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

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Yogi13
When did you re-introduce them?  Some are foods she's been eating her whole life.  Yesterday started Week 7, and she is eating (reluctantly at times, but consuming all I give her).  Any advice would be appreciated.  
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sandie
Hi Yogi, there are good threads here about that- that you use search function for. There are different aproaches- laddering or flooding. Some do from beginning, some wait. The general advice is do as soon as possible and i saw a lauren mulheim video on youtube the other day saying most parents wish they started sooner as gets more difficult. We struggled with refeeding and had to largely use same very limited food and are really only now after 6 or 7 months tackling very very slowly fear-foods- but if you can start now, that is recommended. My understanding is that people say it is so awful refeeding anyway that may as well introduce fear foods at same time.
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workingthrough
We had fear foods every week. We didn’t go full force (kind of wish we had), but everything was so chaotic and crazy in the beginning. We did the laddering and added 2-3 fear foods a week and just kept going. In the beginning the “fear” things were everything. We started with white pasta, bread, etc. and then butter on bread, Mac and cheese, hamburgers, restaurants, chips, desserts, etc. The big thing is keeping those things in regular rotation as well. Anxiety will be terrible at first, but after ~4-5 times s was typically pretty comfortable with things. 

S would do okay with one dessert or one food - rotating things was/is huge and important to us. Different kinds of chips, yogurts, every kind of sugar cereal, all desserts (pie, doughnuts, ice cream, cookies, candy-bars), different restaurants, dishes, etc. 

Is she eating variety of things right now? or pretty set on the same meals/foods? 
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Yogi13
At first, I was giving her everything brown, but once I realized that she needed the white version, I jumped right in and brought those foods in.  She was resistant, but now when she sees a bagel or pasta, she's ok.  She never ate a large variety of foods even before this began-she's a somewhat picky eater and she had a tree nut allergy dx at 8, so we have always been mindful of looking at labels for that reason.  With that said, she is eating a pretty good variety of food at this point.  I even introduced foods that she hasn't eaten since she was little.  However, there's a few foods we have come across that give her a lot of anxiety that she used to eat.  I am going to try to give one of them this weekend rather than making her crazy before school (which is coming to an end thankfully).  
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sk8r31
Sounds like you have a plan and that's good!  Give it a try and adjust as needed...it can be a bit of trial and error to find the best way for you & your family to tackle the 'fear foods'.  As has been suggested, the sooner the better is often a great way to go.  And once you have introduced something, whether it's been well accepted or not, keep it in regular rotation.  It is really an exposure therapy-type thing.
We had 'fear foods' written into a contract.  The list was the 10 most-feared items for our d...took ages for her to whittle it down to 10!  Then we gave one thing every day.  When d could eat any of the foods on the list 3 times in a row without comment or refusal, then it was struck off the list, and a financial incentive was given.  Despite my not wanting to tie the foods to an incentive, this was very successful for our d.  Took about 2 months for all the foods to be off the list...
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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tina72
We had a fear food list with 3 parts:
1) I can eat that
2) I fear to eat that but will try
3) I cannot even think to eat that at the moment

It had to be at least 10 items in Nr. 2.
Once a week we had fear food day (sunday here as dad were around for meals and we had more time), today I would do it 2x a week to work down the list faster.
She was allowed to chose what fear food we eat on next sunday (some might not be able to do that then you chose). It was reintroduced again in the following week. Then it went to Nr. 1 and some food from Nr. 3 took the place of that fear food that was done now. (I also let my d decide what moved from Nr. 3 to 2 as she was a young adult during refeeding). Do you get what I mean?

It is also o.k. to do it the straight way and rip the band aid off and serve all fear food from tomorrow. With younger kids that is often the better and faster way.

It is really important that you work on that and she eats all that she ate about 2 years before the ED moved in again without any stress.
If the list is long, that can take some months 🙂.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ellesmum
I’m not sure we ever had fear foods as such, it was more she was afraid of all foods and the list of acceptable things got smaller and smaller until she was eating carrots, dry cereal and a handful of nuts but there was never a list to tackle really. 

I wonder in hindsight if that made it a bit easier to jump straight in with what I now prefer to call fun or sociable foods like pizza and ice cream, I didn’t really plan to but it evolved that we’d go to a coffee shop and I’d insist she had a cookie or whatever and I’d have one too. 
Ellesmum
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debra18
I found that it was easier with fear foods at a healthy weight. Some fear foods I insisted on early on caused her major panic attacks and finger biting. At a healthy weight she was more able to handle the fear foods. Sometimes if she really refused to eat something I replaced it with a food she was able to eat. I felt it was more important to continue eating and not miss meals. I used also a laddered approach most of the time. 
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Yogi13
I think I am the band aid type of person.  Going to introduce one at breakfast on Saturday.  Wish me luck!  If it doesn’t work, I have plenty of other ammunition from this thread.  Thank you!!!!
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tina72
Some do better if you do it by surprise and some do better when they know ahead what will come. You need to try what works better.
I cross all fingers and toes for Saturday! Keep us updated!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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scaredmom
For us everything was a fear food at the beginning and it was hard.
what I found helpful as we were seeing the team weekly was that I called them and said we need to try a fear food like donuts that week. They would tell d and then I did it. She had to hear it from the professionals and mom knew nothing in her mind. She responds well to authority that are not her parents. Sigh! Over time I decided to add a few per week and my d responded well if I told her a few days ahead. For example I would tell her on Sunday that we would do chips on Wednesday and she psyched herself up a bit and when it came time to eat it she steeled herself and ate it so quickly.
When I surprised her we did have some rages. And she actually asked me to warn her a few days ahead.

You will find the way that works for you.

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)
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debra18
Yeah it takes time to find what works. In the end it will be worth it to see your child enjoying these foods. I was at a birthday party with my daughter yesterday and she had no problem eating pizza and birthday cake.
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Tica
We found that early on there was so much anxiety about food in general that we refed using safe foods. My d ate a limited range for several months, which was very frustrating and worrying at the time, but as she ate decent quantities and was getting just enough calories most of the time, we struggled on. After a lot of time and with buckets of patience we are tackling fear foods and while we have made great progress with some foods, others remain tricky but I can see now that it is just a matter of time as she becomes more relaxed about food generally and gets back to being her usual carefree self, which has gradually happened as her weight increased. 
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Mcmum
Hello!  Huge variety of experiences here. We also found that all food and drink  (including water!) had become a fear food so it almost didn't matter if it was a slab of chocolate or a lettuce leaf.....the effect was the same : meltdown!  Take a deep breath and trust your gut, I think.  There are many roads to Rome but the objective is the same.  We are a year in now and still rather rigid but eating everything for now. 
I would say that it's early days.  You're doing really well. It's trial and error but do what you and your child can cope with on that day.  Good luck x
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sandie
@Tica so great to hear about your D's progress. It is so reassuring to hear how progress is possible with fear foods as it is so worrying. I just wanted to add a success story we have had. Last week, D had a fear food- cottage pie which is a minced beef and potato dish. I told her H made it as ED rebels mainly against me. She needed reassurance that I hadn't suggested it or helped in preparing it in anyway and ate it warily, as daddy made it.
I served it up again tonight and D just said - did you make cottage pie for tea? With no other questions or signs of anxiety. I couldn't believe it.
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Yogi13
All of your successes are great to hear.  I am going to start introducing some foods this weekend.   It's funny because they are comprised of the foods she loved and was eating before she started restricting.  Once she began restricting, she eliminated them from her diet.  So strange how this illness "thinks".  
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tina72
It is that thinking that she does not "deserve" these foods that she loved before. Yes, it is really strange...
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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