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AmyAmy from Belfast wrote on July 14, 2016 on 2:19 pm:
Im 17 and since the age of 5 i became a picky eater. Mostly at a young age i was forced to eat food that i didnt like (taste) and as i got older it was a thing everyone looked down on. I quit eating loads, avioded cafes/restruants and social gatherings. I hate people wanting to talk to me about it thinking that its just in my head when really i would love to eat everything and enjoy it but nothing hardly ever tastes good. I try so many different foods but apparently trying isnt good enough for my parents who regularly shout at me for not being able to eat like them. No one understands that i want to love food and it's upsetting cause they think im putting this on. Ive missed so much e.g. Parties cause im to embassessed, like do you think i would just put on this act and cause so much pain and misery for myself and my family? Im currently eating less and going out and forcing myself to eat 'normal food' then later nearly gagging or throwing up in the toilets over it. I dont want to be like this but nothing is working. Id do anything to get rid of it or for people to understand what we go through...
Admin Reply by: Bob
You actually have a disorder that you never asked to have. It's called ARFID. Learn about it and start enjoying life. There are so many things that are way worse. You can be happy no matter what you learn to eat.
MarissaMarissa wrote on July 12, 2016 on 10:23 am:
This is going to be a strange post that not even I can understand, but it's so reassuring to read everyone's experiences. I'm glad I'm not alone.
I'm 19 years old and for as long as I can remember, I've always been an extremely picky eater. Although I have read many of other people's entries, I still feel as if not everyone suffers from a Selective Eating Disorder the same way, although we suffer similar circumstances.
Now here's the weird part. My diet consists of nothing but fatty foods, yet I'm still a healthy weight, maybe even a little underweight. I survive on chicken nuggets, chicken strips, french fries, chips, very minimal fruits and veggies, and if pizza was never invented I wouldn't be here right now. And although that may seem like a decent list, all of those things must be from specific places that I trust (90% fast food). I mostly eat out at fast food places and RARELY ever pop most of those foods in the oven.
It's hard meeting new people who can't quite understand our struggle with food everyday. I feel like a freak when I try to explain what I eat to other people and I feel childish or judged. I simply can't "try" a new food. Nobody with this condition can easily "try" something. If you're like me, and have never tried the food they're pressuring you to eat, but just can't put the food to your mouth, then you're not alone. When asked what it is that I don't like from the said food, I honestly don't know how to answer. I wouldn't say it had anything to do with just aroma, appearance, or texture, but maybe a little bit of all three. Something in my brain warns me not to try these foods, even if they smell nice. I cannot even raise the fork to my lips because I will not. Something stops me every time and it's really hard to pinpoint what it is that makes new food unattractive to me. I haven't tried something completely new in possibly a very long time, but my oldest memory of ever trying something new was mashed potatoes and I gagged.
Even trying different nuggets from other places can be a challenge for me and you might think "What why not? All chicken nuggets are the same." They're not to me. I can tell the difference just by tasting it from another place and yes, they all have different tastes. A possibility of people who have this disorder might have hypersensitive taste buds? I'm not really sure how that works though.
Selective Eating Disorder IS an actual disorder even if people don't know it exists. It leads to social anxiety, OCD, and isolation in social situations. We have all faced this. I have somewhat mastered going out with people I'm comfortable with to new places to eat, but sometimes it can still be a challenge having to explain why I'm only eating breadsticks and french fries. What I haven't mastered yet is going over to friend's houses and they make food without you knowing and having to decline not eating using excuses like "I ate before I came" even though you're starving. It makes me feel guilty because I feel like I hurt their feelings by not eating and worry that they thought I was being rude.
I just wish people could understand why we can't just try new foods. I really hope in the future people take this disorder seriously because I'm afraid it might be too late for my body as I get older.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Just in case you missed it check out Amber's big challenge on our website video page. Just a few grains of rice and she has all sorts of problems.

I don't try new things in public because when I gag it is not a very pretty sight. It can also be painful and that is what I tell people.

Bob K
SarahSarah wrote on July 10, 2016 on 7:42 pm:
So for the longest time I thought I was one of maybe a handful of adults who were picky eaters in the extreme. I recently found this and a number of other sites whilst trying to find ways to help myself (it's been years since my last attempt and the new info is astonishing) and I finally feel like I'm not alone anymore. Eating out is always a nightmare for me, but one I'm accustomed to, (mom working late nights and dad can't cook) and so even now at 25 I just learn to deal with the comments from well meaning friends and family. I'm so grateful to know that it's not just me anymore. I still don't know if it's just me being a picky eater, or if it's worse than that, I have trouble listing out more that 15 that I eat, and have had foods drop out of my list over the years. I'm down to boxed mac & cheese, plain pasta, hot dogs, and apples.
ashleyashley from medicine hat wrote on July 9, 2016 on 6:35 pm:
I've been searching for a website like this for so long! I've been an extremely picky eater my whole like I don't eat beef,pork or any other animal I'll occasionally et chicken but it's a difficult process,ill eat some pasta,fruit,some vegtables,dairy, for me eating take a long time I have to inspect every piece of food before it enters my mouth some times for 2-3 minutes at a time and sometimes even then I have a hard time or even cat eat something which in turn will usually put me off of it and make me never want to try it again. I've never known if I'm just a picky eater or if there's an actual name for what's wrong with me.
Zhen JieZhen Jie from Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia wrote on July 9, 2016 on 10:48 am:
All these while I thought that I'm the only weirdo among my peers and family that being picky in food until I found out this website and know that I'm not alone. My parents told me that I refused to drink milk be it powdered or breast milk and resulting me being much more smaller compared to others. I have no issue with my picky eating habits during childhood as my parents will try their best to make food that I'll consume. And now that I moved out from my parents and live alone I find it very troublesome to get myself to eat. My diet consume mostly chips and bread. Even my roommate who used to cook for me is fed up with me cause I hardly eat what she cooks.
HeatherHeather from Oakhurst California wrote on July 6, 2016 on 9:49 pm:
I am an adult picky eater. I have always been a picky eater. It is not a texture or a color or any other thing that makes me so picky (that I know of anyway). Mostly vegetables and some meat. Don't get me wrong, they will look and smell sooo good but when I try it, I just don't like it. It doesn't matter how it is cooked. I hate it so much. I just had a baby and I know that changing my diet will help me lose the baby weight but I don't like anything that is healthy for me. I like some fruit. Mostly just bananas, apples, and grapes. I wish there was something that could change this. I always try new food, over and over again and I just won't like it.
MistyMisty from Somewhere in Texas wrote on July 6, 2016 on 6:47 am:
I've known something was wrong for awhile. I don't like "soft-crunchy" textures. Like that of onions, raw vegetables and most fruits. I can eat bananas. The only reason I ate it was because it was covered with chocolate in a crepe. After that I was more fond of them, not much but it's an occasional fruit. I survive on pasta, pizza (pepperoni, and sometimes green olives) meat is ok... Meaning I like fish fillets, but no squid, etc. I can't even continue with that list. I like chicken, turkey, ham. I will eat bacon but it has to be crisp. I like mostly processed junk food. I go weeks at a time eating the same thing until I get sick of it. Then I will switch to something else. I once ate chicken raman for 2 weeks, ONLY the raman, drinking coffee and Pepsi. Then after the raman I ate eggs. I cook them in Crisco until the white is all cooked and leave the yolk undone. I wouldn't eat anything but scrambled until I saw my sister eating them one day and I got brave enough to try it. Right now I have horrible teeth. I can't eat a lot of meat. I can if it is a spread from a can. I can't eat fish because the people I'm staying with don't like fish so it doesn't get bought. I weigh about 20 pounds less than I should. I "graze" a lot. My parents always said I was too picky. I use to eat cherries and all the things I hate now. I had a hamburger "shoved down" my throat when I was a kid. I was forced to eat corn and green beans my ex-aunt (she was aunt by marriage). I will not touch corn or green beans with a fifty foot pole. I use to not eat any meat at all. Then I graduated to hot dogs, without the bun or any condiments. Then I discovered Ketchup. Finally when I was about 12 or so I started eating it with the bun. When I was 9 or so I discovered McDonalds' Double Meat Cheeseburgers Meat and Cheese only. Of course I had to search it when I got it. I can't even tell you how many times I have gotten things that I ordered plain with things I don't like on them and that shouldn't be anywhere near it. Sorry this is so long, I'm a talkative one. I guess I will end this with... I look young and ate on the Kids menu a lot when going out. Still do if they let me. If I can get a pasta with Alfredo sauce, grilled cheese, french fries or pizza, I'm good to go.
AmyAmy from Pittsburgh wrote on July 5, 2016 on 10:57 pm:
I have had a problem with being picky eater all throughout childhood and now into adulthood. I believe that my problems started when my younger sister was born and I felt rejected by my mother. Then when I was 12 years old, I had a diving accident that resulted in paralysis and quadriplegia. I never really received any support or grief counseling so I moved out on my own from living with my family, I had even more trauma with relying on people and having to have them feed me. I have become very isolated and fearful of being with people and having to eat in public. I'm glad to have finally found some answers and support.
SS wrote on July 4, 2016 on 11:12 am:
I've been an incredibly picky eater my whole life, however more recently I have branced out and tried a few new things. My diet initially consisted of bread, cereals and chips (fries) however now I'm eating some fruit (Apples, grapes) but also different fruit and veg in blended smoothies (Spinach, Kale, Cucumber, bananas, berries, oranges, nuts etc). I recently got a new job that involves travelling all over the world and I'm worried i will go into hiding when it comes to eating socially or in foreign countries. I don't want to offend or seem strange to any of my work mates. I realise that the foods that I listed above may make it sound like I'm not really a fussy eater however it really is only in the last 2 years that I've made a massive effort. (I'm 25). I haven't ate socially in years and always make excuses which is getting very old and annoying. Anyway I just thought I'd share this to see if anyone else is in the same boat.
Madison Lyons-SabadosMadison Lyons-Sabados wrote on July 4, 2016 on 5:51 am:
I am 18 years old and have a specific range of foods I eat. When I was younger I was a very picky eater. Even though it has gotten better as I have gotten older in some areas I have regressed in other areas. I will only eat most foods not mixed together. I have many medical issues (an overlying genetic condition) and those include GI issues which at times limits me to a clear or full liquid diet and avoid high fat, high fiber foods as well as maintaining a high salt, high calorie diet. So I am picky partially out of neccesity and partially because there are some foods I really don't like due to taste and or texture like bacon, tomatoes in whole form, cucumber, pickles, vinegar laced anything, liquid milk of any fat percent, processed pork products like hot dogs or bologna, squash, zucchini, cauliflower, sea food, deli turkey, ham etc. and the list keeps going. At times I have to rely on nutrition drinks to get enough nutrition. I actually usually crave very healthy foods but can't eat a lot due to my various GI problems like gastroparesis and slow motility of my lower GI tract.
ChristineChristine from Fairborn wrote on July 4, 2016 on 1:39 am:
I am a picky eater where as I will not eat much vegies, fruits, and If I try something that I have not tried I usually don't like it like squash. I do love candy and sweets I wonder if some of this is due to not liking other foods and filling up with sweets.
MaddieMaddie from Cleveland wrote on July 3, 2016 on 1:55 am:
Hello! I am 20 years old, and I have been a picky eater for about as long as I can remember. I remember getting into trouble with my mom for not eating all of my dinner when I was younger. I only ate a specific list of things, and that list hasn't changed much to this day. It's frustrating because I explain to people that I want to eat other things, but I just can't. I get picked on by my family a lot about it, and every relationship I've been in, they always tell me, "oh ok sure, you'll get over it." And of course, never do. I refuse to eat salads, fruits, and all that, but I will drink veggie juice, or eat apple sauce. I can't do the textures of fruits/ veggies, I just can't chew them, it makes me sick, and it makes me gag. It's pretty embarrassing, and going to new food restaurants is always stressful, because what if they don't have chicken tenders? Or simple things like that? I've skipped dinner while eating out because I was too embarrassed to order off the children's menu, or even they didn't have anything I would eat. My weight fluctuates, and currently I am expecting my first child, and I really don't want them to have these issues too. They're really frustrating and I just don't know what to do, I've always been told I'll grow out of it, but that hasn't happened.
LilyLily from Omaha wrote on June 17, 2016 on 8:55 am:
My whole life I really thought I was the only one with this problem. it's good to know that there are people who know exactly what you are going through and who don't sit here and laugh at you because you are just so "stubborn." People don't understand that we do not choose to live this way, it's just the way things are. I am only 16 years old now, but I know I won't be changing my eating habits anytime soon. It's to the point where I have to lie to my friends about not being able to go out with their families to restaurants because I'm afraid of where we will go and if there is anything on the menu I will eat. it's really frustrating when you want to be able to live and enjoy your life and go have a bite to eat with some friends, but have to live in constant fear of being judged for something that is out of our control. If I could change, of course I would, but for now I have to continue to struggle. Having AFRID makes losing weight a lot harder too. "Just eat healthier foods!" Well if I did that, then I would only ever eat about 5 things my entire life. I just feel as if something wrong with me. As the months have been going by, I have started to not care for some of the foods I once loved. I fear that I will become sick if I only eat the same, unhealthy foods for the rest of my life. I've tried to make a change, but my body simply won't let me. The hardest part is not knowing anyone who can really understand where you are coming from. If it wasn't for this site, I may have shut down completely.
KiraKira wrote on June 16, 2016 on 7:28 am:
I really thought I was alone in my strange eating habits. It's refreshing to know I'm not alone and that I can maybe get help one day. I'm only 16, but I don't see myself "growing out of it" anytime soon. I was picky for as long as I could remember. I can't stand mashed potatoes and mac n cheese. The thought of it makes me want to throw up. I've always had a thing with texture. Nothing mushy or slimy. There's nothing more embarrassing than going to your boyfriend's Memorial Day party and only having tortilla chips on your plate while everyone else is eating burgers and potato salad. Everyone was questioning why I didn't go grab some real food. His mom even joked when I went to get ice cream: "Finally, something you'll eat!" She meant it as a joke but it felt like a knife in my gut. I have trouble going to restaurants with people who aren't my close friends or family due to a fear that they'll judge the child-like foods I order. It's even worse when they actually point it out. Eating is a part of everyday life which makes it such a challenge. I usually pull the "I'm not hungry" card. This works most of the time, but after repeated use, my boyfriend's mom was concerned about me being anorexic! I don't have a body image issue. I just have a food issue...
BethBeth from Albany wrote on June 15, 2016 on 3:30 am:
I'm so glad I found this site. The stories which I am reading fit my son to a "T". He's 24 and his menu is very limited as to what he will eat. He wants to change but just can't. I don't believe anything traumatic happened to him in the past as we have always tried to be accommodating as I know how he feels as my issue is with anything fluffy. I just can't eat anything fluffy or anything that I perceive to be fluffy. While that in no way is the same as his issues, I do understand. My heart hurts for him as now that he has graduated college and is in the workforce, it's making him very uncomfortable. Can I do anything for him? Is there any type of doctor that he can see to help him adjust?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Heff5

Your son has a now recognized eating disorder listed in the 2013 issue of the DSM. It's official name is ARFID or Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. It might help if your son were to alert his employer about his recognized disability. However that may only make things worse. I have found letting those people that I have contact with the truth about my disorder in an open and frank way can relieve lots of day to day stress. Cures are really hard to come by. How much fluffy stuff would you have to consume before you would get over your problems. Probably lots and your son has way more issues. Finally there really is no reason your son can not live a very happy and fruitful life even if he never learns to eat one more thing. It is only food. Make sure he finds out there are many others. That will probably be one of the most memorable days in his life.
Bob K
AprilApril from JACKSONVILLE. wrote on June 14, 2016 on 11:58 pm:
Hi Everyone
Im so thankful that I came across this group....Ive been very picky all my life and I use to think "why am I like this" "im the only person that eat like...My diet consist of cheese pizza, mac&cheese, lipton chicken noodle soup, chicken strips, french fries, vegs just apples for fruit....sometimes i wish i was not like this, but its refreshing to see that im not the only one...
LeannaLeanna from Fairmont, WV wrote on June 13, 2016 on 4:50 am:
I'm 36 years old and cringe everytime I have to make up an excuse when someone invites me to their house for a meal. I've been told since I was a small child that my food issues are weird. I got in trouble for not finishing dinner, unable to come up with answers as to why I couldn't eat certain things no matter how hungry I might be. And I would be sent to bed hungry. I think the reaction from family and friends/lack of support made the whole condition worse. Finding out that there are actually others like me is a huge sigh of relief.
LindaLinda from Staten Island wrote on June 8, 2016 on 1:58 pm:
Thank you so much for this website. I have a 17 year old son who has been a picky eater since he was 3. Like some of the stories I read, he can't do moist and mushy. When he was much younger the sight of green salad would make him gag and throw up. We would have to place a large menu in front of our food in order to eat our meal. Lots of times, we just left without eating. He knows his condition well. A part of him wants to change but there is a fear that stops him from trying anything new. In the beginning, we thought he was just an average picky eater but he never grew out of it. He's a bright child and an aspiring athlete. I worry that he's not getting the right balance. He has added some things to his menu. Dinner is the hardest. He will eat, Fried Chicken Breast, Pizza, and Fried Calamari. He eats a lot of carbs. French fries, bread, pancakes, waffles, etc. But he can't eat mac n cheese, mashed potatoes, or any kind of vegetables. He used to eat apples and then a few years ago the skin started bothering him. I took the skin off, and then the apple itself became a problem because he felt it was making his throat itchy. It's not an easy thing to deal with. I used to get angry, and I feel so bad about that. At one point I just decided that this is a condition. I have taken him to doctors, who look at his size, 6'2" 200 pounds and say he's fine. I know what he eats and I know it isn't balanced. Lately he has started eating a lot of high protein yogurts and Whey Protein. Thank goodness for that. I feel so bad. My heart goes out to him because his girlfriend eats everything and I know that he's not able to share his problem with her, just yet. I really want to know more about this condition because I feel it affects his confidence. Is there anything you can recommend to help?
Admin Reply by: Bob
Make sure he finds out that there are many others in the world with similar issues with food. Plus you might want to get him tested for any deficiencies he might have. Those can be treated with supplements and vitamins. No reason why he can't have a great life no matter how many things he is able to eat. It is only food. Girlfriend also should be told so he does not have added stress over it. She will either accept it or he can move on. I feel your son will be just fine. Many gifted people deal with the same food issues.
JillJill from Livermore wrote on June 7, 2016 on 6:58 am:
My daughter is 12 and has been very picky from about 6 months old. Her issue is texture. Nothing mashed or mushy. She often will pick through her meal & go to bed hungry. This was a harsh discovery as her mom! Her food likes are simple and her only condiment is salt. I feel bad for her & don't know what to do for her. I see here she isn't alone. All your stories I identify with. This is hard wired with her as neither her dad or I are picky. She is anxious with less than great self confidence. As her mom, I wish I could make it better for her.
Admin Reply by: Bob
One way to make it better for her is to let her find out she is not the only one and there is no reason why she can't have a great life no matter what she learns to eat. At 12 years old she still might grow out of it. But the more time that passes the less likely it will become. Help her feel good about herself no matter what she is able to eat. Did you know there are famous people who are picky eaters. Start with Warren Buffet the billionaire.
JulieJulie from Shamokin wrote on June 5, 2016 on 6:36 am:
I used to eat everything. It started about when I was 5 I would get picky. I remember getting grounded because I wouldn't eat my meatloaf and I would go to bed hungry because I didn't want mashed potatoes. I get anxiety attacks just thinking about being near the foods I don't like. Maybe once a year I can get out of my comfort zone and try a food. It's only with salty things too, I'm up to try any dessert. And I prefer eating salty foods anyway. There was a point in time where I would only eat reduced fat peanut butter (no reason other than it tasted better to me) Nutella and chicken Ramen noodles. I think visiting my hometown and having their good pizza got me out of it.

I'm 17 and still a picky eater and I can't stand foods I don't like. I'm deathly afraid of mayo. I'm already diagnosed with bipolar. Which intensifies my opposition to trying foods/eating food I don't like. I wish my mom would understand.