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Food | Fostering

Emma’s fostering blog

Food.

Dan is 11 now and it’s been a year since he came to live here and despite making sure food is always available for him we are seeing many issues around food at home and in School.

Dan struggles with peers his own age, he gets very anxious and uses food for comfort.  There were issues when he lived at home because food wasn’t always available. Dan was hoarding food at first, I knew he felt less anxious by doing this, I guess he felt he might not get fed here; a survival mentality toward food, feeling there isn’t enough or it won’t be there the next time.

This has since stopped, however if food is around he will try anyway he can to get it, even if it means taking, persuading others, as he has done on several occasions. Last week school phoned as there have been issues in the dinner hall as Dan keeps going up for seconds and then if none is available taking students food.

I have tried everything but it doesn’t seem to make a difference whether he is on school dinner or pack lunches he just keeps on wanting more food. Complaints home that Dan keeps trying to help himself to drinks and biscuits from the cupboard in the form room at School.

When Dan comes home from school he has a snack and always a large healthy meal and not so healthy pudding. When he is given a meal he checks what everyone else has on their plate, eats quickly and scrapes the plate clean and gets every bit of food of his knife and fork.

When we go out to eat and drink it has to be the biggest not necessarily what he likes. Sometimes you can see his disappointment when food he has ordered doesn’t look as much as he thought it would, and in fast food places he always asks for the bigger meals.

We were away at the weekend; Dan asked if he could meet us at the bike ramp until we were ready to join him. About 10 minutes later we walked over to meet up with him but he wasn’t at the bike ramp. Dan was opposite sat at a table with a family we didn’t know, and he was playing on a DS that wasn’t his, and somehow he had managed to get them to buy him a drink and crisps!

My thoughts are eating disorders in foster children are almost always connected to control—either a child’s feeling of needing to control something ‘food’ when everything else feels out of control or a child’s feeling of the loss of control.

Food and routines and rituals that surround it – shopping, preparing, cooking and serving, cleaning up  are important parts of our lives, yet often we fail to recognise the symbolic or hidden meanings of these activities.

Emma – A Blogging Foster Carer – I Love What I Do!