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

Welcome to F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum. This is a free service provided for parents of those suffering from eating disorders. It is moderated by kind, experienced, parent caregivers trained to guide you in how to use the forum and how to find resources to help you support your family member. This forum is for parents of patients with all eating disorder diagnoses, all ages, around the world.

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Joyce
What is the best way to approach food over the holidays that does not trigger anorexic and/or bulimic behaviors?
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Enn
Welcome,
I do hope you find the support and information to help you help your children. I see from you profile you have a d with AN and one with Bulimia. We all do wish to help and so please ask all your questions.
As for holidays there are so many ways:

I will let you know what we did. We kept it like a normal day with no extras for my d (AN) . It helped me not fret too much about making things so wonderful during a stressful time. We did see family and friends but we did nothing special at our home. I kept things safe for my d and did not push different/fear foods.
I know others will be here soon with their experiences. As we did not have bulimia, I cannot speak to that.

Here are some resources that you may find useful. 

https://www.eatingdisorderhope.com/information/eating-disorder/eating-disorders-and-developing-healthy-holiday-traditions

https://www.mirror-mirror.org/holiday.htm

https://www.waldeneatingdisorders.com/blog/eating-disorders-the-holidays-5-tips-to-support-your-loved-one/

https://www.waldeneatingdisorders.com/blog/try-these-6-helpful-tips-for-navigating-the-holidays-with-an-eating-disorder/

https://www.psychologytoday.com/ca/blog/mindful-musings/201612/tips-surviving-the-holidays-in-eating-disorder-recovery

https://www.recoverywarriors.com/7-ways-survive-holidays-eating-disorder/

https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/9ke78a/how-to-head-off-an-eating-disorder-relapse-during-the-holidays

I know there are so many links here. I hope there is something that resonates for you.

If you also let us know what else you are dealing with ie where are your children with respect to time of diagnosis and what types of therapy/treatment you are doing, we, I am sure would be willing to help.
Welcome again.
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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Scarlett81
Hi Joyce.
I'd agree with those above... it really depends what stage you are at.  I know for our s, 9 months since diagnosis, we are in a solid refeeding pattern now.  But I know he gets stressed if the timings are too different so I am keeping times the same and snacks the same.  We've been working on being able to eat a hot meal at lunchtime, a proper English roast dinner, so hopefully Christmas dinner will look very similar.  He struggles with dessert but can eat fruit so I looked on Pinterest for Christmas party food and there are lots of fun things you can make with fruit just so he feels like he is taking part in dessert.
I agree with the other comments, though.  It's not a day that we will be tackling fear foods or expecting anything more than normal.  At the same time we won't be expecting anything LESS than normal!

Also, I've avoided putting food items in the stocking this year.  Don't want to trigger any anxiety.

Hope that helps!
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Aggie
3 years of Christmas here and we keep it very simple, whatever is comfortable even down to to the advent calendar which has been make up not chocolate. We do the normal snacks and meals & nothing to cause stress, but we've never gone overboard on food at Christmas anyway, just lunch with the family. Wishing you a peaceful time x
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PurpleRain
We had our first Christmas event today (it is this early because it's with my husband's extended family and most of them go holidays before next weekend). My d did great, really great. I give her a snack before we left home, she ate at a more or less regular time, I had snacks with me just in case but didn't need to use them. It was much more a trigger to me that it was for her (worrying in advance and super aware of everything, really hard to relax and enjoy until after the food was consumed). So I'm trying to work on my own anxiety in preparation to Christmas eve. I'm actually more concerned about the weeks after when everyone is talking about losing weight after the holidays, I actually think she started restricting last January due to (perceived or real) overeating during last Christmas so I'll be watching her like a hawk.
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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deenl
I'm so glad that the event went well for your daughter. 

Your insight into the consequences of dealing with all of this on yourself will stand you in good stead until you find yourself back in a more normal balance. I was the same and always had all the possible scenarios and my reactions thought out in my head in advance. But, you know, that is what will keep your daughter safe in January and over the longer period. Like with all things human, it's about finding that sweet spot where we prepare for the worst but hope and start to believe that the best will happen.

Warm wishes,

D
2015 12yo son restricting but no body image issues, no fat phobia; lost weight IP! Oct 2015 home, stable but no progress. Medical hosp to kick start recovery Feb 2016. Slowly and cautiously gaining weight at home and seeing signs of our real kid.

May 2017 Hovering around WR. Mood great, mostly. Building up hour by hour at school after 18 months at home. Summer 2017 Happy, first trip away in years, food variety, begin socialising. Sept 2017, back to school FT first time in 2 years. [thumb] 2018 growing so fast hard to keep pace with weight
  • Swedish proverb: Love me when I least deserve it because that's when I need it most.
  • We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence Recovery, then, is not an act but a habit. Aristotle.
  • If the plan doesn't work, change the plan but never the goal.
  • We cannot control the wind but we can direct the sail.
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Torie
PurpleRain wrote:
I'll be watching her like a hawk.

Good for you!  It is stressful and horrible in every way to do that, but oh so worth it.  Next year will be so much better, and I know you will really appreciate that. xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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PurpleRain
Thank you so much for your replies deenle and torie, your journeys are such an inspiration. Wishing you all a very enjoyable Christmas
13 yo d started to eat "healthy" September 2018, she had a growth spurt a bit later, followed by tummy bug. She started restricting breakfast and school lunch in January 2019 (that we know). We succesfully refed at home.
I have found inner strenght, patience and compassion that I did not know I had.
Never retreat, never surrender
keep feeding
 
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