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.

Join these conversations already in progress:
• Road To Recovery - Stories of Hope
• Events for Parents and Caregivers Around the World
• Free F.E.A.S.T Conference Videos

Visit the F.E.A.S.T website for information and support.

If you need help using the forum please reach out to one of the moderators (listed below), or email us at bronwen@feast-ed.org.

Need to talk with another parent? F.E.A.S.T. parents offer peer support via:




This is all brand new to us. I've had a look at some of the posts and I have a feeling this is going to be an immensely helpful site. Sorry if I'm repeating things that come up a lot!


My daughter has just begun treatment for ED at CAMHS (Maudsley approach). She has just turned 8. We are literally just starting weight restoration and realise we will be in it for the long haul. I have a few early questions and would very much value any ideas... We're struggling at the first hurdle of getting her to eat ANYTHING more than her 'normal''. We're expecting to need to sit with her for long periods of time, potentially miss work/school etc. Is she likely to spend a long time in this stage? Days, weeks?!


I'd also be interested to hear your views about how much to tell her about the possible physical complications of AN? We don't want to scare her, but is it best if she knows the basics?


Finally, how about friends and acquaintances? I've read Eva Musby's book which is wonderful and covers some of this stuff. We're finding things especially hard as we've only recently relocated to a new city, and don't yet have a close network of friends. On one hand I'm desperate to offload, and on the other it doesn't seem a great way to get to know people.


Thanks for reading x

Hi Toothfairy, thanks for the welcome and the signposting.
Hi there and welcome. This site is an excellent source of advice, support and information. Read as much as possible - lots of helpful tips
If you can get any extra calories in in any possible way do that - eg, double cream added to a smoothie or mashed potatoes, ground almonds added to things, lots of oil used etc. Buy tuna in oil, not spring water etc. Also try and limit any exercise where possible or stop it all together
I've just watched the FBT video on here too - that has lots of great tips of how to help.
It is a really tough journey - and we understand and there are people here for you when you need advice or just to vent. But keep hopeful - and stay strong. We are 2 years down the line here and are now in a much better place. This awful illness can be beaten.
Daughter was age 11 when she started restricting Aug 2014, admitted to paed ward Dec 2014 for low BP, pulse rate and spent 3 weeks there. As they were about to NG tube her, she decided to eat again. After approx. 1.5 years on a meal plan and lots of toil, sweat and tears she is weight restored and has just been discharged from NHS care. It's been a very slow traumatic process but each day we are making progress.
Dear meadow,

Welcome here there is much knowledge & experience here. The is also much compassion & understanding.

Read around on this forum & search the old posts.

You can also access the F.E.A.S.T resources pages the four (4) family guide books are really helpful & the Throwing Star Fish Across The Sea written by two mothers from this forum.

ED Dad
Welcome Meadow. As others have said read around and you will find a lot of information. Another parent of a younger child is Yoghurtparfait. Her D was 7. The length of resistance to eating varies from child to child, for some it is only a few weeks until they start getting the idea, others it takes years. Working on high density foods can make things easier in terms of getting the weight on, have a look at the high calorie threads too. 
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.
We're expecting to need to sit with her for long periods of time, potentially miss work/school etc. Is she likely to spend a long time in this stage? Days, weeks?!

That is entirely up to you.  With my daughter who was 8 when she first stopped eating, we had time limits and that seemed to work better for her than the hours of sitting waiting for her to finish a meal or snack.  She had an hour for meals and half hour for snacks.  After that time was up, we used a supplement like Ensure or fortsips to make up the calories.

Hi meadow - So sorry you needed to join us here.  I always have such mixed feelings when someone new finds us - so glad you found the forum, but so very sorry your d is ill.

You asked how long it might take, and I'm going to be brutally honest: It usually takes a long time indeed.  This is one heck of a tough illness to beat, but you can do it.  

Your d will need expert meal supervision for quite some time - watching every meal, every snack, every bite, for as long as it takes.  If you take your eyes off her to glance at the dog, she might slip a quarter biscuit into her pocket.  Another glance away, and the next quarter goes to the dog.  

I got some really good advice here on the forum, that likely spared my d from starting purging (if which is SO hard to stop if it does start): I required my d to visit the restroom before eating, each time, so that she could stay with me for an hour afterwards.  As others found, my d hated this and hated that "you don't trust me." I learned not to argue, not to react at all, other than to say, "It's not about trust; it's just what I do."

Please feel free to ask all the questions you like. xx


"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
Thanks so much all. Going to check out all the stuff you've recommended x
Hi meadow, welcome to the forum . Everyone's journey is a little different but in the most part recovery is a long road. My d is now 19. 1/2 she became ill before her 17 th birthday. Since her discharge from ip 20 months ago until September we were fully supervising all meals. She has started college since September and still requires a lot of support . Your d is young and will be home with you for a long time yet so that's good.
I told my d the impact starvation had on her body affecting all her organs . She could see her hair was falling out but nothing really made a difference . I just continued to say that all parts of her body needed nutrition to function , her vital organs most importantly none of this was taken on board her ed was too strong. Now that she is in recovery she realises it and is more aware of feeling of hunger or weakness due to need to have a meal or snack.
As for increasing intake add oil to savoury dishes or double cream to cakes , breads, scones , rice ,porridge whatever you can. Look around for snacks or ice creams which have higher calories.
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. 
Hi Meadow,

My daughter fell ill at 10 so you can read my posts over time. There is a thread for parents of young adolescents and children, under age 13 that you might find helpful.

I am sorry you are dealing with this with your young child. But you are on the road to recovery now so that is good!

You might let people know where you are and see if there is any support group or just forum members nearby, as we are all a good place to vent! Others who don't have an ED child don't get it and if you are needing to make friends in a new place, it might make it harder to do if you look for ED support from new friends.