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

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We are in our seventh day of re-feeding our 16yo D. When she started she was at 14 BMI, 72 lbs. (5'). Of course high calorie intake had been a great concern to us, going from eating very little. Her N suggested using the Diabetic exchange approach, with the lists of foods and the exchanges they equal. This has been VERY helpful. Our N set up the basic daily meal plan.
For our D it was
Breakfast: 2 exchanges of Starch, 2 exchanges of Fruits, 1 exchange of Dairy (we use Soy, lactose intolerant), 2 exchanges of Fats and a Carnation Instant Breakfast (we mix it into the 8oz of Soy Milk)
AM Snack: 2 Starch, 3 Fruits, 1 Fat
Lunch: 2 Proteins, 2 Starch, 2 Fruits, 1 Dairy, 2 Fats, and a Carnation Instant Breakfast (same approach as breakfast)
PM Snack: 1 Starch, 3 Fruit, 1 Fat
Dinner: 3 Protein, 1 Starch, 2 Fruits, 1 Dairy, 2 Fats, and a Carnation Instant Breakfast (same as approach as breakfast)
Night Snack: 1 Starch, 3 Fruit, 1 Fat

Following this, my D and I choose foods off the exchange list (Mayo clinic online has a good list), challenging the ED with variety. For instance for breakfast yesterday she had 1/2 cup All bran cereal with Soy milk, Instant Carnation Drink (CIB) with soy milk, 1/2 cup Orange Juice, 1 3/4 cup strawberries (we blended a few into the vanilla CIB), a piece of whole wheat toast with 1 tsp butter and jelly. This was at 8:30AM. Then at 10AM she had a plum, a quaker chewy granola bar, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip flavor, 4 snyders pumpernickel and onion pretzel sticks and 1/2 cup of OJ. All of this came to a little over 800 calories and we still had not reached lunch, afternoon snack, dinner or night snack.

By using this exchange, I am better able to manage her meal plan, she knows what to expect and we can pack in about 3000 calories per day. We avoid vegetables at this point (I know treason to me too!!! But per N, they are bulky and take up precious space for higher calorie, higher carb foods) We will re introduce veggies as "free items" (not exchangeable) at a later time.
Until we began to use this, I was COMPLETELY lost about how much and what to do about calorie load. This provides a useful guide, that provides not only high calorie but good nutrition as well. Oh and we also introduce a Viactiv Glide Multi Vitamin and a Viactiv Glide Calcium pill each day to round out nutrients.
I recommend granola. 2 cups of almond raisin granola eaten with a yogurt packs a LOT of calories. Almond butter is good too.
Marie #2
I just wanted to congratulate you.  It sounds like you are doing an awesome job.  Being able to get up to 3000 calories a day in the first week is great.  Keep up the good work!
Oh Marie #2 thank you, D is working VERY hard at this. She so wants to get better and hates ED right now. Which I guess is her motviation.
I believe the IOP program she was in, in Dec/Jan, helped her to establish a benchmark of what 'refeeding' would mean, so the amount of food was not exactly surprising to her.
She has seen good results, but is suffering terribly from the release of emotions and endorphines good nutrition brings. We have had many sleepless nights. But so far her comittment is unwavering.
I fear for the future, knowing that Anorexia can be a lifelong illness. This is so very hard, I cant imagine having to do this all over again.
Thanks as always for your words if encouragement and congratulations!

It's very very hard in the short term, especially for the person with anorexia.

But there's so much at stake for the rest of her life.

Our d's therapist often quoted Winston Churchill: If you're going through hell, keep going.

I used to think of a children's book with a refrain that went something like "You can't go over it, you can't go under it, oh, no, you've got to go through it!" The book referred to woods, rivers, etc., not anorexia, but you get the point. :-)

You're doing great.
-Muffin recipe in this thread has been a lifesaver (literally I think). It was the first time in over a year that Jesse said "mmm, smells good"
-Spoon Bread from the orignal Laurel's Kitchen cookbook is liked around here. In a heavy pot you slowly stir 1 quart of milk (substitute cream for milk in quantities desired) into 1 cup cornmeal. (Polenta to finely ground all works). Cook over low heat for about 20 minutes stirring frequently. Let this mixture cool to luke warm (1 and 1/2 hours or overnight) with 2-4 tbls butter on top. When cool enough beat in 6 eggs and bake in buttered casserole for 30 to 40 minutes at 350 degrees. So yummy with maple syrup or even soupy pinto beans. This morning I made it with 1.5 cups cream and 2.5 cups milk and 1/6 of dish was about 425 calories and when I make it with all cream it is just over 700 calories a serving. I wish I hadn't run out of cream this morning because we are having a hard time getting enough food in!
-Karen on December 16th suggested googling Paula Deen's cooking show for recipes. Every recipe of hers I've tried has been a success. Thank you Thank you.
-Baked French Toast Casserole with Maple Syrup and pecan praline topping is one of Paula Deen's and a reasonable looking serving is about 800 calories-plus I can make it the night before and just need to bake in the morning.
-Try her "The Lady's Chicken Soup". A cup of cream and one cup parmesan really add taste and nutrional umph to this. Very tastey.
-To my own version of chicken soup I often add a can of coconut milk (not low fat-about 800 calories a can and very nutritious) and some green curry paste (I use Thai Kitchen Brand from my health food store).
-You can make a quick and exotic "leftover stew" with canned chicken or veggie broth, coconut milk, curry paste and leftover meat, fish or veggies and the secret ingredient is fish sauce (try asian market or health food store).
-I am keeping track of my 13-year-old's food intake with DietPower software. It is easy to enter recipes and figure out calorie/nutrition count even for things like "leftover stew".
-The other thing that has helped but is blacklisted right now are custards. "Joy of Cookings" chocolate custard is darn easy and really nutritonally dense. You can make it feel like a "light" dessert by folding in whipped cream before serving. I've bought a several sets of those glass pyrex custard cups and use them constantly for measuring and baking individual mac and chese and puddings and such to have on hand. A really good scale by Salter (Salter Aquatronic) as been terrific too. It cost 60 bucks but has been worth every penny. It is the kind you can zero out with a dish or pot on it and then proceed to weigh fluid oz, gram, oz etc.... right in said pot or bowl. It comes with a chart that converts cup measure to oz for common ingredients like flour, sugar, cream, nuts, etc.... It really has cut down on dish washing since I don't need separate cup measures for everything.
-Chocolate Custard Recipe
In double boiler heat @5 oz good quality semi-sweet chocolate in 2 cups heavy whipping cream and stir until combined and heated through. Beat 6 egg yolks and stir about 1/2 cup of cream/chocolate mixture into egg yolks. Now stir this egg yolk mixture back into double boiler and stir until it begins to thicken. Pour into 7 custard cups or mugs and let sit until fairly cool. Refridgerate. 400 calories a piece!
Jesse likes angel food cake (of course) so that is what we do with the egg whites.
-Thank you everyone for your contributions. It has supported me so much.
I have found Costco to be an absolute lifesaver!
Muffins calories are:
Blueberry 610, Poppyseed - 670 and apple crumb - 920!
Bagels - 370 and of course all of their fruits are HUGE. 
Most apples 125-150+ cal.
Our new Safeway has a good bakery with fresh bagels and such. Bagels are huge-usually around 4 1/2 ounces so about 350 calories a piece. Bagels are fresh each morning so they are tasty too.

Wow, I just found all these recipes.  Thank you everyone!  We should put together a cookbook.

am also reading through Laura's book which arrived wednesday and realized my husband had ordered a copy as well from amazon, but it's well worth reading if you haven't already--we're getting lots of new ideas from everyone--

we still have to "trick" her, ie if it's obviously creamy,oily, dense or thick, she puts up much resistance, so salads with dressing on them, or pasta alfredo are a real challenge but bite by bite we are trying to make progress and the last two days have been better-

would love to get a 1000 calorie shake into her once a day

Love the cookbook idea.

Laura, Jane, Harriet, other veteran parents out there---is this a project we could do? Each family contribute a favorite recipe, maybe? A sort of Eating With Your Anorexic Cookbook...


PB!! very high calorie. great for weight gain. 2 T is about 200 calories so 4 T PB on a big bagel about 700 cals, add a milkshake to that and your set.

IMHO, almond butter is even better than peanut butter, as almonds have more protein and more calories. One of our classic refeeding lunches included a Bruegger's bagel (300 calories) and 3-4 tablespoons of almond butter, for a nutritious and delicious and not-too-much-volume lunch of about 700 calories.

I love the idea of an EWYA cookbook. Proceeds to go toward supporting the site??
Great idea about the cookbook and proceeds to the site. I vote for it
Although we are making progress, i have yet to get my D to eat peanut butter or milk shakes-
she will eat butter on toast now, and she has ice cream every night-

but why the aversion/refusal to peanut butter--I'm convinced it's still a calorie thing, and a major fear food--and she says she rather eat the icecream than have it in a milkshake so we try to pile it on-every night at 8:30


Did your daughter like peanut butter or milkshakes before she got sick? When mine was in the earliest stages of recovery, it made her happiest when she could eat something she knew she used to like before AN set in. Also, if I pushed too hard she would find an alternative to whatever I was pushing. After awhile this kind of thing stopped and she became more open to all the foods she truly liked.

susan s
actually, never liked peanut butter, or shakes for that matter-may be part ofthe problem

did like ice cream though, and admits she doesn't mind eating chocoloate IC now.

If she never liked pb before, I'd say it's perfectly normal for even a person without an ed to not like pb still.  she is first and foremost a person, and people have dislikes.

To load on the calories I have eaten nuts quite often. Protein bars are good, too. Another thing I really enjoy is peanut butter shakes. I put eggs in my smoothies to add protein so I can use them as one of my six meals without using protein powders.

Trader Joes has been a big help for us. They have granola that has 270 cal in 1/4 cup, and some of the muffins are 470 cal apiece.
What I find is difficult is: as quickly as I identify something she will eat, she decides she doesn't like it anymore.  We were doing great with smoothies- now she won't touch them. The same thing happened with ice cream and many other foods. It is very frustrating.  How can I get her to try new foods? She was already a very picky eater before she developed the ED- no eggs, cheese, milk or milk products except ice cream, no butter, no sour cream, limited meats, etc.
I think it is helpful to remember - and say - that it is the eating disorder that doesn't like those foods, not your child.

Your child's body likes them, and her taste buds probably do, too. But at the moment her illness is compelled to put up a fight.

Sympathize with it, but don't change the menu one bit. Until your daughter can make good choices, make them for her. Don't let ED make any decisions.


I've discovered Thai cooking--and coconut milk!  I had a chuckle that one recipe that used a full 2 cans of coconut milk billed itself as low carb!  No mention of the fat in the cocnut milk.  Coconut milk is very dense in calories and can be very tasty.  I made a thai chicken coconut curry and served it in bowls of rice (so much for the low carb thing).  The rice absorbed some of the coconut milk so not much was left in the bottom of the bowl.  A nice change of pace, and as I said, rather dense (daughter was not overly pleased about the fat content, but oh well).  We're up two pounds in the last 2 weeks--finally!



as an 'anorexic in recovery' i find this website quite usful as i am always concerned about the impact my relationship with food, general health and mental state is impacting on my family.

I am so motivated, after a sort but intense time battling with the illness to re-gain not just my weight but my social life and confidence.

I am seeing a dietician weekly and he is fantastic. After a month of stablising my weight with small increases of calories i am now on 'scandishakes' to boost my daily intake without overloading my system.

I have a link to a great website on child nutrition and high calorie recipes for children suffering with cistic fibrosis, which is what the high calories shakes i am on are actually intended for. I do not condone the 'sneaky' additions to foods as i would be mortified to learn my parents were lying about my calorie intake. ( i do understand the mental pain to see someone you love starving themselves and how it can lead you to such measures) BUT, these recipes are good and as soon as your son/daughter feels capable get them involved in making it.


Have a look and i hope this gives you a few new ideas. These recipes are both calorific and 'healthy'. A good starting block for eating disorder sufferers who are consumed with 'healthy' foods.


Maudsley moderator
Bumped for HelplessMum
Here is one of many variations on the 'Marvelous Muffin' recipe of Laura Collins
1.5 cups flour
1/2 cup cornmeal
2 TBS wheat germ
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter
2 eggs
1 TBS molasses (nutritious and great with cornmeal)
5 ounces sour cream
one cup or so cut up peaches (PEACH season!)
1 cup sliced almonds

Follow directions for muffins at beginning of thread. Peaches and cornmeal are a great combo. I make one biggish one for you know who and 4 smaller ones for the rest of us in the same giant 6 piece muffin pan. Good eating days usually start with muffins. A muffin and a glass of milk are about 1/3 of daily calories (1100 cal). I have a hard time serving anything else for breakfast with that much of a punch. Other breakfasts look "too big" and have less calories.