This week, in honor of Hanukkah, patients in our residential treatment program made Sufganiyot. A Sufganiyah is a deep-fried donut that is filled with jelly or custard and topped with powdered sugar.
During Hanukkah, it is customary to eat Sufganiyot and other foods that are fried in oil. They symbolize the Biblical miracle of a small amount of sacred lamp oil burning in the Temple for eight nights rather than the expected one.
This challenge helped patients to face some of their fears about fried foods and desserts. It also helped to reinforce the idea that all foods, in moderation, can fit into a healthy meal plan.
Holiday celebrations are often centered around food, which can make them especially tough for eating disorder patients. With this activity, we wanted to help all patients, from a multitude of religious traditions and belief systems, enjoy a holiday tradition, as one of the many small steps they’re taking toward finding the joy, peace, and hope that they deserve.