5 of the best food planning apps

20 April 2017 by
First published: 24 May 2016

Keep your diet on track with these 5 of the best food planning apps. As a food planning app can really help you make a good start to healthy eating. There is a good, old saying: ‘fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. This was mostly used before exam time at school, but it has exactly the same benefit with food planning. If you actually make a plan to eat healthily, choose your food, create your shopping list, and buy those ingredients, there is less chance that those extra crisps or puddings will find their way into your cupboards or fridge!

The other great thing about using food apps is that there is much less waste. You only buy the ingredients you need, and you know how you are going to use them, rather than rushing around the supermarket, putting anything you fancy into a trolley, then trying to work out what to do with them later. Below are five popular apps, but there are many out there, so try a few and see which ones work best for you.

Eat This Much

This app is free to download and has in-app purchases. You can input your details and set yourself targets in terms of calories, as well as whether you want more protein or carbohydrates in your diet. This clever app then works out a meal plan based on what you have put in. It can even tailor the plan to any specific diet requests such as vegan or paleo. When you create an eating plan for over a week, the app will automatically generate a shopping list for you, with all the ingredients. It is easy to use and can be modified to your needs and preferences. This is a good app for people who really want to follow specific diets, or take an interest in the macronutrient balance of their meals.

NHS Change4Life Smart Recipes app

This is free to download, and you can use it safe in the knowledge that all the content is NHS-approved. It is quite a simple app; easy to use and full of bright colours, so you could introduce it to your children, if you wanted to try and include them in the family’s healthier eating habits. It is packed full of recipes, with ideas for breakfast, lunch and supper, as well as puddings. You can click through to see the nutritional information, ingredients and recipe method. You can add your chosen recipes to a shopping trolley to save for later. The meals are all quite simple in terms of ingredients and cooking, so would be great for a family trying to improve mealtimes.


This one works on the iPhone, iPad, and on the Apple Watch. It’s set out nicely, with lovely photos of trending recipes. You can browse specific diets, such as low-carb puddings, by filtering your search options, add items to your shopping list (as a whole for the recipe, or you can pick and choose if you want to opt out of certain ingredients). If have an account, it will sync across all of your devices, so you can choose your meals on your iPad, then go shopping with your iPhone.

My Fitness Pal

This is an old favourite, but it really is a good app. It’s free, with the choice to pay for a premium account. The standard account enables you to keep a food diary, find recipes and get a list of the ingredients, which you can print to take shopping. However, the key with this app is that you can also log the recipe, so if you cook it, the ingredients and nutritional data will be added to your food diary at the click of a button. This is the perfect app for people who want to track their exercise with their nutrition, and be inspired by simple recipes.


This one costs £3.99, but has good reviews and enables you to tap on recipes you find anywhere on the internet and add them to your bespoke recipe binder. You can plan out your meals for a month at a time, create your shopping list, and save your favourite recipes. The shopping list is automatically sorted by food types (such as dairy) and is simple to use. The key with Paprika is that it can download recipes from anywhere on the web, so you are not limited to where you get your recipe inspiration from. The app will also reopen where you left off, so if you are halfway through cooking a recipe and close the app down, it will open at the same point.