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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My 13-year-old daughter keeps saying she will come home and only eat what is good. She says she is not eating "nicely" in the hospital. She is 13, inpatient and getting discharged tomorrow. Is this a code word for not eating or eating less? What does this mean? She keeps on harping on this phrase and insists we say okay to that. Please help. 

Hi pjdj,

I would not recommend agreeing to anything the eating disorder is bullying your daughter into saying, in this case eating "nicely" or eating only "good" food.

You could try letting her know that eating "nicely" and eating "good" is being fully nourished and following her drs. recommendations and finishing all the food on her plate that you serve her, and that is what will be happening at home or she will need to stay/return to the hospital. (just saying it once with firmness and gravity and not getting into an argument about it or negotiating with the eating disorder.) I tried countering the eating disordered thoughts with one line, firmly stated talk about being fully nourished or encouragement to eat more, and then changed the subject. After a very very long while of doing this and feeding her, you will be able to help her override the eating disordered voice which is torturing her.

She needs you to stand up to the eating disordered voice because she cannot do it herself, even though she doesn't yet understand that she needs this. She needs you to be feeding her and insisting that the food is finished even though she will fight it.

Try using distractions at the dinner table. Play games. Don't talk about anything unpleasant. Eat in front of the TV if that helps and binge watch a netflix series while eating. Play music she likes. When she struggles to eat, encourage her and then change the subject.

Is the hospital discharging her with a treatment plan and step down plan and do you have a team set up for her discharge? Keep asking questions and other parents will be along to help you through this very difficult time.


I think "good" is another word for "safe". She wanted to tell you that she had to eat food in hospital AN didn´t like and that she now wants to eat things AN likes.
I agree with Kali that you should not discuss that. Tell her she will eat normal food on a meal plan and that you serve her just as much as she needs. Repeat that like an old record.
When my d came out of hospital her most worry was that I could make her fat and so I had to tell her every day over and over again that this is right the amount she needs, not more and not less. After some days she started to ask that only 3 times a day and after some weeks she stopped with it. Her biggest fear was that she could not stop eating and will grow out of all clothes. Today she is 5 kg heavier and still wearing the same clothes and now she trusts that process but it was very difficult at the beginning.
Keep on going and come here to vent and to ask whatever you need.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.