Fitoons

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Fitoons App Poster Image
Eating, exercise games may inspire, need offline connection.

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this app.

Educational Value

Kids can learn about which kinds of foods may cause weight gain and which kinds likely won't. They'll also be introduced to 20 sports or exercises they may want to try out in real life, but there are no clear features to transfer and apply learning offline.

Ease of Play

Some exercises are not demonstrated clearly enough to allow kids to advance successfully.  

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

A small icon on the home screen advertises other apps from the same developer. A parent gate helps protect against actual purchase.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Fitoons focuses on encouraging kids to eat healthy foods and stay physically active. Through free play, kids can cook and feed a variety of foods to different characters. When kids choose too many unhealthy foods, the character gains weight. They can take that weight off by playing the physical activity games where characters run, do jumping jacks, ski, ride a bicycle, and more. Each activity includes a demo to show kids how to tap or drag in the right way (or turn the demo off in the settings menu). Kids must successfully complete each activity to unlock the next. Keep exercising to unlock more foods and character options. Parents should note that Fitoons does not help facilitate kids doing any of these activities in real life. In the settings menu, parents can flip to vegan mode to make only vegan foods available in the kitchen, which greatly reduces the number of foods to play with. There's no option, however, for turning off the background music. Read the developer's privacy policy for details on how your (or your kids') information is collected, used, and shared and any choices you may have in the matter, and note that privacy policies and terms of service frequently change.

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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!

App details

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For kids who love health and fitness

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