Eating, exercise games may inspire, need offline connection.
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The parents' guide to what's in this app.
What Parents Need to Know
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What’s It About?
Visit one of three areas to jump in to FITOONS. Choose and dress the character you want to play with. Two are available immediately, and four more get unlocked as kids play. Tap the bicycle to enter the physical activity area. A short demo shows kids how to make their character run, jump, ski, ride, and so on. Tap the food to enter the kitchen, where you can feed your character food from the pantry. Take it raw, or prepare it with the stove, oven, microwave, boiling water, or blender. Eat too much unhealthy food, and the character gains weight; take them to exercise to burn it off.
Is It Any Good?
It's certainly important for kids to learn about healthy foods and fun ways to exercise, but a clear bridge to offline activity and more emphasis on general health would be even better. As a game, Fitoons can be fun. Watch the characters make funny faces as you feed them raw onions or a fish smoothie. Stuff them up with cake and pizza and watch as they gain weight. Then take them skiing to burn off all those calories and make the weight disappear. Unfortunately, the connection to offline activities and the important details about a solid workout -- like breathing and avoiding overexertion -- aren't clear. While kids may be inspired to try the exercises, it's unclear whether kids will really learn much about the relationship between healthy food choices, exercise, and healthy weight without more information or direct connections to offscreen life. Also, while maintaining healthy weight is important, exercising and eating well are important for overall health, so an emphasis on body shape or size might be confusing or troubling for some kids, especially if they're already struggling with body image issues. Finally, since veganism isn't a common way kids eat, there might be better diet modifications to add. Overall, Fitoons has an important focus and may inspire some kids to explore healthy habits, but more opportunities to transfer learning offscreen would be even better.
Talk to Your Kids About ...
Families can talk about the foods available in the Fitoons pantry. Review which foods are healthy, nutritious options and which ones are "sometimes" foods. Ask kids about what foods they like and why.
Talk about body image and how it relates to health. Does a person need to be very thin to be healthy? What does "body type" mean? Why is eating healthy food more important for overall health than for weight?
Get out and move! Take inspiration from the exercises in the app or make up your own. Provide ample opportunities for kids to be physically active through whatever means are available to you. Run and play games in the park, take sports classes, make an obstacle course in your hall, or do jumping jacks in the living room.
Involve kids in planning the family's weekly menu. Work together to plan, shop for, and prepare balanced and nutritious meals. And don't forget the occasional treat, too!
- Devices: iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
- Skills: Health & Fitness: balanced diet, exercise, movement
- Pricing structure: Paid
- Release date: October 24, 2018
- Category: Education
- Topics: Sports and Martial Arts
- Publisher: AVOKIDDO
- Version: 1.0
- Minimum software requirements: iOS 8.0 or later
- Last updated: October 22, 2018
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