F.E.A.S.T's Around The Dinner Table forum

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My 13yr old d is just a couple pounds away from being weight restored which is a blessing.  At this point, every meal and snack is supervised.  She has become more open with us about snacks and lunches that were always thrown away before supervision because "the voice" told her to.  We really have no problems getting her to eat whatever we put in front of her as long as she is supervised but I have no doubt left on her own she would not eat anything.  I know ever child is different but what is everyone's experience with when their kids actually started to be able to be trusted to handle any meals on their own once they reached the weight restored point without supervision?  She has shared she still hears "the voice" as loud as ever which is greatly disturbing...I hate this!
Yes it takes a long time. I was waking up at 530 even on weekends to supervise my daughter and often felt bad for myself. I tried to look at it in a positive way. At least I was watching my daughter eat and every meal was a move towards recovery. At about WR she realized there was no point in hiding food and I only needed to be around to keep an eye on her. In school they also just keep an eye on her. Take it one meal at a time and keep going!
Often it gets worser again around WR so be prepared for that "extinction burst".

To answer your question (and it is very different in each family):
here we started to let her eat snacks alone now and then after about 6 months WR and 2-3 months after brain recovery started with a huge difference in mood.
Breakfast and dinner still supervised (we call it "accompany" now so that means we eat together just like any other normal family would do), lunch (biggest meal here) supervised and plated 4 days a week and unsupervised 3 days a week (we are 16 months after WR now). Snacks sometimes with "company" and sometimes unsupervised.

But we do that more for safety net now and because she does not like eating alone. I am quite sure that if we are not around she would also eat her meals because she is used to that routine now.

What I learned from other parents is that you cannot do things too late but too early. So keep supervision as long as possible and try to decrease it very slowly. I am sure you will know by her state that she is ready for that then.

Keep feeding. There is light at the end of the tunnel.
So I guess the time I starting trusting my D to eat unsupervised was after she was eating all foods willinginly. Once she got to the point when she would ask for something to eat simply because she was hungry and when she didn’t have a problem eating out with her schedule or having extra snacks if she felt like it. Even though she eats unsupervised at times I still check her plate and occasionally the room to make sure everything has been eaten. I don’t know when that I will trust enough to stop doing that but even though I feel my D is in strong recovery now I think that is going to take a long time! Xx
Hi Edengirl

Well done for getting your d close to WR, great job!

You can start by picking one snack she can eat unsupervised and see how that goes. With my d I moved her to a smaller school close to WR. She had many friends at that school who didn't know about her illness and she wanted it to stay that way, so I agreed that provided her weight continues to go up, I wouldn't come in to supervise her meals. Her friends all have healthy appetites so there was no problems with eating.

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
Just my 2 cents: I think it takes a really long time for kids to feel ok about eating on their own and I would not push it too early. I knew it was ok to trust my son when he started confessing all the many ways he would throw food away, e.g., even when his dad left the room for a second. Now, more than a year past WR, he eats many meals unsupervised.  He is naturally pretty lazy about clearing his dishes, so I see his plate when I come back. He still sometimes leaves big cookie crumbs on his plate and I still prompt him to finish.
The closest we have got was tonight actually! I picked my son up from football and handed him a chocolate bar. I don't know why I did this as he always rejects any food offered spontaneously outside of the 3 meals 3 snacks.
Anyway, he had a bit of a wobble then sat in the back of the car. I assumed he'd done this so he could 'lose' the chocolate but I turned the radio off, listened to the sound of him munching and smelt the chocolate waft through the car. Having inspected the back seat when I got home I actually think it went in!! This is a miracle. He actually came home and ate dinner and pudding too. Won't be repeating it as I don't trust ed but baby steps towards a new normal can happen can't they??
He's been invited to a sleep over at a friend's house in a couple of weeks. His friend's mum knows about the ed but I'm not sure it is a good idea. We have to get a heck of a lot of calories in right now and I don't want to risk a wobble. I guess unless your child is older and more independent there's no rush for them to eat unsupervised??
That’s awesome!! Yeah, I don’t think rushing anything gets you anywhere with ed. Patience is so important. My son did a sleepover party, but only about 1 year after being WR. Now he can stumble because he really is solidly above his target weights. He rigidly sticks to 3 meals and 2 snacks and asks for them if we ever forget[wink] it’s rigid, but healthy rigid
Healthy rigid is good when compared to some of the alternatives we have all experienced or read about on here! My son asks for his snacks if we ever forget or are late too. Never sure if he's actually hungry or just wants to get it over and done with but who cares really!?
I'm pretty sure my son is actually hungry (he's 14 and very active), but he needs the clock's permission to eat. His little sister will simply go into the kitchen whenever she feels like it and grab chocolate, chips, or whatever. I don't know if he will ever get to this point, but my hope is that some day he will get closer to it.