(credit: Dinner Spinner)

By Hyacynth Worth

It’s rare parents go anywhere without their smart phones anymore; these hand-held mini computers are used for so much more than just making phone calls and receiving texts, so it’s no wonder that so many applications have been developed specifically for families and little ones. Here’s a list of some wonderful apps for families.

AllRecipes Dinner Spinner

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Not sure what to dish up for dinner? Simply enter an ingredient on the AllRecipes app and several recipes with that ingredient will appear. Don’t have any ingredients? Search for recipes by dish type, cooking method or preparation time and then make a shopping list using the HiTask project management app. The latest version even features a grocery scanner that allows the user to scan and search for his or her favorite ingredients.

(credit: ShopNoGMO)

Shop No GMO

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Making strides toward living a healthier life while navigating the grocery store is so much easier with the Shop No GMO application. When contemplating a purchase and wanting to avoid all foods that contain genetically modified organisms, simply use the the Shop No GMO app as a guide for avoiding such foods by scrolling through the list of food types and then searching for the brand. Parents can even favorite their most beloved GMO products for easy recall. Also, Shop No GMO goes beyond food and also helps families navigate body care products.


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Emergency situations crop up quickly and demand immediate action. He!p is an ap specifically developed to give parents what they need during such an emergency. With this app, parents can search for nearby hospitals, pharmacies or nearby fire and police stations, recall their insurance information, look up their prescriptions and access other personal healthcare information. Another bonus? When an item is recalled, parents will be notified by alert.

(credit: Find My Friends)

Find My Friends

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Having teens that are constantly on the go is made manageable by this smart, simple app — provided teens also have smart phones. Mom and dad can add their teens (or any friends really) to their friend list and track their location down to the street address provided teens carry their phones with them everywhere they go. This parent-friendly app not only allows mom and dad to ensure their children are where they said they would be, but it also can give peace of mind to parents of new drivers who might need to rescue a child having car trouble or stuck in a harry situation.

Nighty Night

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Preschoolers especially are entranced by the interactive story that unfolds thanks to this app. Guided by a narrator, little ones are brought into a virtual story book where kiddos have the opportunity to tuck in all the barnyard animals and help them turn out the lights in each of their respective places in the barnyard. With animals that move and make noises, too, the game is educational, fun and extremely engaging during the moments when little hands and brains need to be engaged.

(credit: Angry Birds)

Angry Birds

Seems like most ages really love playing Angry Birds! While it’s easy enough for even a preschooler to play, it’s also challenging enough for older kids, teens and even adults. It’s a perfect animated game to hand over to kiddos when quiet and focus is a must or mom and dad have run out of other tools in their parenting bags while waiting to see the doctor or standing in an extremely long line.


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Most parents have found themselves out and about with hungry children while in unfamiliar neighborhood territory. Urbanspoon helps take the guess work out of finding someplace to feed the family. Being able to weed through based on food type, proximity and price are notable features of this restaurant-finding app. Also fun is being able to shake and find a smattering of restaurants nearby when you’re in the mood to try something new!

(credit: Olivia Burt)


SpotDash Website

Not necessary for the busy family, but still fun to have, SpotDash is a CBS app that takes you on an adventure through Chicago. It’s like a scavenger hunt, but fun.

SpotDash has adventures for Italian beef, The Field Museum, Shedd Aquarium, Wrigleyville, and more!

If you want to know Chicago better, check it out!

Read more about it here.

Hyacynth Worth writes almost daily about body, soul, spirit, mind and motherhood at www.undercovermother.net.