Top Tools for Smarter Snacking and Shopping

With so many websites, blogs, apps, and other media for nutrition information and recipes, it can be a little overwhelming. So when I tap into a new resource that cuts through all the clutter and is worth your time, I must share. Here are two new faves well worth a peek:

Fooducate — Given the fact that it was Apple’s Best App for 2011, I’m guessing you might be onto it already. It was so named for good reason: IT’S AMAZING. Fooducate allows you to use your phone to scan a barcode (or you can type in the name) of any packaged food. It then spits out immediate data on how the product measures up nutrition wise. Each food is given a letter grade plus all sorts of other useful info such as teaspoons of sugar per serving, any controversial ingredients, and, my favorite, better options on the shelf. I don’t expect I’ll be scanning my way through the supermarket, but do find it one more handy resource in my mom’s shopping toolbox. Love it.

Snack Girl –Thinking about, shopping for, puzzling over, and prepping snacks can feel like a parenting part time job. No worries, Snack Girl to the rescue. This user-friendly blog written by a smarty pans Ph.D. mom is full of fresh ideas. The site includes recipes for homemade snacks, brings to light healthy store bought options, and gives readers the heads up on what might be best left on the supermarket shelf. Love her.

Got any favorite resources on the food and nutrition front? Please share your top picks with the rest of us.

Comments

01.23.2012 at2:30 PM #

Pamela

This is a great tip! Thanks Katie~~

01.23.2012 at2:31 PM #

kim brady

You Katie, You!

01.23.2012 at2:31 PM #

katiemorford

Awwww. Thanks.

01.23.2012 at3:01 PM #

Michelle

Thank you for mentioning Fooducate! I’ve been using it for a couple months, and I have found it to be really helpful. I have a question about it, however, and I’m wondering if you might be able to offer your perspective. When I scan an item, let’s say Rice Krispies, I get a grade such as C+. Does this mean C+ in relation to other cereal, or does it mean C+ in relation to all food? The reason I ask is that it happened that one day I scanned Rice Krispies, Jif peanut butter, and Food Should Taste Good Multigrain Tortilla Chips–and all three got a C+! I can understand that Rice Krispies might not be packed with nutrition or that Jif might not be as healthy as natural peanut butter, but to get the same grade as tortilla chips? I don’t get it. Can you offer your perspective?

01.23.2012 at3:01 PM #

katiemorford

Glad you asked. I think the letter grades can be confusing. My understanding is that they are based on an algorithm that assesses how a particular food rates in terms of positive qualities (fiber, calcium, etc.) and negative (saturated fat, added sugar). It also considers how processed a food is, quality of ingredients, and so forth. Foods are ranked within categories….so peanut butter and cereal are not stacked against each other. Assigning a letter grade based on a mathmatical equation is an imperfect system, but useful as one reference point. I think that the other aspects of the app such as identifying unfriendly ingredients, are more helpful than the grades. As I said, this is one useful tool….but so is your own shopping smarts as a mom. If you want to know more about how foods are assessed, look here: http://blog.fooducate.com//2011/01/26/how-fooducate-grades-products/

01.24.2012 at9:17 AM #

Snack Girl

I like it when people call me “smarty pants” – has a nice ring to it. Thanks for the props! Love the site. Lisa

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