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

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Human
Hello all, my 10 year old daughter is making terrific progress. She is eating a larger variety of foods and has started school again after a 6 month abcense which is amazing in itself. The school are supportive, ensuring she is eating her lunch amd snack whilst there. My question is when will my D start to feel hungry? Sometimes she says she is. Also, the eating intuitively and freely bit i.e. she never asks for seconds or accepts when asked or won't eat anything in between meals/ snacks, this hasn't arrived yet. When have people seen this with their own children? Am i expecting too much of my D? She was diagnosed with anorexia end of March this year, and has come so far since. Will this just happen natrually with more continued brain healing. She eats, a wide range of food and I would say the only 2 fear foods to tackle are hard cheese say on a cracker and scrambled eggs.
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tina72
Great that you see such progress now! Congrats!
You are still early days. To give you some time line, my d started to have small seconds or a snack in between about 1,5 years after WR. Huger cues come back with time but some kids do not have them again or never had them before. We realised with AN recovery that my d probably never had hunger cues since she was a baby and only ate because we ate.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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Human
Thank you Tina, it's been one hell of a journey! Your reply has put my mind at rest, I wasn't sure what to expect really. Before anorexia, my D was a great eater (she is now), she would ask for a little something before a meal or ask for seconds that sort of thing. I hope this comes back for her in time, food is to be enjoyed and a pleasurable thing. 
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sandie
Wonderful to hear the progress. You have done so well. We are 10/11 months in. D started to notice she felt hungry sometimes over the summer- so probably 8 months in. Over the last few weeks, she asks to have dinner earlier because she is hungry. 

She never has seconds. I deliberately often have a sharing bowl of salad or vegetables on the table to encourage her to help herself. She does not eat in between 3 meals and 3 snacks, (although told me she ate some chocolate her teacher gave her the other day. I managed to control myself and did not ask how much! And quite possible, she reduced her snack then to adjust for this. But good anyway. )

my understanding is eating intuitively can take a long long time. 

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Human
Hi Sandie, thank you for your reply. Your D is doing really well too and to eat chocolate inbetween meals that's amazing! I guess it's sit and wait, with encouragement and support and hopefully the feeeling hungry and eating more freely will come in time. It is so good to hear from other parents on here, and their children are doing the same things. I was getting all het up, thinking why isn't my D doing this now or this? 
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Mamaroo
My d took the scenic route to wellbeing. I would say in our case, hunger cues and taking own snacks was 2 years post WR.
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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Human
Thanks Mamaroo, i guess all our children are individuals and timescales for hunger cue's and eating intuitively are so different. It's just watch and wait.
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scaredmom
My d still eats 3 and 3 and on basketball has another snack on top of that. She still feels she cannot eat extra, and still does not eat ‘intuitively’. It is an interesting question and one I have struggled with as we wish them to eat and grow properly on their own. However their hunger cues may truly be different due to their illness. They may need to ‘just’ eat to fuel their body no matter if they are feeling hungry or not.

I think my d is hungry when she asks for breakfast and will eat what I give hers she too does not ask for seconds. 
i know it has been a hard journey so far, Human, and it is still so early. You have done so well. 
I started this thread awhile ago as I had similar questions. I found the replies very enlightening. 
https://www.aroundthedinnertable.org/post/what-is-your-understanding-of-intuitive-eating-9841736?pid=1305377358
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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mjkz
My daughter never recovered hunger cues so she eats in a somewhat regimented fashion but hey it works for us.  I still encourage her to try things and she did get to a point where she would try things if offered regardless of hunger. It just takes times which is the name of the game with eating disorders.  It will take at least three times as long as you expect or plan for.😁
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Mcmum
Hi human!  You're doing so well!  Great to hear of your progress. 
Our 10 year old is just over a year in and very rarely acknowledges that he's hungry.  Partly because he has to eat so much still but partly because he won't let himself.  He helps himself to one snack a day from a given choice but more because it's a requirement than he wants to eat it. He's not spontaneous and doesn't take extras.  If he ever does it's one of those 😲 moments! 
He's eating though, still rather slowly, but the food goes in and he's growing up so that's as much as we need for now.
As your daughter and our son are so young and with us for so long I figure we have the luxury of not needing to whizz onto any stages. It's great that she's eating most things.  Don't underestimate how much food little ones need to get the upward growth and puberty stuff happening. 
Give you and your daughter a major pat on the back and keep going. It's a real achievement to do this on your own xx
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Human
Thankyou everybody for your replies. It's just the waiting game isn't it! I really hope thinfs will come in time for my daughter.
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OUATINMBU
Our daughter (RAN 11), 16 months after diagnosis, does not eat freely or intuitively. Watermelon was "requested" months ago...and that "desire" was celebrated and recognized...but we're well aware that fruit is not a powerhouse of potential energy. Last Sunday (first time in a year and a half), she asked to go to a particular restaurant. We stumbled over ourselves to get out the door quickly. Long story short...the evening ended with our daughter and my wife getting food poisoning (daughter vomiting). BUT...the TASTE for a particular meal was PRESENT.
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Mcmum
Oh no! That's such bad luck but good on you to see the positives in it! Hopefully she'll make a request soon for a different eating experience or food. 
It's incredibly slow, we are finding and just as we have something to celebrate, we then have a sloooow meal or a barely touched lunch or, as you say, a desire for some low calorie fruit type thing.....
We were at a school open evening last night and were amazed to see our 10 year old helping himself to a gooey cup cake but we'd just come from a conversation about how much of his lunchtime wrap he'd left as he "didn't have time to eat it!" 😥😫
It's the crazy making dance of ed .....
My aim for the day: stay sane , get the calories in.  Best of luck to us all with that xx
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Human
I echo Mcmum, such bad luck! But wonderful to hear, your daughter felt she could go to a restaurant! I remember when my daughter aged 10, requested pizza. I have never drove to a shop as fast to get one, before she changed her mind! This illness is enough to drive anyone insane! We all deserve a massive pat on the back!!
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Mamaroo
Hi, Ountinmbu, your story reminded me so much of one of the first times we went to a restaurant to have breakfast. D ordered muesli, which although not ideal was better than the Ensure she had the day before. She ate about half and suddenly asked if there were peanuts in it (she is very allergic). I asked the waitress who checked with the kitchen and told us, yes there were. So off to the bathroom to give her the epipen and 5 minutes after we returned the waitress came back and said she looked at the ingredients and no, there were no peanuts 🤯. I was so afraid that she would associate eating food with the injection, but luckily she could still manage real food after this mishap 😅
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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