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Daughter will be 12 in July. The problem began about 2 year ago and has gotten steadily worse. Now she will not eat breakfast at all. The teacher at school does require them to eat a snack about 2 hours after she leaves the house and 2 hours before lunch. She is claiming she couldn't possibly eat breakfast and then the snack. The problem is, one day a week she doesn't get the snack. She has to go to a special class at snack time. She says the other kids eat their snacks there, but she won't do that. It's frustrating.

I feel it's important for her to eat breakfast. For a variety of reasons. She is not underweight, but overweight. She gets plenty of exercise. 10 (sometimes more) hours at her dance studio between ballet, tap, jazz, lyrical and conditioning. She also works out at home with weights, yoga, pilates, resistance bands, balance ball, etc. And she uses the Wii Fit. Then there is gym class.

She has been a little overweight since age 2. Was underweight prior. She slimmed down a bit when she was first diagnosed with food allergies. But now she likes to snack. Especially at night. I feel she might slim down a bit if she ate regular meals and relied less on the snacks.

I've always been a breakfast eater. My brother wasn't. And as he got older, he got like her. Her dad and his dad are/were the same way.

How common is it for kids not to want to eat breakfast? I have no problems getting her to eat later in the day.

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How long between getting up and breakfast time does she have? I need at least half an hour to let my stomach prepare for food. I can't fathom eating sooner than that - it doesn't feel good. (And yes, that means sometimes I have to take my breakfast with me somewhere, or get up earlier just to have time to get breakfast in.) Maybe she feels similarly? (My husband is the same way, but takes a good hour before eating breakfast, so he tends to take a granola bar to work for breakfast. :P )

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I have to wait for a while to eat, too. At least an hour, and I've always been that way. My kids, on the other hand, would eat YESTERDAY if they could :D My little one (9) wakes up at 5-5:30 every day. First he says "good morning, Mommy," then "I am hungry" within 30 seconds. My 13 yr old is just hungry. Ask him how he is today, and the answer will be "I am hungry."

But I understand your daughter! Maybe you can send a Lara Bar or other reasonably healthy bar with her to school?

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How long between getting up and breakfast time does she have? I need at least half an hour to let my stomach prepare for food. I can't fathom eating sooner than that - it doesn't feel good. (And yes, that means sometimes I have to take my breakfast with me somewhere, or get up earlier just to have time to get breakfast in.) Maybe she feels similarly? (My husband is the same way, but takes a good hour before eating breakfast, so he tends to take a granola bar to work for breakfast. :P )

Well that's a big problem. Right now it is 10:17 pm. She hasn't made her lunch, taken her shower or laid out her clothes for tomorrow. If in fact she will lay them out. Most of the time she will not. And that's the problem.

I'll be lucky to get her in bed by 11:00. Which means she will be sleepy in the morning and won't want to get up. I can't blame her there. She's a night owl like me.

When I get her up, she will stay on the toilet reading until almost time for the bus to come. This morning she had to run for the bus, shoes untied. This morning she said she was getting up. But then she fell back asleep. And I did too! I woke up 10 minutes before the bus was due.

So how much time? Not much, most of the time.

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I have to wait for a while to eat, too. At least an hour, and I've always been that way. My kids, on the other hand, would eat YESTERDAY if they could :D My little one (9) wakes up at 5-5:30 every day. First he says "good morning, Mommy," then "I am hungry" within 30 seconds. My 13 yr old is just hungry. Ask him how he is today, and the answer will be "I am hungry."

But I understand your daughter! Maybe you can send a Lara Bar or other reasonably healthy bar with her to school?

Gee... I wake up hungry! But I take a pill that I have to take and then wait an hour before eating. Torture to me.

I tried the bar thing. She hates Lara bars and really most bars. She was throwing them away at school. Or on the days that she was so slow that I had to drive her, in the back of my van. She made up all sorts of excuses as to why she couldn't eat them. Can't eat on the bus... Can't eat on the playground... Can't eat in the gym where the other kids eat breakfast...it's only for the kids who get free breakfast... Can't eat on the sidewalk... I just gave up on that one.

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My 17 year old always needs something in his stomach but some days doesn't feel like food. He will have a glass of chocolate milk on those days. 14 year old likes to eat so thats not the problem. He didn't have time in the morning. This started at about 12 years old. I said that if 30 minutes isn't enough time like it was for big bro then you must get up 45 minutes early. I had to get on him for a few months, making sure he really got up within 5 minutes, got out of the shower, out of his room, etc. Now he keeps his own time & has a few minutes to shoot baskets before the bus. Also, everyone gets 1 free missed bus but after that if I have to drive them they pay $3. Haven't collected yet but they know I will. Sounds like you need to be firmer & consistent. Kids in the 12-16 age need help keeping schedules straight. 17 year old needs almost no help so it works.

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Have you tried fruit smoothies for a breakfast? I am not a big breakfast eater. I do find that I am thirsty in the morning. I glass of juice is better than nothing. ;)

What if you tried going for a quick morning walk around the block with the dog to help wake up? I know it is hard to reset routines, so maybe you can work on this when she is on summer break.

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Have you tried fruit smoothies for a breakfast? I am not a big breakfast eater. I do find that I am thirsty in the morning. I glass of juice is better than nothing. ;)

What if you tried going for a quick morning walk around the block with the dog to help wake up? I know it is hard to reset routines, so maybe you can work on this when she is on summer break.

No because they take too long to make! There would be no way I could get one made and have her drink it. I make those sometimes during the summer and it can take her an hour to drink it. She does have some instant breakfast type stuff that you mix with milk. She can only have it twice a week. She has some allergies that she has outgrown and dairy is one of those. She is only allowed that stuff twice weekly. And at that, she still has no time to drink it. This morning she was running in the rain for the bus again. By the time I got her off the toilet, she had 6 minutes to get dressed, grab her stuff and go.

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I don't mean this in any negative way, but it sounds like she needs a regular routine, especially bedtime. I can see why she would not want to eat in the morning if she is up late snacking. I have to eat breakfast to even have energy for the day. I wake up hungry, but don't always get to eat right away because of some of my meds I take in the morning. My oldest one did not like to go to bed, but after he started school, he is the one now to just go to bed on his own. He is very active throughout the day also. He is 9 and during school he is in bed by 9:00. My youngest is 5 and will be starting school in Aug. He is more of a night owl and does not like to eat in the morning. I do make him go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 and he knows that he has to stay in bed. He sometimes stays in there and talks for awhile, but at least he has his routine. I suspect this will change soon like his brother. They both like it when I am off in the morning so I can cook breakfast. For the youngest, I just don't think he likes what his daddy offers in the morning so he does not want to eat. My husband and the boys when they get ready in the morning (while I am at work) tend to get poptarts, cereal or granola bars because of time constraints. When I'm home to make breakfast they want smoothies, eggs/toast or something more hardy and eat well.

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While I sympathize with her on being a night owl, and wanting to read (though reading on the toilet is not good for pelvic floor health), I have to encourage you to MAKE her get in enough time to eat. Even if it's nothing more than an apple (I'd add peanut butter, but I'm hypoglycemic and wouldn't want just the carbs for breakfast myself). Honestly, she might also be afraid of breakfast making her "fat", and just lose the desire to fight the hunger later in the day. I'd enlist her for ideas on what to do about breakfast (and let her choose just about anything, even if is seems relatively unhealthy - what about having her make muffins some weekend, freeze them, and heat one up before she leaves?) but as a tradeoff for that she HAS to have *something* for breakfast. (I know, I know... easier said than done and you can't make someone eat. But it's the only advice I've got. Maybe someone else will have something good. :) )

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One thing you could talk about and maybe research a little with your daughter is the fact that people who eat a good breakfast - even a large breakfast if it is healthy - end up being healthy weights without having to diet. This is because our bodies need energy for the day and when you skip breakfast you end up feeling so hungry later that you just grab whatever is fast and it usually ends up being something that isn't as healthy - empty calories - and then your body still is hungry for nutrients.

There are many studies that have proven this. If you think it will help, have her read them. You should be able to come up with some good info about it by doing a search.

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One thing you could talk about and maybe research a little with your daughter is the fact that people who eat a good breakfast - even a large breakfast if it is healthy - end up being healthy weights without having to diet. This is because our bodies need energy for the day and when you skip breakfast you end up feeling so hungry later that you just grab whatever is fast and it usually ends up being something that isn't as healthy - empty calories - and then your body still is hungry for nutrients.

There are many studies that have proven this. If you think it will help, have her read them. You should be able to come up with some good info about it by doing a search.

I know there are studies, but that doesn't explain why I am fat, why grandma is fat or why grandpa is fat. She would be sure to point that out. I do not overeat. I follow the diet given to me by the dietician. Of course I have extenuating circumstances. Using insulin doesn't help.

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Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain as well. I don't allow snacking after 630, my youngest is in bed by 8 and my oldest is in bed and can read until 9. With their consistent bedtimes, there are consistent wake up times. My dd would totally be a night owl if I allowed it. I realize she's a little younger than your dd, I see what a huge difference our 'schedule' makes for her, it's totally worth it. She could also be over working with her activities. If you're over-working and under eating, your body hits starvation mode and will hold onto everything you put in your mouth, you'll gain weight no problem :huh:

We also plan outfits for the whole week, so there's no lag time in the morning.

Making muffins on a Sunday is a great idea. If she dictates what kind, maybe she'll eat them. And depending on how much of a fight you want, you can always start taking away privileges...

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No because they take too long to make! There would be no way I could get one made and have her drink it. I make those sometimes during the summer and it can take her an hour to drink it. She does have some instant breakfast type stuff that you mix with milk. She can only have it twice a week. She has some allergies that she has outgrown and dairy is one of those. She is only allowed that stuff twice weekly. And at that, she still has no time to drink it. This morning she was running in the rain for the bus again. By the time I got her off the toilet, she had 6 minutes to get dressed, grab her stuff and go.

Okay... at some point time needs to be made. It can't take more than five minutes to make a smoothie, including the rinsing of the blender (I have mornings where solid food is not an option, so I make morning smoothies frequently), and it can easily be poured into a reusable container (thermos? jamba juice refill bottle? tons of options).

As far as that instant breakfast stuff, why can't it be mixed with non-dairy milk like soy milk or almond milk or rice milk? Again, the drink can be taken with her.

I liked the idea of freezing muffins and then zapping them in the morning. Bagels and toast can also be whipped up quickly and eaten while running out the door. Cereal, pancakes (I use Pamela's mix), scrambled eggs... they're all pretty quick. If she likes hardboiled eggs you could keep some in the fridge and she could grab one and eat it pretty quickly.

My concern is that she is making a ton of excuses as to why she can't or won't eat things. She seems to be forming unhealthy eating habits like the nighttime snacking (the late snacking, but the way, could explain her lack of hunger in the morning to some degree). She's active, so she needs calories, overweight or not. I've seen people in the dance world getting obsessed with their weight to they point that they become anorexic or bulimic, so that possibility concerns me also if she's really skipping breakfast out of some desire to limit her calorie intake (and then giving up at night).

Anyway... there are a bunch of red flags I'm seeing as I read this. I hope I'm wrong, but it may be worth keeping an eye on.

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I don't mean this in any negative way, but it sounds like she needs a regular routine, especially bedtime. I can see why she would not want to eat in the morning if she is up late snacking. I have to eat breakfast to even have energy for the day. I wake up hungry, but don't always get to eat right away because of some of my meds I take in the morning. My oldest one did not like to go to bed, but after he started school, he is the one now to just go to bed on his own. He is very active throughout the day also. He is 9 and during school he is in bed by 9:00. My youngest is 5 and will be starting school in Aug. He is more of a night owl and does not like to eat in the morning. I do make him go to bed between 8:30 and 9:00 and he knows that he has to stay in bed. He sometimes stays in there and talks for awhile, but at least he has his routine. I suspect this will change soon like his brother. They both like it when I am off in the morning so I can cook breakfast. For the youngest, I just don't think he likes what his daddy offers in the morning so he does not want to eat. My husband and the boys when they get ready in the morning (while I am at work) tend to get poptarts, cereal or granola bars because of time constraints. When I'm home to make breakfast they want smoothies, eggs/toast or something more hardy and eat well.

I was personally never in bed before 10:00. That was just impossible for me. One night she dances till 9:15. She goes to dance right after school. She has to do homework and take a shower after that. So that night she is always up late. I do try to get her in bed earlier, but it just never seems to happen.

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While I sympathize with her on being a night owl, and wanting to read (though reading on the toilet is not good for pelvic floor health), I have to encourage you to MAKE her get in enough time to eat. Even if it's nothing more than an apple (I'd add peanut butter, but I'm hypoglycemic and wouldn't want just the carbs for breakfast myself). Honestly, she might also be afraid of breakfast making her "fat", and just lose the desire to fight the hunger later in the day. I'd enlist her for ideas on what to do about breakfast (and let her choose just about anything, even if is seems relatively unhealthy - what about having her make muffins some weekend, freeze them, and heat one up before she leaves?) but as a tradeoff for that she HAS to have *something* for breakfast. (I know, I know... easier said than done and you can't make someone eat. But it's the only advice I've got. Maybe someone else will have something good. :) )

She can't have peanut or almond butter because she is allergic. I have bought hemp butter. She won't try it. Doesn't particularly like sunbutter. As for the apples, she has them for lunch pretty much every day. When she tries to eat more than one apple in a day, she gets bad gas.

Tonight I put some cinnamon crackers (Ener-G) in with her dinner. I'll see if she likes those. She has told me in the past she does not like them but I'm not really sure she tried them. I'll come up with something.

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Not getting enough sleep can lead to weight gain as well. I don't allow snacking after 630, my youngest is in bed by 8 and my oldest is in bed and can read until 9. With their consistent bedtimes, there are consistent wake up times. My dd would totally be a night owl if I allowed it. I realize she's a little younger than your dd, I see what a huge difference our 'schedule' makes for her, it's totally worth it. She could also be over working with her activities. If you're over-working and under eating, your body hits starvation mode and will hold onto everything you put in your mouth, you'll gain weight no problem :huh:

We also plan outfits for the whole week, so there's no lag time in the morning.

Making muffins on a Sunday is a great idea. If she dictates what kind, maybe she'll eat them. And depending on how much of a fight you want, you can always start taking away privileges...

Unfortunately she has to eat later because of her dance schedule. She dances three nights a week. The one night that she dances till 9:15, I do send in dinner for her. But she doesn't want to eat much because she is so active. Then she is starving later.

As for muffins, she really doesn't like them. She did like the pastries from the Flying Apron, but I can no longer get them locally. And they are too far away for me to go to.

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Okay... at some point time needs to be made. It can't take more than five minutes to make a smoothie, including the rinsing of the blender (I have mornings where solid food is not an option, so I make morning smoothies frequently), and it can easily be poured into a reusable container (thermos? jamba juice refill bottle? tons of options).

As far as that instant breakfast stuff, why can't it be mixed with non-dairy milk like soy milk or almond milk or rice milk? Again, the drink can be taken with her.

I liked the idea of freezing muffins and then zapping them in the morning. Bagels and toast can also be whipped up quickly and eaten while running out the door. Cereal, pancakes (I use Pamela's mix), scrambled eggs... they're all pretty quick. If she likes hardboiled eggs you could keep some in the fridge and she could grab one and eat it pretty quickly.

My concern is that she is making a ton of excuses as to why she can't or won't eat things. She seems to be forming unhealthy eating habits like the nighttime snacking (the late snacking, but the way, could explain her lack of hunger in the morning to some degree). She's active, so she needs calories, overweight or not. I've seen people in the dance world getting obsessed with their weight to they point that they become anorexic or bulimic, so that possibility concerns me also if she's really skipping breakfast out of some desire to limit her calorie intake (and then giving up at night).

Anyway... there are a bunch of red flags I'm seeing as I read this. I hope I'm wrong, but it may be worth keeping an eye on.

The smoothies I make have sorbet, rice milk, honey and frozen berries. High in calories and not something I want her to have very often. She is alleric to almonds and has outgrown allergies to dairy and and soy so can only have these things twice a week.

As for taking a container with her, that's not an option. She already has to pack so much stuff with her that her backpack is stuffed and VERY heavy. I'll just have to keep looking for something.

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She can't have peanut or almond butter because she is allergic. I have bought hemp butter. She won't try it. Doesn't particularly like sunbutter. As for the apples, she has them for lunch pretty much every day. When she tries to eat more than one apple in a day, she gets bad gas.

Tonight I put some cinnamon crackers (Ener-G) in with her dinner. I'll see if she likes those. She has told me in the past she does not like them but I'm not really sure she tried them. I'll come up with something.

Ok, so not an apple. Perhaps another type of fruit. Or a vegetable. Or a hardboiled egg.

(And I can't believe I'm saying this) but you've found some reason to shoot down every idea - even the ones that are meant as vague. "We can't get her to bed earlier", "she doesn't have enough time in the morning", "she has to do homework after she gets home after 9pm", "she won't try X", "even I don't get to bed by Y", "my smoothie recipe is too high in calories" etc. etc. While some of the specifics mentioned might not be working, that doesn't mean the whole idea is moot. Try a different way to make a smoothie (I'd never use sorbet because I'd end up with too much sugar in it, but that's me), try something other than a nut butter to go with a piece of fruit (something with fat and/or protein), get her up earlier on the days she can, have her eat small snacks during her activities ('cause really, if she's unable to eat a darn thing between 3pm and 9pm, something really has to change), so forth. If the specific bits of advice you've gotten here aren't quite right, be creative! I know you (both) will figure something out, but it seems like you're letting her dictate terms right now. (Clearly, I could be reading this wrong. Just what I'm seeing as I read through a bunch of replies all at once.)

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Ok, so not an apple. Perhaps another type of fruit. Or a vegetable. Or a hardboiled egg.

(And I can't believe I'm saying this) but you've found some reason to shoot down every idea - even the ones that are meant as vague. "We can't get her to bed earlier", "she doesn't have enough time in the morning", "she has to do homework after she gets home after 9pm", "she won't try X", "even I don't get to bed by Y", "my smoothie recipe is too high in calories" etc. etc. While some of the specifics mentioned might not be working, that doesn't mean the whole idea is moot. Try a different way to make a smoothie (I'd never use sorbet because I'd end up with too much sugar in it, but that's me), try something other than a nut butter to go with a piece of fruit (something with fat and/or protein), get her up earlier on the days she can, have her eat small snacks during her activities ('cause really, if she's unable to eat a darn thing between 3pm and 9pm, something really has to change), so forth. If the specific bits of advice you've gotten here aren't quite right, be creative! I know you (both) will figure something out, but it seems like you're letting her dictate terms right now. (Clearly, I could be reading this wrong. Just what I'm seeing as I read through a bunch of replies all at once.)

She did like the crackers tonight. Part of the problem is all of her allergies. She also outgrew an egg allergy that was severe, so she is only allowed one egg per week. She doesn't really like fruit. I don't blame her. I don't like it either.

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She is 12 and now is the time for her to start her healthy food choices she will base her life on. The next day you have a break from the schedule you need her to start thinking and preparing her own menus. You have less than 5 years before she leaves your home and will be completely on her own. I started my 10 year old son cooking 2 years ago. To help with reading math and life skills. He will have to be able to maintain a gluten free diet for the rest of his life.

Get out the cookbooks, and have her start planning what she is going to make for her breakfast, snacks, lunch, and dinner. They will be frozen in serving sizes. Get her a insulated lunch bag.

My opinion is you have to make a responsible, capable young adult here. ;)

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(And I can't believe I'm saying this) but you've found some reason to shoot down every idea - even the ones that are meant as vague. "We can't get her to bed earlier", "she doesn't have enough time in the morning", "she has to do homework after she gets home after 9pm", "she won't try X", "even I don't get to bed by Y", "my smoothie recipe is too high in calories" etc. etc. While some of the specifics mentioned might not be working, that doesn't mean the whole idea is moot. If the specific bits of advice you've gotten here aren't quite right, be creative! I know you (both) will figure something out, but it seems like you're letting her dictate terms right now. (Clearly, I could be reading this wrong. Just what I'm seeing as I read through a bunch of replies all at once.)

I was thinking this same thing, too. Mom - You are the MOM. You are the boss. Not only is she running all over you but you are helping her do it. I tried to say nicely in my previous post that you need to set limits & expectations. You can accomadate preferences & allergies & extra homework. My oldest is extremely busy between sports, homework & robotics. For example, He may eat 2 dinners. One at 3:00 (PB, cheese & apple) & one at 9 (BBQ chicken, carrots, wheat crackers (not Celiac). Just an example - not saying this is what your child should eat.

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The smoothies I make have sorbet, rice milk, honey and frozen berries. High in calories and not something I want her to have very often. She is alleric to almonds and has outgrown allergies to dairy and and soy so can only have these things twice a week.

As for taking a container with her, that's not an option. She already has to pack so much stuff with her that her backpack is stuffed and VERY heavy. I'll just have to keep looking for something.

Reuse a plastic water bottle. She can drink her breakfast on the bus and get rid of the bottle when she gets to school. She could maybe make her smoothies (healthy versions) the night before and stick them in the fridge to grab and go in the morning.

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Reuse a plastic water bottle. She can drink her breakfast on the bus and get rid of the bottle when she gets to school. She could maybe make her smoothies (healthy versions) the night before and stick them in the fridge to grab and go in the morning.

They are not allowed to have food or drinks on the bus. And she won't use that type of water bottle any more. She says they are bad for the environment. I had to buy her the metal ones. She is also fearful of plastics.

As for healthy versions of smoothies, I don't know what I could do that she would eat. Most smoothies call for a banana. Since she outgrew a banana allergy, she can only have those twice a week. She doesn't like green smoothies. Or most fruit.

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They are not allowed to have food or drinks on the bus. And she won't use that type of water bottle any more. She says they are bad for the environment. I had to buy her the metal ones. She is also fearful of plastics.

As for healthy versions of smoothies, I don't know what I could do that she would eat. Most smoothies call for a banana. Since she outgrew a banana allergy, she can only have those twice a week. She doesn't like green smoothies. Or most fruit.

Why don't you try going to allrecipes and spending a half hour just looking through different recipes of smoothies, sandwiches, easy breakfasts. Read some articles they have on 'top ten easy breakfasts' or whatever. Make a list of all the things your daughter DOES like. See what you can do with that. Try using their ingredients search by typing in three different things she likes and see what recipes the website comes up with.

Also, you keep saying your daughter spends a lot of time on the toilet in the morning. Is she being difficult or does she have the poos?

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