Mealtime coaching: what to do when your child is stuck, not eating

An animated video for parents: how long should a meal last (and other common questions)

I’ve produced a new 20mn YouTube video to show parents a range of options they have when their child is sitting at the table and is stuck.

This is in answer to common questions, like

  • “How long should a meal last?”
  • “Should I insist on 100% of the meal being eaten?”
  • “If I end the meal, should I add the missing calories to the next meal?”
  • “I keep hearing I should be a brick wall and apply sanctions, but this has not worked for us. What else is out there?”

It applies to times your imperative is to help your child regain weight, and times you’re helping your child get back into eating foods that they’ve been avoiding for a while.

I dearly hope this video will help parents and loved ones of people suffering from anorexia or another restrictive eating disorder. Although my book is most relevant to parents of children and adolescents, this video may help parents and loved ones of older sufferers too. It should help you make informed choices depending on whether you’ve taken charge of your child’s eating, or you are more hands-off and assisting.

2 Replies to “Mealtime coaching: what to do when your child is stuck, not eating”

  1. Hi Eva, my 15 year old daughter has severe anorexia. She’s been suffering for around 6 months. I took her to see her GP in January but anorexia wasn’t diagnosed, instead the GP referred her to CAMHS on the grounds of feeling depressed and therefore had lost her appetite, despite my pleas for blood tests, etc, and was told we should hear something in the next 8-9 weeks! 4 weeks later I knew my daughter was dying so I rang up my GP and told them of her condition and that she needed admitting to hospital, but they told me to take her to A&E. After a 7 hour wait she was eventually examined by a consultant who confirmed my daughter was suffering from severe anorexia, and was admitted into hospital. Blood tests revealed her white blood cells were dangerously low, as was her heart beat and blood pressure, her BMI was critical, she was severely dehydrated and her kidneys had been hit hard. I feel very let down by my GP. If I hadn’t acted when I did, my daughter would have died. She spent a week in hospital and we had our first CAMHS meeting last week where they want to use Family Based Therapy. I understand this has the highest success rate for recovery, but I don’t understand Phase 1, how do you get an anorexic to eat??? Please, please, please would you provide a password so I can read on? I am desperate. X

    1. I’ve emailed you. “How do you get an anorexic to eat” is indeed the most important question, and I dearly wish you speedy success with my book and with your CAMHS’ use of family-based treatment.

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