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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canadiancuddle
My daughter has been eating restrictively and purging for a few months now. We have been taking control of her eating and Her eating habits were starting to improve. Unfortunately she is now refusing to eat anything. Tonight I set her dinner out as usual and she refuses to eat it. She is now saying she will eat something but not her dinner. I have been total by the medical professionals not to give in to bargaining. So just wondering do I hold out knowing that she will probably go to bed eating nothing if I insist on dinner or do I let her have something else. I know if I give in now it gives her fuel to try and negotiate again but is something better than nothing? Any help would be appreciated. Thanks
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scaredmom
Welcome to the forum,
Firstly if not eating or drinking I. 24 hours she needs urgent medical attention. 
Here are some guidelines 
http://www.nyeatingdisorders.org/pdf/AED%20Medical%20Management%20Guide%203rd%20Edition.pdf

Some have found that the threat of going to the hospital can motivate the eating. 
How has she been doing otherwise besides today not eating ?
Are you with a specialized ED unit? Also if you could give us more  info on her age etc... we can tailor our replies more specifically.

Please read around the forum, there are great resources and ask all the questions you have.
my first priority is her health status at all his time.
Big hug, we know how hard this is.
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)
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scaredmom
 Just wished to add, If the dinner can be substituted for another high calorie meal, that is fine. Right now it is the consistent adequate nutrition that is required no matter how it gets in.
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)
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debra18
I agree that especially in early stages it is most important to get the food and calories in and establish a schedule of 6 times a day. But also it can be done in a way that you are still in control. So you could say "i see it's too hard for you to eat this today, you can have this instead." As long as it's enough calories and fats. 
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canadiancuddle
I have suggested she can eat something different of the same calorie but she is refusing that many calories she says. She has only had one slice of toast and a small cup of tea today which would be no more than 120 calories for her days total. She is 14.5 years and we are being seen by eating nurse specialist, gp and referral for psychiatric treatment. She had stabilised her weight for five weeks on a 1000 calorie per day diet but has lost nine pounds in three weeks now. She is SO stubborn in nature too so just won't give in. 
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debra18
Is she drinking water?  As scaredmom said if she is not eating or drinking she needs to go to the hospital. You will need to figure out how to get her to eat. All kids with eating disorders are stubborn. There are different approaches that work for different people. Rewards or consequences, life stops until you eat means they cannot go anywhere or do anything until they eat what you give them, distractions, etc. Eva Musby has a book and videos about how to get your child to eat. I found the video on YouTube called Eating Disorder Meal Support to be very helpful. You also have to figure out if it's better for her to make a meal plan so she knows in advance what to eat or just serve her the food and she will have to eat it. For my daughter it was easier for her to know in advance what she would have to eat. When was your last doctors appt?
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scaredmom
Many of us had to learn not to discuss any contents or calories of the food and just serve it. Many of us had to learn that those arguments were circuitous and pointless to  get into. Yes these kids are stubborn and it take time for you to figure out how to get her to eat.  It took me a few weeks to figure it out and there is a steep learning curve.
This is a good book  https://books.google.ca/books/about/When_Your_Teen_Has_an_Eating_Disorder.html?id=a-FiDwAAQBAJ&source=kp_book_description&redir_esc=y

Have you heard of magic plate?  You serve and you sit with her until she eats. Many use incentives to eat , like ‘ you will get your phone when you eat’ or distract with Netflix games etc while they eat. 1000 cal I know is better than none but you need to increase that sooner rather than later. My d had to get to 4000+ cal per day to gain. The quicker they gain the better. It is hard, there may likely be a lot of upset , that is part and parcel of the illness and the treatment. 
We had 3 meals and three snacks as the routine . 
The beginning is the hardest work on your part. Please let us know how we can further help you. We have been there is some way shape and form. There is always someone around to offer support, guidance, and a shoulder.
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)
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sk8r31
We all know how hard this road is, and how frightening it can be.  As stated above, 24 hours without anything to drink/eat merits a trip to the ER.  Your d's health can deteriorate quickly, and she may become unstable medically if only eating a few hundred cals/day.  Getting orthostatic blood pressure taken weekly would be good at this stage. (blood pressure is taken lying down & then 2 min later standing).  If there is more than a 20 mm Hg difference in systolic that is a red flag.  The Academy of Eating Disorders Medical Management Guide is something that you can read & also print out to take to your medical provider. 
A book I wish had been around when we started this journey is When Your Teen Has an Eating Disorder by Lauren Muhlheim.  It will give you tips and tools to help overcome some of the difficulties of getting your d nutritionally rehabilitated.  Eva Musby has some great videos as well; not only to help you deal with the stubborn refusal of meals/snacks but some compassionate meditations for yourself as well.  Taking good care of yourself is essential so that you have the strength and stamina to help your d towards recovery.
Sending warm support to you.
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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tina72
I have suggested she can eat something different of the same calorie but she is refusing that many calories she says. She has only had one slice of toast and a small cup of tea today which would be no more than 120 calories for her days total. She is 14.5 years and we are being seen by eating nurse specialist, gp and referral for psychiatric treatment. She had stabilised her weight for five weeks on a 1000 calorie per day diet but has lost nine pounds in three weeks now. She is SO stubborn in nature too so just won't give in. 


She will need to eat much more than 1000 calories a day to gain weight.
And they are ALL very stubborn at the start. You need to be strict. Food is her medicine and she needs to eat. Life stops until she has eaten. No school, no friends, no phone, no nothing. You decide what she eats and she needs to eat. 3 meals and 3 snacks every day.
She will get into a very dangerous physical state with this low intake very soon so please make sure she is regularly supervised by a doctor in this state.
Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
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keeptrukin
Have you tried setting clear limits as others have said: We do nothing else till you eat your meal? This is what many of us have had to do. It can get ugly for sure, but it works. No TV, no phone, nothing till nutrition goes in. We played games while our S was eating to distract him and stopped when the nutrition stopped going in. Later we would watch Friends/the Office while he ate, but by that time his anxiety was pretty low. No one can get too moody while Friends is on🙂 He's over his ED, but we still watch a lot of Friends during meals...sigh..
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