Tasty Startups: Yumit
The Craving it Satisfies
Interactive games that encourage kids to eat.
Why it has a winning recipe
Note to fellow parents: before reading what I’m about to write next, keep in mind that my 11-month-old has yet to sleep more than five consecutive hours. Not once, not one night. So, we each have our struggles….
On my fortunate end, my guy eats everything. He finishes whatever is put in front of him. And get this – he really loves healthy food and has only made faces when offered a taste of pastries or sweets.
I know how rare this is. Each meal is an epic conflict for the majority of parents. Kids don’t like foods, won’t try foods, throw foods, would rather play or do anything other than eat their food. And I know better than to laugh. I have a niece that more or less refuses to eat, and poor auntie is at her wits’ end.
Yumit (as in yumit.io, not to be confused with YumIt at yumit.com) wants to give parents a hand by turning meals into an interactive good time for kids. As kids eat food from their plates, sensors record the weight change in real time, relaying the info through the Yumit app, and rewarding youngsters with virtual energy to play games on electronic devices. Kids fuel up to fuel up.
I like this approach because it cleverly does something that is nearly impossible, which is get kids to understand why they have to eat. That connection just doesn’t happen. Tell them they need food for energy, and expect food to come flinging your way. Tell them they need to eat to power up a game, and they’ll lunge for their utensils.
Yumit is also a smart solution to the kids not eating problem because kids have an eerily strong attraction to glowing screens. A chance to lock eyes on a digital screen is a powerful incentive. Not only does Yumit reward kids with tech fun that they love for eating, but it also slyly establishes boundaries for using electronic devices.
In one humble parent’s opinion, tablet/smartphone/desktop time should be limited; it should be awarded rather than considered a given. Here, I’m already locked in a fight with my son like so many other parents. It’s tough to get kids to avert their eyes from all those flashing lights and singing animals. Yumit smartly builds an association between eating and receiving game time, managing to motivate kids to eat while also reinforcing the idea that there are strings attached to playing with electronic devices.
Tired of playing charades, making airplane noises and more or less going out of your mind when trying to get your kids to eat? Check out the Yumit place setting and app to turn mealtime into fun time.
How can you have any device time if you don’t eat your meat? Give kids game incentives to eat with the #Yumit meal set.