A time of magic, but for some a time to challenge an Eating Disorder, read six ways you can support your loved ones this Christmas.

These are tips that have been distilled from experts by experience. These are shared by the NHS, the charity BEAT and the BBC, which is featuring this issue regularly to viewers. BEAT’s Helpline is open on Christmas Day from 4pm to 8pm. Ring 0808 801 0677

6 Tips

  • Serve food as a buffet rather than as a sit-down meal
  • Permit people with an eating disorder the option not to be too sociable
  • Don’t let Christmas take too much of the ‘routine’ out of meal times
  • Food is likely to feature prominently – give it some thought so you plan it sensitively. Help the person with the condition know exactly what’s coming
  • Don’t extend the time you spend at the dinner table – move to another room once the meal is over
  • Guests and family members should avoid questions about weight , appearance and appetite