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Studies have long linked a mother’s and daughter’s food preferences. Mom’s unhealthy eating habits and poor body image can negatively impact her daughter’s perspective on eating and weight. According to Lona Sandon, a registered dietitian at UT Southwestern Medical Center, this can cause low self-esteem or endanger the health of a young girl.

Of course, the reverse is also true. To become the influential mom your daughter needs you to be, consider these six important tips.

1. Be a positive role model by eating more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.

2. Create a family mealtime and do not discuss weight at the table.

3. Exercise together and separately.

4. Avoid using food as a punishment or reward.

5. Discuss privately with your doctor any negative thoughts about your or your child’s body.

6. Compliment children on qualities other than their appearance.

Southwestern News

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Reprinted with permission from Vibrant Life January/February 2008. Copyright © 2008 by GraceNotes. All rights reserved. Use of this material is subject to usage guidelines.

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