Pass the veggies, please

Healthful snacks—not those packed with sugar—could cut back on childhood obesity

First 5 California, a group that advocates for health issues for kids age newborn to 5, recently polled preschoolers on their eating habits. Not surprisingly, they found favorite foods included cookies, chocolate and ice cream. What did surprise them, however, was that the youngsters seemed also to enjoy fruits and veggies. In an effort to encourage parents to feed their children more healthful snacks—and curb the childhood obesity rate—First 5, with the help of Chef LaLa, came out with a cookbook available in English and Spanish. Log onto for more info or to order the free book. Last summer, U.K. journal Obesity Reviews revealed its study of American foods marketed to kids. Here are some of the results:

70 percent had more sugar than recommended

23 percent had high fat content

17 percent had high salt

62 percent of the foods packed with sugar claimed nutritional value on the package

20 percent showed a cartoon character engaging in physical activity on the front