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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ed_newbie
I'm pretty new to ED as my daughter has just been diagnosed.  I have done lots of reading here and other places, but there is one thing that is puzzling me.  Does anyone have any suggestions on how to break the water only habit?  Water is the only liquid my 13 yr old d will drink right now.  She admits it is a safe "food" and that she fears any other drinks.

Any thoughts or suggestions on how to approach this?  She's beginning to branch out to try old/non-safe list foods again, but this water only habit is a tough nut to crack.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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mdmama

Hi, ed_newbie. I'm fairly new here, too-- my daughter was diagnosed just two months ago but has already spent a week in the hospital and is now doing really well with the refeeding process. She's 12, so not too different in age from your girl.  

My instinct tells me that the beverage at a meal has to be treated just like everything else served to your child at mealtime-- non-negotiable, and something that must be finished completely. You might start out small with a half a glass of something-- lemonade, carbonated apple cider (nonalcoholic of course! my ED girl really likes this), chocolate milk-- alongside a half a glass of water. But don't offer too much water (and no refills-- she may be trying to "water load," or fill up on water so she can claim she's too full to eat; my girl did this), and insist she finish the non-water beverage just as you are insisting that she finish her food.

I can understand where your girl is coming from. Our family has always been big water drinkers, with a pitcher on the table and water served for every meal, usually without other beverages (except a dinnertime glass of wine for the parents!). But our nutritionist was adamant that liquid calories are very important if we want to ensure a steady weight gain. At the beginning of refeeding, the only things my girl really drank besides water were an occasional Boost supplement drink, maybe one glass of milk each day, and once in a while, lemonade. She was gaining weight, but not quite as quickly as the ED treatment team wanted her to. So over the holidays we redoubled our effort to increase calories with liquids-- our nutritionist wanted us to aim for 1000 calories a day just from liquids! And we have done it, and saw fantastic results at our most recent weigh-in a few days ago.

Here are the beverages for a typical day now:
Breakfast: glass of "milk" (which is really one-quarter 1/2 and 1/2, and three quarters whole milk) plus small glass of water
Snack at school: one Boost VHC (530 calories; I pour it from the carton into an unlabeled bottle first thing in the morning)
Lunch: cranberry/raspberry juice or lemonade (again poured from big container into a smaller unlabeled bottle) plus a small bottle of water
Afternoon snack: more juice, or chocolate milk (which includes heavy whipping cream the way I make it now!)
Dinner: glass of "milk", small glass of water

So you can see how we can get up to 1000 calories a day of liquids. 

Good luck-- there are some wonderful juice combinations available now and I think you can find some interesting ones to try once you've gotten her started on non-water beverages.


_______
D diagnosed with AN November 2015 , the week she turned 12. Gaining slowly but steadily, fingers crossed...
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iHateED

I just want to say hi and welcome to a great group where you will find lots of amazing tips and advice for navigating through this horrible illness.  I am so sorry you need to be here.  

As mdmama said, beverages should be just as non-negotiable as the rest of her meals and snacks.   I read on your other post that you are using FBT which is where the parents pick all the meals and snacks for your child each day.   It seems like it would be helpful to give your D choices (we thought that too at first, I think everyone does!) but you will quickly find out that no choices are best.  It creates more anxiety for the sufferer as they try to calculate which would be the less calorie option and which one the ED voice will let them have.  You don't want to give ED a voice, so you can't give your D choices.   We gave our D choice of flavors for yogurts and things but that is about it.   

As far as drinks, you really need them to increase your daily calories.  Heavy Whipping Cream (HWC) or double cream depending on where you are from, should be added to every glass of whole mile to boost the calories.   If you haven't started your D drinking daily smoothies, this might be a good place to start for a snack.    I made mine in a small blender so it only made one at a time.  I never, ever allowed my D to know what was in the smoothie but she assumed it was a yogurt and some juice and some frozen fruit.   In truth, it had two Liberte yogurts, a few spoons of Canola oil, some juice and a some frozen fruit.   It wasn't that big so it didn't look overwhelming.  Others on here use Hagan Dazz ice cream or HWC in their smoothies too.  You can really pack a punch with between 700-1000 calories in just one drink!

Sending you hugs as you work through this with your D.  I can tell you it takes lots and lots of time, more than I would have imagined.      For us, it was horrible to go through and hell for all of us.  My D was in High School and she had to come out to my car everyday for a full lunch or she couldn't go back to school for the afternoon.  I learned early on that if I didn't see her eat it, then she didn't!   You want to trust your D but your can't trust the ED.  Just remember that what she says and does right now is not really her.  You will get your real D back again.  It took my D two years to see full recovery but I can proudly say she is happy and healthy now with her ED in the past.


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ed_newbie
Thank you mdmama and ihateed for this great advice. Can anyone explain this thing called magic plate I've been reading about? Is this the parent making the choices instead of the child or am I totally off base?

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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rosalind50
Hi ed_newbie,
Sory you are here on this forum but it certainly helps to share with others in the same boat. My D also refuses to drink anything except water although I never give up trying to give her a tiny glass of apple juice with dinner. She now manages a few sips and I will keep persevering so hope you can too. The Magic Plate is as you say he parent taking total control and it works! There isa link on here somewhere! I'm sure someone will know how to access.
Good luck and keep going xxx
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Colleen

Hi ed_newbie,

"Magic Plate" is an ATDT concept.  It means that the parents choose the foods and the amounts.  They prepare and plate the food without input or negotiation from the child (really, ED).  The child's only job is to eat it--100% of it.

You can find some helpful posts in the Hall of Fame (link at top of page).  These might be helpful to you now:

How to get a stubborn anorexic to eat

In your reading, do you have "Help Your Teenager Beat an ED" by Lock and LeGrange?  I'd also recommend "Brave Girl Eating" by Harriet Brown--think it's especially appropriate for you now.  Check out this article by Harriet in the NY Times:  One Spoonful at at Time.  She wrote this prior to her book, and it has inspired many parents to really dig in and refeed their starving children.  Other awesome books:  "Eating with Your Anorexic" and "Throwing Starfish Across the Sea" by Laura Collins.  There are a lot of really crap books out there, but these will help you head in the right direction.

Good for you for getting started!!!
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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ed_newbie
Thanks for the feedback and info on magic plate and I have some good news to share - we went out for Mexican food last night and she had a Pina Colada (non alchoholic) and gave me the thumbs up!!

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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Colleen
Wish we had a LIKE button!!!  Woo-hooo!
Colleen in the great Pacific Northwest, USA

"What some call health, if purchased by perpetual anxiety about diet, isn't much better than tedious disease."
Alexander Pope, 1688-1744
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momon
Great job! And remember that experience as you go forward: if you didn't ask her to try the pina colada, she couldn't have had a success. It's hard to keep trying when you know she may resist, but it is the road to progress.
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ed_newbie
A bit more progress this week - chocolate milk and a smoothie. I'm so happy about this but also noticing she's more anxious and mood swings quite abrupt and extreme. I wonder how much of this is the ED vs raging hormones or maybe both?

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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ed_newbie
A quick update:  D has started to ask for a glass of whole milk at each meal and snack.  I am thrilled about these extra liquid calories.  But also a bit wary as I believe ED has her convinced that if she has lots of calcium her bones will grow and she will become taller and therefore avoid getting "fat" by gaining while staying the same height (read prior posts about wanting to become a model).  D also had a yogurt yesterday the first in many months, yet still recoils at the idea of a smoothie.  This ED is quite the oddball.    

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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sk8r31
Glad to hear that your d is requesting whole milk at meals, and that you've been successful at getting smoothies in some of the time, despite objections.

It took us ages to get our d to accept a nightly smoothie, but it really was key for her in terms of getting to WR quickly.

The ED 'logic' of course is skewed, and what your d may be thinking or saying with regard to calcium etc, doesn't really matter....as long as you are able to get the calories in and the weight going on.

It can take quite some time for 'brain healing' to catch up with physical healing, so be prepared that it will indeed take time before you might have a 'logical' conversation about anything food-related.  A gently 'hmmm' or distraction if there is continued focus and talk about such things might be needed.

Hang in there.  Sounds like you are doing a fab job.

Warmly,
sk8r31

It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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ed_newbie
Thanks for the encouragement sk8r31.  I'll keep pushing the smoothies.  I may start with milk shakes made with high fat ice cream since she's actually enjoying her daily ice cream.

"Lineage, personality and environment may shape you, but they do not define your full potential."    Mollie Marti  

ed_newbie

15 yr old d diagnosed with AN late December 2015 at the age of 12 after a 23 lb weight loss during prior 3 months. Started FBT/Maudsley at home on Christmas Eve with support from amazing local nutritionist specializing in ED and trained in FBT. WR Feb 2016 and pushing our way through puberty and rapid growth.
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Psycho_Mom
Oh, gosh, milk shakes are just as good as smoothies. You can make the shake with cream and add Canola oil, too.
Awesome that "ed logic" is working in your favor. Some of my d's most feared foods were popcorn and and Vitamin water. And she had trouble drinking enough water, too. There's no logic in ed logic!
good job, keep going,


D diagnosed with EDNOS May 2013 at age 15, refed at home Aug 2013, since then symptoms gradually lessened and we retaught her how to feed and care for herself, including individual therapy, family skills DBT class, SSRI medication and relapse-prevention strategies. Anxiety was pre-existing and I believe she was sporadically restricting since about age 9. She now eats and behaves like any normal older teen, and is enjoying school, friends, sports, music and thinking about the future.
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sk8r31
Yes!  Milkshakes are perfect too!  If that's easier for your d to accept...go for it!

Hope things continue on well for you!
It is good to not only hope to be successful, but to expect it and accept it--Maya Angelou
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