A apple

Robert Fulghum reminded us with his 1988 best-selling book, All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten, that yes, as a matter of fact, naps are very (very, very) good things, sharing is fun and it’s always important to say you’re sorry when you hurt someone, even if it was an accident. If we can remember the great lessons about playing fair, being aware of wonder and why it’s not ok to hit people, we can get on fairly well. Kindergarten is also the perfect time to develop a healthy relationship with food. The longer we wait, the harder it is to instill good eating habits, as we’re seeing now with some kindergarteners already obese and pre-diabetic. That’s right, those cookies and cow’s milk before nap time? How about trading them in for organic apple slices and homemade almond milk? And, yes of course, there’s an app for that.

Munch 5-a-Day is a free iPhone app that rewards positive eating habits with its unique kid-friendly game mechanics and stunning visuals such as roaming sheep and hot air balloons. Users can set goals to make sure they reach their recommended daily intake of fruits and vegetables and earn reward badges, like the “Talking Tomato” designed to keep them on target with healthy food goals. 

Users tap the fruit and veggie icons on the screen each time a serving is consumed and the app records it on a daily goal bar visible on the home screen. When the day’s goals are reached, a congratulations message is displayed. Users can also share their progress through social media channels, and encourage their community to eat healthy as well.

From Michelle Obama to Alice Waters, instilling a healthy relationship with food—especially for our nations children—is a priority than cannot be overstated. The World Health Organization recommends a minimum of 14 oz (400g) of fruits and vegetables every day to help maintain a healthy body and prevent diseases such as cancer, obesity, diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Keep in touch with Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

Image: Pink Poppy Photography