Try making your family’s holiday traditions more about relationships and activities than about food.
· Don’t skip meals or plan to undereat or diet the day following a family holiday.
· Talk to other family members in advance about not pushing food or commenting on diets, calories, or weight loss. Even too much emphasis on trying to make healthy choices at holiday meals can add to the stress.
· It is particularly important if your child is recovering from a serious eating disorder to have pre-warned family members about the kind of talk and attention that is appropriate. I suggest that parents develop a kind of code or signal that tells family members or other guests, “change the subject, and fast!”
· Because meal schedules may be altered and more snack foods and desserts are served during the holidays, it’s important that parents of an eating-disordered child be extra-solicitous and vigilant. If circumstances conspire to create a level of stress that interferes with your child’s recovery, you and your child should sit down and prioritize the extras in your lives. Remember that the first item on your list of important things to accomplish – even during the holidays -- should be your child’s recovery.