How might we make healthy foods more accessible to college students?

My General Ideas:

These ideas were generated within an hour and the ones that were able to sketch were sketched. Many of these ideas aren’t necessarily product ideas; however, they might be a service or any ideas on how to make better diets more accessible to college students. Here are all of the ideas typed out to make sure they are readable:


Buy in bulk
Replace with app
Have lib ed courses on health and diet
Have a reward system for going to rec-flexdine?
Health vending machines
Coupons for going to rec/eating healthy
Credit card that only allows you to purchase foods with a certain nutritional score
Have a trivia night about nutrition
Healthy retail (exclusive) near college campuses
Watch with rewards for time heart elevated
Weight-loss rewards through University
Shoes that make you work harder (weights)
Sunglasses that track your BMR, Calories burnt
App that shows healthy restaurant options nearby
App that creates personalized diet plan and suggestions based on your goals, money, and time
Meal plans through the University that are healthier
Finding better ways to get to the grocery store for better and cheaper options
Subsidy/funding for promotions for students to buy healthy foods
Tax unhealthy foods
Phone case that stabs a needle into food and tells nutritional facts
Pre-Made healthy meals for college students
App that tracks your BMR and extra calories burnt to allow you to see how you should be eating
Seasoning making healthy foods taste like good, unhealthy foods
Water bottle linked with your phone to make you drink more water
Refrigerator that only allows you to take certain foods at certain times to keep you on track
Shot that changes your taste buds to like healthy foods
Eco Gym
Finding a new method to help preserve foods better so college students can keep them longer
Rent able electric bike so students can exercise and go to the store
Microwave/stove that won’t cook certain foods/certain quantity of foods
App with encouragement so people will stay on track
Cupboards that lock until next meal
Have an app that will simulate what one will look like if they continue their current eating patterns
App that simulates what they would look like in great shape
Personal gardens for rooms
Sports bar with just healthier options from the traditional sports bar
Auto fridge/oven/microwave that cook healthy foods automatically
Pill that increases your metabolism
Blender that calculates nutrition
Suggested grocery list with route through the store app
Headphones that give directions to healthy stores

I spent an hour brainstorming by myself before meeting with my group. Any ideas without sketches are ideas that are either website, app, or non physical ideas that I thought of and wrote down. I ended at 40 ideas before deciding that I was prepared for the brainstorming group.

New Warm-Up Game:

I came up with two ideas for warm up games to do with the group. I really liked the idea of the association games that require you to quickly make associations to what you hear or see. These games are based off of the games we did with HUGE, but with their own tweak. The first game is letter association. I will point to random people and say a letter, and that person has to say the first word that comes to mind when they hear that letter. The trick is that no one can repeat any word or that person will be the one to point to people with letters. The second game is person association, where people point to someone and say something (nice) about that person that comes to mind. This game I didn’t want to do since people had the possibility to get mad or say something critical about each other so I had them play the first game for about 5–10 minutes. After this we also did more games from HUGE to complete warming up.

Session Organization:

Idea Generation
Idea Generation

General backgrounds: Since our statement is mainly focused on diet/exercise, I wanted to find a spectrum of interest/dedication to diet and exercise. It was difficult finding people, but finally I found 2 friends and 2 people from previous classes that were willing to help and brainstorm ideas. In addition to finding a range of interest in diet and exercise, I also found a range of majors so that there would be (hopefully) a wider range of ideas generated.

Steve: Steve is probably the most dedicated to his diet and exercise of all 4. He regularly works out and has recently gotten very interested in nutrition and watches his diet so he can build muscle. He is a current Math major at the University of Minnesota.

Zach: Zach is not terribly interested in working out and dieting. He works out occasionally by playing basketball, but doesn’t care too much about what he eats as long as he doesn’t gain weight. He is a current Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Minnesota.

Nate: Nate is a very good runner, who just recently ran the Minneapolis 10 mile. He goes on runs consistently, but somewhat watches his diet. He does eat some unhealthy foods but also eats an equivalent amount of healthy foods try to make sure he can stay in shape to keep running. He is a current Chemical Engineering student at the University of Minnesota.

Jeeva: Jeeva has very little interest in dieting and a little interest in working out. He occasionally plays basketball, but doesn’t really care to learn or try to get a consistent healthy diet. He is a current Neuroscience major at the University of Minnesota.

Setting: We decided to meet in the lobby of FloCo fusion apartments, because it was an ideal location for all of us to meet with plenty of space and was relatively close for everyone since we all lived in Dinkytown. Each person was directly related to the topic since we are targeting college students.

Warm up games: As mentioned before, we used the letter association game to warm up in addition to Zip Zap Zop, and word association as we did with HUGE. This allowed us to get warmed up and for them to get outside of their comfort zone and get used to thinking of quick ideas.

Length of Time: After about 15 minutes of warm up games, we moved on to idea generation. I had them generate ideas for 20 minutes by re-stating the topic and telling them that no idea is stupid, and we want to write down anything that we think of. The total number of ideas generated by the 4 people was 27 ideas. This gives a total of 1.35 ideas per minute for the group and .3375 of an idea per minute for an individual. This seems a bit low but doesn’t surprise me since they’re very used to doing problems with specific ways to solve them and they had a hard time getting used to thinking outside of the box. After this, about 10 minutes was spent on voting and sorting. The process was similar to what we’ve done in class and I told everyone the prompt the day before the session.

Sorting and Voting:


After having everyone put their ideas on the tables, I had them vote on the ideas that they felt were the best. I gave everyone the ability to add 5 check marks (votes) to different ideas.

This organization shows how the team decided how to organize their ideas that they generated. By color, here are the titles that they decided on for each section:

Red: Reward systems to encourage diets

White: Reducing prices of healthy foods

Blue: Making food more accessible to students (ex: cheaper meal plans)

Purple: Classes at the U

Yellow: Variety in your diet

Green: Silly ideas (encouraged to do similar to in class)/Odd rewards

Teel: Making food taste differently

Top Ideas:

These top 10 ideas were decided on how many votes they got and how I feel they fit the statement.

  1. Have classes at the University of Minnesota to inform students about a healthy diet and exercise.

Credit: Nate

Making diet and exercise a liberal education class would be extremely beneficial to students. It would help educate them on how they should eat and how to keep your body healthy.

2. Have Agriculture classes at the U of M actually plant and farm healthy foods to provide students with cheaper, healthier foods.

Credit: Nate

This would provide healthy, organic foods to college students for less money.

3. Replace with app.

Credit: Ryan (me)

This would be an app that you would input an unhealthy food that you want to eat right now and it would give you an alternate option that is healthier than you were planning on eating. Ex) Cheeseburger : Turkey burger with fat free cheese and wheat buns.

4. Cheaper meal plans at the U of M that you can only get healthier foods at.

Credit: Steve

This would encourage students to eat healthier and save money. This would make healthy meals for college students much more convenient, healthy, and less expensive.

5. Refrigerator that only allows you to take certain foods at certain times of the day.

Credit: Ryan (me)

This would make a balanced diet much easier for college students since they are told when and what to eat each day. This product may seem like an extreme; however, it would keep people dedicated to their personalized diet.

6. Eco-gym

Credit: Ryan (me)

This would be a gym that has a lot of stationary bicycles that generate electricity. This would attract attention since it is helping reduce energy consumption and encouraging people to work out. You could also include a reward system based on the amount of electricity an individual puts back into the grid so that it encourages them to keep coming. It would encourage students to maintain and/or improve their health.

7. Make unhealthy foods more expensive than unhealthy foods.

Credit: Zach

This idea is quite basic; however, it would help encourage students to eat healthier. Making a inexpensive burger more expensive than a salad would encourage students to have a healthier diet.

8. Coupons to healthy restaurants after a certain amount of time at the rec

Credit: Ryan (me)

This information would be tracked through your University profile, and after a certain amount of time spent at the gym, you would be rewarded with coupons to healthy restaurants. This would encourage students to go to the gym, and to eat healthier for less money.

9. Make healthy foods taste better and/or make unhealthy foods taste worse.

Credit: Steve and Myself

This would provide an inexpensive, simple, and tasty solution to the problem that many students don’t enjoy the taste of unhealthy foods.

10. Credit Card that can only purchase healthy foods

Credit: Ryan (me)

This card would only allow purchases of healthy foods. It would have a database with nutritional scores of different foods to assure the user is eating healthy. This makes eating healthy easier to understand (what’s really healthy and what’s not). I also apologize for the low quality scans; however this is the best quality the scanner that I am able to use allows. They are still readable but not the best quality, in the future I will see if I can use a different scanner or see if there’s a way to get better quality scans.


My General Ideas: 10/21/2016

New Warm-Up Game: 10/22/2016

Session Organization: 10/22/2016

Sorting and Voting: 10/22/2016

Top Ideas: 10/23/2016

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