SOURCE: Got Milk?

May 31, 2012 05:00 ET

Like Her, Like Me: Modeling Healthy Behaviors

MISSION, KS--(Marketwire - May 31, 2012) - (Family Features) 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
Breakfast is the perfect time to model healthy habits for the whole family, including drinking milk. Studies show that milk drinkers and breakfast eaters have more nutritious diets and tend to be leaner than non-milk drinkers and breakfast skippers. Plus, 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 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?"® 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."

Did you introduce your mom to the wonders of hot yoga? Did you teach your daughter how to make that secret family recipe? Questions like these inspired the "Like Her, Like Me" campaign -- and Nina and her mom want to hear your answers.

Enter Now for a Chance to Co-Star in the Next got milk? Milk Mustache Ad!
Grab a camera and show what makes you an awesome team, including tips on how milk at breakfast helps you both start the day off strong. Upload your entries at or by June 22, 2012. Together with America and the National Milk Mustache "got milk?"® Campaign, Nina and her mom Michaela will help select three teams that exemplify positive role modeling to appear in their very own Milk Mustache ad. The winners will fly to New York City for a Milk Mustache ad photo shoot that will grace the pages of Seventeen magazine this fall.

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

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