Hi, I'm Kaitlin and I have 5 kids. I always seem to feel tired or sick. The only way I've managed to keep going so far is by drinking lots of chocolate milk. Can you help me figure out what is missing from my diet?

Hi Kaitlin, thanks for your question. I'm not sure what is causing your fatigue based on the information you gave me, but it's important to maintain a balanced diet. MyPlate is a good model to follow to make sure you're eating balanced proportions of each food group throughout the day or week. Focus on eating more vegetables in a rainbow of colors to get the most nutrients from foods.

Also, beware of sugar creeping into your diet. Chocolate milk has a lot of sugar in it. One cup (8 oz.) of chocolate milk has 24 grams of sugar! That's 6 teaspoons of sugar (24 grams ÷ 4 = 6 tsp). If you're drinking "lots of chocolate milk" as you wrote, this could be causing your blood sugar to spike and then drop dramatically throughout the day, which will make most people tired. Try drinking cold water flavored with slices of lemons or other fruit instead when you are feeling tired. Dehydration can make you feel tired, and feeling sleepy is your body's way of telling you to drink more water. You can read this page on sugary beverages for more information.

You may also be lacking sleep. With 5 kids, that's understandable! It can be a challenge to get quality sleep and enough of it each night. If you have trouble sleeping, check out the tips on this page to set yourself up for a good night's sleep.

I wish you the best!