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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mjlinc
Hi. Been reading here for awhile and super thankful for the ideas I've already found!

10 yr old D was diagnosed late August. Been seriously restricting since Spring of this year. Started out as "healthy eating" like many of yours. I'm so thankful we finally figured out what was going on and have a tremendously helpful eating disorders doctor 20 min. away. 

She has been putting about a lb a week, with two weeks of losses in there. We started some meds this week and we are hopeful it helps her anxiety. This illness is a beast!! We have had an extra rough time since Thanksgiving week. I'm at a loss for how you guys are getting extra nutrition in your kids. It's WWIII just getting her to finish any meal, and she still completely refuses bread and sweets. We have been giving her high-powered protein shakes (about 1000-1300 calories each), but bless her, she's so tired of those. I've looked through all the recipes, different recipe sites, etc., but she just won't eat so much. I know the key to this is 100% meal finishing no matter what, but we just can't figure out how to get her to eat it. I would love to have her finish a full plate of whatever with bread and dessert, but it seems like a pipe dream. 

We do "life stops until you eat", and that has helped some. Any tips?
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Torie
Hi mjlink - Welcome to the club no one wants to join. 

It's really great that you are on this so promptly and also great that you have competent help so close by.

Is your d attending school? Can you require her to finish her breakfast before leaving? As I tell my d, if she isn't well enough to finish her meal, she isn't well enough to go to school. Are you supervising all meals? When she has finished her lunch, she can return to class. 

What kind of backup support do you have for meals? When times were tough, I would tell my d that if I couldn't give her enough help to finish her meal, I would need to take her to the experts who were trained to provide better support. (I'm not sure where I would have taken her or what they would have done with us, but luckily she really, really didn't want to go to "the experts" so that was enough to get her through. Others have backup support they can use, and eventually we found that here, too.)

I know others will be here soon with lots of practical ideas.

Great job finding this forum so quickly. It's a life saver.

xx

-Torie
"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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mjlinc
Love those suggestions. Thank you.

Yes, she is in school. She does have to finish breakfast to go, in fact, she was tardy this morning, but finished. Her dad and I are supervising all meals, including lunch at school. We are able to eat with her in the classroom with her teacher while the students are in the cafeteria. Today we checked her out because she wouldn't eat, so she ended up finishing lunch by the door with her backpack on so she could go back to class! That was so encouraging! We have gone to the nurse's office a couple of times; she does not like that and it doesn't seem to get her to finish. I'm thankful that both of us parents are tackling this together - I don't know how those do it without spousal support!!

Our doctor actually referred us to this site - I am so thankful for her!
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Sotired
One of the things I did was life stopped for ALL of us until my d ate.so that meant no one (she has two younger siblings) could go to school until she finished her breakfast.the TV,her phone,even showering-all used as bargaining tools here.if war is happening,though it doesn't feel like it,try to take it as you are winning.every roar,every shout,if the food is going in,it's a sign that you are winning.and I'm sure she is sick of milkshakes,but you know what she needs,she doesn't, and if that's what is required then so be it.its not her complaining anyway,it's anorexia complaining,and who needs to listen to anorexia?not you!just keep going,doing what you are doing.she can have two milkshakes instead of bread if she is going to make a fuss.thats an example of negotiation [smile] [smile].
If the stress is really hard,don't be afraid to go to your gp and have him prescribe something for you.it took me two gos to find an effective anti depressant but it really helps.my h and I are both on them because this isn't a quick journey.thats just a thought though.good luck,keep posting,
Sotired42
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mjkz
You might point out that the only way to stop the high protein shakes is to eat other food so if she really is getting sick of them, she can always eating something else.

With my daughter, I gave her what she needed to eat.  If she did not finish it (and mine love to leave a bit here and there-always a mouthful or the last swallow), then she was on complete bed rest.  She got so bored laying on her bed staring at the ceiling that eventually she would try new things.  Good luck.
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Elena
It sounds as if you are doing a brilliant job, really just more of the same. Stick with her with every meal, follow her with her food if she runs off. Sit next to her or near her. tell her nicely what she needs to do ( the next mouthful), give her a little encouragement ("you can do this", "this is what you need"), give her time to process what you have asked, give her quiet to think about it, then start all over again, tell her, encourage her, give her time. Don't argue with the ED voice, just ignore it, also ignore tears and anything else that is happening in the household, don't leave her. Coach her through every mouthful when you have to. When she is less resistant, distract with the TV while eating. 

I suspect you've already done a lot of this, so keep on going. Be the immovable rock. Huge amounts of calm, persistence and patience are needed, but it can be done. Good luck!
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K63
Hi welcome to the forum, have a look at eva musby s videos helping your child to eat ,google it , I find it very helpful and helps keep me calm .
Daughter started restricting in February 2014, tried re feeding at home hospital admission 4 1/2 months weight restored started restricting post discharge, back on meal plan full supervision weight restored april 2016. Starting to hand back responsibility for meals it's scary. 
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Torie
K63 wrote:
Hi welcome to the forum, have a look at eva musby s videos helping your child to eat ,google it , I find it very helpful and helps keep me calm .


I was just going to say that! Here's one of Eva's videos that was tremendously helpful to me:


xx

-Torie


"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
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OneToughMomma
Dear mjlinc,

A hearty welcome and congratulations to you!  You are doing an amazing job and your family should be really proud of the progress you've made together.

I'd like to say one thing, and it might be the tiniest bit controversial here at ATDT.

Your d might not need to finish everything on her plate every time.  Shocking, I know.  Actually, the FBT manual doesn't tell us how to feed our kids and doesn't tell us they have to eat everything on a plate. 

I completely see how 'Magic Plate' is a great idea and the benefits of it, but we never used it in the Tough house for a couple of reasons.

Firstly, out of ignorance.  Our FBT told us from the first appt to support D in eating more than her ED wanted her to eat. Every. Single. Time.   So I would put a generous serving on her plate and she would eat until she stopped.  We would ignore her for a few minutes. Sometimes (later in the process) she would begin to pick at the food and eat more.  When it seemed she was really done, then we would to the toddler thing of 'two more bites of X' or 'finish all of X, but you can leave some of (insert lesser calorie food like veggie)'.  We would keep encouraging until she couldn't do any more. With this process she was able to gain weight and recover. 

Secondly, because there was no way we were going to get our girl to clean a plate.  I won't go into details but you can trust me on that. 

Our d did recover without having to eat every single bite on every plate she was served.  I cannot tell you that this is a good idea because it did take us a long time to get her WR.  Is that because she is tough just like her momma and her ED was tough, too?  Or is it because we didn't use Magic Plate. Our study of one subject doesn't give enough data. 

I am telling this to give you hope, however.  If your D won't clean her plate don't give up, and don't let that distract you from the job.  Just keep up with those smoothies and focus on getting as much energy as possible into her.  [Do keep in mind, that if finishing everything has been the rule and you back down now, then you might create a weakness for ED to exploit. Maybe make finishing the plate a goal rather than a hard and fast rule? ]

It sounds like you have an amazing 'Team D', and I'm sure you can work out what is best for her.

You're doing great. Just keep going!

xoOTM

D in and out of EDNOS since age 8. dx RAN 2013. WR Aug '14. Graduated FBT June 2015 at 18 yrs old. [thumb]
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mjlinc
Thank you so much for your wonderful encouragement and suggestions! It's so reassuring to hear from those that are or have been in the trenches that we are doing well. This process is so frustrating and exhausting, mentally and physically! I suspect what we all really need it just continual encouragement to "be the immovable rock" as Elena says! I will definitely take a look at those videos. 
Oh, and Sotired (love the name!) I am on something for anxiety already and it really is helping be even-keep most of the time. I wouldn't have been able to handle this before I was on medication!
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