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Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder- ARFID Case Study. Shawna Melbourn, RD, Canada

Jenny is a 12-year-old girl referred to Shawna for nutritional assessment and concern about her limited food intake due to extreme anxiety around food. On assessment both Jenny’s height and weight were clearly affected by undernourishment. She was a “good eater” until “pickiness” developed around age seven when she vomited after eating quiche. She had no body image concerns – only that she wanted to gain weight as she noticed her “bones”. Jenny wants to eat more food but can’t. In this 50-minute case study, Shawna describes her nutrition plan for Jenny in detail:

  1. Help Jenny to get back on to her growth curve (both height and weight)
  2. Increase food volume and variety
  3. Discuss what food is like for her and what she would like to change about the way she currently eats
  4. Discuss food fears
  5. Involve food exposure therapy and food chaining
  6. Ask Jenny to fill out list of Hierarchy of Foods
  7. Review meal support strategies with both Jenny and parents
  8. Demystify nutrition misconceptions with parents
  9. Follow-up

This case study is useful in consolidating the theory provided in Shawna’s webinar on ARFID.

Shawna Melbourn, Registered Dietitian Canada, has dedicated her almost 15 years of practice to supporting individuals and families that have been affected by eating disorders, disordered eating and eating challenges. She is a Certified Intuitive Eating Counsellor, a Certified Eating Disorder Registered Dietitian, and an approved supervisor with the International Association with Eating Disorder Professionals (CEDRD-S).

Shawna provides training and supervision for dietitians working in the area of eating disorders. For more information see her website

To register for the recording and associated documents including the assessment quiz click here