Manage my diet
Our App Manage My Diet is an App geared for Autistic children and their parents. We wanted to create this App because from our research we have learned that Autistic people can get fixated with certain foods or they may refuse to eat certain foods. Our App has a meal plan where the parent can put in what food they want their child to eat. The App had a timer and it will count down to when the child has to eat the food. Our App rewards the child if they eat the food with a fun fact or video of their special topic, which in this case is dogs. We decided to create an App which involves the child’s special topic because from our research we learned that all people with Autism have certain special interests/topics that they enjoy doing and learning about. The App relates to Psychology and Behaviourism as it uses Positive Reinforcement to reward the child.
Manage my Diet is an app designed to help Autistic children to eat a better diet. The App is designed to make eating a fun activity for children with ASD. The child sets up an account with their parent or carer, the app will be personalised to each child. The child chooses their ‘special topic’ as they are making their account. The ‘special topic’ may be airplanes, comics, cars, dogs, furry animals, minecraft, ‘Frozen’ or a range of other topics. The child will gain rewards when they eat food that their parent has prescribed for them, these rewards are in relation to the ‘special topic’ the child has chosen. Next the user is brought to a page of ‘Helpful Tips’ for the parent / carer to read through. The categories of tips are: Feeding Techniques, Gluten-Free Diet Benefits and How to Make Mealtime Fun. Once the parent or carer has read through the tips, they can then design the child’s meal plan. Parents and children will both be able to check the child’s progress in the app. The child can look back and see how far they have come and all the new food they have eaten. This feature reminds the child of what they have eaten before, hopefully encouraging them to eat it again. There is also a streak feature within the app. The app keeps count of how many days in a row the child has eaten everything on their schedule and displays the how many days the streak is on the app. The Apps main aim is to help children maintain a healthy, balanced diet, and most importantly enjoy food and the culture around it; be it preparing it, serving it or being able to sit down and have a family dinner.
Some children only eat wet or only eat dry foods. If meal time does not go exactly as the child wishes, such as not being able to find their favourite fork, their chips not presented correctly on their plate or a small amount of wet food touching their dry food, meal time can turn into a disaster. Both the child and caregiver can become anxious, upset, angry or distressed. This consistently happening over time, can turn meal time into a dreaded activity. The current research hopes to combat these issues. The project hopes to both turn meal time into a fun activity and expand children’s diets. This will hopefully lead to children leading healthier lifestyles and enjoying the culture around food. Be it preparing it, eating it or being able to sit down and eat a family dinner.