May 2011
4-H Extension Corner

Alabama 4-H Using iPads and Animé to Take on Youth Health

A team of trendy, animated young people are about to make Alabama kids healthier! Thanks to cutting-edge technology, the Body Quest Warriors will actively engage young people in the life-long pursuit of good nutrition and exercise.


Clockwise from top left, a new study in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine shows cartoon characters influence kids’ cereal choices. The Alabama Cooperative Extension System believes Graino Supa, who has special energy power, can influence children to eat whole grains. Will kids choose fruit for a snack or dessert? Body Doctor prescribes them as a way to help prevent illness. Shining Rainbow has the power to look and feel good, because she eats vegetables. Super Slurper encourages kids to drink plenty of water; and center, the beautiful Fiberlicious celebrates the power of foods that keep your body clean and healthy.

This crusade, Body Quest: Food of the Warrior, is the brainchild of Alabama 4-H and a team of nutritionists and artists from the Alabama Cooperative Extension System. Through animé, the Japanese animation used in Pokémon, elementary students become warriors who view health as a personal choice, requiring good decisions and critical thinking. It employs Apple’s revolutionary iPad computer.

Characters like "Shining Rainbow" and "Muscle Max" help students demonstrate bravery by trying new fruits and vegetables, and students train for the quest by becoming more physically fit. It’s an exciting adventure developed as an interactive iPad application supported by an array of engaging activities and resources.

Thirty-six Extension nutritionists and 4-H staffers have completed training and are ready to hit the schools with Body Quest: Food of the Warrior. iPads in hand, they involve young people, along with their schools and families, in a battle that could have a powerful impact on Alabama.


Bronwyn Voss, a 4-H regional agent, helps introduce Body Quest in Greenville Elementary School.

Chuck Hill is a 4-H Youth Development Specialist.


A group of students at Choctaw County Elementary helped test the new Body Quest Warriors material. A collective “ooooooh” went through the classroom when they were handed iPads.