then it shows how much fat, sugar and oil is contained in each food. Kids like watching the mess on the HD video, and they (and perhaps their parents) might even learn more about healthy eating habits. There’s a guessing component to the game, and I consistently guessed wrong. For example, I was shocked to discover that a medium milk shake contains almost 25 cubes of sugar! I had guessed there were 10 cubes of sugar– less than half of the real amount. Overall, I felt empowered to change our eating habits in easy ways but cutting out foods that I didn’t realize were so unhealthy.