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

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strawdog
So today I braved a known fear food - a hobnob biscuit. She came back from school to a yoghurt and 2 biscuits. I knew it was going to cause problems and I was right. Ended up saying she would only eat one and stormed off to the room - throwing the other at me down the stairs with lots of f words. Finally got her to eat the remains of the second one after much abuse. Not a nice experience though - question is now when do I return to the fear food? Do I just give her one and get her used to them a bit more? We have yet to brave the dreaded C word - Chocolate!  A known biggie - haven't got the strength at the moment and was thinking of waiting a couple more weeks - or is it a question of sooner rather than later?
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mimi321
It is good that you followed through with the second biscuit. The first time is the worst, and the subsequent times will be easier because of it, but only if you don't wait too long. The longest I would skip is one day before following up, OR, depending on how I felt, might do one biscuit the following few days then increase to two. If you really want to rip the bandaid off, repeat exactly what you did today, and this time give her a fresh, whole biscuit as a replacement (if she throws it) so she'll know that throwing or destroying food is not a good tactic to reduce the amount of snack.

Once you've successfully reintroduced biscuits into her snacks, it could be a good time to try chocolate. As long as this isn't impeding your overall efforts to feed her and you are mentally prepared for the blowback, the sooner eating these foods is normalized the better. 

You are making great progress! Well done!
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Ellesmum
Hey strawdog,

firstly, you are doing amazingly, hats off.

It seems to me people have used different approaches to this and of course we all know our own children best.
My approach although I didn’t really think it out, was to lay down expectations in advance. Things like ‘it’s a beautiful day, we are going out and we’re going to get ice cream because this is normal’ 

Or, ‘ it’s .....birthday dinner tomorrow evening, so we’re all going to have a lovely meal and dessert and I want you to join in’ 
‘When we go shopping we’re going to stop for McDonald’s’ and so on. 
This way, she had a little time to get used to the idea and there was a clear expectation of compliance.  

This wasnt something I really planned to do, it was almost instinctive.  It did work though by and large.  Right now she can’t get enough chocolate! 

Maybe give it it a go ‘daughter, I want you and I to have a cup of tea and a kitkat together while we chat about football/watch Eastenders, or whatever. 
Ellesmum
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tina72
There is not one right way to introduce fear food - as always here.
Some did rip the band aid off and introduced them all at once. Works often with very young kids.
Some did a laddered approach. We did that. We had a fear food list and re-introduced one every Sunday which was fear food day here. Did it then again in the next week 2 or 3 times (in different amounts).
Best is not to wait too long to re-introduce fear food because it gets harder with time and the longer they have not eaten x or y the more difficult it gets and the fear increases.
What is "flair ups"? (sorry, English is not my mother tongue)
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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strawdog
tina72 wrote:
There is not one right way to introduce fear food - as always here.
Some did rip the band aid off and introduced them all at once. Works often with very young kids.
Some did a laddered approach. We did that. We had a fear food list and re-introduced one every Sunday which was fear food day here. Did it then again in the next week 2 or 3 times (in different amounts).
Best is not to wait too long to re-introduce fear food because it gets harder with time and the longer they have not eaten x or y the more difficult it gets and the fear increases.
What is "flair ups"? (sorry, English is not my mother tongue)


By Flair Ups I mean tantrums - swearing and shouting! 
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tina72
o.k., that is normal with fear food 🙂 you will hear words you would not have thought that your d knows them!
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Mamaroo
Great job with the biscuits, and not backing down! I would continue with the hobnob biscuits for at least a week or until she can eat them without a problem, then move on to the next fear food on the list. After a couple of months of this type of exposure you will find that it will be much easier to eliminate the rest of the fear foods.
D became obsessed with exercise at age 9. 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. She is back to her old happy self and can eat anything put in front of her.
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strawdog
Ellesmum wrote:
Hey strawdog,

firstly, you are doing amazingly, hats off.

It seems to me people have used different approaches to this and of course we all know our own children best.
My approach although I didn’t really think it out, was to lay down expectations in advance. Things like ‘it’s a beautiful day, we are going out and we’re going to get ice cream because this is normal’ 

Or, ‘ it’s .....birthday dinner tomorrow evening, so we’re all going to have a lovely meal and dessert and I want you to join in’ 
‘When we go shopping we’re going to stop for McDonald’s’ and so on. 
This way, she had a little time to get used to the idea and there was a clear expectation of compliance.  

This wasnt something I really planned to do, it was almost instinctive.  It did work though by and large.  Right now she can’t get enough chocolate! 

Maybe give it it a go ‘daughter, I want you and I to have a cup of tea and a kitkat together while we chat about football/watch Eastenders, or whatever. 


Thanks Ellesmum - it's not an easy ride especially when you are suffering mentally yourself. Seems we are good cop/bad cop in this house but if it's working then that's fine. I am the enforcer, cooking the food and giving her fear foods and taking most of the abuse - the one who is doing it all wrong etc etc. Mum is the lying on the sofa having a cuddle watching chick flicks and having the nice talks side of things. AS long as it's working then that's the main thing but it is hard for sure.

I think you're right with giving her a little time to get used to fear foods being served, My bad. I did that last week wit hot cross buns - not deliberately - she just noticed in the drawer and asked what they were for and I said - we're having one tomorrow morning for snack and she just said oh are we? She ate it in the next day - not happy and very anxious but no flair ups. Live and learn eh. Anyway we are going for 2 hob nobs again after school so wish me luck! 
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strawdog
Mamaroo wrote:
Great job with the biscuits, and not backing down! I would continue with the hobnob biscuits for at least a week or until she can eat them without a problem, then move on to the next fear food on the list. After a couple of months of this type of exposure you will find that it will be much easier to eliminate the rest of the fear foods.


I think it could be a while before I'm brave enough to put a chocolate bar in front ofher though! I've started slowly on that front - made my first ever banana, date and chocolate cake yesterday with just half the amount of choc chip cookies in it and gave a small amount for pudding with greek yoghurt - no problems at all 🙂 If I'd put the chocolate chips in a small bowl there's no way she would eat them! Its funny how their brains have become wired to fear certain foods. She would quite happily much through 4 Belvitta Biscuits with more calories than 2 hob nobs!
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Ocras68
Isn’t that the truth about the lack of logic of ED?!  My daughter will now easily eat a luxury buttered hot cross bun (loaded with calories) but won’t touch a square of chocolate.  We just have to keep working to reset those tracks in the brain.   Sounds like you’re doing great, strawdog.  It’s hard to be the bad cop, but you’re doing what needs to be done.
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tina72
strawdog wrote:


I think it could be a while before I'm brave enough to put a chocolate bar in front ofher though! I've started slowly on that front - made my first ever banana, date and chocolate cake yesterday with just half the amount of choc chip cookies in it and gave a small amount for pudding with greek yoghurt - no problems at all 🙂 If I'd put the chocolate chips in a small bowl there's no way she would eat them! Its funny how their brains have become wired to fear certain foods. She would quite happily much through 4 Belvitta Biscuits with more calories than 2 hob nobs!


Here you can buy Belvita Bisquits with chocolate chips in there so maybe worth a look.

" I did that last week wit hot cross buns - not deliberately - she just noticed in the drawer and asked what they were for and I said - we're having one tomorrow morning for snack and she just said oh are we? She ate it in the next day - not happy and very anxious but no flair ups."

Be aware that they sometimes "ask" for food this way. She might ask "what are these chocolate bars in the cupboard for" or "do I need to eat a chocolate bar next week" or something like that. That means she wants to eat it but cannot ask for it and it is your part to say then "yes, I actually planned to give you a chocolate bar for snack tomorrow". My d often asked what will be for fear food day next sunday and told me that way what she would like to eat (for example she would have asked "do I need to have fries for fear food day next week"?).
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Ocras68
That’s a really good point about the “asking” for food, Tina.  My daughter would sometimes say to me “So if I didn’t want to eat, you would just make me?”  I would promptly reply each time, “Yes, I would make you, because I’m in charge now, not the eating disorder”.  I think it gave her some relief from battling the demons in her head.
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Ellesmum
I agree with Tina and Ocras68 about the ‘asking’ for food. This is one of the things that makes the illness complicated, the reading between the lines, not only words but looks. I learned after a time that lingering at the sweet counter or a long glance at a cake generally meant ‘I want but can’t ask’  this is when I said ‘I’m going to buy this for lunch/snack’ I soon learned not to ask ‘do you want this?’ As that would give ‘no’ so we do have to become slightly psychic. 
Ellesmum
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debra18
I used a more laddered approach. Only after several months of blending chocolate bars into milkshakes my daughter was able to eat a square of chocolate. Than she was able to eat a small chocolate bar after some time 
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mimi321
I started by adding chocolate chips to her banana bread and also her granola. One day I swapped them out for smarties, then for small pieces of a milk chocolate bar. I think if I recall right the smarties were a bit of a stand-off, but the others were an easier transition. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Mcmum
We started with chocolate chips in granola then a chocolate button in porridge and a drizzle on a flap jack. My son, who had a five hour melt down over a small cup of tea in the summer, now happily eats any chocolate bar I put in front of him, which is about 2 a day at the moment. I can't seem to feed him enough as he's growing. You're doing really well. My h and I alternated good cop bad cop depending on who had the most emotional energy. We still do. Whatever works!
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tina72
Just wanted to add that often things I thought would be a problem to re-introduce went surprisingly easy and other things I thought would be easy needed to have some more tries. Really no rules about that and no right or wrong, just try and error.
Only true rule is that fear food NEEDS to be re-introduced.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Faddywrite
strawdog wrote:
So today I braved a known fear food - a hobnob biscuit. She came back from school to a yoghurt and 2 biscuits. I knew it was going to cause problems and I was right. Ended up saying she would only eat one and stormed off to the room - throwing the other at me down the stairs with lots of f words. Finally got her to eat the remains of the second one after much abuse. Not a nice experience though - question is now when do I return to the fear food? Do I just give her one and get her used to them a bit more? We have yet to brave the dreaded C word - Chocolate!  A known biggie - haven't got the strength at the moment and was thinking of waiting a couple more weeks - or is it a question of sooner rather than later?


Hi it sounds like youre in a similar position to me! I just wanted to.say that my d wouldnt touch chocolate but I eventually got her to try dark chocolate as she knrw there are a lot of health benefits . She wont eat milk choc yet but now often has a couple of squares of dark. But luke your daughter mine eats Belvita but a chocolate biscuit no way! 
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mimi321
That's interesting, Faddywrite, I think that's why my D was okay-ish with the chocoate chips because they were dark, but dug in when I gave her the smarties. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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strawdog
I think for older children it's not reasonable to expect them to eat any kind of sugary food - isn't it more about getting them to eat what they would of  done before the ED took over? So if they didn't eat smarties, haribo etc before then it's unrealistic to expect them to eat as they recover from their ED? I think the whole topic of sugar at the moment makes it very hard to 'normalise' it. We're all being told sugar is this evil, addictive substance that causes obesity and there are some many sugar free diets out there that I can understand how hard it might be for our kids to accept that us giving them foods high in sugar is good for them?
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Faddywrite
Ocras68 wrote:
Isn’t that the truth about the lack of logic of ED?!  My daughter will now easily eat a luxury buttered hot cross bun (loaded with calories) but won’t touch a square of chocolate.  We just have to keep working to reset those tracks in the brain.   Sounds like you’re doing great, strawdog.  It’s hard to be the bad cop, but you’re doing what needs to be done.


For some reason hot cross buns are a scary fear food for my daughter. She has manged one but with no butter. 
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mimi321
strawdog wrote:
I think for older children it's not reasonable to expect them to eat any kind of sugary food - isn't it more about getting them to eat what they would of  done before the ED took over? So if they didn't eat smarties, haribo etc before then it's unrealistic to expect them to eat as they recover from their ED? I think the whole topic of sugar at the moment makes it very hard to 'normalise' it. We're all being told sugar is this evil, addictive substance that causes obesity and there are some many sugar free diets out there that I can understand how hard it might be for our kids to accept that us giving them foods high in sugar is good for them?


I think the idea is to demostrate that a healthy approach to eating means that there is a place for all foods in our diet, albeit some in more moderation than others, and they needn't feel bad or restrict themselves from enjoying a variety of foods during different occasions. Food plays many roles in our lives, to meet our body's nutritional needs, to fuel our bodies, but we also eat for social reasons, for pleasure, nostalgia, for celebration (ie birthday or wedding cake). Food rules such as no sugar, no this or that can often be the first kernel of restriction that can lead many children to ED. Orthorexia (or the idea of "clean eating") if often is a pre-cursor to AN, as I would say was the case with my D. That means to help them recover we need to help them break these food rules and to normalize eating a range of foods again. 
Promise me you'll always remember: You're braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. - A. A. Milne
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Ellesmum
strawdog wrote:
I think for older children it's not reasonable to expect them to eat any kind of sugary food - isn't it more about getting them to eat what they would of  done before the ED took over? So if they didn't eat smarties, haribo etc before then it's unrealistic to expect them to eat as they recover from their ED? I think the whole topic of sugar at the moment makes it very hard to 'normalise' it. We're all being told sugar is this evil, addictive substance that causes obesity and there are some many sugar free diets out there that I can understand how hard it might be for our kids to accept that us giving them foods high in sugar is good for them?


The sugar is evil message is everywhere isn’t it?  It’s a tough one to navigate I agree.  
For me, it’s about eliminating ‘fear’ of any food so my daughter is able to eat in the situation she finds herself in. We all have to eat foods we’re not wild about sometimes, could be at the airport, a party or a friends house.   Personally I’m not crazy about pizza or milk chocolate but I can eat it if I’m hungry and there’s no option, I won’t enjoy it much but it doesn’t scare me.  
For me it’s about variety and getting to a place where if for some reason the person is hungry and the only option is Haribo or whatever it will get eaten, because it’s meeting a need.   There’s no doubt in my mind that for the majority of people sugar is a fairly unnecessary thing in a daily diet, whereas fat is crucial to health and when I give d ice cream and chocolate my mind is on the fat, I do wish the sugar message went heavier on teeth problems though rather than obesity.




Ellesmum
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scaredmom
I want for my children to eat and enjoy. We were all older children and I am sure we all enjoyed our ice cream on a hot day. Or our favourite birthday cake, or other “sugary” items. That is “normal”. For a child to have no sugary things ever is frightening to me, to be honest and smacks of ED.

I actually think it is odd for a child, any child not to want candies or cake or other sweets sometimes. 
I just want normal eating, fun foods, fun in life and no fear.

I truly feel the only “bad foods” are poisonous or rotten.

I think it is a passionate topic.
XXX

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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tina72
strawdog wrote:
I think for older children it's not reasonable to expect them to eat any kind of sugary food - isn't it more about getting them to eat what they would of  done before the ED took over? So if they didn't eat smarties, haribo etc before then it's unrealistic to expect them to eat as they recover from their ED? I think the whole topic of sugar at the moment makes it very hard to 'normalise' it. We're all being told sugar is this evil, addictive substance that causes obesity and there are some many sugar free diets out there that I can understand how hard it might be for our kids to accept that us giving them foods high in sugar is good for them?


It is a question why they did not eat it. If they did not eat it because they did never like smarties (but really, I do not know one child that does not like them) that would be o.k. But if they did not eat them because they think they are "unhealthy" that is not o.k. With an ED it is a wrong signal to call any food healthy or unhealthy. It is always a question of amount. It is for sure unhealthy to eat ONLY smarties but it is as unhealthy to eat ONLY salad.

A sugar free diet is not healthy at all because the brain needs a lot of glucose to work and the body cannot produce that himself.
Yes, we have been told that sugar is evil but that is not true. It is a question of amount. For my d NO SUGAR was evil.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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