Since I began recovering from my eating disorder, there are things that I wish my family, friends and those supporting me would know and be sensitive to. Firstly, it is not helpful to introduce new foods or just nag about eating more. It is difficult to reintroduce food into your diet after years of eating only certain foods and only a little at a time. There are trigger foods that will cause feelings of intense guilt and sometimes lead to periods of fasting, or with bulimics purging. Do not pressure food onto someone with an eating disorder, if they are getting professional help, a nutritionist will likely be involved and there will be a very specific meal plan in place. If you would like to be in the loop, ask to look at the meal plan to be better able to give support. However, a lot of shame surrounds eating for some people so do not be offended if they do not want your involvement. simply give them some distance and time and eventually you may become a bigger part of their recovery.
Another big aspect of continuing a good relationship during recovery is to be aware that it is a real addiction and disease. It is not something a person just decides to do one day, there are factors leading to choices surrounding food. It is important not to be judgmental or expect it to be an easy process. It may seem easy to just tell an anorexic to eat more and make sure they eat a specific diet but there is a war raging in that person's head the entire time. The disorder becomes a comfort, a part of you, even a friend. It may seem twisted or not make sense to you but do not EVER let someone in recovery hear those judgements. The reason many people keep their problem a secret is because a)they do not accept that they have a problem and b) people hardly ever understand how difficult it is until they have been a part of it for a while.
I also cannot stress enough that EVERYONE'S recovery methods are different. There is not a set program that will stomp out those thoughts and desires because each person's disorder is unique and somewhat special to them. We form a love-hate relationship with the pain that accompanies our little secret. To help us recover, start slowly, test the waters and always pay attention to our reaction to your attempts to aid us. After a while it will be more clear what your part is in the healing process and although you may not like what your role is, but always respect the boundaries set.
Big thanks to everyone trying to help a loved one! I know it's tough.
Good luck and stay strong!