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Outpatient Eating Disorder Clinic

The Eating Disorder Clinic at CHOC is an outpatient program designed to help families identify and manage a variety of concerns related to nutrition and eating behaviors.

Our team of board-certified pediatricians and psychiatrists understand the specialized expertise and multidisciplinary approach needed to care for eating disorders. Depending on your child’s condition, your appointment may include CHOC experts from our many specialties, including adolescent medicinepsychologypsychiatry and nutrition.

Eating disorders are serious but treatable mental and physical illnesses that can affect people of all genders, ages, races, religions, ethnicities, sexual orientations, body shapes, and weights.

Common eating disorders include:

  • Anorexia Nervosa
  • Bulimia Nervosa
  • Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID)
  • Binge Disorder

For more information about eating disorders, view our complete Guide to Eating Disorders, and use our SCOFF Questionnaire.

Preparing for your First Visit

Eating disorders can lead to significant medical complications without treatment intervention. During your first visit, our team will evaluate the medical and nutritional needs of your child, in addition to consulting with the Mental Health team, if needed. Our team advises that your child seek additional support by having their own dedicated therapist for weekly visits.

When preparing for your first visit, we recommend planning ahead with the following tips:

  • Visits can be long, and there will be a lot of discussion. Take notes and don’t be afraid to ask questions.
  • Bring snacks and a sweater. The clinic can also be chilly, and we want your visit to be as comfortable as possible.
  • Be sure to bring contact information for your school and health care providers, such as your therapist.


CHOC Eating Disorder Specialists

Our team strives to keep patients and their families informed about the different levels of care offered, in addition to what to expect with each member. As the caregiver, when you bring your child or adolescent to the clinic, you are providing essential support in their recovery. From a family-based treatment approach, this often includes preparing, portioning, and supervising meals, and participating in ongoing mental health treatment. During your child's visit, they may be seen by one, or more, of the following team members:

Your doctor evaluates for medical complications related to your eating difficulties and/or eating disorder. Your doctor will review blood pressures, heart rates, lab results, and physical symptoms during the appointment. The entire team will evaluate medical, nutritional, and mental health concerns (needs) to determine if it is safe enough to continue care at home. Sometimes overall risk may require a higher level of care such as an intensive outpatient program (IOP), PHP (partial hospitalization), or Residential treatment. Sometimes complications impact ability to participate in PE, sports or exercise. At times, your doctor will prescribe medications to treat certain symptoms. Sometimes medical complications make it necessary for treatment in the hospital.
For patients who may be having mental health concerns along with an eating disorder, Psychiatry can be a part of your treatment team and provide a mental health evaluation. Psychiatry will provide education about mental health conditions and their interaction with eating disorders. In appropriate cases, Psychiatry can provide psychiatric medication treatment while the patient is in treatment at BAN Clinic.  Psychiatry may also recommend and refer for non-medication treatments, such as psychotherapy or intensive treatment programs outside of CHOC.
Your psychology team completes an assessment to clarify the eating disorder diagnosis and any other relevant mental health conditions, provides psychoeducation on family-based treatment, gives recommendations to help support your child’s or adolescent's eating, and provides information on appropriate treatment and referrals.
Your dietitian will work with you and your child to support overall health. Your dietitian will evaluate for possible malnutrition, nutrient deficiencies, and disordered eating behaviors. They will also work with you and your child to create a nutrition plan to support nutrition rehabilitation and promote balance, variety, and flexibility with all foods. Our team supports the “all foods fit” concept and a return to intuitive eating. There are general nutrition goals, with a focus on the specific needs for your child or adolescent.
The care manager communicates team recommendations with schools, coaches, therapists and other health care providers to ensure your entire team is coordinated in providing your care. The care manager also helps you communicate concerns to your care team, helps manage appointments, and can assist with referrals.

The Road to Recovery

Recovery from an eating disorder is possible. Treatments for eating disorders requires a multi-faceted approach, the first of which is recognizing that eating disorder thoughts are present. Correcting malnutrition helps prepare the mind and body for the next phases of recovery – which include challenging the eating disorder thoughts and eventually breaking free from them. There are a variety of interventions, including Family Based Therapy (FBT) and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Our team will work with your family to support you during this journey.

Adolescent Medicine Locations

For our outpatient services, please visit us at in Orange at the CHOC Health Center, Centrum. For inpatient services, please visit the CHOC at Mission location.

Map showing location of CHOC Children’s Health Center, Centrum
CHOC Health Center, Centrum

Building: Centrum North | 1120 W. La Veta Ave. | Suite 125 | Orange, CA 92868 | 888-770-2462

Exterior view of CHOC Children's Mission Hospital
CHOC at Mission Hospital

27700 Medical Center Rd. | Mission Viejo, CA 92691 | 949-364-1400

Meet the Team

Khalighi, Misha L. MD

Specialties: Pediatrics, Adolescent Medicine
Office: 888-770-2462

Dr. Khalighi is a member of the CHOC Medical Group and treats kids and teens in Orange County and is board certified in Adolescent Medicine and Pediatrics.

Roche, Alexandra A. MD

Specialty: Pediatrics
Appointments: 888-770-2462

Dr. Roche is board-certified in pediatrics and is a member of the CHOC Primary Care Network who treats kids and teens in Orange County.

Helpful Resources for Eating Disorder Recovery

Before, and after, your child’s first visit to the CHOC Eating Disorder Clinic, we will provide you with educational materials that will help you and your child navigate this journey ahead. We have provided a selection of these materials online for your convenience.