Tweens, Teens and Technology: Three Digital Apps to Help Your Child Take the Highway to Health
Recently, the topic of technology as related to the acquisition of health information came up in one of my college courses. This led me to wonder how teens use technology as related to their health needs. According to a 2015 study by Northwestern University, teens use the internet as their number one source for health information. On a positive note, Northwestern University’s research showed that teens look online primarily for fitness and nutrition information.
While I am sure the medium does not surprise most parents, the message may. Perhaps not, as most parents know that in the late tween and early teens years, young people become inordinately concerned about the changes in their body and their appearance. If one were to go to a middle school class, the kids come in all shapes and sizes. Thus, the importance of self-esteem should also not be overlooked.
Interestingly, Northwestern’s research showed that teens specifically download fitness and nutrition related apps. Herein, I am sure parents will be encouraged that their teens have health in mind. Moreover, the patterns of wellness normally get established in childhood.
For those of you who would like to recommend some fitness, nutrition, and self-esteem related apps for your tweens or teens, these three would be a good place to start, 1) Kurbo.com, 2) Fooducate.com, and 3) Teenhealthandwellness.com. Parents can even make this a family affair!
Kurbo.com’s app gives tweens and teens as well as parents ways to get on track through a goal system of healthy habits. Kurbo.com also pairs individuals with coaches that offer support for exercise and nutrition goals. Most importantly, Kurbo.com teaches tweens, teens, and parents how to create a healthy lifestyle not just for the short-term but the long-term. At their website, one can read some great success stories.
The Fooducate app gives tweens, teens and parents a wonder way to grocery shop. The app allows one to quickly scan and compare foods for their nutritional grade (A, B, C, or D). At their website, one can also find recipes posted by adolescents and others. The recipes range from salads to desserts and the comments give feedback on how they taste.
Teen Health and Wellness provides an app for more self-esteem/self-help related needs. Adolescents will have access to their help lines and hotlines. Teen Health and Wellness also has a website that provides a range of self-esteem/self-help information such as mental health, fitness and nutrition, academic and online skills, and other holistic or multi-dimensional health and well-being material.
Indeed, the tween and teen years can at times seem like a scary road for adolescents and their parents particularly in the technological age. Thankfully, a range of apps and websites exist where tweens, teens, and parents can take steps for success. At the click of a few buttons, one has great wealth to get on the highway to health!