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668 entries.
Taylor Taylor from Fort Worth wrote on January 19, 2024 at 8:32 pm
I have this memory as a kid trying steamed carrots. They barely touched the back of my throat before ending up all over the kitchen floor. My mom had me clean it up. She was a single mom and didn't have time to be the typical stay-at-home mom who made healthy meals. I didn't blame her because she did the very best she could. My diet consisted of McDonalds and other fast foods because it was easy and affordable. Fast forward to adulthood, and I still haven't changed. I took a cooking class a few years ago and figured out I don't like the actual taste of broccoli (one down! many more to go), but other than that, it's all a texture issue with me. The only fruit I've been able to consume are nearly ripe bananas and some apples (preferably without the skin), and as far as veggies go, corn saturated in butter. Everything else is nearly impossible to get down no matter what I put on it. I also realized I have a sensitive gag reflex. I've talked to many people but nobody understands. I get a weird look and a reminder that I'm 30, not a kid anymore. I drink milk like it's going out of style, have cereal every morning and maple and brown sugar oatmeal most nights if I don't eat out (pepperoni or cheese pizza, Thai fried rice - no veggies with extra egg, soft pretzels - any junk that's fried or bad for you pretty much). Lunch consists of a PB sandwich (no jelly) or chicken noodle soup. Bread and dairy basically. It don't know what it is, but with other health issues coming up, I'm desperately trying to fix this issue. It's just so hard doing this without guidance. I don't even know if I can change. Finding this website and reading everyone's stories of all ages and stages in life has brought me immense relief. At least I'm not alone.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Your gag reflex is interesting to me. In my case I can gag on just about anything. Even foods that I like which is a very short list. What happens if I have to chew something too many times it will trigger the gag reflex. That could be the reason I like things that are crunchy and easy to chew. Thanks for leaving your comment on our message board.

Bob K
Sheila Sheila from London, UK wrote on October 24, 2023 at 7:21 am
I am also a bit of a picky eater but nowhere near as bad as the people whose stories have been told. I have never been shamed or bullied about it, though. I am so sad to read about the awful experiences some people have had. I can’t imagine being surrounded by such routine cruelty. Can’t these unpleasant people understand that their actions probably reinforce and increase the problem?
Diane Diane from St. Paul wrote on January 26, 2023 at 11:54 pm
I believe there is safety and strength in numbers. Finding there was a community of others who suffer with the same extreme picky eating to the point of having a diagnosable eating disorder has been so empowering. Thank you for your transparency and support.
John C Funkhouser John C Funkhouser from Winchester wrote on January 20, 2023 at 3:12 pm
Always thought I was alone dealing with this it's hard to talk about with anyone your feelings like your being judged it's hard to get people understand especially when I don't understand why it can control your life your social life always making excuses people don't seem to understand it's not that easy to deal with imagine having a panic attack over dinner , it will affect your relationship it hurts but I understand why women would get flustered and leave though it hurts I get it I don't expect any woman to have to be in a relationship or married to me it just ruins everything , it will get old quick eating the same thing on regular basis, you feel bad about for people invite you to dinner then make excuses come off as being rude if it were easy as people think it is I would not be a grown man dealing with it imagine a a invisible wall just Pop up in front of your mouth even when you force yourself there nothing wrong with the food but any thing outside your limited diet trigger your gag reflex I hate it it takes e toll on your mental health and there seems to be no way you can think of to deal with this just feel alone anyone outside family and friends well them to don't get it they have all just got use to the way I am , I don't want to be alone but I don't expect any woman to have deal with me it always starts they think it's no big deal you will get use to it but doesn't take long before them to get annoyed have enough it then back to single again to the point you just give up looking for a woman that would be willing to deal with me and this stupid problem your life seems to revolve around it I am kinda like a quiet shy person in the first place but this just makes it 10 times worse unable to connect with someone because of it so hear I am telling Internet strangers I try my best to to break this problem but nothing works , for me I think it's a texture thing is my biggest problem, on top of all that it can ruin your health because all the things your body needs to be healthy is off limits to me I think talking about it helps a little not being so self conscious of
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear John
You are far from alone because there are 1000s of people with your problems with food. You never asked to be the way you are. Medical professionals have been studying what do we really have. The correct name is ARFID Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. I like you have lived with it for over 75 years and I have managed to have a great life. I experienced your problems with finding a loving mate. My third wife has been with me close to 25 years now. I have sent you a direct invite to join one of our support groups. I hope you join and a good first post would be what you just posted into this guest book. Welcome Bob K
Ren Ren wrote on December 1, 2022 at 6:16 pm
I guess I'll add my input after 71 years as a picky eater. I went through elementary school, middle and high school, never eating anything except an ice cream sandwich (or cone) for lunch - I could never, and still can't, stand the smell of a cafeteria.

I subsisted mainly on fish, meat, french fries and bread growing up. I never went to friends' houses to eat. I hated summer camp because of food issues.

In a college health class, we were instructed to write down everything we ate for a month. My professor didn't believe what I turned in and said that one couldn't survive on that diet. Well, here I am.

My food issues seem to be related mostly to smell, but also to only what I can describe as being overwhelmed by taste. I can't stand the smell of vegetables being cooked, V8 juice, or many multi-food items like casseroles. To me, biting into an orange is like what I imagine others sense when biting into a lemon. I don't like watermelon, apples, pears, strawberries, pineapple, bananas, kiwi, grapes, cherries, etc. etc.

I'm not sure I can help anyone, except to say, my eating habits did expand beyond what I ate when I was younger. I now eat shellfish, sushi, and caesar salads and can usually find something to eat at almost any restaurant. So there's still hope...
Admin Reply by: Bob
You are one of the few to get better in your golden years. Wish I could say the same. Thanks for your input.
Anthony Anthony from Queens, NY wrote on November 23, 2022 at 9:11 am
I live in queens New York and it was 12 am when I found this website and i read soooooo many comments and it's now 330 am and I'm writing this post. While reading everyone's eating problems it seriously made me want to cry, I just turned 33 last week and I can remember as a child I used to eat everything, like very very young child like 8 years old. I don't know what happened in my life around that time but I have no eaten anything since then. reading these comments make me feel so much better because trying to explain this to people is beyond impossible. I worked at a job where I worked in. a truck with a new partner everyday jand every single f**king day I was questioned about why I don't eat this and they would go through list asking me if I like this or that. that's not even the begining. I have been dealing with this for so long I really wish it would end. The saddest part of my whole life is that I met the girl of my dreams I love her more than life itself and she's a very simple girl who isn't flashy doesent party isn't anything she's so simple and loves one thing sooo much, and that is food. My girl loves to eat, she loves to go out to restaurants and try new places and try new foods from all over. Mind you I live in New York so the food is on another level over here...... supposably. I'm so lucky because when we go out to eat we go only to Italian food places because I can eat chicken parm but it has to be extremely thin sliced chicken if it's thick I won't eat it ughhhhh!!!!!!!!!! I'm so fucking annoying I seriously annoy the sh*t out of myself. I would do anything to change this!!! i seriously have one gift in my life I'm not skilled at anything at all besides one thing and that's baseball I'm soo good at baseball but I can t even write this without crying., so when I got to high-school everyone was growing and I wasn't growing at all and I realized that I wasn't growing bevsude of the way I eat and I was better than every single person on the team but I was so small I never would make it anywhere I realized everything I was doing was a complete waste of time and I dropped out of high school because the only thing I ever cared about and was good at was baseball. I used to be kind of heavy for my hejgbt I'm 5 ft 7 and I used to weight 150 lbs, I honestly gave up on food every single day when I'm hungry and I have to think for 3 hours about what I can eat for that meal, it became so misersble to me that I ended up giving up on food and now I just don't eat unless I'm absolutley starving and now I'm 33 years old like I said I'm 5ft 7 and I'm 127 lbs. I am so sad everytime I look in the mirror. I wish you guys could see what I look like, I'm such a good looking guy besides all the bul*sh*t and I can't get a job right now I have been looking for a job for over a year if you look in my email it's consistently emails of me getting denied for job after job after job after job after Job. The only job that I have gotten interviews for are construction jobs and like I said I'm 5ft 7 127 lbs and I'm soo fu*king nervous to take the job and embaress myself and everyone's going to laugh because I can't use the tool because I'm too weak or I can't carry something because it weights more than me. It's the most terrifying thing ever to me. I don't know what to do with my life and I'm with the love of my life it's the only good thing in my life right now and she's ready to leave me because I've been stuck in this situation for over a year. I don't know anymore and I can't even believe I just started to write and I've been writing for about 35 min straight without stopping I never did that in my entire life it felt good THANK YOU SOOO MUCH FOR THIS WEBSITE I HAVE BEEN SO ALONE MY ENTIRE LIFE. No doctors knew how to help me noone knows how to help me and I'm so so so tired of trying to help myself and failing its so exhausting my body hurts everything hurts and I have so many dreams but everything I start I have all this ambition and I never go through with anything I don't know why it's like I have a Damm wall I start things and just can't seem to follow through everything just stops. ughhh if anyone has any comments negetive or positive I'm open to litterally anything, if anyone has any critique or criticism I'm all ears. If anyone can help me in anyway possible please please please email me at I'm open to any help if you can point me in the right direction, if someone can help me make a meal plan with how awful my pallette is to try to gain weight I would so appreciate it you don't even understand. Noone can help me and I have no idea where else to turn and I stumbled across this page at random and maybe my path was to stop here and write this entry to this guestbook for an hour straight. Who Knows. I really hope someone can Email me some advice somehow, I will be checking all the time. Thank you again for this website and letting me vent and blow off some steam. Thank you to the. creator, I really hope to hear from someone soon!!
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm sending you a direct invite to our support group. No easy cures or answers. Life is better when we find out others suffer with our problems with many foods and the social consequences that follow. There is no reason why you can't have a great long life inspite of what you can and can't eat. it is only food and you are probably gifted in other ways. Try to be the best you can be.

Bob K
Hannah Lynn Phillips Hannah Lynn Phillips from Bellmawr wrote on November 16, 2022 at 1:43 am
hi - I'm hannah. I'm 29. I'm autistic and I struggle with picky eating/ARFID since childhood, though my foods have expanded just a little since then.

my biggest struggles are general disinterest/apathy towards food, portion sizes, eating enough, & sensory issues.
Don Don from Dallas wrote on November 3, 2022 at 2:52 am
Wow!!! I thought I was one of a kind! I am over 60 and I have been a very picky eater my whole life. My Dad always said it started at about age 2 when I saw whipped butter scooped like ice cream on a restaurant table. I insisted on eating the ice cream and after screaming like a toddler, he finally let me eat it. Apparently, I was so shocked to taste butter, not ice cream, I lost all trust in foods and servers.
…I have my doubts that this event triggered my picky eating, but who knows. After all, I don’t imagine many 2 year olds have developed a wide-ranging diet yet.

Throughout childhood my diet was mainly restricted to peanut butter, plain white breads, French fries, and a few sweets. I have many memories of sitting at the kitchen table all by myself until bedtime because I would not eat what was served. My parents even sent me across the country to spend a summer with an Aunt who swore she would break me of this. For you parents who are dealing with children who are picky eaters, please know these were traumatic times for me and I believe they only served to increase my anxiety. I think it made it worse… for me anyway.

During high school and college, I worked very hard to add fried chicken and good cuts of steak to my list to give me more options in social settings to try to hide my affliction. I was successful, but only in adding KFC Original Recipe chicken and ribeyes. Since then, I have only expanded my chicken to other brands, including carefully prepared home-fried chicken, and chicken tinders/nuggets. I have also added filet mignon, but steaks must be prepared with only salt and pepper, nothing else.

I have taken multi-vitamins most of my adult life, adding a variety of supplements over the last 15 years.

Surprisingly, I am in excellent health. I am physically active and I feel 15-20 years younger than my age. I add this as a ray of hope for others who are struggling with this and for parents who are worried about their children with this affliction.

I readily admit, my desire to hide this from everyone except immediate family members has negatively affected my social life. I still try to avoid social meals with others when possible.

It is unbelievably comforting to know I am not alone. Now that this is being recognized by the medical community I am hopeful new treatments will be sought and found for picky eaters like me.

Best wishes to all!!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Thank you for your great posting on our guest book. I was out of town for a week and could not get to it till I got back. We have so many things in common.

Great post

Bob K
Laura Laura wrote on October 22, 2022 at 4:27 am
Hi, I tried to write something here several months ago but it never showed up. My 20yo sounds just like you all. I'm fine with it, at this point I don't expect her to expand the range of foods that she'll eat, but she's very uncomfortable with social situations that involve food, which is most of them. Do you have any suggestions for how she can deal with people who ask her why she's not eating, or just eating french fries, or why she brought her own lunch or whatever? She's shy and hates looking at all "different."
Joe Duty Joe Duty from chesterfield wrote on September 28, 2022 at 12:36 pm
I am 49 years old and have been eating French Fries since I was 3-4 as well. I do eat pancakes, breads, doughnuts and some candies. I eat fat off bacon and do not eat crust of bread or biscuits. Oddly I am even picky on what types of fries and where they are from and how they are cooked (I do not like crispy ones or breaded ones). I am allergic to shellfish and intolerant to milk/dairy. I never let my eating disrupt my life or tried to hide it or was ashamed of it or really cared what others thought. I do wish I could overcome this and at least add some chicken or protein to my diet. Would love an update on your life after you went live with this on 20-20 and have you been able to “overcome” it and if so, how? I do not recall why mine started
Admin Reply by: Bob
I'm just about the same as I live out my 76th year of life. There is no reason you can't have a great happy long life. There are 1000s who also have this disorder. I'm sending you an invite one of our support groups. We have not been very active lately but there is a message archive with comments and answers to lots of questions you may have.

Currently I'm in Central Florida waiting for a nasty hurricane to pass our location.

Bob K
Becky Becky wrote on August 22, 2022 at 2:48 pm
I’ve always said it’s easier to tell folk the food I like rather than the food I don’t like. My go to foods are: cheese pizza, peanut butter sandwiches (sometimes with jelly but only apple) chicken nuggets and fries. Fruits are okay, but the only vegetable I like is cucumber with salt. Breakfast is the best meal with the most variety for me.

I hate peas but PEAS is the most validation I’ve felt about my diet ever.
Thanks for having a place for picky eaters to share their stories.
Alex Alex wrote on August 13, 2022 at 6:34 pm
I'm 34 and have been a picky eater for as Ling as I can remember. Trying new foods is such a tall task for me. When presented with the opportunity I feel sick to my stomach, irritated, and I feel a mental block preventing me from going forward. I have taken great strides in hiding it my entire life which has very often limited what I do socially. My limitation has caused stress and frustration amongst myself and my wife. Now I am a father of a 1 year old and one my largest goals as a father is to not allow my son to go down the same eating path as me. I just don't know how I can prevent his picky eating without addressing my own which I have been unable to do for so long.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Over the years I have come to believe that many of us actually got our picky eating through the gene pool. Have seen lots of cases where a child inherits picky eating from a parent. On the other hand many picky eating people have children who have no problems with food. One of our members has two boys and one of them eats worse than the mother and the other son will eat just about anything. I suppose you could pass your eating onto your child through your example but I would bet they will eat just fine and you have nothing to worry about. Many of us in our support groups share your experiences and you are not alone.
Bob K
Christina Christina from Thousand oaks wrote on June 4, 2022 at 12:26 am
My 18-year-old son has suffered life-threatening food allergies to dairy eggs peanuts tree nuts and seafood since birth. He also was diagnosed with sensory processing disorders at age 6. He doesn’t eat any meat poultry seafood eggs legumes fruits or vegetables. He has trouble eating out at any restaurant and usually only orders french fries. I am here for support. It’s severely affecting his energy and his his self-esteem and his weight.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Your son would change if he could. He never chose to have all his food issues. The road ahead could be difficult for him especially social problems like dating and finding the love of his life. He may be gifted in other ways because he can sense things others can't and being the best he can be at things he can control. Look into ARFID for more information. He probably will have life long problems with food and eating but there is no reason he can't have a long and happy life. I just turned 74 and I'm the pickiest of the picky by far. One advantage your son will have is the knowledge that he has a disorder and not the only one with it. Thanks for stopping by my guest book and web page.
Ashlee Ashlee from Denver wrote on May 30, 2022 at 3:21 pm
Hi, I'm 23 and I've been picky all my life. I've started to eat some new foods, but I often have anxiety in public eating situations that are unfamiliar. Today, for the first time ever I discovered the term ARFID and I felt so seen. Over time, I hope to get better, and I am so happy to know I am not alone.

Much love!!
Admin Reply by: Bob
Now go out and have a great life. You are probably gifted in many other ways.
Bob K
Graciela Graciela from Los angeles wrote on May 28, 2022 at 5:23 pm
I’m here because of my picky son. He has a heightened sense of taste/smell and can detect very subtle changes in the meals that he eats. He will eat things but only if they taste like restaurant quality food and even some restaurant meals are not up to par for him. He will oftentimes skip meals and won’t eat because he’s “not hungry”. I had him see a physician to help him gain weight but he stopped going to the doctor. I’m not sure what to do now to help him become a healthy weight. Not sure if the root cause is him being a picky eater or not.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Your son is probably on the spectrum and may also have sensory issues that allow him to smell and taste things most people can't. Probably need to consult medical people to try and nail down what he is dealing with. ARFID might also be one other cause to consider. He would change if he could and never did he ask to have these problems. Social problems could be your biggest worry. Dating and romance will probably be very difficult for your son who will not want others to know about his food issues. One thing your son is lucky to be living today where he can find some help and also know he is not the only one. I lived with it by myself for over 55 years and at times it is a very lonely place to be. One other thing he may be gifted in some other way. For me it has been like living in a world where all the people live on foods like raw liver making me a strange alien being in hiding. I'm sending you an invite to our support group. Make sure your son knows there are others and his disorder has a name. Bob K
Charla B. Charla B. from Columbus wrote on May 14, 2022 at 9:17 pm
After reading some of the posts here, I see that all of us are so similar with our "picky eating'. I am extremely texture oriented. I have developed 4 [simple] "food rules" that I tell people when planning dinners so that others can try to understand the foods I won't/can't eat. Most vegetables are on my list of things that are a no go. I am 48 and also worry that I'm not getting the nutritional balance that is necessary for a healthy life, but it is so hard to eat most vegetables. I also do what another poster does: I will put a little of something in my mouth, chew as much as I can handle and then swallow it with as much water as necessary. I eat peas like taking pills. It's exhausting trying to trick myself into eating these foods. I have increased the variety of foods I will eat as I have gotten older, but very little. I will only try new foods with a trusted friend or family member who knows my food issues. Thankfully, I have several very supportive friends who accommodate my "pickiness".
I also have Brumotactillophobia (not wanting food to touch on my plate), which leads to a whole other range of food issues. LOL
I'm glad I ran across this site. It helps to know that there are lots of other people struggling with these situations. Thanks for allowing me to share!
Mylo Mylo from Iowa wrote on May 7, 2022 at 8:07 pm
My names Mylo and I have been struggling with picky eating my whole life even though i’m a teenager. Being “picky” is always what I have be labeled as in the public, family events, or at school. Some of the main foods I eat are chicken strips, mini corn dogs, about anything with peanut butter and bread. I have been able to like a good amount of fruit, but I struggle very hard with veggies as I only eat cellary about twice a month. I wish I could try new foods, but it is so much more than just “trying it”. Every other food just looks disgusting to me and I want nothing to do with it. I hope that there are others who can relate to this. I don’t want to deal with this my whole life, but I don’t know when things will change. Also, everyone says your “taste buds change” and that you won’t know till you try it, but I wish they would put themselves in my shoes and feel how I feel.
Admin Reply by: Bob
"Every other food just looks disgusting to me"
I have had what you are dealing with for over 70 years. So many foods especially the fine dining types just do not look like food to my brain. I spent over 50 years living alone with this disgust for many foods thinking I'm the only one. Hiding it from all but very close friends and relatives.

You however are lucky because the disorder now has a name since May of 2013 Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder ARFID. It's real and you have lots of company. I can also tell you that there is no reason you can't have a great and fruitful life even if you just don't like lots of foods.

You might also find yourself somewhere on the autism spectrum however mild a case you might have. Look into the ARFID disorder on google or try looking at YouTube videos on the subject. Lots of material to look at and learn from. Best of luck to you Mylo it's nice hearing from you. Bob K
Jeanine Perrine Jeanine Perrine from Riverview wrote on March 13, 2022 at 12:03 am
I am happy to find a group that offers understanding. I suffer from AFRID.
Connor Olson Connor Olson from Arlington, Washington wrote on February 12, 2022 at 4:54 pm
My name is Connor Olson, I’m 21 and I’m a picky eater. I only eat chicken fingers, fries, chips, snickers, bacon. If I go to Subway I only get bread and bacon. I didn’t know that ignoring vegetables and trying new things was a problem, but people say it is. Is my diet bad? How do I learn to try new food? Do I eat like a 4 year old or do 4 year olds eat like me? If there is a solution please help.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Connor

You should look into ARFID as a reason from your problems. Lots of information at this website and do a google and you will get some answers. This is a very complex problem that many others have.
Melissa Melissa wrote on February 9, 2022 at 2:08 pm
I’m glad I found this. I am 31 years old and I have also been “picky” all my life. Unlike many of the posts on here I do not have an issue with gagging or vomiting. For me it is more of a mental block. I have read on here about “regular foods” not looking like foods to us and that really resonates with me. I really struggle with it because I know it isn’t logical. There is no reason I can’t eat the things I don’t eat I just simply can’t make myself do it. I’m lucky that my picky eating still allows me to make healthy choices. I’m okay with most vegetables and I am okay with white-meat chicken prepared pretty much any way. Herbs and spices are ok but sauces are a hard no. I don’t eat dairy or any meat other than chicken or crispy bacon. Some fruits are ok (green apples, red grapes, most berries - not blueberries). I have a hard time preparing meals for myself. If I see the chicken before it is cooked I often cannot eat it. I find that I eat out a lot (usually chicken fingers) to compensate for this. I have learned to live with my issues and I am lucky to have family that tries to understand and a spouse that supports me. The main reason that I am reaching out for support is that I now have a 3 year old son who seems to be struggling with the same issues. In a lot of ways he seems even more selective than I was so I worry and I am looking for any information to help him so that I don’t make the problem worse. My in laws tell me all the time that we just need ti keep serving him the same food until he gets hungry enough ti eat it. I obviously do not agree. I do my best to support him in trying new foods (sometimes with bribery) while making sure that he is fed with things I know he likes. I’ve always done my best to provide him with a varied diet including lots of food that I personally don’t eat but it seemed almost right away that he was very selective. I worry that I have caused this and just want to help him as best I can.
Admin Reply by: Bob
Dear Melissa
I have had ARFID my entire life since birth. I read your message and I'm not a medical professional. I started the website that this guest book is attached to close to 20 years ago and I have message traffic from 1000s of people. One thing I'm convinced of is many of us get this eating disorder through our genes. You child has probably not picked up the disorder by watching how and what you eat. Some really bad advice is starve your child until they eat what you serve them. You continue to offer new foods at each meal but make sure your child has something they will eat. Since May of 2013 the disorder was entered into the DSM and since then doctors have been scrambling to find the best way to treat us with limited success. There could be a link to spectrum for you and your child. Many people on the spectrum have food issues similar to ours. I know I'm on the spectrum it runs in my family. A very nice lady who has it had two boys and one will eat anything and the other is worse than she is. She also mentioned that she detected problems with her picky son during early feeding. I can't tell there is a magic cure. One of the things you can do is try to limit the amount of damage to her social skills. We have a Facebook group and an older group we started on Yahoo. You and your child are probably gifted in other ways. Just go to YouTube and search for ARFID. You will be very busy with all the matches that pop up. By the way I will be turning 75 in June so it is possible to live a nice long life and I'm the pickiest of the picky. I will send you a direct invite to one of our groups.