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Raising Fit Kids: Healthy Nurtition, Exercise, and Weight

  This content is selected and controlled by WebMD's editorial staff in collaboration with Sanford Health Systems.

FOOD Choices You Make Can Affect How Well You RECHARGE

Can what you put in your mouth affect the quality of your sleep? Absolutely. Most people know to avoid caffeine before bedtime, as well as spicy foods that can make digestion a challenge. But a recent study found that fat was a bigger sleep-stealer than caffeine. In this study, women who ate the most fat slept less at night. Plus, they also took more naps, which indicates daytime sleepiness.

To help avoid overdoing it on the fats, eat a variety of healthy foods and keep portions moderate. Your efforts may not only help your digestion, weight, and self-concept, but also help you get more shut-eye.

FOOD You Eat Greatly Contributes to Your Weight

Of the four parts of the FIT Platform, FOOD probably has the most direct affect on your weight. Whether food helps you stay at a healthy weight or contributes to weight gain depends on what food you eat, how much, how often, and how you prepare it.

To learn more about the FIT Platform and weight, read FIT Connection: Weight Management.

How to Make Healthy FOOD a Priority

Too many meals eaten on-the-go from fast-food restaurants, too much time in front of the TV instead of outside being active, and less time to get a full night's sleep -- from there it's a slippery slope toward weight gain and poor health. If you and your family find you've fallen into a fitness rut, take action today to change course.

"Any behavior that we want to happen in any one of our children is a behavior that the whole family has to model," Bartholomay says. As a dietitian, she knows preparing food together as a family is the healthy thing to do. But as a parent who works full-time, she also knows that there are days when it is not easy. “I'm not always in the mood to take the extra time and put up with the mess." That's why in the FOOD section of Raising FIT Kids, you'll find tips on how to keep healthy food choices simple and practical for real families.

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