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Pick Your Plate

White plate with a smiley face on a pink background
Reviewed on 8/20/20

Did you know that food recommendation charts look different in different countries? Not just in what sorts of categories food is divided into (is fish a separate category from meat?), but also what shape the chart itself is in?  For instance, in Lebanon, it's shaped like a cedar tree! In this free app, players can choose a country to explore.  You'll see each country's food guide, then be presented with about 8 different food options for breakfast, 8 new food options for lunch, and 8 again for dinner. You are given a budget (in local currency!) and you can see the food guide on the side of the screen.  Choose foods that you can afford to purchase with your budget and that fill in a balance of different nutritional categories from the local food guide. Then, see how well you did! This is a fun introduction to the different foods eaten at different meals in countries around the world.  It's a great way to start conversations about how we decide which foods are good for us and how that can look different depending on where you live (although bodies aren't that different around the world -- interesting!).  If you're inspired to cook some of the foods you see here, there are some sample recipes on the Smithsonian website in a cute, printable booklet. The countries included are: Mexico, United States, Argentina, Benin, Finland, Lebanon, Cambodia and Australia.  The app's settings control whether music or sound effects are included. There's also a separate version of the app that's all in Spanish!