Avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID): Treatment options

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Learn how ARFID can be treated in hospital and at home.

Key points​

  • At the moment, the treatment for ARFID is similar to the treatment for anorexia nervosa.
  • If a child is at an extremely low weight with an irregular heart rate or low blood pressure, they will receive treatment in a hospital. This treatment focuses on giving enough nutrition to return the child or teen to a healthy weight and limiting exercise.
  • If a child is medically stable, they will be treated at an outpatient eating disorders program by a team of professionals. They will receive psychological treatment and have their weight, heart rate and blood pressure checked regularly.
  • At home, the goal is to reintroduce all the foods that a child has cut out from their diet, for example through food chaining.
  • If depression or anxiety is an underlying cause of ARFID, a child might be prescribed medications or receive cognitive behavioural therapy.
Last updated: September 12th 2023