F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:

Steviasun
Hi..we have a 15 yr old son diag..January 2015..4mthd in I.P...he is moving in the right direction slowly...a year ago I highlighted to e.d consultant that 5 yr old sibling was struggling to eat ..was told it was copied behaviour...nearly a year on she has eliminated things from her diet/refuses to eat them..is body checking most of the time talks about exercising her fingers..has to be reminded to stop stretching/flexing when we are having story...huffs and puffs at meal times obviously uncomfortable worried look. ..gets stroppy/grumpy before meals cries of I don't allow her to get up and rrfil her glass of water during the meal...She will also very occasionally say she is hungry then refuse the snack/food that I'd offered.
.our son now eats in the living room when we eat this suggested by e.d consultant...I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO.....we have been offered family therapy which I feel isn't really make ANY DIFFERENCE to a 6 yr old who is struggling to eat.I felt equipped and able to get my son weight restored 2 months after discharge. .I feel at a complte loss to even begin to deal with a 6 yr old who is struggling...HAS ANYBODY ANY TIPS TO PERSUADE HER TO EAT WHEN I KNOW SHE IS HUNGRY....

..

.
Mum of 14 yr old son with AN.  [image]
Quote
Torie
Oh gosh, so sorry you have this concern on top of your Ed son.

As has often been said here (many times by me among others): Bad professional help can often be worse than no help at all. So I guess your first decision will need to be if you can / will try to go it alone with your d or if you will try to search out professional help that is actually helpful.

In either case, the end result will be that you REQUIRE your d to eat what you serve her. As you know, the appropriate role for a six year old is to eat what is served - not to participate in meal planning decisions. I would definitely keep her out of the kitchen during meal preparation so she doesn't have the added stress of seeing you adding butter, cream, oil, etc. to her meals or whatever else might make it more difficult for her.

Do you know about LSUYE (Life Stops Until You Eat) as is practiced by many here?

I'm not sure what information would be helpful at this point - could you tell us a little more about what happens at mealtime? You serve, she balks, and then what? Does she try to leave the table? If so, do you follow her with her meal? Or you are requiring her to stay at the table, but she outlasts you? Or?

I know some of the moms here who have dealt with young ones will have many helpful ideas.

Hang in there. You can do this. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Quote
Psycho_Mom
Hi,

Wow, I'm so sorry you have so much to deal with. Luckily, however, your kids are young and with good, full nutrition (required by you, no persuasion, no discussion, no negotiation, no refusal) you will have them with you for a long time so they will be able to heal.

I'd recommend looking up posts from Yogurt Parfait, whose daughter got sick at a very young age. Look up her Story of Hope too.

Help Your Teen Beat an Eating Disorder (nevermind that your d isn't a teen yet) by Lock and Legrange

Magic Plate page on this site, and How to Get a Stubborn Anorexic to Eat, on this site (Hall of Fame page) are great places to start understanding the concept of requiring eating, aka meal support aka Life Stops Until You Eat.

best wishes,
D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
Quote
Steviasun
tonight at bedtime was the first time I have taken the bowl to get room when it was refused to be finished at the table.She again refused to finish so I refused the bedtime story..life stops until you eat..I can't believe we are now actually getting to this point with her..I feel so sad when I think of how difficult it has been for her over the last 3 years.....
Mum of 14 yr old son with AN.  [image]
Quote
iHateED
Hi,

The sad reality of this illness is that it is genetic so you are right to be concerned.   I have two daughters both of whom suffered with eating disorders.  When the older D got sick as a sophomore in high school I had no idea it was genetic and had not found this site.  My younger D loved to eat everything and anything so I would have bet a million dollars that she would never develop and eating disorder.   But genetics took over and down the rabbit hole she went for almost two years.   Happy to say that both are doing extremely well at the moment (but I know this is a relapsing illness so I will always be vigilant). 

Was your young D always a picky eater?   Has her pediatrician been tracking her growth (height and weight)?   Diagnosed as an eating disorder or not, the main thing for now and over the next many years is getting in as much nutrition as you can, especially good fats like oil and cream.   These good fats are so essential to brain health.   Can you give her a milkshake or smoothie (yogurt, heavy cream, some frozen fruit in a blender) for a snack?    The key is to get her to eat three meals and a few snacks every single day.  As Torie said, many of us have used LSUYE.   That may be something you need to look into doing for your D. 

Hang in there.   Please let us know if you have any other questions. 

Quote
Steviasun
I would like to know more about life stops until you eat...and thankyou..X
Mum of 14 yr old son with AN.  [image]
Quote
iHateED
You may find this video helpful:

youtu.be/BVhKXh0gLGc?list=PLVgyQbyKQSBHUbIDLlc7t3v7bN0lmLcve

Produced by fellow feastie Eva Musby.  Many of her videos may be useful to your situation.  

She can be found at:

Eva Musby, mother, author, resources for parents at  http://www.evamusby.co.uk

Also Youtube videos for parents on
https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
Quote
Steviasun
her book was my bible when refeeding my son.x
Mum of 14 yr old son with AN.  [image]
Quote
Torie
Here's what LSUYE means to me: Her first job is to eat. Everything you serve. If it comes down to it, that's her only job. Your job is to serve 3 meals and 3 snacks every day, being sure to include plenty of fats. And to supervise carefully until she finishes. When she has finished, she can go on to watch video or read with you or whatever. 

YogurtParfait had a very young girl as well. She would play a video at the table and if her d took too long between bites she would pause the video. Then when her d resumed eating, the video would start up again.

One trouble is that we each have to find our own way through the details. What works for one might not work for the next. The only thing that matters is that the food goes in - all of it - and stays in. Then some kind of distraction afterwards so to keep Ed from filling her mind with vile thoughts.

If you would like help brainstorming details or solutions please let us know. 

You can do this. So sorry you have to though. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Quote
Playball40
My daughter began restricting at 6 just after my mother died of cancer.  Of course at that time it never entered my mind she was showing ED behavior.  We assumed it was grief (it was) and took her to a grief therapist.  We also sat with her when she ate and gave her lots of Nutella (her favorite at the time).  It took 3 months to get her eating again and she had lost 15% of her body weight (you can imagine at 6 this was not very much).  Her therapist then told me I needed to 'watch her when she got older as she showed signs of an ED.  I WISH I had heeded her words because when my daughter began the healthy eating craze and became a vegetarian at 8 years old, I would have been able to knock it out much sooner.

My best advice is to feed the younger one as if you were 're-feeding' - then talk about her feelings (my guess is that she's responding to the stress of what's happening with the older sibling - this is what my daughter was doing - she never even cried) but clearly that is a trigger for her. 
Caroline
Quote
Steviasun
....my daughter is now 7.This time last year she was really struggling with emotions..eating ..being at kindi.With support from kindi teachers she managed to turn a corner until the summer holidays just gone.Her eating became very erratic again.We put it down to stress of leaving kindi and nerves about starting school.....she is now restricting the foods she will ea t and not eating much of the food she attempts.I now feel...SHE DEFINATELY HAS AN ED AND I'M NOT SURE HOW TO APPROACH IT..obviously I need to get her to eat..she spoke tonight about "she has r easons" she doesn't eat.
Mum of 14 yr old son with AN.  [image]
Quote
melstevUK
Steviasun,

I am so sorry that you are faced with a 'double whammy' of children with ed/eating difficulties.

I would take your d to the GP and get her own referral - while some child psychiatrists may not be familiar with eating disorders in young children, I think it would be no bad thing to have support for her too. Certainly there has been a trend towards younger children being diagnosed with anorexia nervosa, and the fact that she is saying she has reasons for not eating needs to be explored. 

Initially though, you need to get her on to a three meal three snack structure so that nutrition is going in regularly.  Will she still take milk?  If not, this is a vital start. Even if you can get her drinking more milk initially, this will help.  I had a friend whose child, while he didn't have an ed, did have difficulties with eating and at one time she was advised to feed him calories of any form.  While your d is likely trying to avoid fats, she really needs all the food groups.  If you cannot get a routine going and weight going up then you need professional help, and please do not let anyone dismiss your anxieties.

I hope your s is making progress in the meantime.  These illnesses are so cruel for everyone.


Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
Quote

        

WTadmin