BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Food Explorer Club is growing with app downloads from parents of picky eaters as moms and dads look for new ways to get their children to try new foods.
Since launching the app in October 2019, the app has been downloaded by the thousands and it’s in almost every state in the United States and five countries.
The Food Explorer Club was created to help parents get their kids to try new foods. Created in Birmingham, Ala., the Gibson family came up with the idea when one of their daughters, Ali, was reluctant to try a banana. Since then, the app has been a huge success for many families who share their testimonies in the Food Explorer Club Facebook group and Ali officially likes bananas.
Through the Facebook group, Kassady Gibson tells CBS 42, she is able to connect with the app users and ask for feedback.
In addition to the growing Food Explorer Club community, Gibson says they will attend the Autism conference in Tuscaloosa at the end of February because they have learned that the app is helpful for pediatric feeding therapists.
“The way the app works is really in line with what feeding therapists are doing and it’s a way for them to take it home so parents can utilize those same concepts,” Gibson said.
As far as the app goes, they are always looking for ways to make it more fun for users. There are limited edition badges that children can earn. For example, during Mardi Gras, there is a limited edition “King Cake” badge that kids can earn if they try the Louisiana staple.
Gibson said one of their most popular new badges is the “Brave Bite” badge. The badge is awarded to children who try a food that they might be scared of or deemed icky once before.
“Kids just get scared to try things,” Gibson said. “They either, at some point, might have had a bad strawberry and decided they didn’t like any strawberries or they’re scared of the seeds, so with the ‘Brave Bite’ badge it’s a way for parents to give them an additional badge that’s really cool that makes them feel strong and excited.”
The Food Explorer Club also celebrated a milestone since it launched. In February they awarded twenty thousand badges within the app.
“So that’s twenty thousand kids that have made great food choices that they might not have made without having the app,” Gibson said.
The app is free and available on Google Play and the app store.
(This story was originally published on Feb. 25, 2020)