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:

BebraveMummy
Hi all. My 12 year old is about to start phase 2 which is exciting but scary. I was hoping for some advice on how others have introduced and allowed food choice after a long period of no food choice. Any any wisdom or warnings that might be helpful. Thanks in advance. The knowledge in this community is so valuable and shared so generously I am so grateful. 
Quote
ValentinaGermania

This can be a short answer 😃:

Do it slowly. VERY slowly. Start with a snack and give her 2 items to chose between and see if she can do that. Then 3. Then let her chose a snack herself. When you see that she can make good decisions and will not chose the less caloric but what she WANTS to have, then try another snack. When that works try breakfast. It took 1 year here to go back to full freedom. No need to hurry. Doing it too fast and too early is one of the most often seen relapse risks here.

Have you worked down the fear food list?
Is she truely WR? Has her beahviour changed?

If not, think about waiting until this is done. Most professionals start phase 2 too early when they are not there...to need to go back to phase 1 if it does not work is hard for both sides...

Any more questions? 🙂

Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
Enn
My d was 11 at diagnosis and was WR at 6 -8 months into the journey. My d was comfortable with certain snacks and so knew which she could have and chose them sometimes. Ultimately, I was still in charge. She was hesitant at the beginning to make choices, so I would give a couple of choices only and still monitored that she ate it and it stayed down and did not get thrown out.  Remember too that she may feel very comfortable with you making choices and so this may be a time for more anxiety about food, and autonomy,  so vigilance is key. 
I still do not have her plate her own meals at all (14 yo). The only choices are snacks or tea (with sugar and a lot of milk) or juices. 
I will post the thread on stages. You will need to find your own rhythm with your child. That is what I have found. She may be ready for X but not Y. I could tell when my d had anxiety about food or even worries about other things, then those were the times/days I had to take over. 
She is so young, you have a lot of time to do this slowly and surely. 
How is she doing with her state overall? That may be helpful for you to know as you change things up.
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
Enn
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/stages-and-timelines-and-how-they-set-us-all-up-to-fail-7917698?highlight=stages&pid=1308732434
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
Mamaroo
Start by giving her a choice between snacks; snacks you have chosen. If she's able to choose quickly, then you can move onto meals. Usually I plate all main meals in any case, but when we go to a restaurant, I would tell them that we're getting burgers and if I see my d's struggling (because she wanted a wrap) I would tel her to either choose a burger or I'm getting her the same one as her dad. We had to do this several times, because she would always chose the smallest burger, but now she would choose a cheese burger. Giving choices like the above examples needs to be done over and over and only after several months, can they choose completely on their own. Then you can tell her it is snack time and that she must pick a couple of snacks. After she has chosen you can tell her to add something if you think it's not enough. Rinse and repeat. Going slowly is the key here, there is no rush as relapse at this stage is still quite high. Good luck!
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9 and started eating 'healthy' at age 9.5. Restricting couple of months later. IP for 2 weeks at age 10. Slowly refed for months on Ensures alone, followed by swap over with food at a snails pace. WR after a year at age 11 in March 2017. View my recipes on my YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCKLW6A6sDO3ZDq8npNm8_ww
Quote
BebraveMummy
Thank you all for your advice.😆.  D was wt restored during 9 wks in hospital and has continued to gain maintain and gain wt in the 6 mth since discharged at minimum safe weight and all her team very happy that she is not needing to gain except at normal rate for growth.  Exercise obsession long gone and has been back to normal physical activity at school and gentle fun sport but happy to lay around reading which is normal for her. No overt ed displays for a month except asking once or twice a week "do I have to eat it all" . My answer always yes and she finishing without further comment or distress. Back to cuddly, positive and happy. No longer pinching stomach and seems pretty comfy in her skin again. Eats very good variety and cant think of any fear foods but still doesn't love eating dinner at restaurants but lunch or snacks at cafe fine. Back saying yum and happy to eat chocolate/chips/cakes and probably would chose over savory  options for snacks
Questions.... what do you do if offered choice but she says "you choose". Tonight asked if she wanted yogurt or custard for dessert and thst was her response. Do I just keep giving options and chose for her if she doesn't want to? 
Also she has had no therapy as early on was too distressing so just weekly weigh in with little interaction at camhs and monthly appt with paediatrician. 
We really don't talk about her illness.  Initially she denied it and raged and now we have all got into routine that its not mentioned except if I might say " I know you don't want to eat that but for you to get well I need to know that you can". Do you think open discussion is needed at some point? 
 Thanks again 
Quote
Enn
In answer to your question about her asking that you should choose: that sounds as if she is not yet ready to make that particular choice at this time. This is where teaching her, by making the choice for her, how to make that choice can be supportive. So if you gave her the yogurt this time, you could say that next time she can have the pudding. It teaches her that either is ok at anytime. 
I always felt that my d's questions were  probing to see what I thought the "better" choice was. To give her either at other times shows her there is no better choice, it just is what you feel like at that time. That process does take time and with more brain healing and movement away from ED thoughts and your guidance it does improve.
When within yourself you find the road, the right road will open.  (Dejan Stojanovic)

Food+more food+time+love+good professional help+ATDT+no exercise+ state not just weight+/- the "right" medicine= healing---> recovery(--->life without ED)
Quote
ValentinaGermania
My d often asked me to chose for her because she was not excited about chosing or she was unsure what to chose or she was simply too tired to chose.
I would ask her again and then help her a bit by asking questions like "would you prefer something with chocolate or with nuts".
AN patients are often very bad in making decisions from birth 😂, my d never liked to decide for something because that meant to close all other options.
Give her some time and try it again. You do not need to hurry.

At that age I do not think that you need to force her into a discussion about the illness. When she asks something you can reply. When she gets older and needs to learn to be more independend for college or university and she needs to feed herself alone because she wants to move out you can talk about all that if needed.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Quote
PurpleRain
My D is almost 14 (next week!) and above historical weigth curve for 3 months give or take. I started by asking her (about snacks) do you want a sweet snack or a savory one? she had no problem deciding that, so I went on to giving 2 choices (still only snacks), usually she is ok with that, so now I sometimes ask; what do you want for snack? she sometimes answers quickly, sometimes needs some help, sometimes I end up choosing. That´s where we are at the moment (she usually has no problem ordering when eating out funnily enough, although obviously I keep a very close watch om her). I mean to do it really slow as suggested in this wonderful forum. Hope this helps
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
Quote

        

WTadmin