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NaomiNaomi from Spencer wrote on September 3, 2018 on 5:51 pm:
Hey. I have been a picky eater ever since I was little. I used to eat everything even if it wasn't enjoyable--only because my parents made me. Eventually, I stopped eating all these foods and my diet became very limited. I'm currently 18 and the most I eat are chicken tenders, french fries, and pepperoni pizza. I don't eat vegetables, I eat very little fruits and I eat pretty much no protein. I always feel like crap, but at the same time I just can't change it. Generally, if I think a food looks or smells bad, I can't and won't eat it. It takes me so long to try a food and then people make fun of me for it and I laugh along with them even though it actually hurts. I'm tired of feeling like this, but at the same time I don't know what to do.
juliajulia wrote on August 24, 2018 on 11:44 pm:
Hi i would like to thank the people of picky eating adults for some wonderful tips. It helped me a lot into losing weight and i lost about 50lbs in about 5 months time which is really good considering my weight was well over 250 pounds. so thanks!
Kenzie StarrKenzie Starr wrote on August 22, 2018 on 12:30 am:
So I just got back from a week long trip with my boyfriends family. I never realized how bad I was until now. By the end of the week I went outside whenever they ate because I knew I couldn’t eat it (the dad refused ketchup in his house so that meant most of what I ate was out). I don’t know if there’s help to change this disorder I maybe eat as much as a 3-5 year old would maybe with some things differing (I don’t eat pizza or much meat but love cooked veggies). I have to have ketchup or cheese on everything. My boyfriend of 5 years knows where to go when we go out but seeing that he would love to go to the restaurant where I have to look up a menu and 9/10 time order from the kids menu I know it must b hard on him. Also I don’t eat a lot so sometimes the kids portions feel me up and I give the rest to him and I know he’s tired of chicken fingers and spaghetti. I just want to be a normal adult and be able to enjoy food and eating without feeling ashamed for barely eating.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Well it's not your fault and you have a real disorder. Many people have it from all over the world. You could have gotten it through your gene's. Many things in life that are much worse. There is no reason why you can't have a great life no matter how many things you can eat. I know it is tough sometimes I have been dealing with it for 71 years and still going.
Bob K
KaitieKaitie from Huntsville wrote on August 19, 2018 on 9:11 am:
I read about ARFID around a year ago, and it gave me the most unique feeling to know that what I deal with is a real thing. I'm almost 23, but since a very young age, I've been physically unable to force myself to try new things. I will gag at the idea of any vegetable, and most fruits. Certain textures will give me a panic attack. People have laughed at me and called me a picky eater, but I know it isn't just picky eating. It's a real disorder and I can't help it. I always tell myself I'll start trying one new thing per week or per month and I just can't do it. I eat mainly chicken, burgers (plain), plain tacos with just meat, plain pepperoni or cheese pizza, pb&j, cereal, and other unhealthy junk foods and snacks. I'm really overweight because of this and I need to change. I need serious help and I can't afford any treatment. It genuinely terrifies me that I may be like this forever. I have such a terrible relationship with food, it depresses me endlessly.
AliceAlice from Sac wrote on August 18, 2018 on 4:24 am:
Hello- I am over 50 and according to my mom, one day when I was a toddler I just stopped eating most foods. Being of a certain age, I can assure you all that this is NOT a fast food driven problem caused by lazy parents or what have you. I always joke that I eat about 15 things, the number growing from single digits when I was 'immature' haha. Sadly, the joke is most likely true. Like you all, the food is all plain, mostly in the white color scheme, and I cannot understand the concept of 'trying new foods'. Interestingly, the one non plain thing I eat is Taco flavored Dorito Chips. No other version of Doritos except the plain that they no longer sell on the west coast. I used to stress about who would bring my McDonalds (plain hamburger and FF) when I'm old and in a nursing home, but with the advent of meal delivery services- I'm feeling much better! Is there any thought to having a national meet up or regional meet ups? I would enjoy meeting people and not having to explain my eating habits. Also, I feel the amount of money we would have to pay for banquets would most likely be ridiculously low if our typical menu were followed! Who hates paying $40 for events where you KNOW you will only eat rolls?
Admin Reply by: Bob
It's possible Rhonda who can be found working with our facebook group is trying to put something together around the nations capital. We did have a group meet about 7 or 8 years ago and those who attended had a wonderful time. We could have stayed and talked for days. So strange to be in a group where everyone understands you. I like you at 71 worry about being in a nursing home and some well meaning staff members decide that they can fix me. Oh that would be really bad. Just no fixing it at my age.
WhitneyWhitney from Henrico wrote on August 16, 2018 on 10:01 pm:
I am so happy to find this is a real disorder. I have always been ridiculed about not trying new foods and people can never understand why I won't eat hardly anything. And just recently I found out I'm highly sensitive to casein or milk so that cut back a lot or pretty much everything that I eat besides bread or gluten which is starting to give me issues also. I'm 37 years old and this is starting to cause me stomach issues. I already have leaky gut. The NutriBullet has helped me tremendously because mine is mainly with the texture of food and it pol varizes everything so it's completely smooth and icy... If you use frozen fruit... But I'm bad about using that everyday and I just seem to want granola bars. And I drink way too much coke. Actually that's all I drink. I'm just so glad that this is something that's real and not just behavior I guess
LukasLukas wrote on August 13, 2018 on 10:30 pm:
Hello my name is Lukas I'm 17 years old will be 18 soon and I've been pretty picky as a teen. Spaghetti, rice, pizza, beans, peas, gravy, mashed potatoes, casserole, lasagna, shrimp, lobster, corn, stew, soup, mostaccioli (i would not eat that even if you paid me) and a bunch of other foods I've never actually tried but they're just terrifying like it's super hard for me to even consider taking a bite out of something I would sweat if I was forced to try spaghetti and probably vomit.

I haven't necessarily tried a lot of foods but as a kid I loved everything. I don't know why but it's super hard for me to gain the courage to even try certain foods, I've tried pizza just today for like the 4th time and every time I taste it it's just terrible all I can taste is the sauce, people think i'm so weird that I don't like these foods and I just wish I did so i'd be considered normal. I'm basically being forced to try spaghetti soon and it's actually been stressing me out like mentally and it takes a toll on me. And it's not something where it's like "oh take a bite" i stress extremely about it. As a early teen i got pure plain hamburgers, didn't like cheese lettuce tomatoes, basically didn't eat any veggies, only ate like chicken nuggets you got in the bags, french fries, bagels, and some fruits. But the pressure from society and culture on wanting to try these new foods is so tough. I don't know why I can't just be picky and not get ridiculed and called "weird". I feel like looking back 3-4 years i'm better but still it's stressful. And the fact that I have a girlfriend and their family knows i'm like this is just even more stressful lmao.

All in all it's definitely helpful to see that i'm not alone because I honestly thought I was just a freak and some anomaly in society and that everyone liked all foods, my friends always rip on me and tell me to man up but it's legitimately stressful and I still don't understand why. Thank you for taking the time to read and know that you aren't alone.
HannahHannah wrote on August 10, 2018 on 1:02 pm:
Hi everyone, I’m Hannah and I’m 20 years old. My story is a little different and people just don’t understand it. Neither do I to be honest. Up until the age of 5, I ate everything and anything, I was a chubby child and loved food, healthy and bad! My parents just remember me being the age of 5 when I began to dislike food. I had a fear of fruit and vergetables and would only eat very plain coloured foods. I have learned to like a lot now but I still haven’t been able to eat fruit since 5 years old. I try every year and it just won’t happen. Doctors say I’m still getting the vitamins I need so there’s no need to worry but it’s so hard in everyday life. I’m still quite fussy, very much a children’s menu girl. But I can’t find any help, I don’t know what to do. It’s so restricting, making my social anxiety very difficult. I’m hoping I can find some help or tips on here, and thank any help in advance x
DeAnnDeAnn from Fullerton wrote on August 8, 2018 on 3:40 pm:
Hello PEAS members and guests. I am a MFT (Marriage & Family Therapist) and I have worked with quite a few people who have issues with food. It seems to me, the most annoying thing people who have issues with food hate, are other people trying to get them to try new foods or say they dealt with it too and can "fix" them. What I have come to learn, is it's not always something to fix. If you're a picky eater, its something you deal with everyday and you might eat other foods but it's not really a decision to make, it's usually something you're fighting with inside yourself daily and you don't need or want others to "help" you. You are fine the way you are, and it's the texture or smells of food that turns you off to that food.
I think I understand the life of a picky eater and you're eating to live, not living to eat like so so many of our fellow Americans who are over eaters do everyday. Please try to take good care of yourself, that's the most important thing. Vitamins and supplements may be helpful, that's what some of my clients have tried to do to help themselves.
Like I said, I know little about being a picky eater since I'm not one, but I think I might have a little insight into what it might be like since I've worked with many in my practice. I will delve into your web site and check out more and learn more so I can be more sensitive to the picky eaters I work with and I meet. Thank you for finding this web site and I will refer my clients if they would like to learn more and find other people with similar issues.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thanks for your wonderful words of understanding. I have the disorder and you seem to have a good grip on the issues. It is sad that during our lives we constantly run into people who want to fix it thinking it is all so simple. They think just get us to take a bite of something they love and we will have the same wonderful experience and our problems are over. I would be real interested in hearing how your doing with the people you are trying to help. Thanks for posting Bob K
RebeccaRebecca from Melbourne wrote on August 8, 2018 on 12:49 am:
Hi, my name is Rebecca.
I have struggled with ARFID/SED for a very long time. I am 19. I think I started showing symptoms when I was a toddler. I remember being able to happily eat apples and cheese.
I don't know what started my symptoms but it totally turned everything around. Like most of you guys, I am limited to what my friends often tell me is "a 12 year old's birthday party" diet. I often feel lucky that my friends recognize it as something else at all. My whole life I have been totally ridiculed and shunned and blamed for my eating habits. As a kid, I had no idea what was "wrong with me", and constantly tried to find reasons or excuses to eat the way I do. I was often punished by my parents too, some of which I don't remember at all, but I do remember a lot of nights spent alone in my room, crying, because I couldn't eat the Chow Mein my mum cooked. After many doctor visits and seeing a dietitian I took it into my own hands and started doing some digging. That's how I found out about this. Wow. It blew my mind. I always felt so out-cast and alone, but it isn't just me. This stuff is deeply psychological. Deeply. It hurts that other people don't recognize that, for me, at least. It has taken its toll on my mental health (social anxiety, OCD symptoms, feeling depressed, etc) but my most rock bottom was standing in the bathroom and feeling so disgusting and awful and alone and wanting to throw everything up in the toilet and call it a day. I didn't. It's so hard. People need to look beyond the "picky eating" part and dig a little deeper. I don't want pity from the people around me - I want so badly for some acceptance and recognition. I struggle with this a lot too. Friends will often brush off the severity of it, of how I feel especially. Hence a lot of teasing, even light-hearted, it hurts me.

I will say, I've come a very long way. I have been experimenting and trying in tiny baby steps, where-ever I can. It is very slow, but I am relieved to be taking steps in the right direction. I still have a very long way to go. The path ahead is kind of frightening. But I want this more than anything. I have already been to psychiatrists (though I recently moved so I should start searching for a new one, they helped me SO much in facing my eating).
This is just my story. I need a platform to share, especially one where people might take me seriously. Thank you for taking the time to read - and sorry if I got a little dark in there. I'm doin' alright, and it will get better.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Rebecca
Glad you found us.
Bob K
SavannahSavannah from Conway wrote on August 5, 2018 on 7:42 am:
Hi! I'm Savannah, 22 years old. I've been this way my whole life. I eat more now than I did when I was younger, but not by much. People say I still eat like a kid. Chicken nuggets, cheese pizza, mac and cheese, french fries, etc. I was always singled out because of it. My parents arguing, my mom telling my dad he was "enabling me", saying he was the one who "screwed me up". Christmas dinners where my entire family would pick on me because while they ate lamb, I ate some ramen noodles. It wasn't until my sister got pregnant and had a fear of her son being as picky as me, she did some research. She was the first, and still really the only, to learn how I felt. It felt so, so good to finally have someone who atleast kind of understood me and what I've gone through. I want to try new things, but I have a fear of it. Like I'm actually afraid. I don't know. I was doing some research, and stumbled across this site. I've been reading some other stories, and it's just really nice to find other people like me, who understand what it's like.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Hello Savannah Glad you found us and you are far from alone. There thousands of people who have the same issues with food that we do. You never asked or chose to eat the way you do and you would change if all you had to do was take a bite. Your sister is very wise to look into what you have and she should know that for many our eating disorder does travel through the family gene pool. There is no reason why you can't have a great life no matter how many different things you can eat. Just ask the famous investor Warren Buffet who likes to live on candy and cola drinks. Welcome Bob K
RachelRachel from St. Clair Shores wrote on August 2, 2018 on 4:39 am:
Hello! I'm 17 years old, and I've been a picky eater for that long. For years my mom tried to force me to eat all sorts of food, and I'd sit at the dinner table for hours until she let me go to bed. I always thought it was because I was so young, that my tastebuds would develop (is that even a real thing?) and I'd start to like other foods. Unfortunately I've come to the realization that I am completely unable to try new foods. I feel as if I eat a lot; I eat chicken, pizza, mozzarella cheese sticks, bagels, toast, french fries, and a lot of junk food. When it comes to real food, it isn't much. By chicken I mean chicken nuggets, my bagels are plain, french fries with no sauce, etc. I've recently gained so much weight, but I'm extremely active so I completely blame it on my eating habits. I wish so much to be able to eat differently, and reading all of these posts of adults 50+ years old stuck in the same boat as me is terrifying. I'm scared for future relationships, health issues, etc. There is no healthy way for me to lose weight; the first step to being healthy is eating healthy. Lucky me, I decided to be picky and only like the bad foods. I want a way out of this, I don't want to have to fill my stomach up on awful (but great-tasting) foods forever. I hate that there's ways to essentially "fix" or treat anorexia, bulimia, etc., but a picky eater is just called stubborn. None of us would eat off the kids menu if we had another choice. It interferes with everything. Like I said, I'm 17 and active, so team dinners were a weekly thing for me in high school. I either avoided the dinners altogether or wouldn't eat, making up some excuse about being sick. I feel that I do get sick more often because of the unhealthy foods I eat. I KNOW it has to change, and I KNOW there has to be a way. So if you have read all of this, and you know a way out of this, please please please give me some advice. I can't live the rest of my life like this, it's unhealthy. I wish I just knew what steps I could take to fixing this, but it's not as simple as just trying a bunch of random things and eating it until I like it. I feel that will worsen my problem and cause me to hate new foods even more. This has turned into a novel, so I'll end my sob story about needing chicken nuggets 24/7 here. Thanks for coming to my TED talk.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Yes it can go on forever. One thing you have going for you is you don't have to hide in the shadows. Until I was in my 50s I did not know of another human being that had what we have. I'm now 71 and still getting around OK but I can say the list of things I can eat gets shorter all the time. Just so you know you should study the disorder ARFID Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. This disorder covers lots of ground and describes people who are way worse off than I am. But if you read the entire explanation you will find us also. You should get checked to see if you are on the autism spectrum. I'm pretty sure that I hang out in the Asperger's Syndrome part. Some things that might help you. Look into chaining where you take a food you like and add something you are not sure of. It has worked for some. There are lots of videos on the subject. Some people have been successful picking a few new foods each new years and spending the next year learning to like them. If you are like me there are probably lots of foods that don't look like food to you. Many italian dishes look like barf to me. There are doctors working right now with people like us trying to find some treatment that will help us. Last thing no matter how many things you can eat there is no reason why you can't have a great life and I bet you are gifted in other ways. Howard Hughes and Waren Buffet are just a few famous people who appear to have had arfid. Now make sure you have a great life. Bob K
LisaLisa from Ormond Beach wrote on July 31, 2018 on 6:41 pm:
Hi! It sure is nice to know there are other people out there that eat like me! I'm 52 and have eaten this way my whole life. My mother said everyone tried to get me to eat but I would spit it out or sit and cry. I remember those days when I was little where you had to "sit until you ate it all". I would sit, not eat, then get ice cream later. :) I only eat about 10-15 things and it sure does get boring. I have been married 2x and after my second husband died, I've found another wonderful man. All of them were very understanding of my eating habits. I can cook anything! I just don't eat it. I can eat baked potatoes, french fries, mashed potatoes and gravy, froot loops, spaghettios, Campbell's tomato or chicken noodle soups (without the chicken) and a few other items that are also bland. The only fruits I eat are bananas, canned pears, and orange juice. I eat no meat or vegetables. I am fairly healthy and teach 4th grade. My new boyfriend has 4 kids and 2 are somewhat picky but not near as bad as me.
I hate going to restaurants because everyone always comments "Is that all you're eating?" Yes! I didn't seem to hear them ask the other people, "You're eating all that??" lol . I know which restaurants have the good fries and will demand they take them back if cold or mushy. :) . Thank you for letting me know you're all out there. Makes me feel better!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Welcome your story matches many who have checked in here.
Bob K
DonavanDonavan from Austin wrote on July 29, 2018 on 1:43 am:
It wasn't until the other day when I randomly came across an article about basically adult picky eaters. I truly always thought this was just a thing I did all on my own. I never knew there was such a population of individuals like myself out there. I guess I will start by saying I have been a picky eater ever since I was a child. I remember my mom making spaghetti for dinner and then a grilled cheese on the side for me. (I now like spaghetti so long as it is very plain with no obvious chunks of vegetables in it) Anyways, as I got older and older I never thought that my diet of only pepperoni pizza, pb and j sandwiches, frozen assortments of dishes, and ordering completely plain cheeseburgers would be a problem. There were times though I would lie about food when placed in a social eating situation. I would say I had a big breakfast or I am going out later to eat or I am just not hungry because I would never know what was being served or if I would like it. If I try something I do not like I have a tendency to gag horribly. It is very embarrassing. I cannot even eat a salad and I have tried for years to get by with it but I just can't stomach it. School was difficult too. My family was slightly impoverished when it came to money so the school district decided meals would be free for us so that's what we ate. Due to that fact, we couldn't afford to pack a sack lunch everyday for me especially with the few things I would eat so it was school food for me. I hated most of the food and granted it was school food but I couldn't eat the country fried steak, the pizza, chili, soup, meatball subs, the list goes on and on. I could always find something wrong with it. I pretty much spent lunch time giving away food and socializing. I enlisted into the Marines when I was 20 and it was very difficult to manage my eating habits there. It was 3 meals a day and you ate what they served. End of story. I would often hide my vegetables under my drinking cup. It was pretty ridiculous for a 20 year old in bootcamp to utterly refuse to eat vegetables or chicken on the bone or most soups with vegetables in them. I am 29 years old now and still cannot eat anything on a bone. The different layers of meat on them or too much to handle. I love chicken but it is so difficult for me to eat the bits that I like. My wife is often frustrated by my pickiness but does her best to understand but even when she tries her best to prepare meals for me I often will come across a texture in one single bite that will ultimately ruin the rest of the meal for me. Chicken is one of those things where I will bite into something that is just a bit more chewy or tougher than the rest of it and terrible nasty things will race through my mind and I feel sick and the piece has to come out of my mouth and the meal is over for me at that point. I have 2 kids now and my 3 year old is acting like me. She almost never eats and when she does its the kind of foods you don't want them eating for the rest of their lives. I wish there was something that could just get me over this like everyone tells me to do but it doesn't seem likely anytime soon but at least I know there is support out there.
AnnaAnna wrote on July 28, 2018 on 9:40 pm:
I am 60 years old. I was a severe picky eater since I was a baby. In the beginning I would spit up my milk, keeping enough down to nourish me. When I was old enough for solid food, I would not take it. Eventually my mother was able to find a few things I would take. Peas, fries, mashed potatoes, gravy without the thickening, among the very few things I would eat. People did not understand my problem with food and I lived constantly with the fear of being forced to eat by someone. Only once my mother tried to force me to eat something I did not like. It only caused me to dislike it all the more, even to this day. Going to someone’s house that did not know me very well was embarrassing and brought me anxiety. Kids teased me and could not believe the things I would not eat. When I was old enough for dating, men did not understand and would drop me. I used to think I would outgrow it one day but the aversion towards food would not change with age. Finally when I was 22 I was at a point in life where I had to make a major change. That change included being able to eat what was placed in front of me. With full determination, I did it. It was not easy. Much gagging, somethings took a long time to eat, other things I never did like. While I did get over many things, I have come from severe to moderate picky eater. In the last year medical tests have found that I have a paralyzed stomach which restricts my diet and I am pretty much back to the way I used to eat... minus junk foods.
kalkal from New York wrote on July 9, 2018 on 5:51 am:
I've been a picky eater since I was about three, I mainly stick to chips, pastas, bread, peanut butter, and all that good old chocolate bad foods. I get really frustrated because I feel like I'll never find a relationship with a woman because of my picky eating, I'm Wish I could be normal sometimes because it would end so many issues
KellenKellen from Chandler wrote on July 1, 2018 on 5:18 am:
Ok so food is an issue, but first I’ll tell you a little about myself. My name is Kellen and I’m 12 years old, I know this is for adults but I have a serious issue. You might be like “oh get over kid” but it’s weird my body is telling me I can’t eat food i don’t know if anybody in this world feels the same way but my parents ask me why and I tell them “it’s like I can’t I really really want to but I just can’t” if anybody knows anything pls help
Admin Reply by: Bob
Sorry I missed your post. I just found it in the spam folder. You should look into ARFID for some answers that might help you understand what you have. You and I know you really would change if you could. Problem is that many things others like to eat do not look like food to us. It is possible to expand the things you can eat but food will probably always be an issue you will have to deal with. There is no reason why you can't have a great life. Many of the people who have ARFID are very gifted people.
TeganTegan from gosport wrote on May 29, 2018 on 2:19 pm:
Hello I could spend hours writing about my issues with food. I will try and cut it down as much as I can. I am 23 years old and have been a fussy eater as long as I remember. The worst point was as a child when I ate nothing but pasta and bisto cheese sauce for five years. I now eat more but not much. Imostly pasta. I eat cheese pizza, chips, white bread, chicken, cheese and not much else. I eat junk such as crisps and sweats but when it comes to "real food" I phisically can not eat it. I can't even touch food that I don't like. Anything that goes in mouth that I am unsure of makes me gag and I can not swallow it. Even tried a few things recently and even though I like the taste I still can't swallow it. I have had to leave restaurants before because I don't like anything on the menu. I avoid going for meals with friends and Haveing dinner at other people's houses. As a result my weight has always been up and down..I have starved my self before in order to loose weight as I can't diet as I don't like most food. I have general anxiety and health anxiety and am am a self consiouse person. I worry about my health more and more each day but can't do anything about it because of my fear of food. I am a mother of 3 year old and really want to overcome my fears in order to get him eating proply...the main things my son eats is noodles and he dosnt like any meat fruit or veg. I have thought about going to the doctors but I am so embarrassed. Would they do anything anyway?...I could go on and on about food issues and food issues that happend to me when I was younger but I'm just being to the point....I am a very fussy eater and I need to change.
Admin Reply by: Bob
One thing I have learned over the years since 2003 there appears to be a very strong genetic link to our disorder. It really can be transferred from parent to child through our genes. Research continues into what is going on with us. Bob K
RachelRachel from West Chester wrote on May 24, 2018 on 4:49 pm:
My name is Rachel, I am 22 years old. I’ve always been a very picky eater but the past 10 years I can only eat breads, cheeses, pasta and steak, I’ve had mozzeralla sticks and fries every single day for the past 7 years, can’t eat anything that has any weird textures. A lot of food smells good to me and when I try anything for example a carrot one time, I automatically throw up when I️ try to swallow it People now notice that it is an actual problem and I’m really starting to get worried about my heart and health lately. I’ve never eaten a vegetable before or any semi healthy food. Has anyone tried treatment that has been successful or tried anything that helps expand your foods?
CodyCody from Big Rapids wrote on May 21, 2018 on 6:48 pm:
My name is Cody, I have never been able to eat correctly. For some reason I can smell food and think that is smells fantastic but as soon as I try it then it's like my throat closes and I can't swallow it. I have been living off of pizza and pasta for about 20 years now. Btw I'm 27. Doesn't anyone have any advice that could help me? I hate that I can't eat anything.