Meal Support Instructions

Meal Support Helpers

The putting together of meal support teams is a practice that has been an important part of the treatment for many young eating disorders sufferers for over 30 years. In encouraging you in your gift, allow me to provide a few ideas that may make the meal support activity easier.

Basic Concepts:
1. Eating disorders are very resilient and incredibly difficult to cure. There is nothing that you will do or say in good faith that will “make it worst”. This disease process has a life of its own and like a train, it just keeps on rolling pretty well regardless of what others say.
2. As a helper, you will not cure this for the sufferer. Getting rid of this disorder is a long struggle with many phases. In the end, it is a combination of interventions that wins the battle with the main ingredient being “I am willing to let my body decide how much I will weigh, my only responsibility is to eat well when I am hungry”.
3. The eating disorder, “ED” is fed by a desire to be trim or thin. This is the untruth, the idea that one can decide on one’s body shape. The genes do that. To try and control is to hurt yourself.

Basic Rules for being a meal support person:
1. Your role is not to get a person to eat more. Your role is to accompany a person in a meal. The only reminders you can give is (a) “yes this portion is normal” and (b) “chew your food well to allow your body become aware of the food in a healthy way”.
2. For the rest, just be a good parent or friend and talk about positive things unrelated to food.
3. Start and end your meals together and give it about 45 minutes.

One approach to meal serving (when the therapist goves the go ahead) is for the meal partner to serve two plates. The sufferer then will chose one of the two plates and then you both sit down.

Binge Prevention

  •  Cravings and urges usually last 20 minutes. Just delay any actions for 20 minutes.
  • Call a friend. Talk until the craving or urge goes away.
  • Take a walk or do some exercise.
  • Leave the house so that you don’t have access to a toilet or to a fridge.

Dangerous Foods

1. Salty Foods (like chips or salted peanuts)
2. All White Flour Foods (like White Pasta and White Bread)
3. Sugar (like deserts, candy, doughnuts and ice-cream)
4. Deep fried foods of all kinds

Healthy Fats Guide


Vegetable % of Carbohydrates % of Fats % of Proteins Glycemic Index Quantity
Beet, canned 90 3 7 64 246g
Black Beans, boiled 74 3 23 64 172g
Beet, cooked 71 6 23 30 144g
Beet, greens 71 6 23 64 144g
White Sweet Corn, raw 80 11 9 56 254g
Parsnips 91 4 5 97 178g
Potato New, boiled 93 1 6 59 78g
Potato Red, baked 88 2 10 93 299g
Sweet Potato 93 1 6 52 200g
White Potato, mashed 90 1 9 70 299g
Tomato, orange 72 10 18 50 158g
Tomato soup 84 8 8 38 121g
Yam 95 1 4 54 136g
Green Peas, soup 65 15 20 66 128g
Green Peas, frozen 72 4 24 47 134g
Peas, boiled 68 5 27 48 160g
Lima Beans, frozen 76 2 22 32 311g
Baked Beans, canned 79 3 18 48 253g
Kidney Beans, boiled 73 3 24 29 1 cup
Garbanzo Beans (Chickpeas) 78 8 14 33 240g
Lima Beans 77 3 20 32 124g
Navy Beans 74 3 23 38 262g
Pinto Beans, canned 72 8 20 39 240g
Lentils, boiled 70 3 27 30 200g
Plantains, cooked 97 1 2 70 200g
Winter Acorn, baked 93 2 5 205g
Winter Butternut, boiled 93 2 5 51 205g


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