Sally makes cooking fun to fight childhood obesity

Sally SampsonAt a stylish house in Watertown, Mass., with high ceilings and stained-wood floors, children gather in a gleaming white kitchen. Dressed in colorful clothes they are testing spicy foods – and making faces.

“Not so much, Dylan!” cries Rahma, age 7, her dark hair spilling over her shoulders as she inspects her friend’s handiwork in adding hot sesame oil to a bowl of mustard.

A photographer and food stylist hover in the background, trying to capture the aesthetic of the moment for the winter issue of ChopChop, a cooking magazine for families with young children, which will feature international soups and spices.

In just three years, ChopChop’s founder, Sally Sampson, has done something remarkable. She began with a simple idea – recipes easy enough for kids to make. Then she pooled the talents and resources of her friends, secured funding, created an ad-free magazine that now is distributed to half of all pediatricians’ offices in the United States, launched a website (, visited the White House, published a cookbook, and won awards from the James Beard Foundation and Parents’ Choice.

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