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

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I really am at the end of my wits. My 13 y/o D (17 months in) just won’t eat anything other than her sandwich at Lunch time. She has only liquid for breakfast then a sandwich for lunch and then maybe 3 teaspoons of her dinner. No matter how long I sit with her and talk to her (in my calm voice) she just puts her fingers in her ears. I have tried everything. Playing games at mealtimes. Watching tv at mealtimes. Talking about anything other than eating at mealtimes. Reading to her, her reading her book. You name it I have tried it. But she STILL won’t eat. What else can I do ???  Thank you x
HI there, I am sorry that she is not eating well for you. 
Some have tried to use other incentives, like paying for eating, going to school or not if they have not eaten well? 
My d did well with an audience. If we had company either one of her friends or the grandparents (that was really rare though at the beginning) my d did eat. 
If she went to a birthday party she wanted to be normal and so she ate the cake. 
Is she going to school? Is that leverage, cell phone, friends or activities? 
Or can you find something outside of eating that is not associated with eating? Like a craft, or something else she is passionate about? Please read this thread copied below, there are some very creative ideas there that may help you.  But fostering a life without ED and showing her what that means may help her think outside of ED a bit. For example: My D is 14 now and 2.5 years into diagnosis and doing well. However, in the summer there were a few ED blips where she said she was comfortable with her weight at that time. She had dropped a bit and I knew she was dumping. (Peer pressure, girls at school on diets and vegan and joining gyms!!) Well, we were having a discussion about going to university for my son (he just started) and she was talking about a prestigious uni she wishes to attend. I looked at her seriously and said, " University is only for healthy people. If you are not healthy you may not be able to go to Uni." The look of shock was priceless. She never would have thought prior to that day that university may be out of her reach due to ED. Also the doctor told her she may not play any extracurricular sports at school if she does not maintain her nutrition so that she can grow and be healthy. Since then she is eating well and eating more to cover her sports. Knowing that unless she is healthy and fuelling her body well, she may not be able to live the life she wishes for herself. 
I think finding that nugget of hope/ wishes and dreams they may hold dear and sometimes hidden from us, can sometimes be the spark for the changes needed to get them to eat.


Is she medically stable? Is she gaining? Do you have a specialized ED team to support you?
I get it! It is so hard and demanding. You may need to show her what a real life looks like- a great life without ED.
Sending a hug.
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)
I see you are in the UK and I have seen that it can be difficult to find good ED care there. 
I had hear of a specialized ED team CEDS that you may access outside of the general Mental health associations. I hope someone from the UK can inform us properly on that.
Edited to add:
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)
I am sorry that things seem to be going badly for you and your D at present. Reading through your old posts it sounds like she was at a good weight at the end of last year but then restricted again and then you left CAMHS in June? Has this poor pattern of eating been going on long? How is her weight going? Does she have ongoing medical oversight? 

It does sound very concerning. Not just the sandwich for lunch but the insistence on liquid breakfast and few bites for dinner. Have you tried adverse consequences rather than distraction. Many kids with AN don't respond well to rewards or positive reinforcements. So although some parents have done well with a rewards based system there is a lot of research to suggest this does not produce any motivation in many kids with AN. The same research shows that adverse consequences or more to the point avoidance of those consequences often works as a better driver of behaviours. So working with those natural consequences this may mean withdrawal of certain activities or things if they are unable to comply. 
D diagnosed restrictive AN June 2010 age 13. Initially weight restored 2012. Relapse and continuously edging towards recovery. Treatment: multiple hospitalisations and individual and family therapy.
Hi Pappy,

If your d is no longer under CAMHS, then you need to get her back into the system asap. 

With her current pattern of eating she must be losing weight rapidly and may need hospitalisation at some point. I assume you can refer her back to specialist services quickly and I would advise contacting them again straight away.  The situation is too serious for you to have to be managing it on your own .

Believe you can and you're halfway there.
Theodore Roosevelt.
So sorry to hear about your struggles, Pappy. We were there as well. At the beginning of our journey, my d would a muffin and a glass of water for breakfast and that was it for the day. No matter what I did, magic plate, LSUYE, distractions, incentives, keeping her at the table to 2am, threatening not to feed the cat, nothing would work. She ended up in IP with an NG tube. My d just had zero motivation to eat. In the end it was the threat of returning to IP and the intensive support we had at the hospital which managed to turn the ship around. 

Is your d seeing a gp? It is important that a gp checks her heart as that would be the greatest concern at the moment. If she's feeling dizzy it may be sign her heart is struggling and if she faints, take her to the emergency department immediately. 

Here is a thread on super resistors, which my interest you:

Sending you lots of hugs 🤗🤗🤗🤗
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
17 months in in that state is really a long time and definitivly concerning and there must change something asap. The damage on the body due to malnutrition increases the longer it lasts. This should not continue. If you did try everything to get her to eat than she might need a higher level of care and someone else should try. You need help.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.