Using phone and tablet technology to support healthy habits

While we recommend restricting recreational screen time to two hours or less each day, the technology at your fingertips can help support your efforts to be healthy and to get healthier. Many of us wear Apple watches or Fitbits that remind us when it’s time to stand or to track your steps, workouts, and flights of stairs. Some of us set timers to keep us on track of sitting time or physical activity time. But those tools don’t often have features designed to help us stick to a healthy eating plan. We’ve collected some digital tools that you can use to track food, learn nutritional content, and get recipe ideas to help your family stick to 5-2-1-0.

Father and daughter draw together

Nutrition tools for you

You’ve probably seen references in this blog to MyPlate, the food guide for proper nutrition, established by the USDA. MyPlate has a very thorough website full of all kinds of nutritional and healthy habits information and tools, including special section on meal planning during the coronavirus pandemic. You can even access tools to help you plan healthy meals that are kid-friendly and find activities to engage your kids in related to healthy food. MyPlate also has an app that you can download to your phone or tablet to set goals, track meals, and learn about nutritional content of different foods. You can download it on the App Store or Google Play.

MyPlate illustration

5210 Kids!, from the Henry Ford Health System is an app that kids can use to make tracking their 5210 habits fun every day.

Using SNAP EBT? You can use technology to help you access healthy food. Your SNAP EBT cards are accepted in many more places than you local grocery store. Here is a tool to help you find SNAP EBT retailers near you. Many farmers markets accept them and some even double your value. Amazon Fresh accepts SNAP EBT and delivers to your door. They have a reduced cost for Amazon Prime (which includes free delivery) for EBT or Medicaid cardholders. Learn more here.

Fresh fruits and vegetables prepared for snacking

Kaiser Permanente has collected ten nutrition apps that they recommend. You can take a look here and see if any work for you.

Of course, people have managed to be healthy long before we had this technology and all of our gadgets. Go here for this a low-tech way of sticking to your 5-2-1-0 healthy habits – you can print this for free and make copies for everyone in your family.

This week’s mini workout

Playworks logo linking to site

This week’s mini workout is brought to you by Playworks, an organization that Jump IN partners with in our schools work. Playworks teaches physical activity through games and play, with the added benefit of building social and emotional skills, fostering self confidence, and developing conflict-resolution skills. Go here for a quick Playworks lesson and some fun physical activity. This video is through the Playworks Facebook page. If you don’t use Facebook, go to the Playworks website to see a few videos and experience a quick workout.