Healthy Snacks Make Healthier Kids

For the past three years, the Cambridge, Mass., school district has been waging an all-out assault on fattening foods, enticing kids with samples of new, healthy fare and eventually turning fifth-graders into farmers.

Ask one of these students what their favorite foods that are growing in their garden, and they might say: "Chives!"

"I like them; they're spicy," one student says.

After years on the rise, the overweight trend at one school has dropped by 11 percent in two years, thanks to changes big and small, CBS News correspondent Nancy Cordes reports.

"Just some very simple things, like where we place, where we actually put the fruits and vegetables so the kids can reach them," says Virginia Chomitz of the Cambridge Health Alliance.

This district has already done what the government is recommending today — eliminate junky snacks from school vending machines and lunch lines.

The new report says "tier-one foods" — fruits, veggies, whole grain snacks, and small portions of 100 percent fruit juice — should be available to all grades.

But "tier-two foods," such as baked chips and pretzels, animal and graham crackers and low-fat ice cream bars under 200 calories, should be available only to high schoolers and only after school hours.

Snacks like fried potato chips and sodas should never be sold in schools — or even at fundraisers.

School nutritionists say the suggested guidelines should be made mandatory — like the regulations for school lunches.

"There are 26 different states that have different nutrition standards for these a la carte or competitive food items," says school nutritionist Penny McConnell. "It's a real challenge for the industry."

One thing that's clear in Cambridge: Kids don't miss the fattening snacks provided they have attractive alternatives.