App Friday: Food, Family, Finance – and MONGO!

Welcome to App Friday, our weekly link exchange of family-friendly apps. There was so much to say on the blog this week, and today we can see why. With App Friday comes special pricing and promotions to bring attention to these diverse efforts. We’ve got activities on food & nutrition, customizable cookbooks, financial management, and MONGO. Now, how can you beat that?

Count Your Peas – What is your app about? The concept behind Count Your Peas is for kids to think more about what they eat and the importance of eating good and nutritious food. The idea for the app was ignited by the Apps for Healthy Kids competition – a part of First Lady Michelle Obama’s Let’s Move! campaign to end childhood obesity within a generation. As a mother of 3 young kids, I am concerned about nutrition and healthy living for my kids. I was inspired to create a nutrition based experience for young kids on the iPad after watching my daughter’s Kindergarten class in a Chicago Public school interact with iPads.

Count Your Peas app includes a food counting abacus to count servings based on the food groups from the Food Pyramid and a search feature allowing parents and kids to search for a food item to view calories and food group servings – data is based on the USDA nutrition dataset. The app also includes a section for each of the food groups. There are simple activities geared to interests of younger children such as doodling with fruit juice colors, playing tic tac toe with whole grain cereal pieces, creating art with vegetable stamps, blowing milk bubbles and creating dried bean mosaics. Each section includes a simple headline for the key take-away for each food group, e.g. ‘make at least half your grains whole’. In addition, each food group includes daily recommendations for servings by age and gender along with a slide show of food items in that food group.

In addition to the iPad app, Count Your Peas has a complementary food blog geared towards kids and parents. The blog can be found at www.countyourpeas.com or www.facebook.com/ CountYourPeas.

Cook It Allergy Free – What is your app about?The Cook IT Allergy Free App is a customizable cookbook solution for those living with celiac disease, autism, or food allergies/ sensitivities. The app provides more than 200 gluten-free recipes. Each recipe can be further personalized to meet each person’s individual dietary restrictions. This app is a helpful kitchen tool for anyone allergic to, or avoiding, gluten, dairy/casein, eggs, or nuts. With this app, you no longer have to search for a recipe that does not contain specific ingredients. Instead, pick any recipe in the app and, with a simple tap, trade out your specific food allergen (s) for safe and correctly calculated allergy-free substitutions. Now that you have tailored your allergen-friendly recipes to your needs, you can now save them to your own Recipe Box and your Shopping List, and share them by Email, Facebook, and Twitter. As the only one of its’ kind, the Cook IT Allergy Free App takes the stress out of ingredient substitutions and allows you to create wonderful allergy-friendly meals for you and your family.

FamZoo – What is your app about? Our app is all about helping parents teach their kids good money management habits, like saving patiently and spending wisely. Along the way, we nudge parents toward introducing their kids to philanthropy in hopes that it will also
become a lifelong habit.

FamZoo’s “Virtual Family Bank” fills the gap between a physical piggy bank and a real financial institution. Its accounts keep track of IOUs between the parent and the child. Parents hold on to  the real money until purchases are made. As far as kids are concerned, it’s their own personal online bank. As parents, you’re the bank managers. You make the rules and customize the bank to reflect your family’s unique values. You can pick and choose from a variety of tools – allowances, chores, budgets, savings goals, loans, compound interest, etc. – to
give your kids hands-on personal finance practice.

So, what distinguishes our app from the others out there? The “cloud” for one. Other apps run standalone with no web app behind them. That’s cool when you aren’t near a network, but not so hot if your device goes missing or you want to collaborate with other family members. With our app, your family’s data won’t go “poof”! The other distinction is completeness. Similar apps are very focused on a specific tool like an allowance or a chore chart. That’s great for a point in
time. But what happens as your child matures and grows more financially savvy? We’ve built a pretty complete virtual family banking system that can grow along with your child. Start super simple early on, and add sophistication as your child matures through the tween and teen years. Check it out. Contact us if you need any help getting started. We’re always happy to help, and we’d love to hear what you think.

Go Go Mongo! – What is your app about?Go Go Mongo! is a fun game for children 2 and up that teaches them the names of different foods.  Children have to use their motor skills to move Mongo from left to right as he runs to catch food falling from the sky.  Mongo is cute and cuddly and children can easily relate with him.  This game is different because it was designed around how a 2 year old plays games on the iPhone.  We found that children as young as 2 years old can easily maneuver through the iPhone, but find many popular games, like Angry Birds a bit challenging.  We took some of the best game mechanics from popular games, simplified them, and then added in the educational content.  We want children to play with Mongo and not realize that they are playing an “educational game”.  The game was listed as New and Noteworthy by Apple on the first week of release and is currently in the Top 25 for Educational Games.

What’s in it for me this App Friday, April 8th?

Note: These prices are applicable on Friday April 8th until 8pm US Pacific Time. After the promotion is over, prices revert back to regular pricing on the iTunes App Store.

More App News Extending the “cooking” theme, I found out from our friends at Appency that there is a new cookbook on the iPad shelves: iCookbook, complete with voice commands for the ambidextrous chef. $4.99 on iTunes.

App Friday Link Exchange Our goal at Moms With Apps is to spread the word about family-friendly apps. We also like to know about great deals. Do YOU have some app news to share? If so, please participate in our link exchange and post it down below. Include the app name (& details) in the Link Title, your email, and a URL to the app. Thanks for your participation.

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