Our Program

Nutrition Care

our approach

The Hidden River nutrition and culinary skills training program has proven to be a central feature of the residential program , allowing patients to achieve a functional level of independence successfully.

Our Nutrition Program

Eating disorders are known to be complex mental health disorders requiring a well-trained and sophisticated multidisciplinary team approach. There are five levels of care that a patient may receive support based upon their ability to effectively consume and retain a reasonable amount of nutrition. The levels of care include inpatient, residential, partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient, and outpatient.

The residential level of care is engaged when a patient is medically and psychiatrically in a stable position, which does not qualify for the higher inpatient level of care, but is lacking the ability to effectively remain medically and psychiatrically stable while residing in the family home attending a lower level of care, like partial hospitalization, intensive outpatient or outpatient. A residential level of treatment is necessary to provide a uniquely-suited multidisciplinary team approach and 24-hour support for the patient while they develop the personal fortitude and resilience necessary to manage the experiences of daily living. One of the central treatment goals at the time of making the transition from an eating disorder residential treatment center to any one of the lower levels of care is that the patient can effectively consume and retain the necessary nutrition to support medical and psychiatric stability with some level of independence.

Our nutrition programming includes the following elements: 

Nutrition Evaluation

Comprehensive nutrition evaluation by a registered dietitian (RD)

Individualized Plans

Prescribed by a RD and physician to aid nutritional rehabilitation and prepared by our in-house chefs

Nutrition Education

Supported meals and snacks, including exposure to appropriate food-related challenges

Nutrition Counseling

Individual nutrition counseling two to three times per week and weekly nutrition education group

The multidisciplinary treatment team at Hidden River has developed as an enhancement to the nutrition education and meal consumption program: an advanced culinary skills training program designed using Exposure Response Prevention therapy that can effectively reduce fear from the patient’s perceptual equation. The culinary skills training program originates with the use of several assessment quizzes to reveal a patient’s knowledge of the kitchen environment. The quizzes consider the patient’s incoming knowledge and use of the appliances and utensils common to kitchens, how the environment is organized, safe food storage, and how to effectively clean the setting.

Our team of registered dietitians (RDs) design a patient-specific intervention plan that will improve the patient’s confidence to prepare and consume their nutrition by implementing an Exposure Response Prevention program tailored to overcome their fear.

Following the education sessions, the patient then engages in guided therapeutic experiential training, which gradually exposes them to effectively use the appliances, safe handling of sharps, and basic food preparations. Patients learn to design meal plans, read recipes, shop ingredients, and prepare meals to completion. To accomplish a completed meal, they may use a stovetop, oven, crock pot, toaster, blender, knives, microwave, pots, pans, utensils, and a dishwasher. The skills required to properly spice food products, boil, bake, baste, fry, and roast may be included in their experiential training.  

Hidden River recognizes that when a patient completes the residential eating disorder treatment program and can effectively prepare their meals and snack from conception to consumption, they experience a reduction in anxiety, increase in their confidence to manage nutrition, and ultimately succeed at moving towards the resolution of the eating disorder. The Hidden River nutrition and culinary skills training program has proven to be a central feature of the residential program design that supports patients in their quest to achieve a functional level of independence successfully.  

We're here to help


Healing is our priority.

Committed to and passionate

The staff at Hidden River is knowledgeable, available, responsive, caring and compassionate, to both the patients and their families. Our daughter’s therapist was exceptional, achieving a level of understanding and compassion with our daughter that no other therapist has achieved. She also took the time to teach us how to best support our daughter, and helped us understand how and why taking a less active role could be most effective. She taught us this difficult lesson with unmatched compassion and understanding of how difficult parenting can be. The nursing staff is very knowledgeable and available 24 hours per day. The nurses did an excellent job explaining things to me from both a medical and mental health perspective. They were compassionate to both my daughter and to me. From my first phone call to Hidden River to my daughter’s last day there, it was evident that Hidden River was committed to and passionate about helping patients recover from eating disorders. We feel very blessed that Hidden River played a critical role in our daughter’s recovery.

Truly changed my life

Hidden River truly changed my life. I was seen as more than just an eating disorder. I was a person whose overall health and wellness was sincerely cared about. They saw me as someone that I couldn’t even see myself as, and they helped me gain my life back. I’m now living in a way that I didn’t even know was possible. No one wants to be in treatment, but I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. I can’t say enough good things about Hidden River.

Only the best things to say

I do want you to know that I have only the best things to say about Hidden River. You are one of the only programs that I know that was stronger than my eating disorder, and I was super impressed that you never gave into my eating disorder even when I was being super bratty.

Progressive and cutting edge

The therapeutic process at Hidden River is progressive and cutting edge. It’s a family therapy model and that part is hard. You have to be willing to look at yourself, your family system and what role you’ve played in your daughter’s mental health. But, I can’t imagine true recovery without that level of digging. The primary therapists are amazing. The Registered Dieticians are so knowledgeable. We are deeply grateful to her team. They all chose a very difficult line of work. For our family, they offered a lifeline when we needed it most.