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.
Everybody say, “Ohm”: I Am Love Kids’ Yoga Journey
Who said yoga is only for adults? The I Am Love Kids’ Yoga Journey is a hand-drawn app that allows children to tap into their inner yogi and strike a pose. The interactive yoga app features 13 poses featuring children. Kids can also press the “Press the Breath” button to hear an affirmation. The “Guess What?” feature teaches children a new fact each time they press the button.
The product description says the app was developed to “help kids feel great about themselves and helps them experience increased concentration in a noncompetitive environment.”
The I am Love Kids’ Yoga Journey app is available at kidsyogajourney.com.
Yeah, I Can: fitsmi.com© and fitsmi2go©
The fitsmi.com© and fitsmi2go©apps were developed for teen girls who struggle with weight and self-image issues.
The site is designed to target America’s “seven million teen girls,” Linda Frankenbach, the app developer, says, “because that group will tell you they are concerned about their weight, and we knew that we could best reach teen girls on the Internet.”
Frankenbach’s own weight struggles as a teen prompted the idea for fitsmi.com.
The site provides an online community where teen girls who struggle with weight issues can find a refuge and support, receive educational information and set goals to stay on track. FitsmiForMoms.com, a companion site to fitsmi.com, is a Web community for parents of children struggling with being overweight.