Here’s the second installment of my guide to the top 10 apps for health! With all of the great resources available today, it can be much easier to make informed and balanced choices.
Guide to Vegan and Vegetarian Food Ingredients: If you are a vegetarian or thinking about eating a more plant-based diet, then you will want to download this free app from the Vegetarian Resource Group (www.vrg.org). Its guide to deciphering 200 food label ingredients will help explain food sources. Plus, the app offers links to the VRG resource store and newsletters.
Salad Secrets: Pledges to eat more vegetables are much easier to uphold with this healthful collection of 55 chef-inspired salad recipes to boost your vitamin and mineral intake while reducing your risk of heart disease. With this app, you can choose from 5 salad categories -- enjoy the gorgeous photography and helpful cooking tips.
Restaurant Nutrition: Tired of asking for nutrient analyses when dining out? The Restaurant Nutrition app is here to save the day! Consult it when choosing where to dine, or search its database of over 60,000 foods while reading menus at over 250 restaurants. You can also search by diet plans and food allergies, set diet goals, and log progress.
Max's Plate: Share this free app with the kids in your life. Max's Plate teaches kids about food groups using the USDA’s MyPlate format. It also serves as a food tracker -- sections of a divided plate disappear each time a food group serving is eaten. This app won an honorable mention in the US Surgeon General's 2012 Healthy App challenge.
Food Focus: Fruits: Gamification is the hottest trend in health education. This app challenges young and old, new cooks and experienced chefs alike to identify macro close-up photos of a wide variety of fruit. Tired of the same 4 fruit choices? This app teaches identification of 50 different fruits to jazz up your meals and add more vitamins and minerals to your diet. Players agree -- "It's plum fun!" Look for its companion app, Veggie Garden Palooza, in the App Store soon.
2013 promises continued development of an exciting, evolving menu of food and nutrition apps. If you are hungry for more ideas, check out the ebooks, An App A Day and An App A Day for Health Professionals, available at www.AppyLiving.com. Both offer over 400 app suggestions in about a dozen categories, including nutrition, grocery store shopping, cooking, restaurants, fitness, health games, disease management, and more!
By Catherine Frederico, MS, RD, LDN
Catherine Frederico is a nutrition and food science professor in New England. She is an app developer and was part of the teams that created App reSolutions, Max's Plate, and Food Focus: Fruits.
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.