It was perhaps an unfair question — "which do you prefer, ants on a log or chocolate chip cookies?"

But at a health event for children Friday, D'Shawn Glenister handled it diplomatically.

"Chocolate chip cookie, because I'm a kid," the 11-year-old said. At the same time, he was eating and enjoying a healthier snacked dubbed ants on a log. "But I love peanut butter."

Ants on a log - raisins and peanut butter on a slice of apple - was a snack of choice at the Boys and Girls Clubs of Central Sonoma County in Rohnert Park. More than 70 kids attended the event, which was aimed at encouraging healthier lifestyles to combat childhood obesity.

"The obesity rate among children is huge, it is rampant, and we thought this would be a good issue to target this year," said Sherry Dove of the Junior League of Napa-Sonoma County.

The rate of obesity among children nationwide has tripled in the last three decades, to 10.4 percent for preschoolers, 19.6 percent for ages 6 to 11 and 18.1 percent for ages 12 to 19, according to the national Centers for Disease Control.

One focus Friday was on healthy snacks, such as the so-called ants on a log and also a yogurt parfait with strawberries, raspberries and blueberries.

"It's when you add the three fruits," said Jesse Alcazar, 9, referring to the attraction of the parfait.

Glenn Cybulski, owner of Seasons Pizzeria in Rohnert Park, demonstrated how to make pasta dough, cook it and then eat it with marinara sauce.

"This is where I get my joy from," Cybulski said. "Watch when I feed them, there are smiles on their faces. Cooking is a passion and I love feeding kids."

There was also Zumba, part workout and part dance, for exercise.

The Junior League's message was an important lesson to learn, even though Boys and Girls Club director Micki Jones said the children attending their after-school program may already be a step ahead.

"These are not the kids who are sitting in front of a TV, but we know the best thing we can do is help them learn go make good choices," Jones said.