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FBT Informed Nutrition Counseling For Dietitians

(Editor’s Note: Please pass this on to dietitians who you feel could benefit from this course)

By Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D., FAED, CEDS-S

The EDRD Pro course—Working With Adolescents and Their Families in Eating Disorder Treatment: FBT-Informed Nutrition Counseling for Dietitians (Version 2.0)—is launching November 1 and I am so excited to share it with dietitians and other practitioners around the world. As someone who has specialized in providing Family-Based Treatment, I recognize the dearth of dietitians who are trained to support families doing FBT. That’s why I am so excited to bring this collaboration with Katie Grubiak, RDN to life in partnership with EDRD Pro.

This course is truly a baby that has been under development for many years. Katie and I have been working with teen clients and their families for about 10 years now, and we are so eager for dietitians everywhere to get the training and the support needed to do this work using elements of FBT. Katie is truly a gem and I have been eager to clone her for many years.

FBT requires a significant pivot for dietitians who are used to working with adults in medical nutrition therapy. For the majority of RDNs, they have never been set up for success or offered accessible training on how to work with adolescents. For that reason, this course is a game-changer for the field because dietitians have the incredible skill set and compassion combined with their expertise in nutrition needed for this work. Among the key shifts dietitians pivoting to FBT will need to understand are the following:

■ The dietitian does not need to meet with teen
■ The dietitian works with the parents to empower them to develop the meal plan and to feed
■ Much higher-calorie meal plans are possible and needed
■ DBT skills can be helpful for dysregulation
■ Distraction is far more useful than mindfulness
■ Within the course of FBT, Intuitive Eating is not necessarily the goal

The field needs more RDs who are informed about FBT and who can confidently step up and support families struggling with eating disorders. There are too many families who are unable to access care whether it’s due to geography, or insurance, or just wanting to help their teen recover at home.

I have seen first-hand just how incredibly valuable it is—and in many cases it feels essential—to have a dietitian on the team who knows FBT and who can pivot from working with adults to working with teens in ways that are going to be most effective and supportive of not only faster recovery, but more complete recovery for the long term.

This course is going to give dietitians a comprehensive understanding and training and we cannot wait! We are all on a mission to set up dietitians for success with their adolescent eating
disorder clients and there’s no better time than now.

We have lots of great content (20 CE hours) and three amazing guest speakers:

 Rebecka Peebles, MD
 Renee Rienecke, PhD
 Katie Maki, BSN, RN

Registration also includes a live workshop (which will be recorded for course participants) on Estimating Target-Weight for-Age.

The course launches on November 1 and is self-paced. All materials and videos will be provided to attendees to complete the course at their own pace with long-term access. There will also be monthly live study groups that accompany the course.

For more details and registration visit


  1. Dayna

    Target Weight for Age. Is it appropriate for anorexic teens in larger bodies? My fear is weight loss messages will be disseminated to families who are already fatmisic (and likely a significant source of trauma that promoted the ED development).

    • Lauren Muhlheim, Psy.D.

      Yes, we address weight stigma and encourage returning all teens to their previous growth curves and NOT BMI. In fact, Dr. Peebles teaches us her method, which involves checking for height stunting and aggressively returning to previous BMI percentage for expected height.

  2. Sumner Brooks, RDN

    Hi Dayna, thank you for your comment and question. This content is specifically educating dietitians on the need to set individually-based, and often this means higher weight targets, to promote full recovery and that those targets change over time for growth and development as the teen continues to age. The goal and intention is to eliminate the existing problem of fat phobia in eating disorder recovery spaces to promote wellness for all. Thank you for your concern as it is so important and why this training is needed.

  3. Therese Waterhous

    I have taken the original FBT training with Drs. Lock and Le Grange and been doing FBT informed treatment for nearly 15 years in Oregon. I worked with Lauren Muhlheim to create the FBT SIG within the Academy for Eating Disorders, and in the past we discussed many cases. I now am available to mentor and supervise RDNs who also want to learn more about how to support families with a child with an eating disorder. I can be contacted through my web site.

  4. Mary

    This is really interesting and much needed. I am an FBT trained Dietitian working in the UK (NHS). From the summary, the course content really resonates with my practice and understanding of Dietetic input within the context of FBT. I will keep this training in mind for future staff.

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