By

Jennifer Low is a Registered Dietitian, with an MSc in Nutrition and a degree in Psychology. Clinically she specialises in disordered eating, bariatric surgery and IBS.

To help support people with an eating disorder, and keep Christmas relaxed and as much fun as possible, here’s some practical advice for family and friends:

🌟Keep things simple – not too much rushing around, not too many people

🌟Warn other guests not to comment on food intake, diets, body weight or shape

🌟Have a plan of what to say should another guest make a comment that could upset the person with the eating disorder – divert, distract and move on as quickly as possible

🌟Remember, even an innocuous comments such as ‘you look well’ can be a trigger for that person

🌟Plan food and timings well in advance and consider how any meal plan the person is following can fit in with that

🌟Keep in mind that on Christmas Day there is no judgement or watching of food intake – do not expect too much

🌟 Let the person who has the eating disorder choose what to eat (with your help if they want it)

🌟Don’t make it all about the food. Plan fun activities, such as games and walks (if appropriate)

🌟Make sure the person with an eating disorder can take a break if they need to, without judgement or comment

For more advice on eating disorders, visit Beat‘s website – The UK’s Eating Disorder Charity