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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Bontoplen_USA
Hi all, I don't know if I'm super sensitive to seeing AN traits in people.It seems lately I have seen super skinny girls and find myself wondering if I am seeing things not there.I am concerned about D friend.She is dropped off in the morning at 7:30 because her mom works,and her and my D go to school together.This has been going on since the start of the school year.She eats breakfast with us,usually cereal and says she does not like anythng else.Well I read them the lunch menu for the day(mostly because I am hoping my D will be brave and try something so I don't have to pack the same old PB&J AGAIN.) Every day D friend says "I don't like that,well after awile I asked her what she eats for lunch,she has yogurt and milk.That is not enough to me.If she likes the lunch she will eat it but maybe one time a week if that.She said her mom will not pack a lunch because she gets free lunch. Last night I was at her house to pick up my D and her mom knows my D is picky and she said something to me that her D doesn't like anything either. Today after school D said her teacher and the monitors are noticing A is not eating and today the teacher asked A if she was going to eat. Also this girl hates to wear her winter coat because she said it makes her look fat, and she always wears some kind of sweat jacket and never takes it off even in school and it is always hot in there.So do I say something? her mom speaks very little english.I don't want to upset her,she is the reason my D goes to school everyday(her anxiety around school was so bad she refused to go most days) and this is her best friend.She is a very small girl,short and skinny but not sickly skinny.What do I say if I am wrong? Am I being too sensitive? I was super skinny as a kid,am I wrong? So hard to know if I am overreacting.
Bontoplen
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Onedayatatime_USA
Bontoplen--hard call.  Here is my story, my D has a friend who she is kinda worried about.  F gets dropped off at school early because parents work, school offers a great breakfast but my D says that her F doesn't like the bfast so only eats the fruit.  F also doesn't like the school lunches but says her mom  doesn't have time to make her a packed lunch and there is usually no food in their house for lunches.  So my D has me pack a lunch for her friend on the days she knows she will not like the school lunch.  I also pack an extra snack for F just in case.  This was all at the request of my D.   F comes to our house often and she does eat very little but will eat when D says, "We have to eat full servings here" and gives her more.  D's F is also very moody.  I don't know the parents well enough to say anything to them, their older D also hangs out with my older non-ed D and she doesn't have a problem eating.  So I will continue to fix extra lunches until something changes.

So if you don't feel you can talk with the mother, if possible feed the child when she is with you.  If she starts showing ed symptoms then you will be ready to talk with mom or have the school talk with her.

It's a hard situation.
Having fun in Tween Land.
DX--11 yrs 5 mons (5/12), WR--12 yrs(12/12)
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gobsmacked_US
It's hard to know, Bontoplen. We have a friend who is super picky. He used to visit a lot when he was younger. If I went by what I saw, he didn't eat nearly enough. The only things he would eat out of the house were a certain type of mac & cheese and bagels & cream cheese, and even those he refused to eat out a lot of the time. Apparently at home he had to eat with a certain spoon and on a certain chair. But he did eat a with his family. I am pretty sure there was some OCD stuff going on, but it's hard to tell how much he was eating based on what he was eating at our house.

I think I'd push her to eat at your house. Your house -- your rules. Make muffins and hot chocolate and smoothies and other yummy wholesome foods and insist?

Are you comfortable talking to this mother about your own experience?
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Bontoplen_USA
If someone analized my D they would think the same thing,she is picky and seems like she never eats,she never eats at friends houses because she is so picky.But last night my D was there and she said her friend ate 3 bites of chicken and a little rice,now I know what she ate the rest of the day,cereal at my house in the Am and for lunch my D said she had 3 chicken nuggets,yogurt and milk,and then the dinner I described.My D has actually told her her story of loosing weight from not eating,she told me she is worried.I will start making a big breakfast and pack an extra snack.I hope I am wrong,but if not at least I have resources to give her mom
Bontoplen
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gobsmacked_US
It sounds like you do have cause for worry. Give it a few days thought, see if you can get her daughter to eat more food at your house, and then approach her when you feel ready.
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YogurtParfait_US
If you are around this child to know what she eats a day on your watch, one idea would be to keep a little food journal for a few days or a week, so you can calculate (estimate) the amount of calories she is eating. That would give you something to show the mom if you decide to talk to her ...

YP
"Hope is a wonderful thing ... but hope by itself is not enough. Hope is the reason to take action, to make a plan and then to change the plan when it isn’t working - over and over and over again if necessary." Hannah Joseph (Let's Feast Friday Reflection, "Just Keep Going," Friday, March 3rd, 2015)
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Bontoplen_USA
I hate this,how can a horrible disease like this take small children,they can't even fight for themselves.Life is not fair,I would rather get hit by a bus than see my child ill.I don't want any of this disease in our lives,whether it is my D or her friends!!Ok now that I let it out,I will do what is necessary.tomorrow will be one BIG breakfast.God I hope I am wrong!!!
Bontoplen
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mec
Great idea, YP!

I have learned not to approach people suggesting that their child might have an ED, because every time I went that route, I was wrong. We simply don't know if a person has an ED or if the are at risk for an ED. They could be one of the millions of undernourished picky eaters or dieters who (luckily for them) will never develop and ED.

However, it is not a bad thing IMO, to approach a parent with concern that their growing child might not be eating enough calories to fuel brain, muscle, bone growth, etc. The biology of malnutrition can still have devastating consequences on a growing body whether that child is at risk for an ED or not. So now I look for behaviors or tangible things that I can point out to a parent to help them see what is going on with their child and maybe even suggest a visit to Ped. When I spoke to the Mother of my student who nearly fainted, I approached the issue as one of safety, fueling a growing body, school performance, etc. I didn't come close at hinting EDs because I don't have a relationship with the parent.

My mother (a family counselor) is the one who cued me to my d's illness. She was staying with us for a month and she had been observing d for a couple of weeks. She finally approached me and said "I am terrified by how little D eats. Have you noticed that she doesn't eat at all at the table?" (Of course, I  had NOT noticed). She also said that she was visibly thinner. I had noticed that but thought it was normal for girls to stretch out when they were growing. At the next meal, I paid attention and when I pushed d to eat, she refused. I took her to Ped and she got DX that day with Anorexia. I am glad my Mom didn't come out and tell me that my 9 year old child was acting as if she had Anorexia, even though she suspected it. I might not have taken it well.  



21 year old daughter who was DX with RAN at 9 years old. The work of recovery is ongoing. 
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