3 Mobile Services That Enhance Health and Nutrition Curricula
Ten years ago, health and nutrition curricula were required to focus on the attainment of knowledge related to healthy consumption. We heavily relied on the obtainment of factual knowledge that would later be used to recall the nutritional value of foods; this was the method employed to insure that what we were consuming was nutritionally sound. Since lack of awareness was a contributing factor influencing poor eating habits, knowledge attainment was the natural first priority.
The problem with this approach? We forget facts, and reported nutritional values evolve as new research emerges.
In today’s world, there’s an abundance of organized, dynamic information readily accessible at our fingertips. Resulting from the cultural revolution of mobile devices, access to information is no longer isolated to specific demographics and isn’t contingent upon location. This considered, schools should move along the continuum and shift their focus from knowledge acquisition to the employment of tools that utilize this knowledge.
We learn best when learning is most relevant; mobile services provide opportunities for meaningful and timely learning. Here are three outstanding services that leverage the power of mobility to provide valuable, on-the-spot nutritional information:
The feedback children need to make healthy consumption decisions doesn’t need to be complex. A simple statement of “that’s good food” or “that’s bad for you” is enough to positively influence decisions. This app provides simple, meaningful information.
App store description:
“We all buy products at supermarkets, go to bars and restaurants and want to be healthy. However, it’s not always easy to figure out whether you choose a healthy dish. FoodMeter is created to help you make the right choice and select healthier foodstuff and dishes.
There’s no more need to carefully examine various nutrition facts and microelements tables to find out whether the food you’ve chosen is worth eating. It takes only pressing one button and you will get a simple evaluation with explanations that will be clear even for a child. The evaluation is presented in a diagram form and is based on the Food Score system. Operating the application takes a few seconds and it won’t distract you from your shopping or a dinner in the restaurant.
You can search food items both by the barcode (you can use the in-built scanner or to enter the barcode manually) and by their names and brands. Moreover, you can also search dishes by the restaurants brand name.”
Calorie Count Mobile has apps available on popular smart phones, but what makes them stand out is their nutritional texting service. This makes retrieval of nutritional information accessible by anyone with a texting-compatible device, which is a huge population. By texting the number 432584, followed by “food ___________”, where the blank represents your food choice, you’ll receive a text with basic nutritional information.
Here’s a brief, relevant description of their iPhone app from the app store:
“Key features of the Calorie Count app include:
- An easy-to-use graphical dashboard that allows you to navigate through the app while being able to quickly visualize your dieting progress.
- One of the most comprehensive nutritional analyses of food consumption against daily targets among calorie counting iPhone apps.
- The ability to quickly search and log more than 100,000 food items.”
3. “Hey Mom” SMS Service
You won’t find this for sale in any app store. The Food Scanner app and the texting service are outstanding tools, but human interaction is irreplaceable. Informed parents are an ideal source of health information for children. In the past, it was socially unacceptable to call mom or dad to check nutritional information. With the ease of texting, nobody has to know. Support your child’s healthy eating habits by encouraging them to text you for help.
Feel free to leave comments and feedback below or on the K12 Mobile Learning Facebook page.
Special thanks to simmbarb for providing the image listed for the “Hey Mom” SMS service.