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

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In case you find it impossible to control what your daughter learns about calories, etc., thanks to all the computers at school and friends houses, you must still control what she eats. In other words, the message you should try to convey to her---as it seems you have been doing beautifully, though with much trauma this week---is so what if the calorie count is high? She still has to eat the frigging almonds. Remind her that the goal is not just to restore her to healthy eating, but to restore her to a normal enjoyment of eating---and remind her that she used to love almonds, and you will help her love them again. You made huge progress yesterday and I suspect the anorexia is testing you to see if you intend to keep it up.

So please give her almonds again soon! Interestingly, I have noticed that some of my daughter's favorite foods these days are those that provoked the most rages and required me to be at my strongest not so long ago, whereas foods that didn't trigger many battles are still ignored. Now, fear foods like peanut butter, nuts and ice cream are among her favorite snacks. Which I suppose is evidence that refeeding is basically loving and effective behavioural therapy.
Onward ho!
Thank you so much for the encouragement! It's so good to know that your daughter is doing better. It really is an inspiration. And your advice is so wise and reasonable. Thanks for restoring a bit of sanity. I will onward!
Grace, you are doing a great job. I agree with Shawn that thing will get better and your d. will enjoy food again, it will take a while but it will happen. 
Regarding looking at calories, for the longest time I cut out the calories from every box or jar that came into the house, I put the ice cream in a plastic container in the freezer so there was no label or brand, that seems to ease her anxiety.
Sending courage your way, tomorrow will be Monday, the weekend over and the routine back. Weekends are not easy.
Here are some suggestions for adding calories to foods.  (These are from a University of Chicago Web site for persons with cystic fibrosis.  People with CF need to consume a lot of calories.)

  • Add butter, margarine, or vegetable oil to:
    • breads, toast, crackers, or sandwiches.
    • potatoes, hot cereals, rice, noodles, soups, or casseroles.
  • Add sour cream to:
    • potatoes, rice, pasta, or vegetables.
    • use as a dip for vegetables, or chips.
  • Add mayonnaise to:
    • sandwiches or crackers.
    • dips, salad dressing, or sauces.
    • meat, fish, eggs, or vegetable salads.
  • Add cream cheese to:
    • fruit slices, raw vegetables, bread, toast, or crackers.
  • Use heavy creams in:
    • soups, sauces, batters, custards, puddings, shakes, mashed potatoes, or cooked cereals.
  • Use whipping cream on:
    • pancakes, waffles, fruit, ice cream, pudding, hot chocolate, or other desserts.
    • mix in cream soups, hot cereals, mashed potatoes, pudding, and custards.
  • Add brown sugar, maple syrup, or syrup to:
    • hot cereals, cold cereals, fruits, ice cream, or puddings.
    • use as a glaze on meats, or vegetables.
  • Add powdered milk to:
    • cereals, potatoes, cream soups, eggs, puddings, gravy, and casseroles.
    • add two to four tablespoons of powdered milk to one cup of whole milk to make "super milk."
  • Add cheese to:
    • sandwiches, burgers, toast, crackers, eggs, potatoes, noodles, and snacks.
  • Add peanut butter to:
    • sandwiches, crackers, toast, fruit slices, vegetables, ice cream, or milkshakes.
  • Use high-calorie drinks such as:
    • homemade milkshakes, Carnation Instant Breakfast®, Scandishakes®, Pediasure®, Boost®, Boost Plus®, Ensure®, Ensure Plus®, etc.

This is for Moms or Dads who want a quick almost instant bkfast.

2 Quaker Oatmeal Express cups at 200 cals each.
1 cup of whole milk at 150 cals
Several TBS of butter at ???

Microwave or cook in top range.

My picky bkfast eater raved and raved about it.
21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
Just tried an awesome mac & cheese from this site. Forgive the name:
I just tried an au gratin potatoes recipe I saw on Emeril Lagasse's show.  Very easy, absolutely sublime, and a perfect food for this thread:

2 or 3 large baking potatoes, scrubbed, peel if you want, sliced 1/4 inch thick
quart of heavy whipping cream  (you may need less)
salt and pepper to taste
grated cheese of your choice

Place sliced potatoes in heavy-bottomed pot and pour over just enough cream to cover.  Bring to barely simmering on low and cook until potatoes are just tender when pierced with a fork.  Butter a casserole dish.  Put 1/2 the potatoes and cream in casserole, salt and pepper to taste, and cover with 1/2 the cheese.  Repeat.  Bake in 350 oven until bubbly and beginning to brown.

I am not a huge Emeril fan, but I swear these are by far the best au gratin potatoes I've ever put in my mouth.

Moosewood Cookbook Banana Bread


3 sticks of butter or margarine

1 ¾ cups brown sugar

4 eggs

3 tsp vanilla extract

1 tsp Orange rind

4 cps flour

1 tsp salt

½ tsp baking soda

1 TBS baking powder

1 tsp all spice

2 tsp cinnamon

2 cps pureed ripe banana soaked in 1 cp strong black coffee

¼ cp lemon juice

Pecans or walnuts


Preheat oven to 350. Generously grease 2 standard sized loaf pans or 1 9X13 oblong pan.

Beat together butter and sugar. Add eggs one at a time.  When mixture is fluffy sitr in vanilla and orange rind and lemon juice (optional).

Sift together dry ingredients. Add this to butter mixture alternating with the banana mix, beginning and ending with dry mixture. Add walnuts/pecans.

Spread the batter evenly in the pans and bake 40 – 50 minutes.

21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
I am pretty useless as a cook, so I don't have any recipes.  I know there may be some people in the same boat as I am, so here are a few things I found that helped me a lot: 

Arnold Country White or Wheat bread has 120 calories per slice.

A 16 oz bottle of Nesquick chocolate milk has 400 calories.  These have come in very handy as a snack, even when traveling.  We started to use these as we moved away from a daily shake.

Wegman's has Omega-3 eggs.  2 x-large eggs have 880 mg of Omega-3 fats.

Yummy Bears vitamins contain 22 calories per serving of three (they are just like gummy bears candy, except slightly larger).  For an adult size serving of six bears, that is 44 extra calories for just vitamins.

Giovanni's three-cheese tortellini is about 400 calories for a 1/2 cup serving.

Hope this helps some.
Bumped for skutar.

I have found this a useful website in the last 6wks:


All of the recipes come from the BBC magazine (which i used to get many moons ago and was great) and are extremely reliable and easy. They all have full nutritional information. You can search by calorie range which is quite useful!

This may be particularly useful for UK families - I have been looking for inspiration on lots of good US websites (e.g. allrecipes) but often am a bit mystified by some of the ingredients!

Sheepie xx 

KarenCurvylady wrote:
He won't eat meat or fish and doesn't like salad, most vegtables or pulses. He is a nightmare to feed and I'm getting very very desperate.

As odd as it may seem, the more restricted his diet the more disordered his brain will get. By accomodating his likes and dislikes he will get harder to feed.

It is all right to feed him what YOU believe he needs. If he has an eating disorder he needs someone to make those choices for him, and help him cope.
Laura (Collins) Lyster-Mensh
F.E.A.S.T. Executive Director
Here is a list of our most successful easy "snack" foods:

*Costco Blueberry Muffins (these are giant muffins) - 600 calories each
*Cocoa - 1 cup (whole milk, cream, Carnation IB, Stephens Cocoa) - 500+ calories
*Ice Cream
*Ice Cream Sandwiches
*Granola Bars
*Pop Tarts - Each pastry is 200 calories each.  2 or 3 = 400 - 600 calories
*Cinnamon Rolls - Rhodes makes some frozen that can be put right into the oven
*Cookie Dough - I keep some in my freezer.  They can be cooked or left raw.  Ottis Spunkmeyer is 160 calories per ball.  3 balls = 480 calories

Hi everyone - i'm just copying/pasting the message i've written in reply to barbaras plea for "practical" help. Thought it would go well in this sticky post. THanks for all your ideas above - helped us a lot.

My D has had several inpatient stays, in the hospital she's been mostly at, they work ppl up through 4 basic meal plans, starting at roughly 1000kcal/d to the full meal plan at 2500kcal/day. If pt need more to gain, they get supplements such as ensure. The diet is high in calcium during the early mths of refeeding. The food is split into three meals of ~600kcal (main course + pudding) and 3 snacks; 2 of ~150kcal, one (9.30pm) of 300kcal. They don't actually use kcals with the pts (obvious reasons) but use a portions guide, which they hand out to pts- e.g. 2 slices bread = 1 carbohydrate etc.
I know all this because i have had several lengthy discussions with the dietician there recently. I have copies of all the menus they use in the hospital. They also give each pt fish oils, calcium , Vit D, multivitamins daily. We have been unable to do this with our home refeeding, because D absolutely refuses to take them, but i would suggest it is a good idea.
THe hospital doesn't allow any "diet" products, but does use the UK equivalent of 2% milk (majoirty of UK population use this) and low fat yoghurts. We are trying to do this at home.
One issue i had with the hospital are drinks. They only give the pts water to drink at lunch, dinner and tea/coffee with snacks. I suspect this is a cost issue, but it has meant that my D has never (9 years) been able to drink anything that is not calorie free. Really tough one to break.
My D has described in detail (it is clearly implanted on her mind!) the hot/ heavy puddings (e.g chocolate pudding, apple pie, fruit crumbles, lemon meringue pie, trifle, cheesecake etc etc) that they had one of each day. The idea was to get the pts used to eating this type of food. The other dessert was "Lighter and less scary" - all my examples are mainly UK based, but they were mainly small pots of dairy desserts of around 200kcals (e.g. choc mousse, muller corner yoghurts with crunchy bits, trifles, fruit fools), ice-cream or cookies/cakes.
A sample hospital meal plan (and what we are working up to) might be:
B/fast: cereal and 200ml milk (UK semi-skimmed (2%))
          2 slices toast each with 1tsp butter and 1tsp preserves OR PB
          200ml fruit juice
Snack: cereal bar/smallish choc bar/nuts+raisins/cookie/toastx1/hot choc
          box ensure (330kcal)
Lunch: Sandwich (2 slices of bread, 2tsp butter/mayo, protein filling)
          some salad stuff - e.g. tomato, carrot sticks etc
          Dessert e.g. Chocolate mousse
Snack: as above
          box ensure (330kcal)
Dinner: Spaghetti bolognaise + veg/salad
         OR  chicken in sauce + potatoes + veg
         OR  sausages (meat / veggi) + mashed potato + veg
         OR burger (meat / veggi) + bun with butter + ketchup
          Cooked/ heavy Dessert  - .eg. apple pie
Snack : Hot chocolate (200ml milk + 3 tsp pdr = 150kcal)
           Food snack as above
Total: 2500kcal. (additions if needed for extra gain)
Just some examples which i hope you might find useful. I'm going to copy this post onto the menu planning thread that is "stuck" at the top of the page. I've found some of hte suggestions there helpful too. For dinners i've mainily cooked as i ususally would so far. My D is vegetarian (no meat/fish, has been since age 4, 11 yrs before onset of AN!) and we've never found this problematic with refeeding at all. She won't touch shakes, full fat milk, muffins  so most of hte suggestions on the high-cal recipe page have fallen on stony ground so far. I'm just using hte guides i got from her hospital, mainly because i think we both feel "safer" that way. I know most of the hard-liner parents out there think i'm not working hard enough to get her to eat them, but its really tough with an independant 24-yr old who's team have encouraged her to "recover by herself" and actively excluded us up to now to do anymore! I also feel that because she claims that being force-fed foods she actively dislikes makes the anorexia stronger i shouldn't do it. Don't know if this is true, but if she will eat something else of similar calorie content, i'm not bothered.
You're doing a great job already - just choose a few things to add and then stick to it.
Best wishes,

this link has some good high cal snack and meal ideas: http://www.healthsystem.virginia.edu/internet/digestive-health/nutrition/highcaloriesnacks.pdf

Here are more high calorie suggestions -- I hope I am not duplicating --
1. biscuits (even the frozen storebought ones -- not pillsbury) 200-300 calories each (and then add butter and jam). Or I make cheddar biscuits and cheddar cornbread.

2. dense granola (we found one that had 400 calories per 1/3 c. serving -- I kid you not!!!)
3. baklava -- my mother-in-law is greek and brought us pastries for christmas. These are full of nuts, pastry, butter, and syrup. Probably 200-300 calories each (for two mouthfuls at most)
4. I scramble two eggs with cream and cheese and butter. Looks deceptively small, but really packs some calories.
p.s. I also add 1/3 to 1/2 c. almond or pecan meal to pancakes, waffles, and muffins I make.

Also, add extra olive oil to hummus, and extra sesame oil to cold sesame noodles (made with tahini -- high fat and high protein).
Good ideas!  I think we've needed an influx of at least half-Greek cooking!  Please post again.  Do you have that granola brand handy?

Your scrambled egg comment made me remember that our "house scrambled eggs" here are now our own Cream Cheese and Chive Scrambled Eggs, loved by all who've tried them so far:    

To scrambled eggs made with cream and salt and pepper, add 1/2 inch cubes of cream cheese and a generous sprinkle of chives (the bottled ones are fine) right toward the end of cooking.  I use about 1/4 of an 8 oz. package per two eggs and throw it in right before the last couple of stirs.  It makes the eggs yummy creamy, and yet you get a small bite here and there that's largely cream cheese and chives, but soft like the eggs and not icky. 

Serve with a toasted buttered bagel.

It's like restaurant food, I swear.

Malia, I read your "brand handy" as "brandy" and, as the mother of a fractious teenage daughter, I was ready to reach for some!  The eggs sound great.  I make scramblers with cream cheese but haven't tried the chives.

I'm trying to find the granola brand -- I repackage into tins and freeze. I think I got it at Costco -- it is not loose like cereal but stuck together like rice krispie treats -- it comes in a pan shape  (maybe 8"x8" square) and you break it up. It is full of nuts, oats, honey, sesame seeds, and sunflower seeds.

Also, I forgot to mention that I add shredded coconut to whatever I can as well. Loaded with fat and calories, and takes up very little room in tummy.

If you can find granola with coconut, the calorie level is significantly higher than plain. SuperTarget store brand (Archer Farms) has several high calorie choices.

Also, one day in a pinch, we tried Archer Farms Vermont Cheddar Macaroni and Cheese from the prepared food section (350 calories/serving), but two servings looks like one. My daughter inhaled it (a very pleasant surprise).

For vegetarians, I add sesame seeds to usual hummus or felafel recipe -- really kicks it up. I also use the "greek-style" pitas; twice the calories of regular pita. Or I use Naan (Indian flatbread), another high calorie choice, especially if you can find stuffed naan (e.g. with almond paste).

I do have a recipe for gallatoboureko, a Greek custard pastry, but it is labor intensive and can only be eaten by those with a pretty intense sweet tooth -- it packs in the calories, though!!!

I made this soup for my d. and she really enjoyed it.  I'm not sure of the calories, but with that much whipping cream and cheese it must be very high!
Also, I added cooked diced chicken and I used a 1/2 of a red pepper finely diced instead of the pimento.  For the cheese I upped it to 1 1/2cups.
It is from Paula Deen's web site.

Creamy Cheddar Soup

1 small onion diced
2 large pimentos diced
3 tbsp. butter
3 tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups cream  (I used whipping cream 35%bf)
3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/2 cup green onions
salt and pepper to taste
dash of cayenne pepper (optional)

In saucepan saute onions and pimento in butter for 5-7 minutes.
Blend in flour, add chicken stock and cream.  Cook until thickened.
Remove from heat and stir in cheese until melted. Add 1/4 cup green
onions sliced.  Salt and pepper to taste.
Garnish with remaining green onions.

Hi thre! I don't post often, but i thought i'd share some of my favourite ways to get fruit into my daughter's diet while re feeding, because i know how challenging it can be!
1) fruit salad with honey-- my daughter can eat a big bowl of this no problem as part of breakfast or snack and usually it contains a full banana, apple and orange/ grapes whatever you like and few tablespoons of honey (60 cal per tbsp) which can make it about 300- 400 calories just for a bowl of fruit
2) Peanut butter and banana sandwiches- these are amazing, my daughter LOVES them and they can really pack in some nutrition- i use two slices of whole grain bread (120 cal. per slice), a large banana sliced up and 3-4 tablespoons of P.B- making it about 650+ calories- with a glass of milk it makes a great breakfast or lunch
3) a chocolate shake, make your own, use carnation instant breakfast, ensure, boost, chocolate milk whatever you choose, with a banana or apple & peanut butter-- my daughter loves apples with peanut butter, and when you eat PB you definitely need a drink along with it so this works well
4) i add fruit when i make pudding or jello, so that it's got some vitamins in it, and for snack my daughter loves a yogurt parfait : 1 cup yogurt layered with 1/2- 3/4 cup granola along with 1/2 cup fruit salad.
Imported from another thread:

Here are some really good ways out there to substitute for dairy during refeeding and beyond.  This may not be where you are right right this second, but you will be at some point.  I'll put this on the refeeding thread, too.  Later.

You're probably already familiar with soy milk, tofu, tofu cheeses, tofu dairy desserts, etc. . .

Remember too: 

Rice milk--neutral-tasting, good base for Instant Breakfast or shakes, etc.  Can be used as milk in most cooking.  If baking, you may need to use a bit more fat to make the recipe work right.  Can also be gently cooked down (i.e., evaporating the water without scorching it) to thicken enough to use as a substitute for light cream in many dishes--aim for the consistency of evaporated milk or a little bit thicker.  Nice in soups, potato dishes, mild sauces, egg dishes.  If using to thicken a heavier sauce, consider tempering in egg yolks, too.  If you don't already know how to do that, let me know--it's easy to do and fairly easy to explain.

Almond milk--Usually available in plain, vanilla, chocolate.  Quite tasty on its own, plain version has almond taste, but it's still fairly mild.  More body/thickness than rice milk.  Any can also be used as drink, base for Instant Breakfast, smoothies, shakes, hot chocolate, etc. . . You can use the plain in cooking where the taste isn't a detriment.  If you're cooking rice, use 1/2 plain almond milk for 1/2 the water.  Use to thin mashed potatoes.  It will work in muffin recipes, etc.  Good fats, here.

Coconut milk--A good find frequently overlooked.  Quite nutritious, tastes like coconut.  Good by the glass--can be watered down a bit to dampen taste, but you dilute the good fats.  (Medium chain fatty acids=big aid in various metabolic processes.  We all lost a lot of medium chain fatty acids when tropical oils got vilified.)  Quite heat-stable, use freely in recipes where coconut taste is a plus.  Desserts, muffins, but also some sauces.  Extensively used in Thai cooking and curries.  Meat-wise tends to work better with chicken, fish, pork. Some brands are milder-tasting than others, it's worth experimenting with different brands wherever you think it might work.  Find it on the Asian foods aisle or at the health food store--more brand choices at the health food store probably.

One big thing you want to think about for a malnourished person allergic to milk:  Calcium and Vitamin D intake/absorption.  You can give a calcium-magnesium supplement and get her out in sunlight most days--at least 30% of skin exposed without sunblock for ten to fifteen minutes in the summer in FL on a sunny day (noon is great, 10am-2pm if at all possible, people further from the Equator will need more) for a caucasian, probably twice that for a black-skinned person, somewhere in between for an olive-skinned person.  They don't have to lie still and sunbathe on a towel, they can walk around, just be out of the shade, etc. . .

One can also take high-quality cod liver oil for Vit. D--it even comes in capsules, now.  As far as I know, that's the most readily-available, bio-active, oral method, of boosting D intake, but compromised liver and/or metabolic function (nearly the rule in malnutrition, takes weeks or months to reverse) will mean that bio-usefullness/absorption is tough to gauge.  The sunlight method of manufacturing Vit. D doesn't have to go though the stomach and the liver and is probably more straightforward. 

We have a couple of nutritionists who may chime in here--I hope they do!


Coconut milk is often found in cans or a cartons in the Asian section of the supermarket and is unsweetened (at least in my experience). Jamie O has a great recipe in one of his early books for curry using a coconut milk sauce - you can do it with chicken, fish or veg - monkfish works really well and it is delicious!
Erica, UK
You can drink coconut milk straight.  As for brands, I have Goya in my pantry right now, but have also used Thai Kitchen brand, and other brands that my health food store carries.  (My HFS rotates brands in the most disconcerting way--they rarely seem to have the brand I bought there last time.)  The milk itself isn't cloyingly sweet.  Note that coconut milk and creme de coconut (which is typically used in pina colodas and found in the bar mixer section) are different products.  The creme de coconut is very thick and heavily sweetened. 

Coconut milk is awfully good poured over granola in place of cow's milk.  It's fine on many other cereals, too.

Use the milk as a water replacement (1/2 or 3/4 or all, depending on how much taste you want) in plain rice or mild pilafs--full flavor in nutty ones is great. 

Use coconut milk in place of regular milk in egg custard or pudding recipes.

Use it rather than milk or other liquid (other than oil) in muffins. 

Make chocolate milk with it.

Use it in shakes of all kinds.  For a yummy tropical no-milk shake:  tofu ice cream, coconut milk, big splash pineapple juice, a banana.  Whir in blender and serve.  For a chocolate shake, omit the pineapple juice and add chocolate syrup.  OJ and coconut milk plus the ice cream is also good.

Make a spread of softened cream cheese, some coconut milk, maybe some flaked coconut, too.  Serve on toasted bagels, toast, or even crackers.

Make coconut chicken soup:

1 can whole coconut milk
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup rice (brown is okay)
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 inch piece of ginger peeled and chopped, or 1/4 teaspoon powdered ginger   (if using powdered, whisk in well--it wants to float on top)
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
Juice of one lemon or two limes
1 tablespoon fresh basil or one teaspoon dried
2 cups chopped cooked chicken

Put everything except chicken into a pot over medium high heat.  Bring to a boil, turn heat to very low, and simmer until rice is cooked.  Add chicken and heat through.  Thai happy chicken soup at home!

Put "coconut milk recipes" into Google and turn up a slew of them.

I hope this helps!