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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.
LexiLexi from Palo Alto wrote on June 4, 2016 on 3:20 am:
I am 18 now, and my parents still hope that I'll grow out of it but it does not seem like it's going to happen. I try new things, but more often than not my palate shrinks rather than grows! I survive mainly off of chicken, pasta, and steak. I hate veggies (except carrots) but love most fruit. I have a huge sweet tooth and it takes a lot of willpower not to eat all the candy I can find. I hate pizza. I've probably met one other person who didn't like pizza, and no one who can't stand it like I can. Oh, and absolutely no sea food or coffee or tea or anything bitter. Surprisingly not a big French fry fan. Being a picky eater is so embarrassing, I always eat before parties but I still frustrate hosts. All my orders need to be plain, and I am always so grateful when restaurants will let me order off the kids menu. Adult food is gross, I am definitely a kid at heart
LillianLillian from Cleveland wrote on June 2, 2016 on 6:47 pm:
Since I was a little girl, I was told I was a picky eater and "you'll grow out of it." I'm 30 and still haven't grown out of it. I can count on one hand the foods I eat on a regular basis and need my other hand for the foods that I eat once or twice a year. I thought I was alone! Growing up I had a few close friends that I trusted with how I ate. Luckily I live in the south and you can find chicken tenders at almost every restaurant (of course when I was little I'd only eat from certain places, now I'm a little more flexible with my chicken). Thank you for showing me I'm not alone!
HeatherHeather wrote on June 1, 2016 on 6:34 pm:
WOW! I can't believe I stumbled across this website today and now realize at age 45 that I'm not the only one dealing with this. Just last night, a friend mentioned to me that "we should do a lobster boil" and she immediately realized by the look on my face that I don't eat lobster (or any fish/seafood) She joked "wow, how are we friends?" and I know she didn't mean it to be rude but I've heard comments like that all my life. "how could you be from Cape Cod and not eat seafood?" "have you ever tried it?" etc. etc. Anyway, so glad to have found this website.
Deb M :)Deb M :) wrote on May 31, 2016 on 5:13 pm:
Hi! I am so glad to hear of others who like plain food! I was always labelled a picky eater and eat mostly the same stuff since being a kid. I like ketchup and a bit of mayo, but no other condiments or sauces. If I have a tossed salad, I don't have any dressing and have to add a bit of chicken, cubed cheddar cheese and apples. I'm trying to eat healthier, but I prefer grilled cheese, potatoes, chicken and a bit of fish. I'm not into boned, skinned or red meat. I can eat the same 'kid food' all the time, like chicken fingers and potato wedges. The restaurants all have spicy and weird food that I just can't eat. I ask for plain and they think I'm a pain, and sometimes they won't accommodate at all. I'm the one they all eye roll at, including my husband and kids, and no one understands! I just can't help it and why is it such a problem for others? My tastebuds are they way they are! When I was a kid, my parents would give me string green beans and keep giving it to me, meal after meal, until I ate them. Same with creamed corn. And grapefruit. Makes me want to barf thinking about it. I said I would never do that to my kids, and I don't. If they don't like it, I never force it. They say they have Daddy's tastebuds, and thankfully so. But that means they don't understand either. Glad to have found others who eat as I do!
LeahLeah from Halifax wrote on May 30, 2016 on 9:41 pm:
I am currently 21 years old and I have never met any one with a similar diet to me. Reading the stories and watching the videos on this website make me feel like I'm finally not alone. My diet consists of mainly french fries, and peanut butter toast and that's mainly what I've lived on since infancy. I've dealt with bullying and people alienating me for pretty much my whole life, so reading these stories is a refreshing change of pace. Social eating or even anything that could link me to ordering 'just a side order of fries' scares the heck outta me and I avoid it like the plaque, it's humiliating and at times opens me up to even more people asking questions , or belittling me to just being a spoiled brat. Before seeing the TV specials and reading these stories and often believed I really was just a spoiled brat and was making ti all up, and I was just a freak who wouldn't. I was told relentlessly as a child I would grow out of it...until I just didn't. I want to change but as of now I can't.
Thank you to everyone who shares their stories on here. It gives people like me something to hold on to , to know I am not a freak.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sad truth is most kids do grow out of it. But for people like us we do not grow out of it and we go into hiding as adults. It can at times be all to consuming affecting all aspects of our lives. Constant worry each and every day. Still it's no reason not to enjoy life. Many people like us are gifted and very successful in life.
WarrenWarren from Jersey, Channel Islands wrote on May 30, 2016 on 9:25 am:
Hi everyone.

I am 26 and live in Jersey in the UK. I have never met anyone with a similar condition other than on TV shows about "freaky eaters", so really nice to see there are other people out there. My diet is white bread with spreadable cheese, yogurts, plain crisps, chips (fries) and a couple of types of cereal. I am still extremely active and play sports multiple times a week, but like alot of others here its the social eating side that is the hardest to deal with. I work in a job where going for meals with clients and team members is common place, and therefore have earned the nickname "chippy" as that will be all I can eat at any restaurant other than bread. I have had phases of trying to change my diet since I can remember, from a child psychiatrist years ago where I had to stop because I was getting severely depressed, where the issue was diagnosed as "selective eating disorder" that would likely go away on its own, to more recently trying things like hypnotherapy all with not much luck. Fries are the only real addition to my diet and that was a survival tactic at university as some of the other food I can eat wasn't available all the time. I would be really interested to see if there are many people out there who managed to get past it somehow, if it's even possible.
CrystalCrystal from Kansas City wrote on May 27, 2016 on 7:31 pm:
So I'm not alone! Good to know, people always are shocked when I tell them I can't stand Milk, even as a child, ice cream, & yogurt all make me gag! I'm good with most cheeses though. I can't stand anything that comes out of the ocean, no fish of any kind. No stinky cheeses for me, blue cheese, and even truffle oil are a no from me. I don't eat Pork, except for bacon and pepperoni. I can't stand White beans, and Avocados! Yuck! I can stand to make guacomole for people, just don't ask me to try it first. I know I'm better off than most on here, I love burgers, pizza, pastas with red or Alfredo sauce (No Pesto, and NO Chimichurri sauce) I don't know what the big fad is with chimichurri sauce is with restaurants now a days! I love fruit & vegetables, except chickpeas, hummus, White beans, Papaya, Mangoes, blueberries, honeydew (but I do love cantaloupe). I am affectionately known in the house to have a nose like a blood hound. If there is an open can of tuna, or an open bag of corn nuts I will leave the house or office for at least 24 hours. My family knows that those 2 items are banned from our house. When I was younger, my food could not touch or I would not eat it! I've gotten better in my 35 yrs. Also if we are having something like chicken fried steak the gravy can not be on top of anything, I will slice a piece and dip it in the gravy because I cannot eat soggy fried foods. Gross! Needless to say this condition or whatever it is has been passed on to my 17 year old son, needless to say he is now a full on Vegan, with one exception.... Crab Rangoons, and that is my one exception for not liking anything from the sea. I'm rambling, but it feels nice to know there are strange eaters out there like me! :)
druedrue from cincinnati wrote on May 26, 2016 on 8:56 pm:
Thank you! so I'm NOT the only one. i'm a 70 year old female who has never eaten pizza, any kind of pasta or or or...much of anything else. grilled cheese sandwiches yes! please, no pimiento in the cheese. I think this organization has already improved my life. Just knowing you're there is such a huge relief I can hardly take it all in. more later.
Admin Reply by: Bob
If I had met you 40 years ago you would have been my dream girl. I'm getting ready to celebrate my 69th and until I started this website in 2003 I thought I was the only one. We have more company than you can ever imagine. I hate pickles on my grilled cheese.
Bob K
RobynLindsayRobynLindsay wrote on May 25, 2016 on 3:33 pm:
I think the worst thing about being a 'fussy' eater is eating out - So many times people have invited my partner and I out for a meal, only to have to turn down the invitation because there is literally nothing on the menu that I can work with - I've gotten to the point where I'm completely unfazed by asking for things plain, or with the sauce on the side, or without this or that... My friends say that sometimes they are embarrassed to eat out with me because I'm the 'awkward' one, but I've learned to laugh it off. Textures, smells, and not knowing the ingredients are my problem - I'm always suspicious of sauces, and never have them - except ketchup, which is my go to 'helper' when I order something that *should* be ok but actually isn't - Smothering in ketchup and trying not to chew more than necessary can usually leave me having eaten a halfway decent portion. I understand that I'm better off than some - I can eat a small handful of veg, chicken, cod or haddock, and rice, and plain food (like cheese and tomato pizza, no tomato chunks) but I wish dearly that I could eat 'normally' - I wish I liked pasta, or cold/reheated food (even if I've cooked it, it's not happening.) I wish that I liked red meat, if only so that I could eat *something* different than the same 7 or 8 meals, day in, day out. I've improved a lot since I was a kid - can recall a 3 hour standoff with my mum over a tea spoonful of baked beans (I won that one) but recently was able to try a spoonful when cooking for my nephew (hoping for a new go to meal - It was not successful, too mushy,) and when a friend invited me round for tea then served pie, I managed to eat some, where a year ago I'd have just pushed it around. Eating it involved much scraping of gravy, and dissecting the pastry until there was no soggy and only crispy pastry, but I still count that as progress. Still, it would be nice to go out for a meal, and go to any restaurant others wanted, instead of having to analyse the menu for chicken or fish dishes that I can tailor to my ‘fussiness.’ I’d love to pre-prepare my lunches instead of sticking to sandwiches or toast – because I can make those in work. In fact, I’d love to be able to bring pasta salad or and actual salad for lunch. People think that you’re being fussy, or a bit odd, and are sometimes somewhat resentful of how difficult it is to feed you, or to find somewhere for you to eat, without considering that you have to deal with this, day in, day out; and it’s exhausting.
AliciaAlicia wrote on May 24, 2016 on 5:38 pm:
I've had a very restrictive diet since I was very young. Every year when I would go to the doctor they'd say stuff like "Oh, she'll grow out of it." Well I'm 20 now and I haven't grown out of it. My diet for the good majority of my childhood was peanut butter sandwiches, specifically they had to be made with jif peanut butter and one piece of white wonder bread. I won't even eat this anymore most of the time because I'm so sick of it. It's getting worse to where I only want fast foods like fries or plain cheese pizza from few places. There's a few fruits that I'll eat, but I'm afraid of the texture of some. I can usually try desserts and drinks more easily. Meats and pastas scare me because of the texture and sound and I haven't eaten a vegetable in 18 years. When I do finally get up the courage to try something usually I'll gag and half to spit it out. Not being used to the texture coupled with the fact that my palate is so simple makes it so difficult to try and like something. I hate it when people call me "picky" because they don't understand. People have told me that I'm going to become anorexic, they think I'm being stubborn, and they glare at me when trying something doesn't work. My boyfriend is the only one actively trying to help me, but without other help it's really hard. It's getting in the way of getting married and it scares me to death thinking what if I never get better? Therapy doesn't seem to be enough but I don't know what else I can do. I just wish more people understood that we're not just "picky" or "stubborn". Some of us are just scared...
MandyMandy from Hamilton wrote on May 23, 2016 on 2:16 am:
I have been a picky Eater since childhood, and it seems the older I get, the less food I like. Food I actually use to like as a kid, repulse me now. The hardest thing for me is that I have never liked the taste, texture, or smell of cheese. I come from an Italian family where almost everything is covered in cheese. It's hard living like this, I very rarely enjoy eating anymore.
ChrisChris from Greece wrote on May 21, 2016 on 7:22 pm:
Hello to all.My name is Chris and I am a selective ( I prefer that word ) eater.My whole life.I never bent the knee.No matter what.No matter how hard my parents tried.I am from Greece were doing your military service is compulsory.I survived with biscuits and apples and bread during my basic training which lasted a week.I used to hide this with excuses until my mid 20s,but not any more.I say it in everyone's face and I don't care.It is part of who I am and I am proud of it.I just don't care.In Greece food is MAJOR.Family gatherings and dinners are FULL of food.Food that I hate,I despise.Not only the look of it.The smell.Having to look at other people eating the meat from the actual bone makes me want to throw up.Literally.I must say that I have expanded my menu during the years.Lots of vegetables now ( no tomatoes though ).But I still like my food to be served separately ( not mixed up ),to have a nice appearance,to smell good.No red meat.No fish with bones.No pork.The only meat I eat is chicken and turkey fillet.Clean and clear.If I spot anything....funny I just don't eat it.Nothing else meatwise.I eat none of the traditional greek food.I have a standard 5 type lunch routine and that is it.And I still struggle at restaurants, finding something to eat with great difficulty.There is nothing to be ashamed of fellow picky or selective eaters.We are who we are.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Chris

I was stationed in Athens with the US Navy for two years and I can still remember butcher shops with dog carcasses hanging outside. Do they still do that? The Greek people were very nice to me during my stay in the cradle of democracy. I remember the ladies were very beautiful.