Smash Your Food

App review by
Debbie Gorrell, Common Sense Media
Smash Your Food App Poster Image
Smashing videos hook kids, but background info missing.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Kids can learn about healthy and unhealthy eating habits as they explore the sugar, salt, and fat content in various foods. As they watch the unhealthy contents ooze out of the smashed foods, kids gain an understanding of how much unhealthy ingredients are in many of the foods people eat. Kids also can learn about nutrition labels, but they'll need some help understanding what each piece of information on the label means and how it relates to health. A feature that teaches kids background information and a formal assessment tool or a meal-planning tool would be great to see. Smash Your Food offers a unique way for kids to visualize the actual contents of the food they eat, but it doesn't give the necessary context to make the information truly meaningful.

Ease of Play

Getting started can be a little confusing since there's no background information about the food contents.

Violence & Scariness
Sexy Stuff
Language
Consumerism

In the parents' section are links to other products from the developer. A lot of in-app purchase opportunities, which is frustrating at this price point.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Smash Your Food promotes healthy food choices. Kids are given different foods such as french fries or a can of soda. Then they guess how much sugar, salt, and fat are in the food and tap the smash button to see the food being smashed. During each round of smashing, kids learn the actual amounts of sugar, salt, and fats in the food, receive points for the accuracy of their guesses, and receive a healthy-eating tip. The game is a fun way to promote healthy food choices, and kids really love watching the smash videos. However, the game falls a bit short. It does not offer background information for kids to learn before they make their guesses, although they can read the nutritional labels beforehand. But doing so could lead to more confusion if kids are unfamiliar with this type of information.

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What's it about?

Users begin by creating a profile, which includes entering a name and an age and selecting a personal activity level and avatar. The information entered allows the app to show the maximum amount of sugar, salt, and fat the user should consume in a day. After creating a profile, kids choose foods from one of 12 "themed" refrigerators. Themes include Mushy Lunch, Healthy, Halloween, and more. Once they choose a food, they can tap to read the nutrition label or take a guess at the amount of sugar, salt, and oil (fat) in the food. Next, they tap the Smash button to view a video of the food being smashed -- probably the most engaging part for kids. They earn points, awards, and gold carrots for accurate guesses. Once the smashing is over, a healthy-eating tip pops up on the screen. A parents' section offers an option to sign up for a free newsletter and includes links to other "coming soon" products from the developer.

Is it any good?

SMASH YOUR FOOD is a fun way to get kids to think about their food choices. The smashing videos are engaging and will get kids talking about nutrition, and the tips provide good suggestions for making healthy food choices. However, the game does not provide much in the way of actual content. To fully benefit from the presented information, kids should have some background knowledge of nutrition labels and the components of a well-balanced diet. It would be great to see a nutrition chart or pyramid and some brief lessons about protein, saturated and unsaturated fats, cholesterol, and different kinds of carbohydrates.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the importance of healthy eating and the dangers of eating foods that are high in sugar, fat, and cholesterol. What are the healthiest types of food? Which types of food should we limit in our diets? Why?

  • Talk about foods your kid likes best and the health value of each. If your kid loves cookies, is there a way to make them healthier (add oatmeal, reduce the sugar)?

  • Read nutrition labels together, talking about what each piece of information means and how it relates to healthy eating.

App details

For kids who love food and health

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