May 17, 2012

On Food.

I’ve done lots of thinking and bouncing ideas back and forth with Bella’s therapist the past couple of days.


I reminded myself for the 598,000,000,000th time that this is not about me controlling a situation. And then I reminded myself again. Because when you’re in one of these situations, the adult/parent/everything everyone else tells you is the right thing to do reaction is to buckle down and hold your ground.


Not. the. point.


It’s not about controlling what she eats or when she eats or if she doesn’t eat when we eat she won’t eat until morning.

All things I’ve told myself a million times, but needed to hear it again to be able to come up with viable solutions to this vomit issue.

This is about trauma, and her needing to be able to control something in her little banged up, pushed around life.  Someday therapeutic parenting will come naturally to me.  Someday.



I watched this video by Karen Purvis. (She’s my hero.)


Engaging Food Battles with Connection in Mind « Empowered To Connect


It won’t let me actually post the video on Blogger, but it’s totally worth the watch.



I think we’ve come up with a couple of therapeutic ways of giving her control, but also helping her to be healthy, love her body, and for goodness sakes, stop puking.



in a last ditch effort that was not actually very thought through – and over all may not be the most therapeutic thing to do, I told her that any day that she does not puke at all that she will get a treat after dinner.

Treats hold mega sway with Bella.

Today, she came in to me after lunch and said, “Hey Maggie, I ate up all my lunch and I didn’t even throw up!  Maybe I’ll get a treat today!!”




my sister gave me a great thought.  I realized that never, not once, have snacks been an issue.  It always revolves around meals.  So, I’m going to try to start getting her most of her food just through snacks.  Then I don’t have to worry about if she is getting too little if she refuses a meal, and that battle can be over.

Every day I’m going to make her a “snack bucket”.  I’m going to fill it with lots of snacks that are all healthy choices.  I’ll tell her that anytime she wants a snack just to ask and she can pick anything she wants out of her snack bucket.  This gives her complete control over choosing what she wants and when she wants it.  If I frame it all as a snack, then I don’t think we’ll have the puke issues (due to food control, anyway).  If she eats 10 snacks in a day, as long as they are all healthy, I don’t care – and then when we get to dinner and she refuses to eat, I don’t have to worry about if she’s gotten her nutrition.



I’m excited about this.

I feel like it’s a good way to treat both her body, and her trauma control fears.  It requires that I completely let go of any delusions of control, which is good for me too.


If it works out well, all we’ll have left is the vomiting from anxiety.  One issue at a time.  I’ll keep you posted.


  1. Ah yes - the snack bucket! That sounds like a brilliant solution to me!

    We had some girls once that had huge food issues. They didn't vomit, but they couldn't handle the family time. They ran from the table saying they didn't want to eat at almost every meal. Then, once convinced to come to the table, they rejected what was being served almost every single meal. (The community of family time freaked them out bad!)
    I made three rules for them:
    1. A small serving of everything being served will be put on your plate. (Just having to look at the new food made it easier for them to eventually try it. Sometimes that meal. Sometimes the next time I served it.)
    2. If you won't want what is being served, peanut butter & jelly is always available. (They loved PB&J)
    3. A snack will be offered every day. If you don't like the choice, refer to rule two.

    Food issues with children that have suffered trauma can be so complex. I'm betting the snack bucket will help a lot!

  2. You are a the snack bucket idea!! let me know how it goes

  3. I can't wait to hear how this works out!

  4. I have enjoyed your site so I've nominated you for the Illuminating Blogger Award for illuminating, informative blog content. You can check out the details at my site ... ... Hope you're having a great day!


Thanks for commenting!!


Related Posts with Thumbnails