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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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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 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
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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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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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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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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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strawdog
I agree with most of what is being said here but just to pick up on this "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"  The body generates glucose from carbohydrates which it stores in the blood for when it needs energy. Any surplus glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver. It can get all this without consuming sugar in its raw form. The only time it needs sugar directly is when blood glucose and glycogen are empty. It then needs a direct sugar source for energy. It can get it from carbohydrates but it takes longer to convert these to glucose. So we don't need sugar in its raw form (we didn't have it at all hundreds of years ago) but it is nice as a treat for sure!
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Ronson
My d has a lot of sugar in her diet just now as it tends to be calorific.  When we were provided a diet by the dietician it certainly had a good amount of sugar in it.  We all see the healthy messages and want our kids to be healthy but the problem is these messages go too far - they are aimed at obese kids who need to lose weight - not our kids who don’t.  A balanced diet with no fear is the key.  And as regards older kids not eating sugar - my d is 14 and her friends have a lot of sweets at sleepovers etc.  I’m not sure at what age that would naturally stop but I am certainly yet to see it. 
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tina72
strawdog wrote:
I agree with most of what is being said here but just to pick up on this "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"  The body generates glucose from carbohydrates which it stores in the blood for when it needs energy. Any surplus glucose is stored as glycogen in the liver. It can get all this without consuming sugar in its raw form. The only time it needs sugar directly is when blood glucose and glycogen are empty. It then needs a direct sugar source for energy. It can get it from carbohydrates but it takes longer to convert these to glucose. So we don't need sugar in its raw form (we didn't have it at all hundreds of years ago) but it is nice as a treat for sure!


The body of an AN patient does use that glycogen from the liver only in starvation modus. It is not healthy at all to empty this depot as the body has that depot for extreme situations like hunger periods. You see that with AN patients in very bad state that they smell different, some kind of sweet but not normal smell when they empty these depots (ketosis). It is the smell of death.
You are right that ancient people ate no sugar like we do today but remember that they need to eat a lot of carbohydrates to get the amount of sugar needed from that (and most AN patients eat less to no carbohydrates) and that making sugar from carbohydrates needs a lot of energy (which AN patients do not have to waste). I saw brain recovery starting here when my d was at a good weight and ate sugar and sweets again.

The brain needs at least 120 g glucose each day. About 20% of the calorie intake each day are only for the brain.

It is right that a healthy person can live without sugar for some time but remember that your d is not healthy. It is like to say to a diabetes patient "oh, you do not need to have insulin, your body produces it himself" - no, he does not. Same with AN patients, they need a lot more sugar and fat than normal people as their body does not digest these things normally. Alzheimer is discussed to be a diabetes type 3 at the moment as there seems to be also a problem with brain and sugar metabolism. The AN gene is located on Gen Nr. 12 which is between diabetes and shizophrenia.
Patients with AN often have high blood sugar levels and high blood fat levels but it seems not easy accessable for the brain. Science is still having research about all that. Some actual research about all that is in Carrie Arnolds book "Decoding anorexia".
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Pointerpuppy
Thank you for that explanation Tina72! We have gone through the sugar struggles here as well. I have changed my thinking on "healthy" vs "unhealthy" foods. Trying to get my d to understand that it's ok to have more than one sweet treat a day. That having that "gross sweet stuff" just because is ok. 
I do appreciate you and your wisdom on this subject.
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