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JenniferJennifer from Cincinnati wrote on December 2, 2021 on 8:52 pm:
I keep wanting to get brave enough to try something new but every time I'm like I better not try this at the restaurant, what if I gag. I dread when friends wanna meet for dinner..I am always more willing to meet for breakfast cause I like more breakfast foods..I'm just tired of living in shame and don't want to start having children until I get better with eating. I'm 32
Admin Reply by: Bob
If you want to try things do it i private while you are home. You might ask a very good friend to join who knows about your problems with food. Many people with our disorder have had normal children in spite of what they eat. The child will get what she needs during the nine months. You could get some blood tests to confirm if your missing any vitamins or minerals. No reason you can't have a long happy life no matter how many things you can eat. You are probably gifted in other ways.

Bob K
JulesJules wrote on December 2, 2021 on 1:24 am:
I'm a 28 year old female who has struggled with "picky" eating for as long as I can remember. As a child I can remember sitting at the dinner table crying and gagging over 1 bite of a good I didn't like but my parents wanted me to try. To this day my diet consists of mostly children's foods such as chicken nuggets, pizza, fries, hotdogs, cheeseburgers, and a whole lot of other junk. This has led me to gain weight I certainly didn't want to gain. I avoid going to some gatherings with friends and events because I don't know if they will have any safe foods for me to eat. It's always the first thing that comes to mind when I get invited anywhere. This makes me very sad and embarrassed, I try to play it off but it really brings me so much anxiety. I wish I could change, I hate living this way but I am at a point where I don't know what I can do. Which has led me to doing some research and i came across ARFID, which sounds alot like me but I don't think anyone would take me seriously if I tried to get myself help. It's nice to read people's stories who are so similar to mine.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Julie
ARFID covers lots of ground. It is said if your selective eating causes you social embarrassment you have it. There are many people just like yourself. You never asked to have ARFID. None of us ever asked to have it. No reason you can't stay healthy and live a long happy life. You are not alone.
Bob K
MeatAndTatersMeatAndTaters from Asheville wrote on November 25, 2021 on 8:54 pm:
It's a great comfort to know that I am not the only one to feel the shame of not "outgrowing" "picky" eating, being seen as obstinate and rude for not being able to eat certain foods or ingredients that are being served to you by family, friends, or in a public setting. I am all about what this community was established for. I look forward to reading and exploring more and maybe making some new online friends that empathize with the struggle. But, maybe for me at least, "picky" being the common and colloquial term doesn't seem an accurate expression of my experience. Picky implies that I have a choice, but refuse foods/ingredients simply because they are less enjoyable than other foods/ingredients. However, if I attempt to eat something of the wrong texture (fruits, vegetables), I involuntarily gag. Countless times, I've tried to "tough it out" and continue to chew, but it always ends with vomit. That is not something I "pick" as a response. Trust me if I COULD pick it, I would gladly decline to gag and vomit and offend friends/family/etc. But, it seems no matter how much I think the term is misleading, I will always be seen as a picky eater. But knowing Ihere are others like me, I will identify myself as part of the picky eating family.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Glad you found us. I used the term "Picky Eating" years ago because it was a term that people like us would use when doing a web search for others. Back 15 years ago it was like a bright light shinning for all to see. We have actually had this discussion many times. You could always refer to ARFID which is "Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder" which was added to the DSM in May of 2013. I like you gag on so many things and add in being a super taster and that is me. Sending you a link to join one of our support groups. I ate lots of crispy Bacon today. Bob K
MichaelMichael from Orlando wrote on October 28, 2021 on 6:41 pm:
I’ve read a lot of the submissions on here and it’s good to see I’m not alone. Like all the other people on here I’m an extremely picky eater. I’d say on a day to day basis there are only a few foods I will eat. My diet is mostly limited to chicken tinders or pizza. There’s some other snack foods I will eat also. It’s very embarrassing which is why I avoid going out any where to eat especially with friends. For as far back is I can remember I’ve been a picky eater and I’m not sure how or why it started. I’m 26 and I am concerned about the long term health consequences of this problem but I really don’t know how to change my eating habits.
Admin Reply by: Bob
You would be amazed how your real friends would react if you let them know about your picky eating. A good friend will understand and you will get rid of lots of stress in your life always being on guard against being trapped into an uncomfortable eating situation. Lots of times when you let people know they will remark that they have a relative that is the same way.

If you date make sure to disclose to your date about your Picky Eating before the first date. You will avoid the ugly surprise announcement you will have to make if you should fall in love. So many things in life are way worse than our struggles with what we can and can't eat. Bob K
BaileyBailey from Columbus wrote on October 18, 2021 on 3:27 pm:
Just like many of you all, I have been a picky eater all my life. I distinctly remember being forced to eat “one piece of broccoli” at daycare before I could leave the table. I remember throwing up Salisbury steak and carrots after being forced to eat that at the same daycare. My aversion to certain foods was only made worse when I suddenly developed emetophobia (fear of vomiting/vomit) in elementary school. I would say I have a pretty wide range of foods I will eat, including some fruits and vegetables, but my picky eating affects nearly every facet of my life. Now I am 23 and I am starting to get really concerned about my health. I have gained a lot of weight and I can see other health problems on the horizon. I really do want to eat healthier, but as you all can identify with, it is so hard as a picky eater. Thanks for listening.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks for your input and we do understand.
JacobJacob from Nashville wrote on October 1, 2021 on 6:41 pm:
It’s great to know I’m not alone in my struggles. I have been a picky eater all my life. I actually used to like more food when I was a baby than I do now. I’m 20 years old and trying to make healthier decisions with my diet. I almost consider myself a carnivore. Anything green turns me off. I used to eat spinach and carrots when I was a baby but as I got older I stopped eating them. For the most part my diet consists of meat, potatoes, bread, cheese and pasta. Heart disease is in my family history so I know I should change my eating habits but I physically can’t. I feel like I have to psych myself up to eat just one bite of a vegetable and then if I swallow it I’m basically chasing it down with water like I’m taking some nasty medicine. I know I am open and willing to try new things and new ways to prepare food so I can get more nutrition from each meal. Does anyone know where I could find a cookbook or some recipes that could slowly introduce me to the world of vegetables?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Jacob
Sorry but I don't think we can help you with your question. I think a good google or youtube search should turn up what your looking for.
Bob K
JoanneJoanne from Chesterfield uk wrote on August 26, 2021 on 12:56 pm:
Hi,
I'm 52 years old and have been a picky eater all my life, I think. My mum and grandmother used to keep saying "you'll come to want on day".
I have an aversion to texture, I physically heave when I try porridge or anything with that kind of consistency, no nuts, (I literally feel like I'm being poisioned) rice, pasta.
I am a vegetarian and have been for over 25 years, as I didn't like meat ( probably the texture, fat and grisle) would put me off.
Spicy food is another aversion and curry. Although I find I do like sweet chilli.
My daughter is also a picky eater, she does eat meat but hates fruit and veg she's 21
Any ideas for me?
Admin Reply by: Bob
No ideas come to my mind. You have lots of company in the world and you should not let this issue keep you from being the best person you can be. No reason you can't have a great life.
Amie HolladayAmie Holladay from Pembroke, VA wrote on August 6, 2021 on 10:39 am:
Y'all😭 I really did think I was alone! I don't like white food, inclusions, slimy things, grainy things, new things, foods with more than 2 or three ingredients or foods that I usually like done in a different way than I normally do them. I once spent 4 hours alone at the table staring at a bowl of vegetable beef soup after I ate all the barley pearls out of it. I never did surrender, I want you to know. People roll their eyes at me at restaurants for questioning the servers about what comes on things so closely and getting everything on the side or making substitutions. I did try barbecue sauce a couple of years ago and I really like that but when I tried coconut, it was so horrible it almost registered as pain. So it almost always turns out that I hate things as much as I suspected I would and I gave up trying things. I like what I already eat so I'm not really sure why I would bother, honestly. I'm so happy to have found you!
Carol KorineckCarol Korineck from East Lyme wrote on July 29, 2021 on 8:48 pm:
My son and I both are both considered picky eaters. I am 64 and he is 36. My choices are are larger than his, but the aversion to certain foods, veggies, fruit, meats, seafood…the list is too long. He eats French fries, pasta, bagels, bread, cheese, vanilla ice cream, waffles, pancakes, and drinks milk. He was recently diagnosed with ulcerative colitis and the stress of changing his diet is making things worse. I want to support him, because I know the aversion of actually putting a new food into my mouth..I am not sure if I created his aversions, but I really tried not to when he was growing up.. His first solid food was Cheerios and i recall talking to the pediatrician that he would only eat Cheerios. I was told not to worry but it was a battle ever since. At 3 years old he was sick after eating a hotdog and I was never able to feed him meat again It was hard for me to force him, because I know the turmoil, you want to try new food but you just can’t. We need help in our area or just some suggestions..thanks
Admin Reply by: Bob
When I found out I had diabetes my doctor sent me to food classes to figure out what I could eat and it was just about zero. I actually got ridiculed by one of the counselors who reacted to some of my answers on a survey they passed out. I also had some very interesting conversation with my diabetes doctors dietician. I was totally honest with her and she did listen and learn what ARFID was all about. She gave me some ideas and advice about foods I really needed to avoid if possible. She asked me a question "Who is doing your meal plan?". I just laughed and said since I was 8 years old I have been doing my meal plans. I did make some adjustments to what I eat. But I still eat most of the same things. My last A1C was 6.0 and I'm feeling great. Do not take this as any sort of medical advice. I do make sure to visit my doctors every 3 months and get lots of blood tests. Find doctors who you and your son can be honest with and do the best you can. One additional item I have seen lots of evidence that our disorder can very easily transfer through our genes. Take care
KaylaKayla wrote on July 9, 2021 on 9:00 pm:
Hi, I'm 27 and have been a picky eater my entire life. My biggest issue when it comes to eating is texture and the thought of gagging or vomiting when trying new foods. Most fruits and veggies are in the category of refusing to try. (Onions and tomatoes are my worst nightmare haha) Since moving away for college and living on my own I have opened up to trying new foods but on a very limited basis. Some family members are even in complete shock when they see me eat something I wouldn't even look at as a child. Eating in social settings and at events is always something I stress about when I don't know if there will be something I like. And also the fear of being judged by people there who don't understand. I am happy to have found this group and now know there are people out there who struggle with the same fears as me.
ShyannShyann from Minneapolis wrote on July 3, 2021 on 3:13 pm:
My name is Shyann. I’m 25 and I’m an extremely picky eater. I live off of pizza, potatoes and chicken nuggets. I’ve gotten to the point where I just feel gross and everyone is telling me it’s the stuff I eat. Which I definitely do not disagree with. It’s just very difficult to find “healthy” things that I can get myself to eat. I do eat Cesar salad but it has to be the Dole chopped salad kit. I tried buying Cesar dressing, lettuce and croutons to make my own and I just couldn’t do it. I don’t know what it is and no one in my life understands just how difficult it makes every day life. Everywhere I go my picky eating is brought up. I’ve had food shoved in my face my entire life with people saying “just try it” or “you don’t know what you’re missing” and it just makes me uncomfortable and nauseous.

It’s so good knowing I’m not the only one out there with these issues! Thank you all for sharing your stories!
AlexaAlexa from Cincinnati wrote on June 20, 2021 on 11:51 pm:
My name is Alexa and I am a 22 year old college student. I have been an extremely picky eater since I can remember. My diet consists of Mac and cheese (only Kraft), grilled cheese (with American cheese only), French fries (with no seasoning), lots of sweets, pop, and snack foods. I only eat out at restaurants I know I like and any family gatherings always bring the stress of “will there be something I’ll like so no one asks me why I’m not eating?” My parents just think I’m a very picky eater but I’m at the point I would rather starve than try any sort of new food. I’ve been putting off looking into eating disorders because I’m scared to face the fact I may not be just a “picky eater” after all. It makes me feel better already to hear your stories and to know I’m not alone! So thank you all.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hello Alexa
You have a disorder that was added to the DSM 2013 ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
Have you ever noticed that food you don't or can't eat do not look like food to you. That's part of the disorder and you never asked to have it. There are thousands of people just like you all over the world. The good news their is no reason you can't have a great life. Many of us are on the spectrum. I'm sending you an invite to one of our support groups. During the pandemic we have not been very active. Don't let our disorder hold you back. You are gifted in other ways. Bob K
SteveSteve from Indianapolis wrote on May 20, 2021 on 5:48 am:
I am 54 and have been a picky eater all my life. My main foods are pizza, pasta, potatoes, beef, bread, and snacks like Cheetos, chocolate chip cookies, oreos, Pringle’s, etc. I was obese and ended up with a liver transplant due to my weight and diet. I still eat the same now but eat less and have cut out the worst foods like sodas and fast foods from my diet. I have been married to the love of my life for over 24 years and she is very supportive of me!
BarbaraBarbara from Somerset wrote on May 11, 2021 on 2:11 am:
My name is Barbara and I'm a little embarrassed to even write my story. I am 69 years young and have ALWAYS been a picky eater. My family laughs at me but it is a real issue sometimes. If there are things that I don't like to eat, or the smell makes me gag, I will starve rather than eat it. Years ago I used to Model and now after 36 years I'm still an excellent modeling & commercial acting coach. In my 30's I developed bulimia while Modeling & depressed, I got thru those times. And it's funny how I tell my models to eat healthy, but I don't like so many foods myself. Later when my mom was diagnosed with stomach cancer, I gave up meat (which was very easy because I hated steaks, pot roasts, pork of any kind, etc.) and now I just eat chicken all the time! I only eat bland foods! And always plain. I love my sweets though, but I do not eat fruit that's cooked. Too slimmy! Textures, Smells & appearances keeps me away from so many foods. Oh well, I don't think there's any help for me at this age of my life.
DanielDaniel from Omaha wrote on April 21, 2021 on 4:05 am:
My name is Daniel and I am 30 years old and I am a very picky eater. I can’t seem to enjoy any type of vegetable which makes it hard to eat healthy. I enjoy hamburger, cheese, potatoes, and cereal. I usually don’t stray too far from eating things that involve that.
BrianBrian from Charlotte wrote on April 7, 2021 on 6:02 pm:
Hi my names Brian, I’m 20 years old and been a picky eater my whole life. I recently started trying to get more healthy like eating salads. The foods I can eat basically like comfort food which I know is bad for my health. I can eat like fruits and the only vegetables I eat now is baby spinach since I make spinach salad sometimes when I’m trying to save money. I can eat like veggies with food I like on like a burger with tomatoes and lettuce, and onions etc, it’s just that now I want to be more healthy and know my body gonna change if I keep on being like this down the line I just hope to be eat normally like everyone. I also want to be more active but with my eating habits it would be hart to be active.
WowWow from Minneapolis wrote on March 23, 2021 on 2:26 am:
Im a 26 year old woman. I eat the same things over and over because I don’t like anything else. I really want to eat new things but it just doesn't taste good. I hate gatherings with food. Everyone always has to point me out as the picky eater EVERY EVENT! Like God leave me alone im already beating myself up over this why do you have to embarrass me even more. I want to lose weight and its not the working out part that's a problem for me. Its the food. It's to the point I don't even work out anymore because its like what's the point it doesn't work without the right diet. I eat some fruit but no veggies. Ive been thinking about just going on a fruit diet. Idk I was hoping there would be like recipes and tips on here to get me started.
RachelRachel wrote on March 17, 2021 on 7:47 pm:
Hi, I'm 25 and have been picky my entire life. Reluctantly, when people ask, I say "I basically eat like a four year old - chicken nuggets, plain pasta, French fries, ice cream." I don't describe how the chicken nuggets must be from specific places or the pasta must be a specific shape and brand or the limited ice cream flavors that I eat. My parents went to many pediatricians only to be told the same thing each time: "don't worry - she'll grow out of it." They weren't satisfied with that answer but every medical professional they went to, they were given that same response. About 6 years ago, I didn't have the food that I liked available to me due to being on a college campus and I lost too much weight and had to go to a residential eating disorder program. They treated me like I was anorexic and then I eventually got kicked out. I have been officially diagnosed with ARFID but have not found anyone in my area who specializes in treating it. I wish I could eat like a "normal person" but I can't. I have lost so many friends due to being picky and feel so isolated. After reading the guestbook, I see there's so many more people out there like me that are picky. I feel like I relate to every post.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Rachel
You are not alone. I never want to be trapped in the situation you found yourself in. I would certainly have been kicked out also. I once heard from a very nice young lady whose parents admitted her into the hospital and the plan was to withhold the foods she could eat and starve her into eating what was offered. It wasn't very long before the doctors got scared and realized she was not going to eat and her condition became concerning and the treatment was stopped. People don't realize that to us many of their foods appear like fresh vomit to us. We have not heard of many real cures over the years. It is possible to expand what you can eat but it will always be with stipulations like plain or no pepper etc. Glad you found our site and I'm sending you a direct invite to our active support group. Bob K
BonnieBonnie from New York wrote on March 14, 2021 on 2:22 pm:
I'm in my early 30s and am the only picky eater I know. Like just about everyone who's written here, this has been something I've dealt with for as long as I can remember. While I've found a few ways to manage having this issue and having a social life, I'm not sure that the feelings of wanting to "fix" myself will ever go away. For example, whenever going out to eat with friends, I try to pick a place with not rid a variety of food because I hate the idea of people feeling as limited as I do at times. Dating at times can be a bit stressful as well, especially considering most adults I know are more health conscious and my picky taste buds don't really like a lot of things that I know would be better for me. So this is one of the few times the fear of judgement feeds into my social anxieties. I can say, however, that I have tried here and there over the years to try new things, so long as I know someone else is there to finish the food in question if I'm unable to (I hate being wasteful if I can help it!). And it's not like I have a fear of being alone in any regard, but I do have a fear of people becoming too annoyed and/or bothered by this thing I can't control.
PetePete wrote on March 9, 2021 on 2:01 am:
Hi. I'm a 50 y/o man and have suffered through what is now diagnosed as Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder all my life. My dad used to (seemingly) enjoy telling anyone he met that I have never taken a bite of meat in my life; which isn't actually accurate, as my parents tried for years to influence, cajole, force me to eat like a "normal" person. Every time, meat made me gag and cough it up. But, it isn't just meat that fails my appearance, smell, taste, texture sensitivities. It's almost everything anymore. I can count on 2 hands the things I can safely eat these days, and I worry as the "genetically modified" thing (a worse problem for me) becomes more commonplace, I'll have even less to choose from. I should add, I'm a super taster (along with having a very strong sense of smell (onions are one of the absolute banes of my existence)), and have a diagnosis of autism (although that was over 30 years ago..I am probably more accurately diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum). Anyway, I could go on ad-infinitum regarding my troubles...I have nobody in my life who even comes close to empathizing with my situation. My best friend tries, but even she just isn't even reading the same book, if the metaphor makes sense. It's been a long slog through life being like this, and it isn't getting any easier. I am absolutely terrified of ever being hospitalized...I would starve. I don't know how to connect with anyone who can empathize with my situation. I'm a bit of a Luddite, so I'm not into much social media (sharing memes on Facebook is about it). I've never met anyone who is similarly afflicted. I've looked on this site from time-to-time since I found it years ago, but haven't written in the guestbook til now. I've always been extremely self-conscious of how this seems to others...and strongly actively try to avoid social eating situations. The questions, comments, unknowing insults, overt insults, over the years have just made it worse. Thanksgiving is the worst, WORST, time for me. I abhor the day! As a kid (around 9 or 10), one older brother told me after cornering me alone in another room just before Thanksgiving dinner, that I'd die if I didn't eat turkey. It's one of my earliest and most upsetting memories of childhood. I envy the "normal" eaters. I do wish I was like them. But, I'm not, and that's not going to change. I know, it's been said things can be worse...sure, I've witnessed some bad medical situations of people I know and love, and how they've ended in death. I get that. But, going through life just barely eating enough to not literally starve, isn't a walk in the park. I guess I am trying to make my case to be allowed to communicate with others through this site directly, if only to have someone to hear me, and understand. I don't seek solutions; I know they don't exist. However, just having someone to tell my tale to, to commiserate with, would be helpful...
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hello Peter
Regarding your fear of being in a hospital. You should make sure that in your permanent medical record there is an ARFID entry under your listed conditions. I was in the hospital in March of 2016 for bypass surgery and because I had that ARFID entry I was able to get the food service people to send me things I could eat. They even got me some Chocolate Milk. There are no easy answers and I have experienced much of what you have written about. Now retired with my 3rd wife of 20 years. I will be sending you a direct invite to one of our support groups and there is also a facebook group listed on the websites front page. Glad you found us.