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Tips for Family Mealtime

Tips for Family Mealtime

By Bobbi Boteler, RD, LD, CEDRD. I had the opportunity to speak at my children’s PTA this past month. Many parents were inquiring about “healthy meals and snacks” that are family friendly.  I was honored they thought of me as their guide. I took this as an opportunity to further educate parents and teachers on Health at Every Size, Ellyn Satter’s Division of Responsibility with Feeding, along with some of the curriculum changes we have been working on behind the scenes with the county.   I wanted to preface my talk with a gentle reminder to parents that there is no “perfect” when it comes to feeding your family.   I feel there is so much unspoken pressure on especially moms, to have a picture-perfect, Pinterest-ready, meal on the table more often than not.  As a mom of 3 who works part time and doesn’t find cooking at all thrilling, this is not my reality most days. I pulled a Brene Brown and showed some vulnerability, sharing about a time my husband fed my three kids chips with ketchup on paper plates for breakfast one Saturday morning while I was at work.  I wanted to die, but after I pulled myself together, I reminded myself they were safe, being fed preferred, familiar food and they were all sitting down at the meal together. What exactly is our job as parents anyways?  Ellyn Satter lays this out for us beautifully with her Division of Responsibility.  Parents have certain jobs in the feeding process and children likewise. For Parents, our jobs include WHAT we are feeding our children, WHEN in the...
Top Ten Gold Nuggets from Jennifer Gaudiani’s Talk for Eating Disorder Professionals at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) Conference

Top Ten Gold Nuggets from Jennifer Gaudiani’s Talk for Eating Disorder Professionals at the International Association of Eating Disorder Professionals (IAEDP) Conference

Eating Disorder Facts: New Information Learned Being a lifetime learner, one of my favorite activities is going to conferences and learning new information to bring back to my clients to help them recover from eating disorders. Many times the conferences reinforce things we are already doing, rekindles our passion to help our clients heal their relationships with food and themselves, reminds us to use new activities and metaphors and most importantly stimulates us to be the best nutritionists that we can be. Here are some gold nuggets I learned from the first speaker: Jennifer L. Gaudiani, MD, CEDS spoke on Advanced Medical Management of Critical Eating Disorders for the Highly Experienced Medical Professional: Optimizing Your Program’s Clinical/Medical Outcomes. This was the second time that I was able to hear Jennifer speak in person. I have heard her numerous times on video-conferences and I learn so much each time from her extensive experience working with critically ill patients. 1. She spoke on the importance of checking blood glucose with her clients with anorexia nervosa. As Registered Dietitians, we are already trained in glucose monitoring, so let’s check blood sugars! Make sure all labs are drawn STAT. Many clients with anorexia experience chronically low blood sugar with no symptoms. Make sure a Registered Dietitian is one of the first members of the treatment team to see the client. 2. Because one of the symptoms of an eating disorder is ambivalence to recovery, emphasize gently where the client is NOT FINE. For instance, use this metaphor: many people are in denial that their house is on fire just because the sidewalk is...
From College Girl to College Girl: Quick Meals for Apartment Living

From College Girl to College Girl: Quick Meals for Apartment Living

This is a throwback post to when I was a college student. I loved writing blogs back then. Me and my best friend, Shelby Santin, wrote tagged teamed and wrote these blogs together. I edited it a bit to make sure it aligns with my message today. -Alex Raymond Yes, it’s tough. Between studying and work and extracurriculars, finding time to make yourself meals seems impossible. It’s important to remember that feeding yourself is a very basic form of self care. That’s why we’re here to help! Here are some of our favorite 10 minutes or less meals. (these meals tend to be less messy, so it’s a quick clean up too!!) Staple foods: Here is a list of some non-perishables that you could always have in your apartment. You can make tons of meals with these. Beans—chick peas, black beans, kidney beans… all the beans! Canned tuna, salmon, and chicken Pasta (obviously) Instant Rice Frozen Veggies (these are cheaper than fresh too!) Spinach Mixed stir fry veggies Broccoli Mixed Peppers Frozen chicken breast, tilapia, salmon Frozen meals   Breakfast: *You can even make these two breakfasts in a dorm room. No kitchen required!* Overnight Oats: Assemble the night before, and you have a protein-packed, grab-and-go breakfast 1/3 cup rolled oats 1/3 cup plain yogurt 1/3 to 1/2 cup milk (use less to make the oatmeal thicker) ½ banana Cinnamon Feel free to add other fruits to the oatmeal, like berries. You can also top it with nut butter in the morning. I personally like crunchy peanut butter! Eggs In A Mug: All you need is a coffee mug...
Client Corner: A Beautiful Beginning

Client Corner: A Beautiful Beginning

One of my amazing clients who is studying abroad and who is in recovery from her own eating disorder, has been internally battling how to best help a close friend of hers whom she knows is struggling significantly with her own eating disorder.  My client felt it was her calling to use her own experience, passion, and hope, to step out of her comfort zone and try to help her friend.  “How can I not get her help when I know how amazing this process of recovery is?”  We had been processing this for several weeks, as it is a very fragile situation.  My client finally decided it was the right time to approach her friend, and this is the email I just received: “Dearest Bobbi, I am just praising God right now for your instrumental role in restoring broken people to wholeness. Do you realize that the work you do each day is impacting eternity? It’s fulfilling the longing of Christ’s heart for His creation. You are so vital to this world! So thank you! Last night I finally worked up the courage to talk to my friend about the way she was eating. It was so uncomfortable and awkward, and her face showed that she completely shut down. She did not argue with me. She did not defend herself. She boldly asked me to give her specific examples of the behaviors I’ve noticed. When I did that, she humbly said, ‘I know I still have a long way to go; I just don’t know how to eat though. I don’t know what’s normal or where to start.’...
How to Approach your Parents about an Eating Disorder

How to Approach your Parents about an Eating Disorder

How to talk to your parents about an eating disorder Let me start by saying that an Eating Disorder is a serious medical condition with both physical and psychological co-morbidities. I also want to tell you this is not your fault, nor is this a choice. You were overcome by a dangerous, confusing disorder and telling someone about it is the best way to begin the road of recovery. One of the benefits of telling your parents is to make the Eating Disorder less powerful, now someone else knows not just you, your support team is beginning to form. Often times, our clients may chose to write a letter, which helps to make sure you get everything important out and gives your parents time to digest the information. There is nothing more powerful than the love of your parents, and telling them how they can help you and support you is all you need to do. Even if they don’t quite understand, this is the first step, then you can work with your team (doctor, dietitian, therapist) to help educate the whole family. When discussing the information, pick a comfortable, safe place where you will not be interrupted. Make sure to tell them: How much you are hurting How you feel like you have lost control You need a medical team in place to help with recovery It may help to use the following phrase if you are having trouble starting the conversation: “Mom/Dad, I have something really important to share with you.  Please know this is very difficult for me to do, and all I need right now...

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