Fooducate

Hi! Hope you all had a Merry Christmas (if you celebrate) and are looking forward to the New Year.

We had an awesome Christmas (I got an iPad!), but now it’s over and I’m moving on. I hate post-Christmas funk.

I’m feeling feisty, and ready for the fresh start January provides. I’ve been cleaning out my closets, reading New Year inspiration issues in my magazines and collecting healthy recipes to try. I’m also exploring the world of iPad apps. I’ve had an iPhone for almost a year now, and I love it, but never got into the app thing. On my iPad, however, I’m kinda diggin’ them. Early adopter I am not.

As you might imagine, I’m excited about the vast array of health and fitness apps. There are apps for recording your exercise, food intake, calorie counts, Weight Watchers points, etc. Those are all well and good, and if they appeal to you, give them a try. But the app I’m super excited to share with you is called Fooducate. Granted, I’ve only tried it around my house a little bit so I’m no expert, but so far, it seems pretty awesome.

Simply open the app and scan the barcode of the food you’re curious about. If it’s in the database, you’ll quickly see this:

Image: fooducate.com

Sure, you can get calorie content and an ingredient list by looking at the nutrition label. But if you don’t know what that information means, you’re no better equipped to make a healthy choice. What I love about this scan is that it gives you a grade and summarizes the good and bad in easy-to-understand language. For example, I scanned the Pure Protein bars that Mike likes, and got some unappealing information:

  • “C” grade
  • Contains controversial artificial sweeteners
  • Contains MSG
  • Heavily processed product

When you see it laid out like that, the information hits a little harder.

So what should Mike eat instead? Fooducate helps with that too, providing a tab with healthier alternatives, and a tab to compare products.

What I think I may love most about this app? The possibilites when grocery shopping with kids. Let’s say you’re at the store, and your kid is begging for chocolate crispy cookie cereal or something equally junky. “Sure,” you say. “You can have that–if it scores a “B” or better. Of course it won’t, but you won’t be the bad guy, and you’ve got a great teaching moment to explain why certain foods are healthier than others.

So far the only thing I don’t like is that some common products I tried to scan didn’t register, though those were mostly store brands or specialty-type products. It’s possible that if I forked out $4.99 for the paid version of the app, I might have access to a better database, but right now I’m sampling the free version.

How about you, resourceful readers? Do you have any apps you’re lovin’ on right now? By all means, please share.

Btw, this post was in no way sponsored by Fooducate. They have no idea I exist. I just like to share cool stuff with you.

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5 thoughts on “Fooducate

  1. Vicki says:

    Hi there wishfit. I subscribe to your blog updates in Google Reader. Did you end up buying the pay version of the Fooducate app? I’m gonna have to check it out.

    • wishfit says:

      So far I’ve only been using the free version, which has been good enough. I don’t use it constantly, but if I have a question about the worth of a certain product, it’s great. Plus, it really works as a teaching tool with my kids. There are some products that don’t show up (usually smaller brands) which can be annoying as I often buy more off label type foods. There is the option to take photos of the food and the nutrition label; then send it to the Fooducate people so they can update the database. I’ve done that a couple of times. I’d imagine the paid version offers a better database of brands. What I really like is that along with grading foods, the app also includes a few bullet points as to why it got the score it did. You can click on those bullet points for a little bit more information if you choose. You’ll have to let me know if you get the paid version!

      Thanks for the comment, and for subscribing!

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