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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Hey folks--new to this site. 
History: Son, 13 years old, with AN dx last Sept 2017. Admitted x 7 weeks Oct-Dec 2017. Readmitted Oct 2018 for food refusal, heightened restrictive thoughts, excessive exercising. Transferred to tertiary care centre --discharged after 3 weeks despite our wishes to keep him there only to be readmitted within 3 weeks.
Honestly a frustrating disease and pathway that we have been on...reflecting on the past year his recovery weight should have been pushed higher and we should have been educated to drive up his caloric needs. At the time we were happy to have him not losing weight! Behaviours were horrible...and continue to be particularly around meals. I have developed thick skin so to speak, try to show no emotion at meal times, distract, ...it is exhausting! Focus on state not weight, the magic plate ...no fighting, negotiating, eat all the food within the time frame. Hyper-metabolic...calories set at 6000-3 meals, 3 snacks. Trying to find calorie dense options--great banana muffins noted on site (I am making, freezing), nuts, granola bars (homemade), hummus, power pucks...any other ideas would be welcome.

Dear Cwebster, welcome to this forum and sorry you need to be here. 

You are quite right, this is a very frustrating illness, which takes a heavy toll on all involved. You are doing already very well by getting 6000 calories in, I know it is not easy. 
Here is a link to some high calorie recipes:

In the link below are some more recipes, including my recipe for milk bread: nice and dense with a lot of calories!

It would be good if you could start your own threat, here is the link to begin a new topic:

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
Hello and welcome cwebster,

My son was a similar age when he fell ill so I know where you are coming from. The professional help we received was extremely ineffective except for an angel of a pediatrician. I can safely say that we made the most progress once I found this forum and started a steep learning curve but one that has lead to a healthy and happy son.

In my opinion, the greatest tool in the caring for a loved one with ED is information. Here is a list of the resources books that I have found to be most useful.

This forum

The resources on the Feast website

When Your Teen has an Eating Disorder by Lauren Muhlheim. This is a very clear straight talking guide for parents. I am well through the traumatic refeeding but I have still found lots of ideas to keep us in recovery. It is really great for giving you the framework and detail you need fast but lacks some of detail that Eva's book has.

Here is the link to Eva Musy's website. Eva is a mom who has been through the AN journey with her daughter. Her book 'Anorexia and other eating disorders' is great with absolutely loads of information. When I was screaming out for the answer to BUT HOW this was the book that helped me.

Another book I loved is Carrie Arnold's Decoding Anorexia. Carrie is a science journalist and had Anorexia for over a decade. This book combines the biology of the illness (in a way us non-scientists can follow) with her own story of recovery. Fascinating read that helps you understand all the strange symptoms of the illness.

The website I found most useful was the Kartini Clinic blog.

As mamaroo said, you will get more replies if you start a thread of your own. To do so click on categories and then click on the forum name (to make it easier for the first time here is a link) and then click on the 'Start a New Topic' button on the top left of the screen. If you are using the phone, the button is towards the top when you scroll up.

Warm wishes,


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.
Hi and a very warm welcome from Germany, sorry that you need to be here.
Despite my always first aid - smoothies with hagen daz ice cream and fruity ones with rapeseed oil /canola oil - I would suggest that you read KLBs post because they feed their son with more than 5000 calories at the moment and I am sure she posted some recipe ideas there.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
Welcome, sorry you have to be here but so glad that you found the forum. GNC has some great protein shakes that have a massive amount of calories for each shake and you can still add fruit, nuts, ice cream to them to make them even more high calorie. These should be snacks and not meal replacements just as an FYI. Add real butter to everything, use heavy cream instead of milk when cooking with milk, make sure they have a caloric drink (i.e. whole milk instead of skim) at every meal and snack. Also have them drink the caloric gatorade (30-50ozs.) throughout the day in addition to what they drink at meals. Buy the highest calorie value of everything you purchase. I.E. buy bread with the highest caloric count per slice so you get the most bang for your buck when making a sandwich.  I would add granola to her yogurt so that added an additional 100- 130 calories to the already high greek yougurt calorie count of 150. With yougurt, granola, banana and glass of milk you got an approx. 500 calorie snack! Add bacon to things! Use peas, corn, sweet potatoes as your vegetables as these are higher in calories and are starchy so dense. # meals and 3 snacks a day at minimum if you have not been told this already.

I hope this helps! Stay strong and do not give in to the ED! Prayers for you and your family.

15yD, restricted for 7 weeks, 4months in, weight restored but mentally still not there
cwebster wrote:
Trying to find calorie dense options--great banana muffins noted on site (I am making, freezing), nuts, granola bars (homemade), hummus, power pucks...any other ideas would be welcome.

In addition to adding canola / rapeseed oil and heavy whipping cream (double cream) wherever possible, some like to pulverize almonds or other nuts in a blender and add them to many things.  Butter both sides of the bread when you make grilled cheese.  Add Bemecalorie to  things if it is available in your country.  

Many find daily shakes / smoothies to be a huge help.  

Sometimes you will find higher calorie options in stores that are not your usual stores - my store doesn't have the high calorie bread or yogurt that some other stores carry.  In the early days, I spent forever in the grocery store reading all the labels to find the highest calorie option of everything - amazing what a difference that can make.  All the little bits add up. xx

"We are angels of hope, of healing, and of light. Darkness flees from us." -YP 
My son was just 12 when he began on this journey as well. I would make french toast with high calorie bread, heavy cream, eggs (duh), and fry it up in lots of ghee (clarified butter, higher calorie than regular butter), then slather it in syrup. With these additions and serving whole milk you can turn a 500 calorie meal into a 1000 calorie meal. I know that initially it can be challenging, but portion size is also important to push and normalizing larger portions is part of the journey.
Getting calories in is hard. Everyone has given you great suggestions so far. I think also controlling his exercise when he gets home will be hard. Many use distractions, games, books, activities...
When he was at home, were you able to get the exercising under control?
Please as all the questions you have. With the wealth of experiences and knowledge, here I am sure there will be great tools for you to use.
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)