New recipes

This Tooth-Mounted Sensor Can Track What You Eat

This Tooth-Mounted Sensor Can Track What You Eat


You might soon be able to track your nutrition intake as you take it in.

Researchers at Tufts University School of Engineering have developed a device that can identify nutrition data about what you’re eating, as you're eating it. The device, which mounts directly to a single tooth, will wirelessly transmit information about glucose, salt, and alcohol levels to a mobile device, according to Science Daily.

The research will soon be published in the journal Advanced Materials. The device is a 2mm by 2mm square that conforms and bonds to the shape of a person’s tooth. Prior to this, the only way to track consumption was inexactly, through food diaries or personally recording through apps like MyFitnessPal.

Stay up to date on what healthy means now.

Sign up for our daily newsletter for more great articles and delicious, healthy recipes.

So far the tracker has been tested in small-scale studies, proving the device can successfully differentiate between solutions of purified water, artificial saliva, 50 percent alcohol, and wood alcohol. In addition, the sensor can detect different concentrations of glucose, reports ABC News. Should it become widely available, this could be groundbreaking for those looking to control diabetes, high blood pressure, or weight through diet.

In addition, it's possible that the sensor may help users track and manage stress. The sensor has the ability to detect chemicals in saliva that indicate stress levels and physiological states, according to Medical News Today.

The three layered sensor collects and transmits waves through radio-frequency identification, or RFID. This is the same technology used in electronic toll collection, hotel room cards, and pet chip identification.

When foods are ingested, the tracker can change colors based on the food's chemical makeup, which allows for the nutrients to be detected and measured, according to Science Daily.

At this time, the product is still in the testing phase. It's not clear when or if it will be available to the public or how much it might cost.


T he T ufts D aily

Professor Fiorenzo Omenetto leads team behind innovative, tiny tooth-mounted diet tracker

Research done at the School of Engineering on a new, miniaturized diet-tracking tooth-mounted sensor has recently garnered significant media attention. On March 23 , a team from the Department of Biomedical Engineering, led by Frank C. Doble Professor of Engineering Fiorenzo Omenetto, published their research in the journal Advanced Materials about a tiny sensor — two millimeters by two millimeters — that is placed on a tooth and can track a person’s nutritional intake .

The other authors are Peter Tseng , former postdoctoral associate in Omenetto’s lab David Kaplan, Stern Family professor of engineering and chair of the biomedical engineering department Bradley Napier , a third-year Ph.D. student in biomedical engineering and senior and electrical engineering major Logan Garbarini.

“How the sensor works is you have two pieces of metal film and in between there’s a silk [inter-layer], and that inter-layer is sensitive,” Garbarini said.

According to Omenetto , on either side of the silk inter-layer, there are two antennae. Based on the sensitivity of the inter-layer, the antennae will be able to detect what is happening. For example, depending on the pH level inside the pouch, the antennae will observe the inter-layer either swelling up or contracting.

As Garbarini described, the sensor uses a transduction mechanism to relay the information that it detects.

“We have a transduction mechanism that is based on the thickness of the film, and when the thickness of the film changes due to swelling, due to ethanol or pH or whatever, then you have this great electromagnetic frequency change,” he said.

Omenetto explained that depending on the contents or pH levels that the sensor detects, it can identify what foods are being consumed. While the device can currently detect the consumption of numerous foods, Omenetto noted that expanding the list of detectable foods is one of the main areas of improvement.

“We need to build sensitivity and specificity,” he said.

The miniature size of this device makes it unique. Garbarini mentioned some other in-mouth devices but explained that their size made them impractical.

“There’s been discussion about putting some sensors in mouth guards for football players, but that’s pretty bulky you can’t wear that day-to-day,” Garbarini said. “So there’s a lot left to be desired in terms of the technology [and] where the technology goes next. So the tricky part is, how do you get something so small that’s not intrusive?”

The size is something that Garbarini believes they have accomplished.

“The sensor that we developed is really thin, tens of microns thin, so that is something that is really small and can be left on the tooth,” he said.

Jianmin Qu , dean of the School of Engineering , also noted a few other significant breakthroughs.

“The sensor works using a miniature antenna, hidden behind an outer layer that responds to different nutrients or chemicals, such as glucose, salt and alcohol. More importantly, the device is a multilayered structure where each layer responds to a different type of nutrients or chemicals, thus enabling the sensing of different foods,” he said in an email to the Daily .

Omenetto attributed the uniqueness of the device to the usage of silk.

“This is something that comes with the territory of buying materials in silk, and the silk devices, and the things we do,” he said.

In his career, Omenetto has specialized in working with silk. In 2011 , he gave a TED talk on the numerous groundbreaking applications of silk. His lab at Tufts is named the SilkLab for its focus on silk research.

The ideas behind this device were born when Omenetto first began working with the material.

“When I started working with silk, I looked at silk as a material platform for unusual devices, meaning flexible electronics, conformal electronics, implantable electronics, implantable optics, electronics that you can eat, optics that you can eat and these types of things,” Omenetto said. “And it sort of evolved a little bit the platform went through its various phases.”

After working with silk for some time, Omenetto first began exploring the option of silk used in mouth sensors with a colleague at Princeton University in 2012 .

“I always thought that it was a good idea because the oral cavity has a ton of markers,” he said.

While Omenetto and his team have been working on this device for years, they only began experimenting with a version of the device about a year and a half ago. According to Garbarini , the process included a lot of trial and error, as well as several frustrating false starts.

“There [were] false starts, [where] you start seeing some data and say, ‘Oh, this looks good, I’m going to run some more tests,’ and then of course, soon enough … you find out that doesn’t work,” Garbarini said. “So there was a lot of back and forth, and false starts, and kind of getting somewhere and then realizing you had to take four steps back and go in a different direction.”

“That’s probably the hardest part from a mental perspective. It’s not a linear path. You go down one path and it’s a dead end. You have to go all the way back and start down another path, and that’s sometimes [also] a dead end,” he said.

At the moment, it is unclear where this device will go next. While it seems likely that the device will be used for commercial purposes in the future, Garbarini and Omenetto agreed that there are still many intermediate steps to be accomplished.

“I think there’s a lot of chance to put this in the hands of dental researchers, or someone researching somewhere that’s not immediately commercial. [There’s a chance] to start off with getting it somewhere in another research lab that is researching an actual clinical issue, [such as] dry-mouth, tooth decay, diabetes, or something like that,” Garbarini said.

Omenetto believes that there are many possible applications for this device.

“I think that the ways it can help really depend on a bunch of things. It depends on a clinical need, it depends on an economical need, it could be a lifestyle application, it could be a diagnostic application [or] it could be a compliance application,” Omenetto said. “If you have someone who is recovering from surgery and needs to go through a drug regimen, [the device] helps [to] keep somebody apprised of the rate of drug intake, for example.”

He added that their research is unprecedented in the world of wearable technology.

“The material formats are, I think, unique,” Omenetto said. “The fact that you can start making these wearable pouches, and these little [devices] embedded by polymer layers, and these real tiny, tiny formats, is kind of neat.”

However, Omenetto explained that he is currently only focused on improving the device.

“As far as I’m concerned, I think that we want to make the material smarter and smarter. So we really want to address sensitivity and specificity,” he said.

While the device has received considerable praise, Omenetto understands that the device is far from its potential.

“The device is still a prototype. It’s still a very coarse detection technique. So it may have some utility, but I think that its utility needs to still advance in order to do what the people have written the device may do. But I think the direction is really into making the material more sophisticated and still compact, and very manageable,” he said.


Tooth-Mounted Diet Tracker Could Feed Our Unhealthy Relationship With Food

Is Fitbit not accurate enough for you? Apple Watch simply not invasive enough?

Maybe a wearable stuck to your tooth would be more your style.

Researchers at Tufts University have created just that. They’ve engineered a tooth-mounted sensor that tracks your every bite (and what it contains). Such a device could be useful, but it could also exacerbate our already-problematic relationship with food.

The device is two square millimeters in size and sticks to the surface of a tooth. The sensor is ingeniously simple — when its central layer changes encounters different chemicals (salt, ethanol), its electrical properties shift, transmitting a different spectrum of radio waves. Currently, the patch is set up to wirelessly transmit information about glucose, salt, and alcohol to a mobile device its creators think it could be adapted to monitor even more metrics, including “a wide range of nutrients, chemicals and physiological states,” according to a press release.

Advertisement

Advertisement

With such a simple and inexpensive design, the sensor could be made widely available. That could be a huge boon to researchers who need a cheap way to track nutrients in a study, or to people who want to get their diet in check and for whom expensive fitness trackers are out of reach, or just don’t cut it. After all, let’s face it, we’re terrible at remembering what we ate, and how much of it.

But a tracker like this one could also have some negative side effects.

Mobile calorie and exercise-tracking apps already allow people to obsess over their every meal down to the macronutrient, and anecdotal evidence suggests doing so can exacerbate obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD) and eating disorders. Clinical psychologist Lara Pence, of the Renfrew Center Eating Disorder Treatment Facility, told New Republic: “It doesn’t really take research for us as an organization or for me as a clinician to see their damaging qualities.” She emphasized that the sense of guilt that trackers promote when a user surpasses their calorie allotment “speaks to the very core pathology of the disease: If I do this, then I have to do that.”

Indeed, one 2017 study found that fitness tracking devices in general were associated with eating disorder symptoms among college students (though, strangely, the same didn’t hold true for calorie counting apps). Unfortunately, there’s a considerable lack of clinical research on their broader impact.

Advertisement

Advertisement

How would a sensor that takes away the most labor-intensive part of fitness tracking — data entry — fit into that trend? To paint with a broad brush, modern culture already has an unhealthy obsession with appearance and body type. A tooth-mounted sensor probably wouldn’t give people eating disorders these medical conditions are much more complex than that. But it could potentially worsen the symptoms of people who already have these disorders, and make it much easier for others to forget that eating sometimes isn’t just about calories and nutrients — it’s also something that can bring cultural understanding and, you know, joy.

As a Futurism reader, we invite you join the Singularity Global Community, our parent company’s forum to discuss futuristic science & technology with like-minded people from all over the world. It’s free to join, sign up now!


This tooth-mounted sensor helps you watch what you eat

Scientists have designed a way to precisely monitor the food we eat using a sensor on our tooth. No longer will we be able to get away with that bag of chips when no one’s looking.

Share on Pinterest A stick-on sensor might soon be able to monitor your food intake.

The links between diet and health are deep and complex. In their simplest terms, we know that we should eat more fresh food and much less processed, salty, fatty, sugary, and delicious food.

However, in the real world, there are plenty of shades of gray in-between.

Because scientists now know that diet is a very important factor in health, getting to grips with what we eat, how much we eat, and when we eat it is of growing importance.

Currently, methods to track people’s diets are fairly unreliable. The most commonly used practice is a good old-fashioned food diary.

However, even if someone is trying to fill it out honestly, it is easy to make errors. For instance, you might forget that you had four beers rather than three. Also, it’s notoriously difficult to keep track of how many cookies you devoured during last night’s midnight snack.

Similarly, if someone writes “portion of fries” in their food diary, it’s anyone’s guess as to how much salt was sprinkled on top, or even how big a “portion” of fries is.

Aside from food diaries, other methods of tracking food consumption have been tried. These alternative methods include mouthguard-based electrochemical sensors, which are as cumbersome to use as they are to type the name of.

Share on Pinterest The tooth-mounted sensor in action.
Image credit: Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., Tufts University

Importantly, they need to be wired up, and they are therefore no use in a real-world situation — nobody is going to visit a restaurant with wires dangling out of their mouths (especially if it’s a first date).

Other in-mouth efforts to track dietary data have suffered rapid degradation. This is because the mouth is a relatively hostile environment for technology and makes swift work of electrical components.

A new invention from scientists at the Tufts University School of Engineering in Medford, MA, might provide the seed of a solution to this problem. They have designed a tiny, wireless sensor that can be attached to a tooth.

It’s just 2 millimeters square and can flexibly conform and bond to the naturally lumpy and bumpy surface of a tooth. The sensor can collect information about a person’s consumption of salt, glucose, and alcohol as it enters the mouth. Data can be reported in real time.

In their paper — which will soon be published in the journal Advanced Materials — the researchers talk of future adaptations that will allow the sensor to detect a whole host of chemicals and nutrients.

Also, by picking up chemicals in saliva, it might be able to rate stress levels, among other physiological states.

This magnificent feat of tooth-based technology works thanks to its sandwich-like construction — which includes “a central ‘bioresponsive’ layer that absorbs” the chemical of interest and two outer layers that contain a pair of gold squares.

Working in unison, the three layers act as an antenna, receiving and “transmitting waves in the radiofrequency spectrum.”

When the bioresponsive layer comes into direct contact with some salt, for instance, its electrical properties change, causing the sensor to pump out a slightly different array of radio frequency waves.

In this way, a detector can pick out exactly what compounds are being introduced into the mouth.

“In theory,” explains the study’s corresponding author, Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D., “we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals — we are really limited only by our creativity.”

“ We have extended common RFID [radiofrequency ID] technology to a sensor package that can dynamically read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to skin, or any other surface.”

Fiorenzo Omenetto, Ph.D.

This innovation could be a game-changer for the world of nutrition and health research. Finally, we will be able to collect reliable data on food intake.

Perhaps, further down the line, it can be programmed to sound an alarm when we’ve had too many cakes. Or, maybe it could be connected to our bank so that once a certain amount of alcohol has passed our lips, our account is suspended. I’m not sure I want that type of innovation in my life, though.

On a serious note, it would be fascinating to get a fuller picture of what we consume on a daily basis it could revolutionize our understanding of the role of food in our lives.


This tooth-mounted sensor will tell you more about what you eat

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering have developed an oral sensor that can wirelessly transmit data on the intake of elements such as glucose, salt and alcohol

Human teeth are among the most extraordinary feats of nature—and now, they may even be able to track what you ate and help you monitor your dietary intake.

Researchers at the Tufts University School of Engineering have developed a tooth-mounted sensor that can wirelessly transmit data on the intake of elements such as glucose, salt and alcohol. The sensor, which can be placed on the tooth, sends the information to a mobile device.

The sensor has been designed in a way that it can adapt to the tooth’s uneven surface. According to a news release on the university’s website, the sensor is made up of “three sandwiched layers". There’s “a central ‘bioresponsive’ layer that absorbs the nutrient or other chemicals that can be detected, and outer layers consisting of two square-shaped gold rings. Together, the three layers act like a tiny antenna, collecting and transmitting waves in the radio frequency (RF) spectrum". These waves can then be detected and recorded using radio-frequency identification (RFID) devices.

For the outer layers, the researchers used two stacked split-ring resonators, which are commonly used in meta-materials (made using different elements so that they exhibit different properties, such as electric and magnetic resonance, that are not found in natural or conventional materials), to produce magnetic responses. According to the research paper, published in the journal Advanced Materials earlier this year, the resonators’ small form factor and “lower resonant frequency" make them apt for use with traditional RF instruments.

To test the effectiveness of the central “bioresponsive" layer, the sensor was exposed to solutions like deionized water, artificial saliva, ethanol, methanol and saliva samples that had high levels of salinity. The news release explains: “If the central layer takes on salt, or ethanol, its electrical properties will shift, causing the sensor to absorb and transmit a different spectrum of radio-frequency waves, with varying intensity. That is how nutrients and other analytes can be detected and measured."

While the sensors might be restricted in terms of the elements they can analyse right now, all that could change in the future. “In theory, we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals…," noted Fiorenzo Omenetto, the corresponding author and the Frank C. Doble professor of engineering at Tufts.

Other authors on the paper were Peter Tseng, a postdoctoral associate in Omenetto’s laboratory Bradley Napier, a graduate student in the department of biomedical engineering at Tufts Logan Garbarini, an undergraduate student at the Tufts School of Engineering and David Kaplan, the Stern Family professor of engineering, chair of the department of biomedical engineering, and director of the Bioengineering and Biotechnology Center at Tufts.

The sensor—a square-shaped object not bigger than 2x2mm—is not the first of its kind. In 2013, researchers at National Taiwan University had come up with a prototype of a smart tooth sensor that was designed to recognize human oral activity such as chewing, drinking, speaking and coughing.

The only possible drawback was that this prototype was connected to thin wires that were used to connect the sensor board to an external data-logging device. These thin wires were also designed to protect users from swallowing the sensor units. According to the official research paper, “in actual system deployment (or in the future), this sensor board would include a small Bluetooth radio capable of wirelessly transmitting sensor data to a nearby mobile phone for data analysis and oral activity recognition".

“At the moment, the sensor is attached to the outside world by a thin wire. This carries electricity in and data out, but it is inconvenient to have to walk around all day with a wire sticking out of your mouth," a 2013 article in The Economist commented, about this prototype.

This is one area where Tufts University’s research stands out from previous prototypes. Too much salt or too much sugar? In the future, your teeth could ensure you eat well—and right.


Tiny Tooth Sensor Tracks What You Eat, and It Could Help You Be Healthier

The South Beach diet. The Atkins diet. Eating paleo. Cutting out gluten. Going vegan. The list of fad diets and health crazes goes on, yet health statistics in the US and around the world show that most people still don’t know what to eat, or when, or how much.

New research from Tufts University’s engineering school has created a product that may be able to help: a sensor worn on users’ teeth that wirelessly transmits data about food intake to a smartphone app.

In a paper published in March in the journal Advanced Materials, the Tufts team deconstructed the sensor. It’s made of a porous silk film or a hydrogel that responds to changes in pH or temperature—the active layer—sandwiched between two square-shaped gold outer panels. The sensor’s middle layer detects chemicals and nutrients, reacting to different inputs with a shift in its electrical properties. That shift causes the sensor to transmit a different spectrum and intensity of radio frequency waves back to the app.

Fiorenzo Omenetto, a biomedical engineering professor at Tufts and co-author of the study, said, “We have extended common RFID [radio frequency ID] technology to a sensor package that can dynamically read and transmit information on its environment, whether it is affixed to a tooth, to skin, or any other surface.”

Measuring just two millimeters on each side, the sensor is impressively tiny, and it’s succeeded in detecting sugar, salt, and alcohol. The team plans to refine the sensor to the point where it will be able to detect and measure all kinds of nutrients, and maybe even biochemicals too. “In theory we can modify the bioresponsive layer in these sensors to target other chemicals. We are really limited only by our creativity,” Omenetto said.

Once you’ve chosen the right diet for you, then, wearing a sensor like this could help you get your quantities spot-on, ideally helping you improve your diet and thus your overall health. The sensor is just the latest in a series of wearable devices springing from the quantified self movement—from Fitbits to smart watches, these data-harvesting gadgets all aim to give users increased awareness and thus increased control over their own health, ideally shifting healthcare norms from reactive to proactive, curative to preventative.

It’s important to note, though, that while sensors and similar tools could certainly prove useful, they’re just one small component on the vast landscape of improving our diet and our health.

A disproportionate amount of the food we eat, particularly in the US, is heavily processed we’re eating more chemicals than we are nutrients. In addition, many low-income areas are classified as food deserts, not a head of broccoli or a bunch of bananas in sight. Before monitoring the contents of each bite of food you eat, you must have access to healthy foods in the first place, not to mention know what’s healthy and what isn’t.

Ideally, then, the tooth sensor and other health tech like it will be geared towards a wide range of users, not just those who’ve already tried going paleo. Or pescatarian. Or dairy-free. You get the idea.


How the Tooth-Mounted Sensor Works

The tooth-mounted sensor uses a bioresponsive layer to absorb and detect certain chemicals or nutrients in the foods or drinks that we consume, and in the chemical makeup of our mouths. The sensor can be programmed to pick up on certain data like sodium for example, or glucose. Its ability to detect certain chemicals and compounds is what allows it to “track” our diet.

The sensor could even report on stress levels, among other physiological states, by detecting certain chemicals in our saliva. Saliva is one of the most important restorative mechanisms the body employs. It replaces essential minerals to help teeth repair themselves when they’ve been compromised by acidic or sugary food and drink. Holistic dentistry leverages our body’s natural defense mechanisms, like the saliva remineralization process.

There are a few ways that this process can be interrupted or compromised. The first is proper hydration. Drinking enough water is important so the body can produce enough saliva for the mouth to remain hydrated but also functional. A diet rich in nutritious foods provides the body with the vitamins and minerals to create healthy saliva. Finally, sugar-rich foods feed destructive parasitic bacteria that prevents saliva from doing its natural defense duties.


This Tooth-Mounted Sensor Can Track What You Eat

You might soon be able to track your nutrition intake as you take it in.

Kelly Clarkson on aging and why her body is an ɺnomaly': 'I can literally gain 2 sizes, or lose 2 sizes, from morning to lunch'

The singer and talk show host spoke to Mayim Bialik about divorce, therapy and fighting to "be me."

The Bose sale to end all Bose sales — score epic deals on top-notch earbuds, headphones and more

Low prices, free shipping and amazing audio.

AdPlace A Bag On Your Car Mirror When Traveling

Brilliant Car Cleaning Hacks Local Dealers Wish You Didn’t Know

'Where has this been all my life?' Amazon shoppers are raving about these tummy-slimming briefs — on sale for $13

At prices this low, you can snag a few.

MAKERS 2021 Conference Wrap-up Sizzle

MAKERS 2021 Conference Wrap-up Sizzle

Jessica Biel, Mindy Kaling among moms who had 'secret' babies during COVID. Why pregnancy amid pandemic had its ups, downs.

Having a baby during the pandemic has its challenges.

AdMom Tells Us How She Served Karma..

After so much drama and many police visits, she got the upper hand. Who would’ve thought that a small piece of paper has such power?

Lizzo looks ‘incredible’ in African print bikini: ‘It is the unapologetic confidence for me’

On Monday, Lizzo shared several photos of herself wearing a Kente cloth patterned bikini by Black-owned U.K. based swimwear brand Ashanti Swimwear. She also included a video where she posed for fans in bright green sunglasses.

Elizabeth Hurley wows in sheer gown days after turning 56: 'Goddess'

The English star was a vision in yellow Versace.

Paulina Porizkova shares unretouched magazine photos: ‘You are so insanely gorgeous’

Paulina Porizkova is a natural beauty. On Monday, the 56-year-old modeling legend shared a black and white photo of herself from a recent issue of Unconditional magazine. In it, she's wearing a cut-out crochet dress that showed a little skin. Her hair's styled in messy waves and her face is beaming.


What does transit time have to do with anything?

“ For the first time, we observed that gut transit time, measured using the blue dye method, strongly correlated with microbial alpha diversity and gut microbiome composition,” said Fiana Tulip, a ZOE representative.

PREDICT researchers analyzed stool samples to assess the relationship between the gut microbiome, cardiometabolic health and diet. “Several bacterial species were shown to be clear drivers of the microbiome-transit time association.”

The study found that gut transit time could explain variations in the gut microbiome. According to the researchers, shorter transit time is generally linked to better digestive health. Transit times were divided into three main categories:

  • Group 1: Less than 14 hours (fast gut transit time)
  • Group 2: Between 14 and 58 hours (normal gut transit time)
  • Group 3: Equal to or more than 59 hours (slow gut transit time)

According to Tulip, long transit times are associated with conditions like constipation. It is also linked to the production of compounds in the gut that may be having negative effects on our overall health. On the flipside, excessively fast transit time can suggest diarrhea, which is associated with a less healthy gut microbiome.

Whether too fast or too slow, the researchers have several recommendations for healthier transit times. Firstly, increase fiber intake and opt for larger forms of fibrous foods, e.g. whole large oats over finely ground. Secondly, consume foods in their original matrix, such as whole apples instead of apple juice. Lastly, increase your fluid intake.


Paint With Your Food: Edible Art Activities

Sensory play doesn&rsquot have to be limited to just squishing things with your hands, you can create art at the same time!

My kids first finger painting experience was with taste safe materials because come on, they are going to taste that stuff. There are really easy items you can use to make art with your kids. True, you can&rsquot save a lot of it forever (food products spoil after all), but the experience is worth it.

1. Baby Food

Have leftover jars? (Or perhaps your child just didn&rsquot like it?) Let them paint with it!

2. Condiments

My kids would smear ketchup and mustard everywhere if I let them. I don&rsquot really blame them, that bright red and yellow are so appealing! Let them go for it with condiment painting.

3. Skittles Paint

If you put a couple of Skittles into a little bit of water you will make a watercolor-like paint! This is a fun one because you can mix the Skittles colors to create your own colors. (Want more color mixing science? Check this out: Color STEM for Kids)

4. Yogurt Paint

Yogurt on its own is great for painting. (Regular works better than Greek in my opinion.) It has a smooth texture that glides nicely over the paper. Use colored yogurt (this strawberry flavored, etc) or add food coloring to make your own!

5. Kool Aid Paint

This is a way to color your yogurt paints. Add about half a packet of Kool Aid to half a cup of yogurt to get your paint. (Or more if you want more vibrant colors.) Use unsweetened yogurt so you don&rsquot add too much sugar (it makes the paint sticky). This paint has a great scent too, adding in an additional sensory element!

6. Pudding Paint

Yes, same idea as the yogurt paint. Using chocolate pudding is great for making construction scenes, creating backdrops for dinosaurs, or painting a garden.


Customer Reviews

Lots of ways they can improve it in later versions

By Kellie H., Seattle, WA, Verified Reviewer

I've had the Lumen device for a week and have been using it faithfully. It's kind of fun to check in on whether I'm burning fat or carbs or a mix of the two but I have serious doubts about its accuracy. More on that later.

There is no way to enter what you've eaten so that they know your macros in whatever way they choose to measure them (I measure based on the percentage of calories eaten, they want to measure in the number of grams per macro, which I find very inconvenient). Being able to interact with MyFitnessPal or another tracking app would be easier on the users and would give the device much more precise information than what I can currently enter. Every morning it asks if I followed the previous day's plan and there's only a "yes" or "no" choice. There's no way to let it know exactly how much of what macro was consumed. I feel like that one tweak would be a HUGE improvement and make it easier to use accurately.

The app lacks a lot in interactivity (see above). When taking a midday breath reading it gives you a few choices for why/when you're taking a breath (after a low or high carb meal, after a fast, etc.) but there's usually no way to customize it and note exactly what is going on when I decide to test my breath. I have been taking a breath reading when I first wake up and then again when I break my fast (usually 4+ hours later) and there's no way to indicate that my fast lasted longer than was recorded at my first breath.

The app is very sparse as far as information goes. There are a few short entries on what is considered a carb, for example, and a few other short informational blurbs but there's not much in-depth info. I would love to see a lot more info on everything from recipe suggestions for high or low carb days to a members-only area where users can "meet" and ask/answer questions. Something like a closed Facebook group that is moderated by Lumen staff would be fantastic. I have so many questions and no real way to get them answered besides the chat feature on the website.

I like what Lumen is trying to do and I have high hopes for it going forward as they learn ways to make it better but right now it feels like it's still in its infancy in terms of development. I wouldn't recommend this to others until the company (and what they offer) has matured to meet the larger needs of those who have spent almost $300 to use it. I hope that they will treat us early adopters well as updates happen and reward us for sticking with them through their growing pains.

Length of Use: Less than 3 months

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this to a friend

It's small enough to fit in my pocket and can be carried anywhere, and it holds a charge well

It's easy to set up and use once you've done a few practice breaths

There is no way to enter what you've eaten so that they know your macros in whatever way they choose to measure them

The app lacks a lot in interactivity

The app is very sparse as far as information goes

In order to safeguard you and ensure helpfulness and relevance, our compliance team manually assess every customer review before it goes live.

We have a zero-tolerance policy for fake reviews, and companies cannot control or alter any reviews at any time.

You May Also Be Interested In:

Keyto Review: Accurate Analysis for Your Ketogenic Success?

Keyto Breath Sensor is an app-integrated device designed to detect the amount of acetone in your breath to give you instant, accurate feedback about whether you are in ketosis.

Noom Reviews: Read What 1300+ Customers Have Said

Noom is an app-based personalized weight loss program that wants to permanently change your relationship to food. Thousands have used Noom to successfully lose weight, but the level of support you’ll get from the Noom online community can vary considerably.

MyFitnessPal Review: Details, Pricing, and Features

MyFitnessPal is a virtual food diary and calorie tracker from Under Armour designed to help you meet your fitness goals by giving you better insight into your daily habits.

SmartPlate Review: How Well Does It Work?

SmartPlate features 3 load sensors and digital cameras that automatically weigh and analyze your food, while the app crunches calorie and micronutrient data. though effective, there may be other methods of portion control.