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

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Here is an article discussing how so called healthy eating is causing anxiety in children:


It says:"Schools are placing too much pressure on ensuring “healthy” options are in lunch boxes and are making children feel inadequate by, in some cases, shaming them for “bad” food options, according to new research by Monash University."

"And the Australian Medical Association President Tony Bartone said more children were visiting GPs with food-related anxiety as a result of our narrowed focus on “healthy” eating rather than approaching food with a moderation mindset."

Why are we not surprised, sigh.
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
Oh so not surprised!! D's primary school frowned upon cake in her lunch box! How to set up a classic case of ED by making them feel guilty about eating all the stuff kids enjoy. And what our kids need to eat to get them well. Years and years of education about healthy eating (low fat, low card, low sugar) is making it so much harder to get D back to a HEALTHY WEIGHT for her.

The Education Department needs to get up to speed on ALL eating disorders.
Cake in the lunch box! That is really a drama! I read something recently about a campaigne "do not look into my lunchbox". Was it in UK?
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
It is such a bad message this healthy eating stuff. We all know what it did to our kids.last year one boy took my D’s juice and told her it was too much sugar and she should not be drinking it. Well she took the bottle and threw it at him! He was fine. Teacher called me and said that she actually spoke to the boy and that he should never criticize another person’s meal! She told me she agreed with d’s sentiment but of course d should not throw. She actually spoke with the class when d was out of the room that no one should ever judge another person’s lunch as it is none of their business.
I really love that lady!
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)
Ugh, yes! Healthy eating, clean eating, non processed food eating, pure protein.....it goes on and on. My S is OBSESSED with clean eating. Anything from a can/tin is the food of the devil apparently. Salt will give you a stroke, sugar will give you diabetes and cancer, fat will give you heart disease.........it goes on and on.
It's the traffic light system on food products that I find difficult. It means my son can spot a red blob at 50 paces. I have to try to destroy all packaging before he sees it.
That is so interesting Mcmum. It was getting taught about traffic light labelling in school that triggered my then eight year old son’s anorexia. He was obsessed with labels. Happy to say he no longer even looks at them. The education system has a lot to learn! X
I went into DD school to discuss her possible return and tell them that there is so much talk about healthy eating at school, eg some posting pics of choc saying bye bye I now have to be healthy & people pointing at your food going “Urgh that will make you fat” that my D says school too triggering to return. 4 girls in her year have ED.

Get home and email from school proudly announcing their PSHE day where there are going to be talks on healthy eating, exercise and recipes etc.

Maybe schools should just leave it to parents/carers/families to educate their children
I work in a school and feel School’s are damned if they do and damned if they don’t
Are they trying to prevent obesity or triggering ED?
Out of the 1000 odd kids at my d school 3 kids that I know of including my d developed AN
I don’t blame the school
I think educating and making parent/carers aware of ED’swould be a better idea
Not to mention GP, Dieticians, coaches etc

Advertising of awareness, ED clinics and where to get help would be another good idea or would this trigger ED??

One only has to turn on tv, every second ad is weight loss, latest crash diet even makes the news for god sakes!

Social media 😳 face book, Instagram, snap chat it doesn’t end our kids are comparing more often than we realise
“Clean eating” Keto, no carbs 😢

I beliee it is up to families to be aware
How to do this??

Let’s not just blame school teachers are doing the best they can and most have the students best intentions at heart
Teachers are expected to not only teach their kids numeracy and literacy and etc etc, let’s add manners and now even dietary advice when they are not qualified dieticians

I respect everyone’s opinion but give teachers a break
kazi67 wrote:
Let’s not just blame school teachers are doing the best they can and most have the students best intentions at heart
Teachers are expected to not only teach their kids numeracy and literacy and etc etc, let’s add manners and now even dietary advice when they are not qualified dieticians

I respect everyone’s opinion but give teachers a break

I remember reading that if the schools remove all references to things someone objects to, the books will be filled with empty pages.  And the teachers really are in a tough spot as they are expected to be all things to all people.  

Honestly, most people are pretty clueless about ED, as were most of us here before ED was visited upon us.  So it can't be a surprise when many teachers (like so many in the general public) don't understand about ED.  It isn't their fault that no one has educated them about that.

Still, though, the schools need to do better by our kids.  And they need our help to know what that looks like. 

Just my opinion. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
mimi321 I am so chuffed that with the help of my 'schools' page your school pulled out their harmful messages. It's great to have an impact! It shows that schools can be very open to our concerns. Tammy has found this too, right?

There's a book called The Angry Chef, that speaks pretty much as we do, and that's not even from an eating disorder point of view - just about what the 'healthy' or 'clean' eating craze is doing to everyone. https://angry-chef.com/ It's so satisfying to read a well-publicised book (at least in the UK it was) that says everything we want to say!!!
Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
In my daughter's school it is more of a peer pressure to be thin and not eat lunch at all. I am looking for a book, curriculum, or presentation to promote healthy body image. But it is a religious school and shouldn't include information about Media and going through puberty. Any ideas?
mimi321, you are on fire! Hurray!

debra18, for a program to promote healthy body image, best to go for one that is backed up by research, of course. There is plenty of success among programs for females, and sadly research is lacking for males (and frustratingly, the small amount of research indicates what's available for girls may not work for boys).

I list and recommend some of these on that page that mimi321 mentioned earlier. 

Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
Yes Eva, the school were very appreciative of the information given and asked me to do a presentation to all of the teaching staff on an educational day. It was very well received with lots of discussion and plans for change. I have found the school very forward thinking but I am not getting anywhere with spreading the message on a wider scale. Media only seem interested in the healthy eating and obesity side of things and the education department don’t have resources to make any changes.
I find it very frustrating that more children may come to harm before they come to there senses that there is no evidence that current programmes to prevent obesity work and are probably causing more harm!
I will need to look at the book you mention Eva.
Maybe my comment above is wrong and it’s in no way being disrespectful to your amazing work Eva
God knows your videos and info helped me SO much and I THANK YOU for that from the bottom of my heart!!!
Perhaps after near on 2 years I’m just fed up
Thankfully my d doing well, we are coming out the other side :)

I was at a work mindfulness/ “health” PD earlier in the year (and I work in education)and nearly walked out as the presented started talking about “diet” and “weight loss” and “healthy eating” and cutting carbs etc [frown]
This is after my d spent 4 months in hospital 2 of those months with a NG tube up her nose and her AN was started by “being healthy”
So what Immsaying is maybe my comment is reflective of what healthy eating can ultimately trigger in some
Also there is not a day goes by someone or other at my workplace is on the latest “diet” it makes me want to cry
So yes possibly educating students themselves on dangers of ED is the answer
But then I look at smoking, skin cancer, alcohol etc etc and think ??? Does it actually help
But possibly it does, I’m sorry if my comment sounds negative it’s not meant to
It’s just when I work in education and I see and hear some of the things that are presented and said it just makes me angry but I guess awareness is what we are after
My attitude also comes from having a GP and also Dietician who knew nothing about ED, so part of me thinks this is really where the education should be as well as parents/carers getting the knowledge
I see NEDA has announced the Live well act??
Not sure if that effects us here down under
Hope this makes some sort of sense
Keep feeding and fighting everyone x
kazi67 I am touched by your care. You are a darling.
Disagreeing and discussing are good ways to keep producing better work. However in this case, we're all agreeing with each other [tongue] !
I too have heart-sinking moments when weight loss and diets creep into all kinds of otherwise wonderful settings, like your mindfulness course. (I have experimented with speaking out about it, like, "Oh life's too short to talk about our waistlines, let's get on with the interesting stuff") and it's quite fun!!!)

Indeed, it's probably uncontroversial in our parent ED world to say we don't want our kids to be taught to diet, we're wary of the 'healthy' eating messages, etc etc. 
And yes, a school cannot cause an ED, just like parents can't.
At those those classes they give on reading food labels, calorie or fat-restriction etc, do seem to trigger dieting, which, for our vulnerable kids,  then leads to an ED. As happened very clearly with Tammy's kid, and she's doing great work to stop schools teaching stuff that they have no expertise on. 

From everything I've read in the research, it's not 'just' to protect those vulnerable to an eating disorder, but the great numbers who go into disordered eating and have awful restrictions on their lives because of terrible body image.

And yes, early alarm-raising, referral to competent clinicians: that is really useful from schools. 
Schools are under orders, or under pressure, to deliver health promotion, so in the absence of any evidence of what works and what is safe, I've been suggesting they use an evidence-based body confidence program (like The Body Project), as it seems to do no harm, and seems effective in reducing the misery of all that disordered eating and body-shaming that's around. It has some effect in reducing the incidence of EDs other than anorexia.
I put all that in a doc for schools on my website, and I revise it whenever something better comes up, so everyone, shout if you see something that needs changing.

Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists
Hi mimi321
I don't know.
In general I would imagine that while our children are under the spell of an ED, we have to make everything we say very specific to them, as they can distort messages so easily, don't you think?
Your D's guidance counselor's advice is worth taking into account if he/she knows the Body Project. I haven't seen it in practice myself, just read the odd material.

I think we can do this kind of body confidence work in an informal way, as parents, by being more aware of the issues ourselves. Then it informs how we speak in general, or how we answer questions. For this reason here are notes I took for myself:

Materials for scout leaders,and materials for schools https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/school-workshops-on-body-image-confident-me.html


Confident Me training videos for teachers are a great eye opener for any school, even if they don't go ahead with the Confident Me program: https://www.dove.com/uk/dove-self-esteem-project/school-workshops-on-body-image-confident-me/confident-me-training-videos-for-teachers.html

Eva Musby, mother, author, produces lots of resources for parents at https://anorexiafamily.com and on YouTube https://www.youtube.com/user/EvaMusby/playlists