Healthy Eating Apps to Keep Your Diet on Track

By Joni Garcia, MS, RD

The holiday season can make sticking to your normal diet routines nearly impossible. Luckily, your smart phone can be your friend in helping you keep eating escapades in check this time of the year.

Why apps?
Smart phone apps can help you to stay accountable, which can be heaven sent when schedules become hectic. With the touch of an app button, you can launch a quick and easy search for healthy recipes, navigate grocery store shelves, restaurant menus, and even locate places for a more wholesome meal or snack. There are hundreds of these apps available, all geared towards food, health, and nutrition, but it can be daunting to search through them all. Here are some of my favorite food and healthy eating apps.

This app helps users navigate grocery aisles by providing a grade for each food. It takes into account the food’s nutrients, ingredients, and amount of processing. It also lets you compare products, highlights less healthy ingredients, gives you ideas for healthier alternatives, and provides many fun food facts. Fooducate’s health tracker has features that allow users to track their food intake as well as exercise records each day. It is available for free download on Android and iPhone.

Kids LiveWell
This app is your answer to healthy meals for your kids when they areaway from home. Kids LiveWell helps pinpoint healthy meal options at many restaurants and restaurant chains across the country. It highlight whole grains, lean protein, and lowfat dairy. Although this app focuses on children menus, it can also be used as a guide for making healthier choices for adults. It is available for free download on iPhone.

Food Tripping
This app helps you find local food options, no matter where you are. Food Tripping uses your phone’s location services to find places to eat that are close in proximity and focuses on those who emphasize local foods, like farmers’ markets, restaurants, coffee shops, and other specialty and artisanal food spots. This app available for free download on iPhone.

EatingWell Healthy in a Hurry
Eating Well magazine’s top recipes are readily available on this app. Users can browse hundreds of quick and tasty recipes (most are ready in 40 minutes or less). The nutrition information is listed below each recipe. It is available for free download on iPhone, iPad, or iPad. Additional in-app special recipe collections are available to download for $.99. These include quick recipes for two, cooking for kids, and healthy holiday recipes.

Foodily is a food lover’s dream app! Like other social networking sites, you can follow friends, celebrities, chefs, and other foodies to check out their favorite recipes, and also share your own. You can search for recipes in many different ways – like by ingredient or special diet. This app is available for free download on iPhone and iPad.

Seafood Watch
This app is a guide for up to date information on sustainable seafood choices. Different guides can help you choose options that are abundant and raised and caught in environmentally friendly ways. Users can search for and share seafood upplies in specific locations, including nearby restaurants and stores. It is available for free download on iPhone, iPad, and Android.

Joni Garcia, MS, RD is a Registered Dietitian who works for the federal government where she administers nutrition programs for limited income populations. As an active member of the Society of Nutrition Education and Behavior, she provides nutrition education and counseling to clients based on their nutrition and health concerns. Follow Joni on Twitter.

The articles written by guest contributors are the sole responsibility of the individual writers in terms of factual accuracy and opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of the publisher of this blog.

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