Pick Your Plate!

App review by
Mieke VanderBorght, Common Sense Media
Pick Your Plate! App Poster Image
Meal-builder game teaches nutrition from around the world.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids learn about creating a healthy diet. Nutrition guidelines from around the world point kids toward choosing the right amount of fruits and vegetables, grains, proteins, dairy products, etc. Kids learn about the countries featured in the game including location, currency, and local foods and special dishes.

Ease of Play

Picking food and building meals is easy. Sometimes following the food category icons can be confusing.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Pick Your Plate! lets kids build meals based on nutrition guidelines from a variety of countries around the world. The goal is for kids to take an active role in learning how to maintain a balanced diet, stick to a budget, and meet all their nutritional needs. As they play, kids also learn a bit about the featured countries, including typical foods and the local currency. The information is text only, so prereaders will need help. 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?

Choose a country to start playing PICK YOUR PLATE!. Currently kids can visit Mexico, the United States, Argentina, Finland, Benin, Lebanon, Cambodia, or Australia. Read a short description of your chosen country's dietary guidelines, and then tap Play. Choose what to eat for breakfast from the available foods, being careful to not go over the meal budget. Each food is also worth a certain number of portion points that represent how much of the daily recommendations that food meets. After picking the foods, tap Eat. Then do the same for lunch and dinner. The goal is, after three meals, to get as close as possible to fulfilling the recommended portions in each food group without going over. Repeat to get a better score or return to the home menu to choose another country.

Is it any good?

In this simple game, kids see clearly that different meal choices have different consequences for how well they meet nutritional guidelines. Though the nutritional guides from various countries are quite similar, Pick Your Plate! nicely introduces a variety of local foods for kids to choose from. Within each country, those choices are always the same, however, so as kids play multiple rounds, they'll always work with the same options. Don't be fooled, though! The game is simple, but it's not easy to meet all the dietary requirements and stay in budget with just three meals. Kids may have to play several times before they earn a medal, let alone a gold one. There are also lots of icons that represent different food groups, and though they're pretty clear, it may take kids a few rounds before they get used to the portion points system and how it works. Another possible downside is that because the game focuses solely on creating a correctly balanced diet, having too many fruit and vegetable portion points is penalized in the same way that having too many fat points is, which may be confusing. But overall, Pick Your Plate! is a great way to learn about nutrition and food from around the world, and a launch pad from which kids and parents can discuss and explore their dietary choices in real life.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the foods featured in Pick Your Plate!. Which foods or dishes are new to you? Which ones would you be interested in trying?

  • Compare and contrast the nutritional guidelines from different countries. What similarities do you notice? What are the biggest differences? How are the guidelines influenced by local culture?

  • Talk about how your kids' choices in the app compare to their choices in real life. How well does their diet fulfill the nutritional guidelines? If there's room for improvement, what are one or two easy changes to make to eat a more balanced diet?

  • Engage your kids in making meal plans, grocery shopping, and food preparation. They may be inspired to try new things!

  • Learn more about the countries kids visit in the app. What language do they speak there? What can you find out about their culture, geography, climate, and so on?

App details

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