The information on this page is provided to support you - our clinical workforce - in discussing the Podsquad program with families in your community.

A dedicated, community focused Podsquad website is available at for families wanting to download the app and find out more about the program.

What is Podsquad?

Podsquad is a free, play-based wellbeing program that supports children aged 5-12 years and their families as they build healthy habits together through an engaging and interactive app. 

The Podsquad app supports lasting change by exploring the topics of nutrition, physical activity and wellbeing through a behavioural science framework.  

Podsquad’s content has been developed by childhood health experts and co-designed with more than 300 Queensland families. 

Download Podsquad for free on the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.

How does Podsquad work?

After downloading the app, parents and carers complete a brief questionnaire and set goals for each child. This process customises the child’s experience and only takes a few minutes to complete. 

Now it’s time to play and learn!

Podsquad takes children on a wild adventure through the land of Imago. By exploring different worlds and completing learning activities along the way, children build their personalised ‘Podsquad’ by collecting ‘Epipods’. There are currently 40 Epipods to collect. 

Children are supported to learn about nutrition, physical activity and sleep through exposure to: 

  • Animated videos 
  • Audio soundtracks and guided meditations 
  • Offline ‘real-life’ activities 
  • Conversation cards 
  • Games 
  • Quests 
  • Quizzes 
  • Word search activities 
  • Follow-along movement videos. 

Parents’ and carers’ learning focuses on practical, evidence-informed strategies to make small, sustainable changes. Resources provided for parents and carers include: 

  • Podcast episodes 
  • Recipes 
  • Habit tracking and monitoring tools 
  • Email updates on the child’s learning journey and real-life quests.


Healthy meals and snacks
Drinking enough water
Trying new foods


Outdoor physical activity
Indoor active play


Regular bed and wake routines
Winding down before sleep

How and why does it work?

Family-based obesity prevention programs are an effective method of facilitating health behaviour change for children, as parents and carers are key influencers of a child’s learning environments and are primary role models for health-related behaviours [1, 2]. Multi-component programs that apply behaviour change strategies are considered best practice in the literature [1, 3]. Online delivery can offer a cost-effective and scalable method of supporting children and their families to adopt healthy lifestyle change while also overcoming common barriers to accessing services including geography, accessibility, time constraints, availability, and fear of judgement [4]. In addition, online programs can provide health professionals with appropriate prevention and early intervention referral options.

Equity, accessibility and inclusiveness underpin all aspects of the Podsquad program.

Podsquad was co-designed with Queensland families and childhood health experts to deliver child and family-centred health information that will motivate and empower families to manage their own health with positive outcomes.

The program design, content development and delivery has been informed by significant engagement with cross-industry professionals throughout Queensland with extensive knowledge in movement science, sleep medicine, early childhood education, diabetes, languages and literacy, the performing arts, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander health, nutrition, research, behavioral science and prevention programs. Read more on our engagement research findings here.

Habit Building

The Podsquad program is focused on supporting real-world activities and changes, including those that the whole family can do together.

Upon downloading, parents and carers complete a series of questions on each child’s lifestyle behaviours, which informs the goals for each child, and these goals then define and personalise the child’s experience in the game. Goals can be changed and modified at any point.

A steady release of information, varied activities and new characters provides the child with motivation to continue their engagement in the game whilst positive behaviours are built in real life.

Children are prompted to practise their health habits and behaviours through real life challenges and quests, with completion providing rewards within the app.

Parents and carers receive content that complements their child’s goals and learning experience. In providing the parents and carers with this content they can role model behaviours, create a supportive environment and support the child’s learning.

The app contains an easy-to-use tracking tool that helps families create, structure and monitor their new healthy habits.


Children spend too much time on screens, and this is having negative consequences on their health and wellbeing… so, why create a program that develops content via a screen?

During our co-design process we found that there was a strong preference for interactive content, gamification, and practical resources to translate knowledge into practice. Interventions using gamification to target nutrition behaviours among children and adolescents have demonstrated increased program adherence, knowledge, self-efficacy, and nutrition-related health behaviours in the short term [5]. Health and Wellbeing Queensland recently conducted a rapid review of the impact of family-based digital interventions for obesity prevention and treatment in primary school aged children. This review, published in Nutrients journal, found that family-based digital interventions have shown some improvements in child BMI, diet, and physical activity, however, statistically significant results were mixed. Research suggests that digital approaches were acceptable and positively received by participants, with emerging evidence of the effectiveness of social media and video gaming/gamification for program delivery.

The Podsquad app experience is deliberately structured so that short bursts of online learning lead to real-world action, through engaging in offline move resources (such as activities, games and challenges), dance videos, and real-life quests.

Apps have the capacity to be engaging and fun, provide motivation and stimulation in any location and at any time. Podsquad offers a platform for individualised learning, tailored to the needs of the family.

How do we know it works?

Real life testing

Over 300 children aged 5-12 years and their families have been engaged so far to co-design the Podsquad app. 

Piloting, feedback and consumer engagement activities continue to provide insights and feedback on the Podsquad program to inform content revisions and future iterations.

Early user feedback with 78 children and their families provided the following insights on the Podsquad content:

  • Comprehension of Podsquad content: Children demonstrated a high level of accurate comprehension of the Podsquad animated video messaging.
  • Intention to change behaviour: 60% of children intended to do something different as a result of watching a Podsquad video.

Reported intention to change lifestyle behaviour

  • Yes
  • I'm not sure
  • No

How can you help?

Share Podsquad with families in your practice

You can help us to support children and families to build healthy habits by discussing the benefits of Podsquad with families in your practice and encouraging them to download the app. 

Families can find out more about Podsquad at and can download the app for free from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store. 

Get involved

We also need your help to ensure the Podsquad program continues to be developed in collaboration with childhood health professionals. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Health and Wellbeing Queensland, in collaboration with The University of Queensland, will continue to conduct research evaluating the effectiveness of the Podsquad program. Research findings will continue to inform content revisions and development.

Yes. We are looking forward to working with targeted groups in our community to create additional content to ensure Podsquad is effective for every Queensland family.

The Podsquad program is deliberately designed to require only a short amount of screen time, with offline engagement and activity remaining the focus of the lifestyle changes.

Podsquad is free to download from the Apple and Google Play stores and will always remain a free program.

No, this program can be downloaded without referral from the Apple or Google Play stores. Health professionals may choose to prompt children and their families to download the app to support education and behaviour change recommendations. The program contains a series of quizzes which help to test the children’s learning which may assist health professionals in further targeting their education.

Yes! Multiple profiles can be created within one account. Parents and carers are prompted to complete questions regarding each child’s health behaviour habits and can individualise goals according to the needs of each child.

We have worked hard to ensure Podsquad is secure and safe to use for all ages. Comprehensive security testing has been carried out and data capture has been kept to an absolute minimum, with parent contact details being the only information required to sign up. 

Our Experts

The Podsquad program has been developed in collaboration with clinicians and childhood health subject matter experts as well as co-designed with kids aged 5 to 12 and their families.


1 Enright, G., M. Allman-Farinelli, and J. Redfern, Effectiveness of Family-Based Behavior Change Interventions on Obesity-Related Behavior Change in Children: A Realist Synthesis. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020. 17(11): p. 4099. | 2 World Health Organization, Report of the commission on ending childhood obesity. 2016, World Health Organization: Geneva: Switzerland. | 3 Waters, E., et al., Interventions for preventing obesity in children. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2011(12). | 4 Smith, K.L., et al., Barriers and enablers for participation in healthy lifestyle programs by adolescents who are overweight: a qualitative study of the opinions of adolescents, their parents and community stakeholders. BMC Pediatrics, 2014. 14(1): p. 53. 5 Suleiman-Martos, N., et al., Gamification for the Improvement of Diet, Nutritional Habits, and Body Composition in Children and Adolescents: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Nutrients, 2021. 13(7): p. 2478. | 6