What could I give that would be appreciated?

These are questions that relatives or friends of a person suffering from an eating disorder may ask themselves.

Relationships we have with our relatives can be complicated when we are suffering.
Often our loved ones don’t always know the right words to use or which choices to make.

As the holiday season approaches, we interviewed our large Feeleat community to get some ideas.
We wanted to share a few tips to help those wanting to please a loved one with their Xmas gift without hurting any feelings or causing any embarrassment to either party.

What you should avoid

  • Chocolates, candy, cookingclasses, …: whether the person suffers from bulimia/hyperphagia or anorexia, offering something to eat or food-related may put them in a difficult situation;
  • Clothes: choosing this type of gift is likely to be a real headache (What size is she/he currently? Will it still fit in a few months…). For the person receiving the gift, the confrontation is likely to be even more complicated if the chosen size is not right for them or if they don’t feel comfortable in the clothes you’ve bought;
  • A gift card or money: could be a good idea that backfires, resulting in the person thinking that it’s just so complicated to find a gift for them that you’d rather offload the responsibility of finding something that they might like.

Appropriate ideas

  • A ticket for a concert, a theatre, a show, … and why not with you? It could be a great opportunity to have a good time out together, without any connection to the person’s difficulties;
  • A body cream, a massage, make-up, jewellery…: something to take care of themselves;
  • A book: something to get away from it all and take their mind off things;
  • A plant: to brighten up their interior or exterior, that they can keep and appreciate long after the holiday
  • monthly subscription boxbeauty, jewellery, creative hobbies, … sending a small gift over several months;
  • A cookery book: this could be double-edged, but may also help the person to find pleasure in cooking again, testing new recipes and reconnecting with their food. Watch out though, this gift may not be suitable for those who cook a lot for others but not for themselves!



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