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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 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.

The payoff of eating meals together can have a profound effect on your family's overall health. "In studies, families that eat more family meals together tend to be less overweight," says Bartholomay. "For one thing, when you are eating together and you prepare the food at home, you're more likely to think about making a more well-rounded meal. Plus, if you allow yourself to eat as a family and you enjoy the conversation, you'll probably take smaller portions than maybe you would if you were eating out."

In this over-scheduled world, put healthy food and fitness front and center by paying attention to the four areas of the FIT Platform. You can help your children understand just how important their health is, and set them up to make healthy choices throughout their life.

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