Go Nini

Common Sense Media says

Great eat-healthy lesson could use some depth and variety.

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Ease of play

Play is very simple and straightforward; kids need only tap the screen to play.

Violence & scariness
Not applicable
Sexy stuff
Not applicable
Language
Not applicable
Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable
Privacy & safety

There aren't any apparent privacy or safety issues. The app doesn't connect to social media, and personal information isn't explicitly collected. In the app's settings, a few of the links for related support information open automatically in a Web browser. An official privacy policy isn't readily available.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Go Nini's goal is to promote healthy eating choices for young kids. A little monster-looking character named Nini briefly introduces the concept of "go" foods, "slow" foods, and "whoa" foods. According to Nini, "go" foods are OK to eat all the time and give lots of energy; "slow" foods are OK to eat sometimes and give a little bit of energy; "whoa" foods are OK to eat once in a while and don’t give much energy. In the game, kids help Nini decide what to eat for breakfast, morning snack, lunch, afternoon snack, and dinner. When Nini eats enough "go" foods, he makes it to the end of the day feeling strong and healthy, and he grows bigger and stronger. 

What kids can learn

Skills

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Design is simple and appealing. Nini is a cute and funny character with a potentially off-putting raspy voice. Gameplay is fairly repetitive, and kids might easily get bored after a few rounds.

Learning Approach

Choosing healthy foods is a great message, but delivery is a bit superficial. Kids will learn the concept and maybe the importance of "go," "slow," and "whoa" foods, but they might not learn which foods fit into which categories.

Support

Gameplay is very simple, and the directions are easy to understand. There are also some great suggestions for activities and discussions that can round out the message.

What kids can learn

Skills

Health & Fitness

  • balanced diet

Kids can learn about making healthy food choices and how the foods we eat affect how we feel throughout the day. They can also learn to think about foods in "go," "slow," or "whoa" categories. However, learning will be somewhat superficial as there isn't any discussion about how to categorize foods in the real world; beyond memorization, kids won't learn much about what kinds of foods go into different categories. With parent support, Go Nini can help spark important discussions about healthy eating and how food affects our bodies.

This Learning Rating review was written by Mieke VanderBorght

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What's it about?

Nini is out for a walk and needs help deciding what to eat. Depending on the level, kids choose from three or four food options, such as a donut, a banana, lowfat yogurt, or an egg. If kids choose a "go" food, Nini will "go, go, go" as he walks -- kids can tap to make him jump over objects. But after "slow" or "whoa" foods, Nini is slow and lethargic. At the end of the day, if Nini has eaten at least three "go" foods, he gets bigger and stronger and kids move to the next level. If he didn't, kids are invited to try again and to ask a grown-up to help them choose more "go" foods.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

GO NINI's message is great. The "go," "slow," and "whoa" concepts are a really nice way to emphasize moderation: even bad foods (which are often so tempting!) are OK so long as you only eat them once in a while. Also, kids can relate to seeing Nini grow bigger and stronger.

Unfortunately, the message is a bit incomplete and could be misleading. Some discussion on what goes into a nutritionally complete diet and how to categorize foods would add depth. In the game, kids could feed Nini water, an apple, broccoli, orange slices, and water again and again (all "go" foods) and see him have energy to "play all day," which is unrealistic and could be confusing. It could be helpful to see Nini's activity level change more depending on what he eats. Nini's jumping could be made more relevant if, by the end of a day of eating too many "whoa" foods, he didn't have the energy to keep jumping over objects. Overall, it's a brief introduction to an important topic that requires a lot of input from parents. There are discussion prompts in the settings menu, and that's a good thing!

Families can talk about...

  • Discuss more examples of "go," "slow," and "whoa" foods and what other kinds of foods belong in each category.

  • Talk to your kids about how they feel after eating different kinds of food (in both the short and long terms).

  • Discuss how your family could incorporate more "go" foods into your diet; have kids help prepare healthy meals.

App details

Devices:iPhone, iPod Touch, iPad
Price:Free
Pricing structure:Free
Release date:March 22, 2013
Category:Education
Size:76.50 MB
Publisher:Fred Rogers Center at Saint Vincent College
Version:1.1
Minimum software requirements:iOS 4.3 or later

This review of Go Nini was written by

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are conducted by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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