Sunday, April 29, 2012

Be a Friend: Fooducate

Day 195
I use an app called Fooducate whenever I grocery shop.  You scan the bar code of a packaged item and the app provides a nutritional letter grade.  If the food item isn’t listed in the database, you can send in a photo of the item and app techies will add the item and notify you when it’s in the system’s updated. 

I love this app for lots of reasons but my top one, hands down, is how the app gets the kids to buy in to our plan to eat healthier.  I hand over my phone and let them scan away.  They happily report poor letter grades and (usually) return the items to the shelves unprompted. 

Let’s be clear: I don’t always make healthy food choices.  I try but fail as often as I succeed.  That’s why I try to make good choices at the grocery store.  I figure if I don’t bring it into the house, we can’t eat it.

So what’s this got to do with kindness and the price of tea at Kroger? 

While at the customer service desk I start telling the store clerk about Fooducate.  I pull out my phone and start scanning items out of my own cart.

“I’m always trying to eat healthy,” the clerk confesses.  “But it’s so confusing.  How do I read the labels?”

“I have no idea!” I say.  “That’s why I scan!”  I don’t elaborate that I’m functionally illiterate when it comes to translating nutritional labels.

You’d think I was some kind of app ambassador the way I gush. 

“It’s so easy!  You try.”  I hand her my phone. 

She starts scanning items lying around her desk. 

“This is so cool,” she agrees.  “What’s it called again?”

I tell her and watch her write it down. 

We should all be kind to our bodies.  Knowing this doesn't make it easy.  Eating healthy and exercising regularly is hard work.  If we have something, anything, that will make it easier, we should share it.         

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