OpenIDEO is an open innovation platform. Join our global community to solve big challenges for social good. Sign up, Login or Learn more

Family Connection -- Eat & Play

Our idea is to use a YouTube channel & SMS-based notifications to connect parents with relevant information to help their children lead more active and nutritious lives. 1 - Existing SMS communication has a low barrier to use and is easily accessible for low-income families 2 - Encourage parents to leverage public health resources to provide better meals for their children through YouTube videos & SMS communication 3 - Encourage children to creatively play and exercise wherever they are through fun & stimulating YouTube videos

Photo of Brian Barela
3 1

Written by

1 - Easy SMS Opt-in
Parents opt-in to receive timely and relevant SMS notifications about local food discounts and play activities.

2 - Contextual Notifications
On the way home from work, they receive a text message with a healthy, low-cost recipe for dinner and a playtime activity to keep children occupied while preparing the meal.

3 - Relevant Suggestions & Information About Nutritious Food 
Parent purchases or picks up nutritious food items from local grocery store on sale or food pantry.

4 - Play 
Parent clicks on the previously received text-message link, leading to a YouTube video that inspires their kids with a new activity or way to play while the parent is preparing the meal

5 - Connect & Grow
Family is building toward a healthy and active lifestyle together.


Who will benefit from this idea and where are they located?

Low-income parents in densely populated urban areas where there are a number of public health and nonprofit resources.

How could you test this idea in a quick and low-cost way right now?

Sent an SMS message to a few parents with a low cost meal recommendation and a link to a YouTube video on playtime activities for toddlers. Interviewed parents to get their feedback on the meal recommendation and video. Evaluated ease of use and additional considerations for low-income parents such as when they receive paychecks or public subsidies for food. Asked parents for suggestions on activities that can be performed inside a house or in a small space.

What kind of help would you need to make your idea real?

We need help with ... 1 - Technical consulting on the best SMS-based platform to send the notifications 2- Expert advice from public health and NGO leaders who understand the challenges of navigating the number of services offered.

Is this an idea that you or your organization would like to take forward?

  • Yes. I am ready and interested in testing this idea and making it real in my community.

Attachments (1)


Slide deck presentation and prototype of idea


Join the conversation:

Photo of Guy Viner

Interesting share! With the focus of this challenge centering around children in developing world countries, how might you adapt this idea to keep their unique needs and challenges in mind?

View all comments