Between the soothing, the playing, making sure they eat the right things and not the wrong things, parenthood can be exhausting.

And according to a new study taking care of young children can wreak havoc on your health, especially if you're a mom.

"They were drinking more sugar sweetened drinks, they had higher fat intake and overall calories," says Dr. Jerica Berge.

Dr. Berge of the University of Minnesota analyzed the dietary and exercise habits of young parents with kids under age 5.

Mothers in particular had higher body mass indexes than women without children and didn't get as much exercise. Their diets suffered as well.

Quick-fix meals coveted by so many busy moms might be part of the problem.

"Because of time demands, they might be turning to the chicken nuggets or the macaroni and cheese because it's quicker," says Dr. Berge.

Parents in the study did eat a healthy amount of fruits, vegetables and whole grains because they said they wanted to model good eating habits for their children.

Researchers say those good intentions can be applied to exercise, too. 

"Parents might be able to incorporate physical activity in their day with their kids rather than thinking they have to do that on their own. Go out and kick the ball together or walk to the park together and play together," says Dr. Berge.

They're healthy habits that can benefit both children and their parents.

Researchers say pediatricians may want to address these issues with parents when they bring their young children in for check-ups.