Can kids be tricked into eating healthy?

January 7, 2008 12:45:40 PM PST
Schools in West Virginia are trying to take the junk out of junk food with new cafeteria menus featuring healthy choices in disguise.Protein-packed donuts, low sodium hot dogs on wheat buns, low-fat pancakes and baked French fries are some of the newest additions to Kennan Elementary School's cafeteria.

"They have to be able to still enjoy their favorite foods, but let's let them enjoy them at a lower risk to their health," said Kennan chef Harold Kuhn.

But critics say the faux junk food can steer children in the wrong direction.

"I'm worried that they go away from those meals with the message that wherever they eat those foods they might be perfectly healthy," said pediatrician Dr. Stephen Daniels.

The schools insist they educate students about what they're eating. ABC News corralled a group of elementary school students to see what they had to say about the faux junk food.

"I like things that are sugary but have healthy things packed inside," said one boy, getting ready to bite into a vitamin-enriched blueberry muffin.

"It's pretty good for pizza," said one girl about a slice of a wheat-crust pie.

The students rated most of the foods an "A." The next step? Getting kids to give such high marks to broccoli and spinach.