Parents are the first to know when their child starts behaving differently. Has your son stopped eating his favorite food, or does he refuse to eat out with friends? Has your daughter drastically increased her exercise regimen, or become obsessed with health foods? These are among the telltale signs that your child, like millions of others, may have an eating disorder (ED).
In this essential guide, registered dietitians Casey Crosbie and Wendy Sterling introduce an all-new strategy you can use to help your child at home. The Plate-by-Plate approach is rooted in family-based treatment (FBT)—the leading psychological therapy for EDs. Unlike complicated “exchange” systems, this is simple: Crosbie and Sterling coach you through every aspect of meeting your child’s nutritional needs, using just one tool—a ten-inch plate.
Paired with therapy, this intuitive, visual method is the best way to support your child on the path to recovery. Plus, the authors cover how to talk about diet and weight, what to do while traveling, what to expect from your child’s doctor, and much more.
About the Author
Casey Crosbie, RD, CEDS-S, owns Crosbie Nutrition, a California-based private practice offering individual and family work as well as professional supervision and community outreach. She is the coauthor of How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder. Her work has also been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics.
Wendy Sterling, MS, RD, CEDS-S, CSSD, specializes in eating disorders and sports nutrition. She is the co-author of How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder, Raising Body Positive Teens, and No Weigh! Her work has also been published in the International Journal of Eating Disorders. She maintains a private practice in the San Francisco Bay Area.
“[With] simple and clear yet science-backed recommendations, and professional yet compassionate tone . . . I’d recommend this book to any RD who works with young ED clients participating in FBT.”—Today’s Dietitian
“A key tenet of family-based treatment (FBT) for adolescent anorexia nervosa (AN) is to empower parents so that they (the parents) can bring about weight restoration for their teen. This process is a delicate one—the clinician is to support the parents’ efforts without telling them what to do, yet steering them in the right direction. Parents and providers can get tripped up in this task as weight restoration seldom follows a straight upward trajectory. A solid under-standing of the nutritional requirements for recovery in AN is key to getting this task done. That said, the foundation model of FBT does not specify how best to integrate nutritional expertise in this treatment. This book offers a terrific start to this process—it will inform parents rather than prescribe to parents. Crosbie and Sterling take great care to use their nutritional expertise to complement the key FBT tenets. As a result, How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder will be a helpful tool not only to parents, but also to the many clinicians who are tasked with supporting parents in their struggle to help their child overcome an eating disorder.”—Daniel Le Grange, PhD, Benioff UCSF Professor in Children’s Health and Eating Disorders director, Department of Psychiatry and UCSF Weill Institute for Neurosciences, University of California, San Francisco, and emeritus professor of psychiatry and behavioral neuroscience, the University of Chicago
“For the parents of patients with eating disorders, this book, written by two prominent nutritionists, provides a comprehensive understanding of the illness and a practical approach to the refeeding process. Overall, an excellent summary of what parents need to know.”—Martin Fisher, MD, chief, Division of Adolescent Medicine, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, Northwell Health
“I highly recommend this book to any parent whose child has an eating disorder! How To Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder provides concrete tools—based in science—in a friendly, compassionate, and easy-to-understand way.”—Jenni Schaefer, bestselling author of Life Without Ed; Goodbye Ed, Hello Me; and Almost Anorexic
“Parents: This book is your play-by-play for exactly how you can help your child heal their mind and body with food!”—Rebecca Scritchfield, RDN, EP-C, author of Body Kindness
“Casey Crosbie and Wendy Sterling’s practical book is an innovative and user-friendly resource on how to nourish a child with an eating disorder back to health. Crosbie and Sterling provide an important adjunctive approach to FBT, the first-line outpatient treatment for eating disorders. This excellent resource offers helpful strategies to empower parents and caregivers to play an active role in their adolescent’s recovery.”—Debra K. Katzman, MD, FRCPC, Professor of Pediatrics, The Hospital for Sick Children and University of Toronto and Director, Health Science Research, MD Program University of Toronto
“Family-based treatment is extremely effective, yet difficult. How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder provides just the help parents need to ensure their child will recover at home.”—Marcia Herrin, EdD, MPH, RDN, FAED, author of the Parent’s Guide to Eating Disorders and Nutrition Counseling in the Treatment of Eating Disorders
“Offering necessary support to families and caregivers facing an eating disorder, this book will be a lifesaver. Casey Crosbie and Wendy Sterling offer clarity and specific guidance on how to navigate the three phases of FBT with their Plate-by-Plate approach. Feeding any child is a phenomenal task, and when facing ED it really does take a village—crucially, including a registered dietitian (RD). I’m thrilled to have this resource to share with families who are coaching with me through this journey.”—Becky Henry, CPCC, ACC, founder and president, Hope Network, LLC, Eating Disorder Caregiver Support
“Providing relief for parents and clinicians, Crosbie and Sterling not only guide you on how to put together balanced plates to aid in the restoration of health, but also cover such topics as medical stability, when to sit your child out from exercise, and what to do when your child’s old clothes no longer fit. The approach shines in coaching parents on the ultimate pursuit of food freedom for their child—and it works.”—Signe Darpinian, LMFT, CEDS-S, president of San Francisco Bay Area iaedp chapter and coauthor of No Weigh!! A Teen’s Guide to Body Image, Food, and Emotional Wisdom
“Crosbie and Sterling, registered dietitians and experts in the treatment of eating disorders, have created a comprehensive yet easy-to-follow guide that addresses both the nutritional and emotional aspects of recovery. The practical and user-friendly tips are sure to help any family navigate the various phases of reducing fear and forming new and positive relationships with food.”—Carrie Spindel Bashoff, PsyD, child and adolescent clinical psychologist, adjunct assistant professor NYU School of Medicine
“Some of us are adrift in a fog of uncertainty at each meal we prepare. This book gives answers without tying us up in rules. Add this to your family-based treatment library for clear, competent guidance on food, exercise, weight, and health—and on what to serve to rebuild your child’s flexibility, normalize their attitude toward eating, and prepare them for independence.”—Eva Musby, parent and author of Anorexia and Other Eating Disorders: How to Help Your Child Eat Well and Be Well
“This book is a must read for any parent with a child struggling with an unbalanced relationship with food. Wendy and Casey have developed a straightforward approach that equips and empowers parents to feed their child and achieve greater food freedom. They illustrate how parents can challenge fear foods through exposures, reduce obsessiveness related to food, and facilitate a more wholesome relationship to food, supporting a child’s recovery through every step!”—Riley Nickols, PhD, sport psychologist and director of the Victory Program
“An essential resource for parents of children struggling to overcome an eating disorder. This book boils down the science of eating disorder recovery with practical tips for every stage of healing. I wish my parents had access to this book when I was going through my eating disorder.”—Kristina Saffran, cofounder and CEO, Project HEAL
“When I was suffering with an eating disorder my parents struggled to find a book that could provide support and strategies both for themselves and for me. Today’s parents are lucky to have How to Nourish Your Child Through an Eating Disorder, which provides great insight into how to effectively nourish your child at home through the innovative Plate-by-Plate approach. It’s sure to help countless families!”—Liana Rosenman, cofounder of Project HEAL
“With this invaluable resource, leading nutritionists Crosbie and Sterling coach parents on how to feed their child balanced meals using the Plate-by-Plate approach, helping them navigate the complex demands of the eating disorder—and empowering them to fight back.”—Laura Kimeldorf, MD, psychiatrist, New York City
“Food morphs into a crippling fear when an eating disorder develops. This Plate-by-Plate approach offers a way for parents and other caregivers to guide their loved one to dismantling the fear—and help renourish their mind and body and get their life back on track. I wish this had been available to my parents when I was a kid.”—June Alexander, PhD, author of Using Writing as a Therapy for Eating Disorders and coauthor with Daniel Le Grange of My Kid Is Back