Nicolas’ Garden: Healthy eating app created by kids for kids

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

Return to Table of Contents: 2013 Spring Edition of Family Business Quarterly

Nicolas Come, 8-year-old founder of NIcolas’ Garden, and his family: Dad, Stephane (left), Nicolas, brother Remy, and mom, Criss at the Soil Born Farm, Rancho Cordova, Ca. in May 2013.

At six years old, Nicolas Come was a picky eater and his Dad, Stephane, didn’t want to make food an issue. “I knew I couldn’t force feed him,” his Dad said. “So I decided to educate him about food and the value of food. We started a garden and he became very interested in food for good health.” Shortly thereafter, Nicolas wanted to start a company to share what he was learning with other children. According to his Dad, Come kept bringing him the laptop asking him for help to start a company. “I am a technologist,” his Dad said, “And he wanted me to build an app.”

So his Dad took him to a Hack-A-Thon at the Sacramento Hacker Lab where people with ideas pitch to a crowd of technologists, designers and marketing professionals to solicit support.

The then six-year-old Come stood on a chair in front of 200 people and declared that he wanted to solve the health crisis of kids not heating nutritious foods, and declared his vision for an app that would allow kids to share and comment on healthy and tasty recipes. It was clear that he wanted to start a kids’ movement for eating healthy.

Tim DeMent, Sr. Executive VP of App Matrix. “I was amazed at how clear his vision was and how Nicolas was able to execute his vision with a team. So I contacted his Dad and we committed to develop and support the app.”

Come’s vision was a big hit. His initial website project, Nicolas’ Garden, won a Hack-a-Thon award, which caught the attention of an app developer in Rocklin, Tim DeMent, Sr. Executive VP of App Matrix. “I was amazed at how clear his vision was and how Nicolas was able to execute his vision with a team,” DeMent said. “So I contacted his Dad and we committed to develop and support the app.”

Nicolas’ Garden app is designed to build community around healthy eating by sharing recipes which are pre-approved by a set of standards that conform to the First Lady’s healthy eating initiative.

And it puts kids in charge of planning and preparing healthy meals, and sharing their experiences with different recipes.

***

Nicolas’ Garden officially launched the healthy eating app at the Soil Born Farm’s Annual “Day on the Farm” event in Rancho Cordova on May 16.

I attended the event and had a chance to visit the Come family.

Criss Come, Mom, acknowledges that her son Nicolas, now eight years old, is the type of person who when he sees something wrong, he wants to change it; he is on a mission to help children become interested in growing, cooking and eating healthy food. “My younger son, Remy [who is six years old] is very excited to also start a company like his big brother,” she said. “And we have told him that we will support his efforts, and his focus will be different. We want to support our children to be who they are and pursue their own interests.”

Come demonstrated for me how the app was searchable to find recipes for the ingredients you have in your pantry or refrigerator. He typed “kids” in the search box and there were no recipes displayed in the result. “See,” he explained, “There are no recipes that use kids as an ingredient because we don’t eat kids.”  And then he demonstrated the same result for poison, because “we don’t cook with poison.”

Eight-year-old Nicolas Come founded a company called Nicolas’ Garden, to encourage kids to eat healthy. Nicolas’ Garden app launched May 19, 2013 at Soil Born Farms in Rancho Cordova, Ca.

When asked about why it was important that he create this app he replied, “I wanted to share the things I am learning about gardening and food. It is so much fun. Why should I keep it to myself when other kids need the same thing as me?”

Visit Nicolas’ Garden and download the app

Proceed to next article: Parents who rock support one another

Return to Table of Contents: 2013 Spring Edition of Family Business Quarterly

Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner: Eight-year-old entrepreneur launches kids healthy eating app

(BMB-0052-3)

Joanna Jullien is an author, educator and speaker on strengthening the parent-child relationship in a cyber powered world. She is the author of The Authority In Me: The Power of Family Life in the Network Culture, produces The Sacramento Cyber Safety Examiner column on Examiner.com, and is the CyberParenting advisor on The Fish 103.9FM, Tuesdays.

 

Joanna Jullien
(Photo: Christi Benz)

 

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About Joanna Jullien

Joanna Jullien

Joanna (jullien@surewest.net) and her husband have raised two sons in Roseville, CA. She has a degree from U.C. Berkeley in Social Anthropology (corporate culture). Her honors thesis was awarded the Kroeber Prize and funding from National Science Foundation grant. Joanna writes to help parents with the modern-day leadership challenges of raising children. She is a contributing writer for The Granite Bay View, the Press Tribune, the Sacramento Examiner, and editor of Banana Moments.

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