Nicolas Come, age 9, is on a mission: He wants to help kids learn to love healthy food. After a family project inspired him to break free of his own picky eating habits, he decided to create Nicolas’ Garden, an app for kids like him. Scholastic Parent & Child chatted with him about his journey from food shunner to lover.
P&C: Why were you so choosy about food?
Nicolas: New flavors were too tangy and different; I wasn’t used to them. I’m actually still kind of picky, but now I try more foods more often, so I learn to like them.
P&C: What inspired you to start making a change?
Nicolas: My dad thought having a garden might help. I think he was running out of ideas! He built garden beds in our backyard, and we worked together to plant tons of fruits and veggies. It was so much fun! Learning how they grew made me way more interested in trying them.
P&C: What advice do you have for other fussy eaters?
Nicolas: The next time you’re served a new food, take one small bite. Next time, try a little more. Helping to cook some of your meals makes trying new things easier, too.
P&C: Why did you create an app?
Nicolas: I wanted other kids to learn about food and cooking, and I wanted kids to be able to share recipes. My dad suggested we pitch it at the Hackathon, a conference in Sacramento, CA, where people tell their ideas to a team of developers. I stood up on a chair and told mine!
P&C: How does it work?
Nicolas: The app has recipes for everything from chicken curry to tomato sauce. When you tap a recipe, it shows a big picture, cook time, prep time, calorie count, everything. When you flip it the other direction, it shows step-by-step pictures. The pictures help kids make the recipes on their own or with help.
P&C: We hear you also met the president?!
Nicolas: Yes! I was at the White House for a healthy-eating summit. I thought I might meet the first lady, but she didn’t have time. But the president did! My dad was all “AHH!!” I knew this was a once in a lifetime opportunity, so I quickly told the president about my app and gave him a business card. It was pretty cool.
P&C: Last question: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Nicolas: I want to be an explorer and a cook. I’m going to work in restaurants to help pay for my adventures around the world.
Plus: Check out 4 more fun apps for picky eaters!
Chop it; mix it; cook it; nuke it. Kids explore cooking through games. iOS, $3.
Kids Food Adventure
There’s nothing like a sticker chart to encourage kids to try new foods! iOS, free.
Twists on kid-favorite recipes help you expand his palate. iOS, $2.
Kids log their healthy eats for points toward real-world rewards like a new toy! iOS, free.