Review | Change4Life Food Scanner App

Change4Life food scanner app

You have probably heard the recent advice on the radio lately – children should be eating no more than two 100 calorie snacks a day. But how do we know what the healthy snack choices are? Things that we think are good for us sometimes turn out not to be the best option. 

The new Change4Life food scanner app can help. We have been putting it to the test over the last few days, and have found it incredibly useful in helping us to make good food choices. 

The app is readily available on both iPhone and Android phones, and is incredibly simple to use. When you load it up, there is a barcode scanner – simply hold this over the barcode of whichever food you want to find out about, and it will analyse it and give you information about the salt, sugar and saturated fat content. 

Change4Life food scanner app

Some of the snacks I would previously have given the children may not be the best choices. I scanned some common household snack staples such as cheese strips, raisins and jelly. Jelly was much better for the children that I realised, coming up as low in sugar, salt and saturated fat.Raisins are better eaten at mealtimes as they can stick to teeth causing tooth decay, and so we have started to add them to porridge instead of offering as a snack. Cheese strips are much, much higher in saturated fat and salt than I realised, and this is something we will no longer choose to buy; instead we will cut small cubes from our usual cheese. 

During our shop, the children really enjoyed using the Change4Life Food Scanner App. It is child friendly, and easy to use, and it encouraged the children to make healthier choices. Anything they scanned which showed red ‘traffic lights’ they put back on the shelf, instead searching for something which got the green thumbs up. In the end we came away with a lot of fresh fruit and veg and hummus, some jelly, a malt loaf and some low sugar fromage frais. 

I feel much happier with this app on my phone. It makes it so much easier to choose appropriate snacks when I am shopping, without any of the guesswork. It means I can keep the cupboards stocked with 100 calorie or less snacks, and feel reassured that whatever the kids choose to grab during the day, it will be a healthier option.



  1. February 6, 2018 / 8:30 am

    I have this app on my phone. It’s great for showing the kids what they are eating, weather it’s full of reds or greens #TriedTested
    Natasha Mairs recently posted…Win a Cosatto Unicorn Print BagMy Profile

  2. February 6, 2018 / 10:08 am

    What a great app and fantastic for children to use themselves too. I have seen the adverts on TV and it’s a bit of a shocker, it has certainly made me rethink school lunchbox treats somewhat! Sim x #TriedTested

  3. February 6, 2018 / 1:40 pm

    This is such a great idea….I didn’t know it existed until now.
    Well you learn something new every day. I didn’t know that you should only eat raisins and dried fruit at mealtimes x
    Kim Carberry recently posted…Baylis & Harding Valentine’s Gifts.My Profile

  4. February 6, 2018 / 4:34 pm

    I’m thinking this could be good for during the day when N asks for a snack. He does have fruit or yoghurt (although we have normal not low fat because of the quality being better), but it’s hard to get him away from dried fruit snacks
    Emma T recently posted…Cradle cap in older childrenMy Profile

  5. February 7, 2018 / 6:28 pm

    I don’t have much time for many Government initiatives but Change4Life has always impressed me and this is a useful aid to healthy eating which we all worry about as parents #TriedandTested
    Kate recently posted…Meeting Jane from the Natural Birthing CompanyMy Profile

  6. February 12, 2018 / 1:39 pm

    This sounds like a great app. I sometimes read the packages of things and I am often surprised by exactly what is in the things we are eating, I want to be more aware of this now and this app seems like a great way to do that #TriedTested

  7. February 12, 2018 / 6:50 pm

    I must admit we’ve never bought cheese strips but raisins have always been a standard snack in our house. I shall think twice.
    Colette recently posted…A Space Race with BEAR YoyosMy Profile

  8. April 13, 2019 / 9:43 pm

    This app is VERY POOR. what child ears all 5 of a box of Barny bears or 6 packets of Animal biscuits. Surly it would be a better app for children if it showed levels in portions? we also scanned Clover, who would eat a whole 500g pack?

    • kate
      April 15, 2019 / 2:08 pm

      We really like it. I think it’s better just used as a guide, to help you make healthier choices where possible. I see your point about the Barny packs etc, but it just helps with comparisons. For example, a box of 5 Barny’s is a less healthy choice overall than a box of 5 jellies. Same with the Clover, it might help to compare with another brand to see which is the best.

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