Like Her, Like Me: Modeling healthy behaviors

2012-11-23T00:00:00Z 2012-12-03T14:59:03Z Like Her, Like Me: Modeling healthy behaviorsFamily Features nwitimes.com
November 23, 2012 12:00 am  • 

From music, to fashion, to the latest tech trend, teens have the power to help shape their mom's choices. It's also no surprise that mothers are especially powerful role models for their daughters, particularly when it comes to health and nutrition. Simply watching mom engage in healthy habits, like staying active or enjoying a nutritious breakfast at home, can set the stage for a lifetime of smart choices. This influence has been shown throughout childhood, but the impact appears to be the strongest in the early years of her daughter's life.

Start with Breakfast at Home

Teens who eat meals regularly with their parents are more likely to drink milk, eat nutrient-rich fruit and vegetables, and are less likely to skip breakfast. They also tend to do better in school. Breakfast is the perfect time to model healthy habits for the whole family, including drinking milk.

"Breakfast time really can be family time. Even if it's just 15 minutes before heading out, it's so important for moms and kids to spend quality time together and start the day off with a delicious breakfast - for nutrition and far beyond," said Carolyn O'Neil, MS, RD. "As a mother, I know that the bonding and support benefits of family meals can extend far beyond what's on the plate." Serving milk and its nine essential nutrients at breakfast is a small step that can make a big difference. It's tasty and easy to incorporate into your morning meal - add some to your latte, oatmeal or pair it with your morning banana.

Quick Breakfast Ideas

* The night before a busy morning, slice up some fresh fruit and store in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Before the kids head out the door, toss it in the blender with ice and lowfat milk for a delicious and nutritious breakfast smoothie.

* Milk and cereal is the perfect standby. Simply pairing the nine essential nutrients in lowfat milk with whole-grain cereal is one of the best ways to be sure your kids have energy and valuable nutrients they need to tackle the day.

* Make a batch of steel-cut oatmeal with lowfat milk the night before while you prepare dinner and store in the refrigerator. In the morning, simply add some frozen berries, reheat, then top off with cinnamon or a pinch of brown sugar.

Celebrating the Special Mother-Daughter Bond

Actress Nina Dobrev of "The Vampire Diaries" understands that good role modeling starts with simple, positive acts like these. That's why she and her mother have teamed up with the National Milk Mustache "got milk?"(r) Campaign and Seventeen magazine for "Like Her, Like Me" - a program that draws attention to the many ways in which moms and teens can positively influence each other.

"My mom and I are especially close - we've learned a lot from each other. Growing up, my mom would make us oatmeal with milk; we'd spend time together as a family during breakfast which is, hands down, the most important meal of the day," said Dobrev. "Through the 'Like Her, Like Me' program, we want to inspire moms and teens to share more special moments and healthy habits - whether they're swapping stories over a glass of milk or bonding at breakfast."

Head to www.TheBreakfastProject.com for inspiration, information and more ways to start the day off right with milk at home.

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