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My Fitness Pal

“I love the app My Fitness Pal,” says Amy Baxter, MD, a mom of 15- and 12-year-old sons and a 10-year-old daughter; the CEO of Buzzy4Shots.com; and the director of emergency research, Scottish Rite, of the Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta, in Georgia. “It’s a free app you can use to scan barcodes, count calories, and chart the food you eat and exercise you do. Best of all, you can connect with pals.”

It’s never been easier to keep a food journal and know exactly how many calories you’re eating every day, thanks to food and fitness tracking apps such as MyFitnessPal. Open the app on your phone or computer every day, plug in the food you eat — manually or using the barcode scanner — and the app does the math for you. When you exercise, MyFitnessPal calculates how many calories you burned and adds it to your diary. If you choose, you can also track your weight and connect with friends who use the app.

The best part: It’s free! MyFitnessPal is available across Android, iOS, Blackberry, Kindle, and Windows apps, so find the app in your phone’s app store or go to MyFitnessPal.com and set up an account.

My Fitness Pal includes a comprehensive database of more than 3,000,000 foods. You can create your own food database and add your own foods and recipes at any time and access them from anywhere with an Internet connection. It also offers support with its discussion forums let you learn from others, share your own tips, receive and give encouragement, and make friends.

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.