Shop Smart with Fooducate!
It seems like every time we turn around, there is a new app that facilitates healthful diets and lifestyles. Fooducate is one of our latest favorites and it’s perfect for crafting interactive presentations.
One great way to start is by gathering a bunch of different foods that have some element in common. For example, grab a few different grain foods -- some healthful, some not. A combination of bread, whole grain pasta, regular pasta, white rice, brown rice, muffins, crackers, and cookies is a great place to start.
Lay out your varied items in a display before your participants arrive. Begin the session by helping everyone download Fooducate’s free app, which works on iPhones and Android devices. You can get Fooducate at http://www.fooducate.com/.
Explain Fooducate’s grading system and help participants navigate the mobile app. Once they have a handle on how it works, you can begin the activity, either in small groups or as a class.
To start, participants should look up the Fooducate grades for each item in your display, then rearrange those objects in order of healthfulness. For example, the spectrum might run (in order of highest to lowest grades): brown rice, whole grain pasta, 100% whole wheat bread, regular pasta, white rice, wheat crackers, white bread, blueberry muffin, chocolate chip cookies.
If you have the actual items, participants can scan the barcodes or look up the foods by name in the app. Otherwise they can just look up the names of each food.
Once everyone is finished, discuss the results of the rankings. What elements of these foods earned them good and bad grades? Why?
We recommend doing this activity with small groups. That way, people without smartphones can still participate. You can also use Fooducate’s website to evaluate foods if phone access is an issue and internet access is not.
It is wise to have a selection of foods for each group. If you do this, participants can spend more time working and less time waiting.
Stephanie Ronco has been editing for Food and Health Communications since 2011. She graduated from Colorado College magna cum laude with distinction in Comparative Literature. She was elected a member of Phi Beta Kappa in 2008.