Mobile apps for Obama's Apps for Healthy Kids

By Brian Dolan

Apps for Healthy Kids competitionFirst Lady Michelle Obama's Apps for Healthy Kids competition website just posted 95 apps that aim to encourage kids (or encourage their parents) to make healthier decisions and help curb childhood obesity. The competition, which is part of the First Lady's Let's Move campaign, aims to drive the country closer to achieving Obama's stated goal of eliminating childhood obesity within one generation. Some $60,000 in prizes are in play, too. While the competition also includes Web apps, within the 95 entrants, we noticed a half-dozen or so were specifically created for mobile platforms (iPhone and Android mostly).

Here's a quick rundown of a few of the mobile apps in the Apps for Healthy Kids competition -- follow the links for more information on the app, including a video pitch for each:

Rhythmatics Kids: "It's like Guitar Hero for running" -- Walk, jog, or run in pace with the beat of the music, matching each step on time. With your mobile device secure, match your footsteps (i.e. your pace) to the rhythm as a fun fitness activity. Earn personal high scores and share them! Android capable devices only. More

Work It Off! This mobile application for Android phones teaches children the correlation between the calories they eat and the calories they burn. The user verbally speaks a food (e.g. hamburger) into the phone and is given options to Work It Off! This application benefits all age groups. It is especially fun for kids because it turns learning about calories and exercise into an entertaining, interactive game that they can play with their friends. More

Healthy Balance: Healthy Balance is an Android 2.1 mobile phone application that helps you maintain a balanced and healthy diet. Using the USDA Nutrition Dataset, it is a tool to highlight proper dietary habits, emphasizing on the daily consumption of the appropriate amount of calories, grains, vegetables, fruits, dairy, meat & beans and essential oils. It also keeps track of all the “extra” calories you consume through out the day. Healthy Balance keeps it simple so that logging your food is not such a choir and since it's on your mobile phone, it's available where ever you go. With a better understanding of how much and what kind of foods you're consuming, you'll be able to make better choices on portion size and food selection. More

iNutri8-Basic: Solve the puzzle for the food pyramid. It is simple, it is intuitive. All you need to do is figure out a way to fill in all the food groups and stay within the pyramid with what you eat! Runs on the iPhone and iTouch. More

Food Find: Food Find is an iPhone application that promotes physical activity while testing player knowledge of food groups. Players go to a park, field, or other large outdoor space and launch the game, then enter their initials, select how long they want to play, and decide whether they want to compete against computer-generated opponents. More

Pop Food: Pop Food is a fun iPhone/iPod touch/iPad game where kids learn food groups by spelling food names. When a round starts, the game shows the food group to which the food name to spell belongs. Each letter of the food is then shown on the screen, floating above a beautiful background, bouncing against each other. Kids quickly try to find which food name it is, e.g. "BANANA", and when they spelled out the complete word, BONUS messages great them with additional information about this food, e.g. "HIGH IN POTASSIUM". With Pop Food, kids have a fun time to learn food groupds and how to spell food names. More

LabelGuide: With LabelGuide, Choosing Safer, Healthier Foods For Your Family Has Never Been Simpler... From any phone, and from any browser, our app at is empowering average citizens with facts about the quality of their food supply - without any added hype or cynicism. Our free app has three powerful tools to help you get the most out of your meals. More