First Lady Michelle Obama’s Apps for Healthy Kids Contest awarded ZisBoomBah’s Pick Chow! with the Grand Prize of $10,000 and national recognition for its fight for healthy childhood nutrition.
BOULDER, Colo.—September 29, 2010— In ceremonies today that included a White House visit, the USDA announced ZisBoomBah as a grand-prize winner in the First Lady’s Apps for Healthy Kids competition. Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Chief Technology Officer Aneesh Chopra and Let’s Move! Executive Director Robin Schepper recognized teams from across the nation that answered the call to design games and apps that encourage healthy eating and physical activity.
“The First Lady is leading the charge to end childhood obesity and the Apps for Healthy Kids competition is another example of the innovation and dedication being applied to meet that goal,” Valisk commented. “Today, we are honored to award the talent of our Nation’s innovators while encouraging nutritious food choices and physical activity.”
Expressing gratitude to First Lady Michelle Obama, the expert judges, and the public, ZisBoomBah founder Karen Laszlo said afterward, “ It is an amazing opportunity to be awarded this national award. Both Mike and I feel honored and blessed with a dedicated, talented team and set of advisors. This award will help us move faster to reach more children so that they too can learn the skills to choose healthier options.”
ZisBoomBah has been developing innovative software tools for families since its foundation in 2008. Working with a core team in Boulder and a small group of cherry-picked talents from around the country including developers, designers, writers and a videographer, the company launched its test site in October 2009 and had launched Pick Chow!, its first free online tool, in March 2010. When the Apps for Healthy Kids competition was announced, the team believed Pick Chow! exceeded the submission criteria. Still, “To place first in this national competition is a huge boost for our small startup,” co-founder Mike Carcaise states. “We flipped conventional wisdom by developing a pioneering online tool that actually gives the kids a voice in what they want to eat. The early response and acceptance has been overwhelming and this award is deeply gratifying—we are on the right path to changing the way kids make healthy meal choices.”
ZisBoomBah competed against nearly 100 technology innovators from across the nation. Top submissions were reviewed by the expert panel of judges based on the following criteria: potential impact on target audience; quality, accuracy and content of message; creativity and originality; potential for further development and use; potential to engage and motivate target audience.
Determined to offer Pick Chow! to all U.S. grade school children, Laszlo says, “We are thrilled to invest the prize money in gaining awareness among children wherever they may be: schools, camps, community events, and homes.” ZisBoomBah has already launched Pick Chow!
For a full list of winning games and apps, and links to the designs or videos of prototypes, please refer to our Apps for Healthy Kids Winner Fact Sheet or go to: www.AppsforHealthyKids.com.
The Apps for Healthy Kids competition was sponsored and administered by the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion. Funding for the GE Healthymagination Students Awards was provided by General Electric.
The U.S Department of Agriculture is an active member of the Let’s Move! team, alongside the Department of Education, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. For more information on the First Lady’s Let’s Move! initiative visit www.LetsMove.gov. The Apps for Healthy Kids competition is a collaborative initiative of the White House Office of the First Lady, the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy, and the U.S. Department of
Agriculture’s Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion.
ZisBoomBah is an innovative website that challenges conventional wisdom and develops tools to empower children and inspire parents to live a fun, active and healthy life. ZisBoomBah’s free online tool “Pick Chow!” allows children to create meals by dragging and dropping foods onto their virtual plate. The “Add it Up!” meters show the nutritional values in a fun and easy way and rates each meal with one to five stars – a feature that helps children learn quickly how their choices make a difference in creating a well-balanced meal. Children can send their “chow” to their parents, who then receive an email with what their child has chosen to be a healthy choice for breakfast, lunch and dinner, along with the menu, recipe, shopping list and coupons.
Behind ZisBoomBah is a panel of health, nutrition and food experts and a team of experienced entrepreneurs who strive to ensure that the site’s content is sound and the recipes are as delicious for kids as they are nutritious.
To learn more about ZisBoomBah, visit the website http://www.zisboombah.com