Food Explorer Club (iOS Version 1.0.2)

Synopsis of the App: Food Explorer Club is described as an app for the parents of “picky” eaters.

Price and Platform: Free. Apple and Android

RDN Score: 3/5

Pros

  • Designed by and for parents, Food Explorer Club turns trying new foods into a game allowing kids to earn badges and rewards for making healthful food choices.
  • Parents define the badges and assign points and rewards for trying new foods.
  • Parents are in control of what the child sees in the app.
  • Users can create a profile for each child, allowing siblings to get competitive by watching who earns the most points.
  • Includes badges for different foods, vitamins and behaviors.
  • Parents can define and add different rewards and points, from simple rewards such as sitting in Dad’s chair to going to the zoo.
  • Includes fun and educational facts under each badge, such as “There are over 7,500 kinds of apples in the world” in the apple badge.

Cons

  • Requires family sharing and asks for an email address, names and birthdays that may be privacy concerns.
  • Setting up the rewards and badges can take some time and requires the child to access the app to view rewards.
  • Parents might walk a fine line to avoid vilifying certain foods.
  • Includes optional reward ideas such as “dessert,” which may have a negative impact on the child’s relationship with food over time.
  • App tends to freeze when transitioning from screen to screen.

Bottom Line: Food Explorer Club might work for parents who have a bit more time on their hands. Although the kid-friendly design is appealing, the point system may add a degree of complexity to the process of introducing new foods to children.

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Marisa Moore
Marisa Moore, MBA, RDN, LD, is based in Atlanta and specializes in culinary nutrition, communications and consulting. She blogs at marisamoore.com. Follow her on Instagram and Twitter.