Struggling with your kids’ unhealthy food choices? Here’s LittleMoochi to the rescue!

Is your kid’s diet unhealthy? There’s an app for that.

A tech startup based at Carnegie Mellon University has developed LittleMoochi, an AI-powered virtual pet that encourages children to form positive eating habits in a fun way.

Here’s how it works: Your child adopts and names a LittleMoochi to establish an emotional attachment with the computerized pet. While your child enjoys a meal or snack, she can feed her pet at the same time by snapping a photo of what’s on her plate. Three times a day, the child is reminded to feed LittleMoochi.

LittleMoochi’s AI-powered backend enables the device to recognize millions of different types of foods. When kids consume wholesome fare, they receive more points, which can be cashed in for stickers to decorate their pet’s home. A balanced diet that includes all food groups helps the critter become stronger, smarter, cuter and healthier.

If Moochi is only fed hotdogs all week, it’s going to get a little sick and will ask for vegetables and food in other categories. When Moochi is well-fed, the character smiles and appears active and happy through animation.

Read all about LittleMoochi in NEXTpittsburgh.