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

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Our 14 year old d was diagnosed with AN last week though it’s obvious now that her symptoms have been around for at least a year. If only we’d known...
She has also just been put on anti-depressants by CAMHS. We have been reading and researching as much as possible, especially about how to start refeeding, but the reality of getting her to eat is very different. We’ve had calm refusal from her to sit at the table, leaving the room completely and screaming at us for even mentioning food. She says it’s not that she doesn’t want to eat but that she just has no appetite. I understand that that is what the AN is making her believe but I don’t know how to get past it. She has eaten nothing for 3 whole days and even then all she had was a few spoonfuls of soup. I’ve been using the ‘magic plate’ idea, explaining to her that it is non-negotiable but that I will be by her side helping her. We’re only on Day 5 so I know it’s early days but I feel so helpless. Please help. How do I get her to eat even one mouthful?
Welcome to the forum. Sorry that you have had to find your way here. It can be really hard to get them to eat, and many of us have had to feeding started in a hospital situation. 
If she has not eaten for three days I would recommend considering an urgent medical assessment - for medical instability. She may need to be hospitalised. 

I am not sure where you have read so far but have you looked at Eva Musby's video here: 
 and also there are the FEAST family guides here:   
https://www.feast-ed.org/page/neuroguide and these from Australia are also helpful to get things started:http://ceed.org.au/sites/default/files/resources/documents/FamilyLedRefeedingRecoveryResourcePartA_Nov_2017.pdf
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Mostly recovered 10 years later.  Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
I think if she has not eaten for 3 days she needs to be seen ASAP. I would phone CAMHS and see what they say. If you get no help a trip to A&E is in order. Sometimes if you explain to your child that they need to go to hospital they can begin to eat. Obviously if she is not drinking it is even more critical to get a medical evaluation. It’s a really horrible, difficult and exhausting illness. This Forum is the best for tips to keep you fighting for your D.

Are you in the UK ? Are your team offering FBT?

Best Wishes

Hi TC, welcome to this forum from me as well. My d still doesn't have an appetite despite being WR for more than a year now. It is a worry that she hasn't eaten for 3 days. If she doesn't eat breakfast I would take her to emergency. Especially if she is not drinking as it could cause heart failure.

My d would not eat at the table so I took all her meals to her room or weather permitting, we ate outside (just d and me, way too stressful for the rest of the family). Encourage her to eat just as much as she can. This is just to get over her initial resistance. Even if she is able to just take a tiny bite. Work from there (eat a quarter, half then 3/4) until she is able to eat everything. It took us 7 weeks before she was able to follow the mealplan. You can use incentives as well. Immediate incentives work very well. For example my d was allowed to play on the ipad after every meal and I rewarded her with tokens towards itunes cards when she was able to follow the meal plan for the whole day.

Here is another thread for super resistors: 

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

I agree with those above that say she needs to go to the hospital ASAP. Please let us know how it goes. 


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)
Hi TC,
to get started is very difficult and you need some time before the magic plate works.
Did CAHMS did not offer you help how to get started? Didn´t they tell her that she needs to eat everything you put in front of her?
If she has not eaten for 3 days you need to bring her to ER to check her heart and her fluids, that can be really dangerous. Did she drink enough? My d refused to drink and that is very dangerous in these hot summer time at the moment.
So normally the rule is no eating/drinking for more that 24 hours is an emergency case with AN.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Dear TC
As above I would be going to A&E.
In terms of refeeding we used the ‘life stops till you eat’ strategy. Effectively the no 1 priority was the food. Nothing else mattered. I had to give up work for 4 months to deal with the amount of food/meal times to get through. My D was not able to do a thing until she had eaten. Days did become just about eating and distractions.
Virtual hugs. X
During the refeeding process for my daughter her doctor prescribed an appetite stimulant that helped my daughter eat the high calories that were required to put on weight. It worked for her at a very small dose.
Hi Thankfulinil,

I'm curious about the appetite stimulant your daughter was prescribed. What was it?


She took Mirtazapine at 7.5 mg. She complained during the first couple weeks of refeeding of not having an appetite and this did make a difference for her. She started grabbing food between meals , at first just grapes but more sweet stuff and crackers as we added back in more foods that she had cut out. It is an antidepressant as well. She has come off of it and did not have an adverse effect but is not gaining as fast. Probably needs about 5 more lbs but she is still growing so it is a moving target. 12.5 and 5' 1" . 90 lbs. Started refeeding at 67 lbs on April 20th of this year.