Eating disorders are serious illness that can be life threatening. It can be overwhelming for families to cope with an eating disorder and meal times are often extremely difficult for youth, parents, and siblings. Nevertheless, supporting youth with meals is an important part of recovery from an eating disorder.
The Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre has developed a number of videos and tools to help parents and families. These materials explain ways to provide structure and support to youth with eating disorders before, during, and after meals. These videos are available in English, Korean, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese, French and Punjabi.
No matter which tools you decide to use, please remember the 4C’s of meal support:
- Remain Calm. Youth are typically stressed and sensitive to others’ negative emotions during meals. Staying calm helps foster a more peaceful and predictable environment.
- Be Confident. The more confident you appear the more reassured they will feel.
- Be Consistent. Stick with what you’ve decided and don’t negotiate.
- Be Compassionate. Understand that they are doing something that is very difficult for them.
(Note: this video can also be viewed in 6 separate chapters from the Kelty Mental Health Resource Centre YouTube channel).