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Attention Techies! Apps for Healthy Kids Launched Yesterday!

Cross-posted from USDA.

Yesterday was a very exciting day here at USDA as we joined First Lady Michelle Obama in announcing our Apps for Healthy Kids competition! Apps for Healthy Kids is part of the First Lady's Let's Move! initiative to end childhood obesity.

We are calling on you, America's creative genius, to develop innovative, fun, and engaging tools and games that encourage children, especially "tweens" (ages 9-12) - directly or through their parents - to make more nutritious food choices and be more physically active.

The Apps for Healthy Kids competition invites American entrepreneurs, software developers, and students to develop innovative software tools and games using a USDA nutrition dataset recently made available to the public through the White House Open Government Initiative. The dataset provides total calories, calories from "extras" (including solid fats and added sugars), and MyPyramid food groups for over 1,000 commonly eaten foods.

Contestants may submit any kind of software tool or game - for the web, personal computer, mobile handheld device, console, or any software platform broadly available and free of charge to the public. Tools and games must be built around educational messages that emphasize one or more key nutrition concepts from the government's Dietary Guidelines for Americans and the MyPyramid Food Guidance System.

A total of $40,000 in cash prizes will be awarded to top submissions in two categories: tools and games. In addition, a Popular Choice Award will be determined by public voting. We've got a stellar panel of expert judges, who will review the projects. Following the announcement of the awards, winners will be honored at a White House event in Washington, DC. Judges, members of the White House and USDA staffs, media representatives, and other guests will be invited to attend as well.

So how can you get involved? If we've piqued your interest, please visit You can sign up to receive updates, show support for the program, and, of course, submit your tool or game! Also, check out my video introducing the Apps for Healthy Kids Competition!