As a parent, I’m always on the go! The trouble with that my toddler was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease about six months ago. Suddenly, I needed to rethink my days of rushing around without pre-planning. The reality was that I had to be very careful whenever I stopped for food or even bought snacks for my son at the grocery store. Plus, I’m one of those parents that worries non-stop about the typical kid stuff—like making it to medical appointments, what to prepare for birthday parties, limiting food additives in my family meals, and of course, I’m constantly wondering if I’m raising my child in the best way possible. Good thing there are a variety of parenting tools available to ease the minds of frazzled moms and dads like me.
As one busy, concerned, and health-conscious parent to another, here are six mobile apps that I’ve come to rely on for things like healthy meal preparation, monitoring food allergies, family organization, and of course a little advice on healthy parenting doesn’t hurt either…
1. My Health Records ($5.99 – for iPhone)
I know I grew up believing that Mom and Dad knew best. However, now that I have a son of my own, I’m often left scratching my head over the smallest health concern. That’s where My Health Records comes into play! This mobile health and wellness organizer keeps me educated and up-to-date on current health issues affecting kids, prescription refills, scheduling immunizations, and medical contact information (i.e., family doctors). This tool literally tracks all of my family’s medical info and scheduling so I don’t have to stay up at night remembering doctor’s appointment dates and times, reviewing my family health history, or stressing about my husband’s health insurance plan. And if an emergency should arise, this app stores all of our health team contacts in one place, so it’s always at our fingertips in a pinch!
2. Cozi Family Organizer (Free – for Android)
The Cozi Family Organizer keeps everything a flustered mom or dad needs in one trusted, little mobile space, which makes multi-tasking a synch…even on the fly like my husband and I practice it! My favorite part about this app is the color-coded calendar that we both have on our phones. It can be customized to track the to-dos and appointments for the whole family and I can assign certain family members particular tasks—such as “pick up milk after work”. It also features a family journal where I store treasured photos, and share them with the grandparents, without worrying about backup.
3. Allergy Free Entertaining ($2.99 – for iPhone)
Even though we’ve started a family, my husband and I enjoy entertaining friends and hosting impromptu family gatherings. For instance, we invited everyone over for dinner and to watch the junior hockey semi final game this past weekend. However, there are many food allergies among our friends and family that I can never keep track of on my own. That’s why an app like Allergy Free Entertaining is a godsend—featuring a delectable selection of gluten free, dairy free, egg free, diabetic, nut free, vegetarian and vegan recipes for every casual gathering and occasion imaginable. Simply search the huge database of over 124 recipes, create a personalized menu of food appropriate dishes, and keep track of all safe ingredients right from your kitchen.
4. Dangerous Food Additives (Free – for Android)
Ever since I watched a documentary on harmful food and water additives, I’ve been too aware of how they can damage our health. That’s why I insisted on a water filtration system for our home and why I consult the Dangerous Food Additives app before making any food purchases from the grocery shelf. This tool features a huge database of food additives, food preservatives, food colorings, and flavor enhancers that have been linked to health issues such as Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), autoimmune diseases, and even Asthma.
5. Daily Broadcast – Focus on Family (Free – for Android)
I broke up a scuffle between my son and the neighbor’s child last week. It was over a coloring book. However, I’m often left wondering after I take action like this, if I approached it in the healthiest way possible for those involved. That’s why I listen to the Daily Broadcast – Focus on Family. This mobile app provides a reassuring blend of parenting advice, encouragement, and helpful tips for families. It features a daily broadcast, streamed right to your mobile device on a variety of family-focused themes—such as relationships, marriage, parenting, and more.
6. iCanEatOnTheGo Gluten & Allergen Free ($2.99 – for iPhone)
The app with a name that’s a mouthful can lead you to the healthiest mouthful for food sensitive diners. I depend on the iCanEatOnTheGo Gluten & Allergy Free app whenever I need to stop for a quick lunch or snack with my little guy. This app provides the details on pretty much every major fast food chain across North America. Simply launch the app and search the restaurant by name for a variety of dairy, nut, egg, shell fish, or gluten-free snack options, or present the app with a food allergen and it will produce a list of safe, noshing menu items at a variety of eateries within your location.
Anna Cook is a freelance writer who is known for sharing her personal and often humorous DIY and parenting stories, good and bad, in the various print and online articles she contributes online. When she’s not writing, Anna can be found doing renovations on her old but charming house, preparing a “special” meal at home, or just spending quality time with her very patient husband and adorable son.