The customer wanted an app with recipes for healthy eating.
The app needed to put together meal plans for the user based on their eating habits and a nutrition system of their choice.
In addition to that, the app had to help the user with grocery shopping.
We have developed an app for iOS and Android. It allows the user to select a nutrition plan to follow.
A nutrition plan is an eating system with certain food restrictions. If a food group does not match a plan, the plan will not include the items from this group.
The user can also manually replace a recipe in the meal plan, if they don’t like it.
We intend to integrate the app with a delivery service, include subscriptions, and add a nutrition plan editing feature.
App logic. The logic of the app is built around the nutrition plan. More specifically, the eating plans that include a list of recipes for each meal. Each plan covers two weeks, after which it gets replaced with a new one. It is also possible to change the current nutrition plan at any time.
There are various food groups specified in the app. Each group consists of a certain list of food items. When the user selects a nutrition plan, they can see the food groups excluded from it.
If the recipe contains a food from the excluded group, the entire recipe is removed. If the user would like to see their favorite recipe in the app, they can suggest a recipe to be included.
The app logic is configured in such a way that the recipes repeat as rarely as possible. However, if the user likes a certain recipe, they can add it to the nutrition plan as often as they like.
The recipes are selected based on the satiety level. This is a special parameter associated with every recipe. Its value ranges from 0.1 to 1. The app adds up the satiety levels of recipes, so that their sum is close to 1 for each meal. This means that the user should feel full after a meal.
A convenient shopping list helps with grocery shopping. Once a nutrition plan is selected, the app puts together a menu with recipes. Each recipe displays an image of the dish, a list of ingredients, and the actual cooking instructions for the user.
The user can generate a shopping list for selected days. All the foods are grouped so that the user knows exactly how much they need to buy of each product. This means that the food will not spoil in the fridge. A checklist can be created as well to tick off food items in real time while shopping. The shopping list can also be generated as a PDF file that the user can save or share with someone else. By default, the app calculates the food amounts for one person, but the number of servings can be changed. The grocery shopping amounts will recalculate automatically.
Working out the logic for recipe selection turned out to be a difficult task. It is based upon a multitude of variables, which means it was the most bug-prone part of the app.
Together with an analyst, we worked out a recipe selection logic for each meal that takes into account the satiety level, the recipe category, using the recipe for another meal on the same or on a different day, and the exclusion of the recipe based on the nutrition plan. It turned out that implementing the logic was not a straightforward task, but we figured out a convenient selection algorithm.
“I really like cooking and eating healthy, but I hate spending too much time on it. I use services that offer eating plans quite often. For me, the main benefit of this particular service is the shopping list. You don’t have to manually calculate what to buy and how much to buy. The app will do the math for you and group the foods conveniently.“
The app offers a selection of 8 nutrition plans compiled from 179 recipes. The user may manually add recipes to the meals or remove them. Required foods are grouped into a shopping list with a handy checklist.
At the moment the app has passed alpha testing on the customer’s side, and we are working on fixing bugs. We intend to integrate delivery service and manual customization of nutrition plans in the app.
The user can pick certain days and buy foods for these days only, for instance, for the next three days. The app groups the foods and displays them in a handy checklist. The user can add notes to the list items, for instance, “preferably buy tomatoes at a marketplace” and “milk is at a discount in the local supermarket”. A shopping list can be exported as a PDF file.