Healthy Eating Tips: Best Free Nutrition Apps
Let’s face it- making lifestyle changes can be hard! Meal planning, tracking, shopping…there is a lot to think about. Thankfully there is help available! Check out these free RD-approved apps you can download to help you reach your nutrition goals!
1. Best Meal Tracker – Nourishly
Some meal tracking apps can feel very judgemental or “diet-y” in their format/messaging and can be very triggering for those who have struggled with diets or eating disorders in the past. Nourishly is different!! There is no calorie counting here – just a safe space to record your meals (either in words or with pictures), your feelings, and your level hunger/fullness. Rather than about coaching you to eat less, this app helps guide you towards eating the right amount for you – aka mindful eating. As an added bonus you have the option to share your journals with any health professionals assisting you on your journey to healthier eating, and they can add comments/encouragement along the way!
2. Best Meal Planner – Prepear
I have tried quite a few meal planning apps over the years and this one definitely comes out on top for me! It gives you the ability to save recipes from anywhere online or to create your own. From there, you can easily drag and drop from your collections to make personalized meal plans and even automatic grocery lists! Also handy – you can add items commonly kept on-hand, like salt, pepper or cooking oil to your “pantry” to keep these items from cluttering up your shopping list.
You can also try out the “cook mode”, which allows you to view the recipe instructions without ever having to leave the app (or get bombarded by 12 million ads). On the free version of the app you can use “cook mode” 3x per week, if you upgrade to the paid version this feature is unlimited. If you choose not to use “cook mode” you still have the option to click a link back to your recipe source to see the directions.
3. Best for low FODMAP – Spoonful/Fast FODMAP
Following the low-FODMAP diet may only be temporary, but can still manage to be quite a chore! Knowing which foods are appropriate and in what amounts can be tricky for even the best of us. Thankfully, these two handy apps can help ease the burden a little. Use Spoonful while you’re shopping to scan food items as you go. It will quickly let you know the FODMAP content using a simple traffic-light system – green means go, red means no. It also provides info about any flagged ingredients and can offer low-FODMAP alternatives. Fast FODMAP functions as a food/symptom tracker and a tool to help you learn the rules of a low FODMAP diet through games. It is similar to the Monash University FODMAP app that I’ve been recommending for years, but without the $10 price tag! Used together, these apps are a very helpful combination and should help you stick to your low-FODMAP goals!
4. Best for RD approved Recipe Inspiration – Cookspiration
Cookspiration is the official Dietitians of Canada app and it is chock-full of healthy, creative and well-balanced meal ideas! Every recipe is RD approved and has a visually appealing picture and easy-to-follow directions. Check it out the next time you need a little inspiration in the kitchen.
5. Best for Saving $ – Checkout 51/Flipp
With food costs constantly on the rise who doesn’t want to save a buck when possible?! These apps definitely help make it possible! Checkout 51 features products available at multiple local retailers. All you have to do is purchase the featured products and scan your receipt to get instant cash-back credited to your account! Once your account hits $20 you can request a cheque. It’s like free money!
Flipp is a great way to shop smarter – use it to track local flyers, shop sales and adjust your meal plan based on what is available. You can also use it to find money-saving coupons and for price matching!
Arnprior and District Family Health Team
Kristy Webb, RD