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Apps - Oct 12, 2017

Five of the best apps for parents right now

Buy some “you” time, find help with fussy eaters, get organized and more with these apps perfect for parents

Life with kids can be impossibly busy – so let your smartphone help wherever possible. Check out these five free or inexpensive apps that promise to make daily life with children just a little less stressful and maybe a bit more fun, too. Technology to rescue!

1. Today’s Parent Mealtime

Free | iOS; Android

It’s 3 p.m. and you’re once again wondering what the heck you’re going to serve the kids tonight (and guiltily pondering whether it might have to be takeout – again). It doesn’t have to be this way. Today’s Parent Mealtime meal-planning app promises to take the stress out of dinner.

Choose from more than 6,000 healthy, affordable and kid-friendly recipes, either by searching or using one of the app’s curated collections, and easily slot them into days of the week.

Want to serve your mom’s famous chicken soup one night? Under the Custom Recipes tab, you can add or store your own personal favourites by adding in the details or a link to the recipe on a different website. The app’s coolest feature might just be its ability to generate a grocery list of required ingredients, which you can then email or text to yourself or your partner. Genius!

2. Curious George: Letters

$3.99 | iOS

As preschoolers and kindergarten-age children begin to learn about letters, phonetics and reading, they’ll need all the help they can get. Read to them every night, help them with their homework, and support them by making learning fun with a great reading app. Curious George: Letters is a great choice.

In this app, the uppercase letters have been separated from their lowercase counterparts and it’s your kid’s job to help them find each other. They’ll get some help from everyone’s favourite monkey and his BFF, the Man with the Yellow Hat.

3. Baby Daybook: Breastfeeding & Care Tracker

Free | Android

With the joy of a new baby also usually comes a bit of brain fog (blame the hormones and sleep deprivation). The Baby Daybook app lets you keep track of all things baby. Log diaper changes, breastfeeding sessions and naps with a simple tap to start and finish – the dark interface will not disturb your newborn during night feeding (they’ve thought of everything).

We especially love that the app synchronizes baby’s activities with your partner or multiple caregivers, like grandma or nanny, so everyone knows what’s up.

4. ChoreMonster

Free | iOS; Android

You’ve told your kids to brush their teeth, make their beds, put their laundry in the hamper and empty the dishwater over, and over and over again. With the ChoreMonster app, you can do less nagging, more playing!

Here’s how it works: parents log in to the accompanying app, Mothershp, on their own device, and assign chores and rewards to their kids. Those items are instantly updated in the kids’ ChoreMonster app. ChoreMonster “gamifies” chores by offering kids points for completing their jobs, which they can then use toward a reward of your choosing.

5. Sago Mini

Prices vary; available for iOS or Android

Need to amuse your preschooler while she waits for her pediatrician appointment – or while you wait for that “speedy” oil change to finally be finished? Sago Mini to the rescue! This Canadian company offers more than 20 award-winning apps for little kids that are super cute, easy to use and surprisingly engaging.

With Toolbox, your little builder can use a wrench, try a saw or hammer some nails to get important work done. With Babies, your child will enjoy dressing, feeding and cleaning the adorable Sago Mini babies. In Ocean Swimmer, you kid becomes an underwater explorer.