PBS News [ Back to Press Releases ]
LAUGHTER IS THE KEY INGREDIENT IN “FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB,” A NEW
Just in Time for the Holidays, New Web-Only Property From CloudKid
HEALTH-THEMED WEB-ONLY PROPERTY LAUNCHING
NOVEMBER 16 ON PBSKIDSGO.ORG
Features Webisodes, Recipes, Activities and Games To
Guide Children Towards Healthy Eating
Arlington, VA/Boston, MA – September 30, 2009 – On November 16, just in time for the indulgent holiday season, PBS KIDS GO! and Boston creative group CloudKid, invite early elementary school kids to join the hilarious animated adventures of Professor Fizzy and friends in FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB (PBSKIDSGO.org/lunchlab) as they prepare tasty snacks, investigate the difference between good and bad food, and learn what happens once the food you eat goes into your body. Funded by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting (CPB), the immersive, comprehensive FIZZY’s LUNCH LAB experience features funny characters in a variety of short video segments and interactive games and is designed to bring kids and parents together to help plan meals, make snacks, and team up to make healthier eating choices for the entire family. The site will also feature extensive resources on PBS Parents (www.PBSPARENTS.org) and PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org) to further the learning.
“Childhood obesity is a growing problem and we realized that in order to start reversing the effects of our fast food culture, we’d have to employ some of the same tactics that fast food giants have historically used to attract children”, said FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB co-creator, Evan Sussman. “By creating fun, animated personalities, our hope is to keep families entertained, engaged, and interested in healthy living. When was the last time you received your recipe instructions from a bellowing measuring-cup drill-sergeant?”
“At PBS KIDS, we focus on guiding children to adopt healthy habits through our positive role models, great storytelling and engaging games. FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB is a perfect addition to our menu – it is interactive content that empowers children to make the right choices and advance their knowledge about healthy eating and exercise,” said Sara DeWitt, Senior Director, PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! Interactive. “PBS has been increasing its commitment towards original Web-only properties and video online. With an average of 1.3 million streams per week, kids are eating up video on PBSKIDSGO.org, and we are confident they will love meeting Professor Fizzy and his friends there, too.”
The FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB Web site at PBSKIDSGO.org/lunchlab will feature animated and live-action shorts, fun interactive recipes, interesting food facts, and exciting interactive games that guide children towards making smarter food choices. At a time when healthy eating and nutrition are more crucial then ever, FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB gives children a chance to play with their food, and eat it too. Co-creator Dave Schlafman explains, “We don’t want to force-feed the information, so we try not to use kid-phobic words such as ‘healthy’ or ‘nutritious’. We created the Lunch Lab to get everyone excited about cooking. The educational component is our way of slipping the broccoli in with the dessert. Evan and I also wanted a ‘trickle-up’ effect - getting kids so excited about the content that they want to share it with their parents.”
For parents and educators, www.PBSPARENTS.org and PBSTEACHERS.org will feature resources and activities to help children make healthy choices. www.PBSPARENTS.org will include family activities, additional recipes and resources. Parents can also connect via a Twitter feed http://twitter.com/lunchlab linking to additional health tips, recipes, and articles. PBSTEACHERS.org will include simple lesson plans and classroom activities that correspond with Fizzy's monthly theme and educational goals.
Showcasing a vibrant cast of original characters, FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB stars Professor Fizzy, the Lunch Lab’s funny and fabulous host. Warm, engaging, and just a little bit scatter-brained, Fizzy is an energetic, effervescent culinary genius who loves to educate kids and families about the importance of nutrition, physical activity, and a good laugh. Also joining Fizzy is his trusty sidekick, Mixie-Bot; Sully the Cell, our guide to the human body; Corporal Cup, the kitchen’s drill sergeant; and finally, Fizzy’s greasy nemesis, Fast Food Freddy. While The Lunch Lab may suffer from Fizzy’s absent-mindedness and misadventures, the gang never loses their excitement and curiosity about food, and look forward to every fun experiment. Laughter is Fizzy’s favorite ingredient and his friends are always cooking up something tasty.
Professor Fizzy and his friends work together to fight obesity while learning about the human body, and eating delicious food. The educational goal is to provide an informative overview of food and nutrition topics with an emphasis on fruits, vegetables and whole grains. Most researchers agree that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is the key to healthy nutrition, avoidance of obesity, and disease prevention. Sussman adds, “Like my Dad (Dr. Craig Sussman) explained to us, nutritional education doesn’t have to be complicated. A diet full of fruits and veggies is the first step.”
The team worked with health and education advisors Dr. Craig Sussman and Dr. Sharon Shield, Ph.D., as well as veteran cookbook writer Sally Sampson, who helped develop the fun recipes that meet the series’ goals. As an expert in all aspects of nutrition as it affects health, Dr. Sussman serves as the health and nutrition advisor to the series. He is a graduate of the Temple University School of Medicine and is a board certified specialist in internal medicine and metabolism. Dr. Sussman is currently an Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine at Vanderbilt University in the divisions of general internal medicine and endocrinology, diabetes, & metabolism. His research has been in the area of reversible causes for high blood pressure. Sharon Shields, Ph.D. serves as the education advisor. She is a graduate of Peabody College at Vanderbilt University and studied in the area of exercise physiology and community health. Dr. Shields is currently a Professor of the Practice of Human and Organizational Development at Vanderbilt University and teaches health and human services courses. In addition, she is the Director of the Community Development and Action Master’s Degree Program. Her area of research is in community health access and delivery.
The Lunch Lab content will rollout over the course of 10 months (40 weeks). Each week, PBSKIDSGO.org/lunchlab will launch a new animated video with a fun printable recipe for kids and parents to enjoy. Monthly food and nutrition themes will help guide the message and menu, while each animated short will teach new concepts pertaining to the featured theme.
FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB is the creation of Dave Schlafman and Evan Sussman of CloudKid, a full-service entertainment company that uses emerging technologies to create new forms of children’s media. Schlafman explains, “CloudKid is a company that views story-telling as much more than a passive activity. We strive to create stories and characters that encourage kids to interact with the real world. FIZZY’S LUNCH LAB is our first property that uses animation and games to get kids excited about the tactile experience of cooking.”
Dave Schlafman brings CloudKid creative direction and animation production experience. He has directed and produced projects for clients such as Penguin Publishing, Hasbro Toys, Parker Brothers, WGBH, Johnny Cupcakes, UNICEF, as well as American Greetings. Evan Sussman brings CloudKid film-making expertise and production experience. Evan was the Senior Video Editor and Post-production Supervisor at Soup 2 Nuts Animation and has directed animated shorts for CartoonNewtork.com, educational animations for Between the Lions, and commercials for Legal Seafood. Director of Interactive Media, Matt Moore, recently joined CloudKid after a three-year post as a designer and engineer at Disney Online Studios. The trio brings a new perspective and wide variety of skills to help make CloudKid an exciting addition to the children’s media landscape.
About PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO!
PBS KIDS, for preschoolers, and PBS KIDS GO!, for early elementary school kids, offer all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. With positive role models and content designed to nurture a child’s total well-being, PBS’s children’s media and family and educator resources - including PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! television series, PBSKIDS.org, PBSKIDSGO.org, PBS Parents (www.PBSPARENTS.org), PBS Teachers (PBSTEACHERS.org), PBS KIDS Raising Readers and literacy events across the country - leverage the full spectrum of media, technology and community to build knowledge, critical thinking, imagination and curiosity. Empowering children for success in school and in life, only PBS KIDS and PBS KIDS GO! have earned the unanimous endorsement of parents, children, industry leaders and teachers. In September 2008, PBS KIDS GO! launched its video player (PBSKIDSGO.org/video), featuring hundreds of video clips and dozens of full-length episodes. Since launch, the site is averaging 1.3 million streams per week. PBSKIDS.org averages 9 million unique visitors a month. PBS is a nonprofit media enterprise owned and operated by the nation’s 356 public television stations, serving more than 115 million people on-air and online each month. For more information on specific shows supporting literacy, science, math, and more, visit PBS.org/pressroom.
Caitlin Melnick, 360 Public Relations, 617.585.5775 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Jill Corderman, PBS KIDS, 703.739.5788 / email@example.com
Kevin Dando, PBS, 703.739.5073 / firstname.lastname@example.org