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Tech review: Healthy-eating apps to shed the 'quarantine 15'

The BigOven app helps users prepare a grocery

The BigOven app helps users prepare a grocery list to make sojourns to the supermarket faster. The premium version ($2 per month) adds more features and more recipes. Credit: Newsday/

Those high-calorie comfort food and takeout dinners you’ve been eating and the loose-fitting comfortable clothing you’ve been wearing may be resulting in a weighty problem: the “quarantine 15” — extra pounds packed on as you shelter at home. These apps can help you prepare healthy meals or raise a glass and, hopefully, toast your good health.

Oh She Glows

(iOS, $1.99; Android, $2.49)

Whether it’s because beef is getting more costly or you simply want to try some meat-free meals, this app fills the bill while it fills you up. Oh She Glows, from food author Angela Liddon, has healthy and great-tasting vegan recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks. Some recipes are free, but others are unlocked via in-app purchases.


(iOS, Android; free)

In this time of social distancing, this social cooking app brings people closer together. In addition to recipes from BigOven, you can find recipes uploaded by other users. Have a favorite of your own? Upload it and let others enjoy it. You can also prepare a grocery list to make your sojourns to the supermarket faster. The premium version ($2/month) adds more features and more recipes.

Project Foodie

(iOS; free)

If your quarantine pantry is down to a can of spam and a package of beef jerky, this iOS-only app won’t help. But for those looking to bring their cooking to the next level, Project Foodie has recipes (many easy) and how-to videos to get your creations from idea to table. Recipes include cooking timers, so your meals should be well done but not overcooked. 

8,500+ Drink Recipes

(iOS, Android; free)

No, you haven’t been sheltering in place for 8,500 days, although it may feel like it. But if sheltering in place goes on for another 8,500 days, you may be thankful for this app, which, as its name promises, has recipes for more than 8,500 drinks so you can add to the mix of your mixology skills. And when the local lockdown is lifted, you can celebrate with a well-made Long Island Iced Tea.

Snapchat ‘Here for You’

Snapchat has rolled out a tool to help its mostly young user base cope with fears about coronavirus, stress associated with social isolation and other concerns. “Here for You” is activated when users type certain terms in the search bar, for instance “coronavirus” or “anxiety.” The search results include links to resources where users can learn more or get help. About 90 percent of Snapchat users are 13-24 years old.


Video game sales hit new record

Americans are playing lots of video games as they shelter in place. Port Washington-based NPD Group said spending on video games hit $10.9 billion in the first quarter, a new record. Among the most popular games were Animal Crossing: New Horizons, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare and NBA 2K20. NPD said games were used not only as a diversion but “as a means of staying connected with family and friends.”


Facebook buys GIF library

Facebook acquired Giphy, a library of video clips and animated images known as GIFs that can be attached to messages, adding features that could encourage users to communicate through its apps. The acquisition price was about $400 million. Giphy provides GIF search functions for other apps, including Twitter and TikTok, and it will keep up those integrations— potentially giving Facebook insight into activity on competitors’ platforms.


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