NHS Food Scanner App

Handy NHS app can help families improve the diets of children.

Families in Nottinghamshire are being offered support to help to improve the diets of their children through a handy NHS app.

As part of the Better Health campaign launched to encourage families to eat better, a new ‘scan, swipe and swap’ feature has been incorporated into the NHS Food Scanner App, which provides a simple solution to help families maintain a healthier diet.

The campaign follows a record rise in obesity among children since the start of the pandemic, with latest data highlighting that one in 4 (27.7%) children of reception school age are overweight or obese; this rises to 4 in 10 (40.9%) in Year 6 (ages 10 to 11).

Families can scan the product barcodes from their shop and the app will suggest healthier alternatives to help them make an easy swap next time they shop. The app uses a ‘Good Choice’ badge to help signpost people to healthier food and drinks in line with the government’s dietary recommendations for added sugar, saturated fat and salt.

By downloading the free NHS Food Scanner App, families can swap out foods from the weekly shop for healthier alternatives and avoid items high in salt, sugar and saturated fat.

‘Girls Aloud’ member Nadine Coyle and dietician Dr Linia Patel met with a family to talk about eating habits and to test the NHS Food Scanner App for themselves, and recorded a short film to support the campaign – view it at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8Et7zRyVeqE

Nadine Coyle said: “As a busy working mum, I find it hard to say no to my kid’s demands and often give in to ‘snack’ pressure – even though I know it’s not that good for them. I had no idea some foods were so high in sugar, saturated fat and salt – so it’s great that the app gives you alternatives.

“I love using the NHS Food Scanner App and so does my daughter; she likes choosing the healthier swaps which is great – we are already making small changes through good food choices.”

NHS Food Scanner App

Dr Linia Patel, dietician, said: “We know that parents find it really hard to find healthier snacks for their kids, especially if they’re fussy eaters.

“The NHS Food Scanner App is a fun way to get the kids involved in choosing healthier foods that they’ll love – so get going and scan, swipe, swap!”

Annie O’Leary, Netmums editorial director, said: “Shopping for snacks can be an absolute minefield for busy parents, so thank you for coming to the rescue yet again, NHS.”

The NHS Food Scanner App provides parents with the ideal hack to improve their children’s health in 2022.

The free app can be downloaded here, or search ‘Food Scanner App’.