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Question
Posted by: Anon | 2009/12/04

My step-daughter is anorexic and teaching her son her eating disorder

My step-daughter suffers from anorexia, smokes, drinks coffee &  sodas all day to suppress her apetite and eats a lot of sweets/cakes. She also tends to give these to her son. As she doesn' t have an apetite she is not always aware that her 2 yr old son is hungry or needs nutritious food - he can' t tell her. She tends to feed him the same foods - and assumes he is turning the food away because he is not hungry, but it is rather because it is monotonous. As a result, she won' t try and feed him something that he may want to eat. Surely he can' t live on precooked woolworths foods, cokes and cake. He has even started to turn fruit away - natural nutriuents for chocolates. I am at my wits end. Please help

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageDietDoc

Dear Anon
This is indeed a most unfortunate situation because the little boy needs to have a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients he needs to grow and be healthy. Your step-daughter also needs help for her anorexia. I don't know what kind of a relationship you have with your step-daughter, but I would guess that anything you say to her will be rejected as "interference". So the only avenue that is open to you is to discuss this double problem with your husband and ask him to sit his daughter down and talk to her. She requires help from a combined team, consisting of a clinical psychologist and a dietitian to help her with the anorexia. When she sees the dietitian, the problem of her son's unbalanced diet also needs to be addressed. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. If you are in Gauteng then it may help to contact Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs you can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on: www.riverviewmanor.co.za
Holding thumbs for all of you.
Best regards
DietDoc

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Our users say:
Posted by: DietDoc | 2009/12/05

Dear Anon
This is indeed a most unfortunate situation because the little boy needs to have a balanced diet that contains all the nutrients he needs to grow and be healthy. Your step-daughter also needs help for her anorexia. I don't know what kind of a relationship you have with your step-daughter, but I would guess that anything you say to her will be rejected as "interference". So the only avenue that is open to you is to discuss this double problem with your husband and ask him to sit his daughter down and talk to her. She requires help from a combined team, consisting of a clinical psychologist and a dietitian to help her with the anorexia. When she sees the dietitian, the problem of her son's unbalanced diet also needs to be addressed. Visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area. If you are in Gauteng then it may help to contact Tara Hospital as they have an Eating Disorder clinic (phone (011) 783-2010. In Cape Town and environs you can contact the Kenilworth Clinic (021) 797-1400 and in KwaZulu Natal there is Riverview Manor (033) 701-1911, or contact them on: www.riverviewmanor.co.za
Holding thumbs for all of you.
Best regards
DietDoc

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