The era of blindly trusting food producers to have consumers’ best interests in mind has come and gone. Keeping your family healthy means getting proactive about becoming informed on nutrition, food labels, organic food, and all the little dirty tricks food manufacturers play to get you to buy their products. Your smartphone can be a powerful tool in your research, with dozens of apps available to help you buy and prepare the best possible meals. These 25 are our picks for the best ones in the bunch.
- Fooducate – Healthy Food Diet:
If you’re losing the battle to help your family eat better and you need a simple way to read labels, go with Fooducate. It lets you scan a food item’s barcode to bring up the good and bad aspects, as well as recommendations for healthier alternatives.
- Dirty Dozen:
Keep those pesticides out of your kids’ bodies by keeping this app on hand while you stroll through the produce section. It’s a simple, free guide to the worst offenders for containing pesticides, as well as a list of products that are low in the toxic stuff.
- Healthy Recipes – SparkRecipes:
Preparing your own meals is the best way to ensure your family is getting healthy food. This app is your hookup to thousands of recipes, with details like calorie, sodium, and fat content included, all at no charge.
This app is a healthy eaters’ best friend, with deals available for purchase on dozens of natural food products from makers like Newman’s Own, EVOL, and ZICO. Make your purchases on your Android and when you’re ready to redeem in the store you get a screen with the info the clerk needs to give you your discount.
- Fast Food Nutrition:
For less than the price of a Frappuccino, this app gives you the nutrition info for 350 fast food joints, now including Starbucks, and store the info on your favorite meals.
- Nutrition Facts Pro:
With updated data straight from the USDA, this $3 app takes the guesswork out of nutrition. More than 7,500 kinds of food and drinks are easily searchable, with more than 30 nutritional values for each item.
- McDonalds Calorie Calculator:
Even though we’ve shuddered in horror watching Super Size Me, we all indulge in a little Mickey D’s every once in a while. But keeping this app within reach while ordering can keep you from venturing too far from your diet, with calorie info on every item on the menu.
- Good Food Healthy Recipes:
The title says it all. BBC Worldwide presents this app with more than 175 ideas for healthy eating at breakfast, lunch, and dinner. There are also videos and tutorials for preparing some common nutritious ingredients like salmon and spinach.
- Food Planner and Groceries:
The temptation to resort to fast food is also greatest when you haven’t planned anything to eat. Ward off the junk food demons by planning your meals and shopping lists with this Android app.
- Calorie Counter Pro by MyNetDiary:
It can be a sobering wakeup call to see a weekly report on what you’ve put down your gullet recently. Like a nutritionist that fits in your pocket, Calorie Counter helps you track your food, water, and nutrient intake, with autocomplete suggestions for almost half a million foods that make your journaling quick and easy.
- Smash Your Food HD:
None other than Michelle Obama endorses this app for educating kids on the dangers of junk food. Through games where they can put burgers, fries, and other junk food into a big smashing device, the young eaters get a surreptitious lesson in nutrition.
- The Eatery:
You probably already take pics of your food all the time, so why not get something out of it other than updating your friends on your dinner. Snap a pic of your food, rate what you think its healthiness level is, and upload it. Your friends can then give a thumbs up or down on whether they think your food is healthy. It’s all about being aware of what you’re eating.
- Restaurants Points Calculator Plus HD:
More than 250 restaurants’ worth of nutritional info is yours for $1.99 for this app, or less than a cent per restaurant. You can see the food score values, calories, carbs, fiber, fat, and protein amounts for all the different items at Applebees, Five Guys, A&W, and many more.
- iEatOut Gluten & Allergen Free:
You don’t have to be allergic to gluten to want to limit your intake because of the negative side effects some believe it causes. At $1.99, this app is your best bet for staying gluten-free eating up to seven different cuisines.
- Vree for Diabetes:
If anyone in your family has diabetes, you know how crucial it is to stay vigilant about what they’re eating and when. Vree for Diabetes is a free app calculates nutritional info for your food, plus it has an option to remind you when it’s time to take your meals and your meds.
- Seafood Watch:
Fish can be a very nutritious food, depending on whether it was farmed or wild-caught. To help you know the difference when choosing a piece of fish, install this no-charge iPhone app from Monterey Bay Aquarium. It will tell you the best choice, a good alternative, or to avoid altogether.
- Blood Type Diet:
This is the official app for the bestselling book by Dr. Peter D’Adamo entitled Eat Right For Your Type. It helps you grocery shop, dine in, and eat out while avoiding foods that have been shown to be a bad fit for people with your blood type.
- Allrecipes.com Dinner Spinner Pro:
The net’s best recipe site (in our opinion) developed this cool app that you can use to keep your family in nutritious meals. Scan a healthy food item and let the app search its database for recipes featuring that item.
If you’re a vegan, you know how hard it is to eat anywhere but your own kitchen, as you never know what options a restaurant will have for you. VeganXpress is here to save the day, listing the vegan offerings of more than 100 common restaurants.
- Dogs Nutrition Calculator:
Don’t forget about the four-legged members of your family. For keeping Fido in top shape, this app helps you determine the optimum weight for your dog, plus the best protein-carb-fat ratio to keep it healthy as a horse.
One of the best nutrition apps for Windows phones is really an app for good all-around health. Livescape helps you track and log your workouts, eating habits, and body fat and lean mass measurements, plus view nutrition facts.
- Vitamins 4 You:
For a simple and free guide to the sources and benefits of Vitamins A through D, as well as important nutrients like iron and calcium, this Windows app does the trick.
You may be eating nutritiously and still not be getting a balanced diet. EatWise brings the food pyramid to your phone, helping you understand how many servings of each food group you need to be getting on a daily basis to ensure a well-rounded diet.
- Rainbow Quest:
This app uses vivid colors and engaging gameplay to teach kids about nutrition. Players must eat their way through levels to bring back colors to the rainbow that mischievous macaws have eaten.
The intersection of nutrition and beer is not one that is well-trod, but this app takes just that road, bringing you calories, fat totals, total carbs, total sugar, and more stats for more than 1,600 drinks.