Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

What Picky Eating Is Like November 11, 2006

Most people haven’t heard of adult picky eating.  Many don’t have much patience with it.  For adults who are picky, it can seem like you’re the only person in the world who is like this.  It can be very isolating, and the responses of others can be very painful.

Some picky eaters have been punished, teased, ridiculed, or judged badly for their picky eating, which is painful because it is not something we can help, it’s just the way we are.  Many feel ashamed of their pickiness, and go to great lengths to hide it, often limiting their social lives, contact with family, and romantic relationships for fear of being found out, and not understood or accepted.  Picky eaters often dread social or work-related eating situations – Will there be anything I can eat? What if there isn’t?  Will the host be offended?  It can be embarrassing to not be able to eat what others eat, enjoy what others enjoy, like what others like.   People know about pickiness in children, but in adults it is much rarer – for adults suffering something typically associated with children, this can be difficult and embarrassing.

It can often feel as if there is a stigma around our food habits.  For many picky eaters, the few foods that they can eat tend to be “unhealthy” things, like junk food, or else very plain things – the “sophisticated” and the exotic are not for the most part things we can eat.  I worry that people think I eat what I eat because that’s what I prefer out of all the vast range of things I “could” be eating.  But the reality is that the majority of foods are things I can’t eat, much as I would like to.  I eat what I eat not out of choice, but because that’s all I’ve can eat.

And eating is a very social thing in our culture.  People like to cook for others and share meals.  So many social encounters revolve around food to some extent.  It seems other people can feel rejected, or distanced from us by our inability to eat with them.

If you’d like to share what picky eating has been like for you, and how it’s made you feel, do post a comment.

 

120 Responses to “What Picky Eating Is Like”

  1. gillian Says:

    I am 44 and have felt like a freak in the eating department for years i dont eat meat or vegetables though i can cook both and both my children eat them!
    I have spent most of my life eating crisps jam doughnuts sweets and crisps mainly since i was 2yrs old.i am over weight at the moment but only around my tummy my arms and legs have never been big, that is because i stopped smoking and have eaten more of waht i like over the last three years.
    I didnt realise how many suffered in some shape or form of the same problems as me. Worrying they were different, about dying, missing out on social things,if there is any help and support please help me? If i have helped someone not feel so alone then i am glad. Gill

  2. Marilyn Says:

    I know the feeling, I came from Vancouver to the US ten years ago and I am engaged to a man from Cardiff who is at least a fussy eater. In every job I have had the business lunches and dinners can fill me with dread, if its Italian I cant eat pasta or bread I’m allergic to Tomamtos and any meat with anything other than HP makes me gag. I think in the States it would be ok if I could eat take away or junk then I would at least blend here, but Mcdonalds, KFC and that sort of thing I gag at the smell of it, I dislike Soda and crisp also I am a freak here because I really hate Pizza. I’m not over weight but since my eating habits are so selective I cant build any kind of muscle. Its kind of funny and sad at my gym the nutritionist gave my this list of foods to eat and exept for chicken, fish and red meat I wont or cant eat anything else on her list of 50 items and said so which she then ridiculed me in front of the whole gym and stated its in my head and I should see a phych. I did lose it and as my boyfriend says I let loose a string of f-ing and blinding that would make Gordon Ramsey blush. So thank you Gill for letting me know I’m not the only one.

    • Cody Patton Says:

      You aren’t gonna like this, but she’s dead right. You want to eat different foods? Go fucking do it. Don’t hide behind this bullshit of you *can’t*. Or its the texture, or I gag, grow a fucking spine and change your damn life before you leave your loved ones behind because you jumped in the grave. IT’S IN YOUR HEAD.

      Now, if your still reading, I apologize for being a blunt dick. You do have a real problem, but you can fix it. Its just like a phobia. I’m deathly afraid of spiders. Like, knee jerk screaming and flailing fear of any type of arachnid. Just thinking about them makes my skin crawl, and I break out in a sweat. Fuck that noise, I refuse to live like that. Other people aren’t afraid of them, so I wont be. I started introducing them little by little. cartoon pictures, look a likes, blurry shots, finally pictures of real spiders. I can’t deal with big blow up shots yet, but I’ve come a long way. It’s called introduction therapy (or something close to that) and it means you face your fear bit by bit until its not a big thing anymore. Try new foods bit by bit. Gag when you even smell it? Okay. smell it 3 or 4 times a day until you don’t gag. After that eat a piece. Throw up? Eat a piece every day until you don’t. It will suck. It wont be fun, and feel free to curse my name every time you do it, but its the only way to beat this. There is no magic cure, or instant fix. You have to be willing to muscle through it and force the change.

      • Anonymous Says:

        and it’s people like you who make me ashamed of myself for being like this. I am 18 years old and I am also a “picky eater”. My parents were less than tolerant in my childhood: I’ve been yelled at repeated, forced to eat, gone without dinner, thrown outside, you name it. I have read all of the conversion articles and endured all the skeptics like you (and not to mention my father) who think I’m just being a baby. I don’t enjoy being like this, its embarrassing. I even made my own food journal and logged each new thing I tried every day. Yet still, my tastes have not changed. I’m not as bad as most of the people you hear about, but it does effect my life and limit me in many ways. I just wish your kind would shut up and think about what your saying for a second. My limited eating does not define me as a person. It is by no means a phobia. I just wish that there was some way to silence the people like you who have such strong opinions about something you have never gone through, because I would give anything to be able to taste things and eat just like you.

      • justkate Says:

        hi all

        I am trying to help some young people who I work with who don’t like enough foods to get a healthy diet. It’s their health i am concerned about, really. If you are a picky eater who doesn’t like any kind of vegetable or fruit then you have a problem getting the vitamins you need to stay healthy. But if you only like one healthy meal, and you are happy eating that every day, then that’s fine. If you have problem that you want solved, then there are ways around most kinds of food ‘issues’ – hypnosis and similar therapies can help. I’m not going to give you a lot of sympathy tho – we are so lucky to have enough food to be fussy! It’s amazing what people will eat if they are starving! I have a lot of food preferences, but they are to do with animal welfare in the main. I have a restricted diet when i eat out because most restaurants don’t cater to my needs either – but i don’t expect sympathy. I do think it is ridiculous for people to say they don’t like a whole food group – like vegetables. I mean who has tried every type of vegetable for goodness sakes! I know i haven’t. I once took a child to a bakery for a treat – he informed me he didn’t like ‘baked food’ Clearly that is nuts – no-one can say they don’t like anything that’s been cooked in an oven! If they do then it is surely in their head. Doesn’t mean they don’t have an issue – but it IS an emotional issue. One of the individuals i work with will eat cauliflower, cucumber and pasta and she drinks milk (not all together tho) among a few other foods. That is just about enough to get the nutrients she needs, tho the lack of fibre is an issue. I know she feels ‘got at’ sometimes, and I do feel that she should be allowed to eat the same meal a lot if that is what she is happy with. At the same time, I feel she is missing out, and would like to help her to feel she can try new foods – she may find some she likes. Anyone who stops trying new foods, when their ‘repetoire’ is so limited, IS missing out I think. As for people themselves with these issues, if you are happy and can eat a balance diet, why worry. If you are not happy, then please consider that this is often an emotional issue, that stems from childhood, and responds to therapy – i am NOT talking about psychoanalysis, but things like CBT, and even mindfulness. I also found out about a condition called oral hypersensitivity which a small number of people do have. I would say that if you can’t enjoy mealtimes then you have a problem that is worth sorting out.

      • Claire Says:

        Hi Kate, thanks for your comment.

        I’d agree, it doesn’t make sense to expect sympathy for the fact that you make a deliberate personal choice not to eat certain foods (eg for ethical or other deliberate reasons).
        It’s a shame though that you think our problem is “ridiculous” – and trying to confront opinions like that are certainly a part of why I made this blog. I don’t believe I or anyone else here has denied that this is an emotional issue, and I don’t quite understand why you seem to think that this makes it somehow less of an issue, or more ‘ridiculous’. The fact remains that I am, and have been since childhood, physically unable to eat fruit or vegetables (see my Fruitalicious posts for a description of what this means in practice). This means that they cause an uncontrollable gag reflex, or vomiting if I persist. Yes, I know I am missing out. If CBT has cured this problem as you say, I have yet to hear of a single case (myself included).

        If you are trying to help young people with this problem, I’d advise first of all a bit of compassion, second of all, the inclusion of foods which are similar to something they already can eat (and you may have to point this out – works better on younger children IMO) , third of all, to go very slowly, and fourth of all, that social pressure from peers can also be very powerful. The CBT approach is essentially coaching, which does require patience and perseverence on the part of the therapist, and an understanding and accepting attitude. This isn’t an issue that can go away by the force of someone else’s will, sadly.

  3. Patricia Says:

    Hi.To be picky with what we eat, leads us to a certain alien-category, amongst the rest of the world. In my case, i simply can’t eat anything with garlic or vinegar. When i was a child, i hated vegetables or seafood, but, with some effort in 25 years, i finally manage it a bit (still, not in every variety…)Anyway, it’s good to know there are other “aliens” like me, who simply don’t eat everything we’re supposed to, because it’s healthy, social or whatever…

  4. Laura Vass Says:

    I love this website and at the age of 53 I can’t believe there are so many of us that have been made to feel like a freak because of our eating habits. For me my pickiness stems from smells. If I don’t like the smell I am not going to like the taste. To me foods taste exactly like they smell. As an adult I have been able to eat a more varied menu, but it is still restrictive. I am more a meat and potatoe person who doesn’t eat vegetables. I don’t like any condoments to include salad dressings, mayo, mustard, ketchup, etc. The smell of garlic, cooking or otherwise, nauseates me. I had one so called friend when I was about 44 years old that I needed to grow up with my eating choices. Needless to say that friendship soured very quickly for me.

    Thank you for this website.

    • Cody Patton Says:

      You had a true friend there. Friends aren’t supposed to be yes men. They tell us what we need to hear. Don’t like it? Tough. I didn’t like it when my best friend told me I was packing on the pounds and looked like shit. But you know what? At least he was honest. He respected me enough to tell me flat out.

  5. Claire Says:

    Hi Patricia and Laura. Welcome.
    I’m the same about the smell of garlic, and onions too. I also find the smell of wild garlic utterly nauseting. Seriously. I have to run away from it.

  6. Heather Says:

    Wow. My college roommate, and long-time friend, was a picky eater. She was exactly as you say- wouldn’t eat most veggies, especially those that were green, and called broccoli “little trees”. I was raised in a very adventurous family and have always loved food, no matter what it is! When we would go out to eat she always ordered the fried whatnot for an appetizer and then something bland for her meal. If I tried to get her to eat something other than this (usually with force and fun-making), she would turn green and get really upset. I always blamed it on her parents for not “making” her eat properly as she told me they used to feed her butter noodles and frozen chicken nuggets and no veg constantly. Now I am not sure if that was it. (Comments on that thoery?) She and I worked for years together in restaurants and she overcame MOST of her food fears (Still orders the tempura-fried something and leaves out the broccoli when we all go out for Sushi). She now eats curries and other tasty things, so there is hope. I guess I should be proud of her! Thanks for bringing my attention to something I didn’t think existed!!

  7. Kari Says:

    Wow! I can’t believe there is a website just for us! I’ve been ridiculed by family and friends for my picky eating, never took them seriously. Just took it as a mild personality quirk. I’ve always been a thin person because of my finicky eating. But starting to gain weight a bit in my early 30s because I tend to enjoy junk food. I especially refuse to eat seafood. The smell is nasty. I also prefer simply prepared foods without tons of ingredients. I enjoy plain pasta with tomato sauce or Alfredo sauce, and bread. Lots of bread. Just recently I started to enjoy chicken again. I think this alls stems from my childhood, a control issue between my mother and I. She never invited me in the kitchen to help prepare meals…it was her “domain”. She’s quite domineering in other aspects, as well. So I think i transferred the control issue to my food that she prepared.

    • Thanks for not protecting the source of your difficulty, as a competitive and domineering part of your mother’s personality. Too many people protect the misdeeds of their original programmers and beat themselves up for it instead. They believe that they are self made and not a product of parental programming. Symptoms serve a purpose of managing anger away from who one is actually angry at.

      Good luck and keep up the dynamic thinking:)

  8. Colleen Says:

    This is very interesting. I always just thought I was being self-indulgent. I can’t stand most vegetables or fruits. My freinds and family have a joke that if its healthy, I don’t like it. Most of these foods I have never tried and just thinking about eating them makes me shudder. I am never interested in trying ethnic foods. (I went to EPCOT and had a hard time finding anything to eat until I got to the American section and had a hot dog.) I’m also inconsistent to other people. How can I not like tomatoes when I like sphaghetti and pizza? It feels good to know that I am not alone in this and that I’m not just being a stubborn brat.

    • Karina Says:

      I’m like that too Colleen. I can stand fruit and one or two veggies, but that doesn’t mean I LIKE them. My mom is always emphasizing garlic (ugh!) for illness and she’s always cooking some kind of chicken that’s either spicy or doesn’t have much of a taste! I don’t like to eat cheddar cheese by itself, but I like macaroni and cheese, cheddar cheese on popcorn, cheddar cheese with certain kinds of crackers…how can this be?! lol.
      When I was a little kid everyone thought I was a stubborn brat.

  9. Jack Says:

    Coleen,
    You are not alone, but until today I thought we were.
    We sound very similar. I too do not eat fruits or vegtables and just about anything healthy. I can handle green grapes, cherries, and bananas, thats about it. Apple pie but not apples. My joke is that I have a Chlorophyll allergy.
    You like hot dogs, I’ve never had one but survive on hamburgers. However I like you, love cheese Pizza, pasta with red sauce only but will not try tomatoes…
    Your not a brat, if thats the case I’m a 58 year old brat. I’m sure like me you would give anything to be normal, but for some reason we are wired differently.
    – Jack

  10. karen Says:

    Oh my, what a surprise to discover a place for picky eaters. I’m one of the “no touch” people. I will go to great lengths even as an adult to make sure my food does not touch. If it touches, can’t eat it. Also, eat my food clockwise one item at a time. One of my goals in life, to die without ever making a fried egg. Considering I grew up in OK with a family that ate fried eggs, the smell alone would make me throw up….spent breakfast time in my bedroom. I have two grown children, and my daughter had “fried eggs” when she stayed with one of her grandparents for a summer week. Well guess what? She came home and asked me to “fry” her an egg…..I can still see her at the age of 7-8 at the stove while I’m in the dining area, yelling directions on how to fry an egg. I think someone said it best, I expect food to taste like it smells, and I can still gag from some smells and I definitely don’t touch anything that smells bad. I do eat a better variety of foods as an adult but many items are still very taboo. No gravy, no sauces, no touching, very limited on fruit and vegetables and then only if their prepared or left raw according to each individual item. I still order the exact same food at a cafeteria that I ate as a child…….in fact all through elementary and high school I would not spend the night at a friend’s house until after the dinner hour or I just would not go….I really think I’m okay…it just bothers other people.

    This is a great place…..

  11. Tara Says:

    I am so glad I found this site! I’ve only met one other adult picky eater in my entire life.

    Colleen and Jack’s comments about tomatoes sounds exactly like me. I love marinara sauce but hate tomatoes. Many years ago I somehow got the courage to try a tomato slice. I couldn’t get a drink of water fast enough. For some reason I thought it would taste like ketchup. The texture was worse.

    The main food groups I avoid are fruits and vegetables. I love the taste of most fruits, but I can’t stand their texture. I love apple juice, but can’t stand apples or apple sauce. I hate strawberries but love strawberry smoothies. The only fruits that I will eat in their real form are pineapples and bananas, although I must have a strong desire for bananas. The only veggies I eat are potatoes, corn, and black-eyed peas.

    My mom has told me that I didn’t become a picky eater until I started kindergarten. She says that before I started school, I ate anything that was served to me. She thinks that I picked up the habit from other kids, but I think it’s b/c the school lunches were so bad. There were many days when all I had for lunch was my chocolate milk (can’t stand regular milk).

    I used to hate going to a friend’s house for dinner with his/her parents. Most of the time my friends would clue their mom into my eating habits so there were at least two items I could eat, but still it was embarassing.

    I’ve learned to make fun of my eating habits with my friends. I tell them that I’m a carnivore, not a herbivore. Just about every restaurant these days has chicken tenders, which is my fall back if I can’t find anything on the menu. But it is a pain to order chicken tenders off the children’s menu!

  12. robyn Says:

    i can’t believe there are actually people who understand what this is like! my brother and i are both picky eaters (with different taboo foods) and we have an omnivore sister. i have one child who eats “normally” and always has (age 14), and one who is extremely picky (age 11) and one who is moderately picky (although since he is only two, we’ll see.) my grandma used to tell my mother i would be malnourished and growth retarded. (i’m not). i still try occasionally to add foods to my menu, but it’s usually a disaster. pickles are revolting in every form. i did force myself to eat home-grown tomatoes a couple of years ago, and find that IF the seed/goo is scraped out, and IF they are home-grown, i can tolerate IF i really have a strong desire for them at the moment. never had a problem with tomato sauce though. the few veg i tolerate i can usually only eat raw, or sometimes steamed but never ever with butter or sweetened or anything like that. cooked peas trigger instant gag reflex. i cannot swallow. fruits (and a few other foods) sound good, but seldom can actually eat them when it comes to it. they have to be very firm, even just a little green especially bananas. any hint of mush and forget it. like some others, food must not touch on the plate. i like the divided plates, but don’t use them now that i have a family. thanks for having this site.

  13. Colleen Says:

    It’s seems like texture plays a large role in this for a lot of people. I know it does for me! Nothing is worse than peas or baked beans. GROSS!

  14. Jack Says:

    Colleen,
    Oh gee, and I thought we were alike.
    I actually ate a couple baked beans many years ago, thought they wre weird and never went back. I don’t eat peas but I could if I was on an island starving.
    Of course I would have to bury them in mashed potatoes and butter (never gravy, I’d have to starve).

    I know this is not unusual but the the site and smell of artichoke hearts on my plate makes me violently gag. Its so bad that I can’t even swipe them off my plate and stick in a napkin in my pocket.

    Which makes me wonder, has anyone out there swiped food off their plate and hid it in their socks?
    LOL – suit jackets sent to the cleaners with pockets smelling like brocolli? How about slite of hand tricks where you put slabs of meat BACK onto the platter or even on to someonelses plate? Oh geez I’ve done it all….

  15. Jemma Says:

    Know exacally what that’s like Jack! Forever trying to hide food and pretend we’re ‘normal’. Wish I could go out to dinner and enjoy it instead of having a panic attack. Luckily my partner understands me and usualy helps with the ‘hiding of the food’…

  16. Jack Says:

    Hi Jemma,
    I no longer have panic attacts and have pretty much insulated myself to not care what others think.
    I just truly don’t want to insult the host or hostess by not enjoying their meal. This is why I simply avoid these situations. Luckily for me I’m now one of the last family elders that remain employed. What this means is that they all get to come to my house for whatever the occasion is. Its hard on my wife as she gets all the work and then of course I have to pay the expense. However I do get input to the menu and other than Thanksgiving it sure to be a sit where you want, carry your plate buffet.
    (You will find me by myself, maybe standing in the kitchen, outside or anywhere away from the crowd.)
    Thx

  17. mariclaire Says:

    I’m curious about whether any of you (my new brothers and sisters) have had problems with other more usually recognized eating disorders. I have been coping with bulimia, off and on, since I was 18. The vomiting has not been from eating things I didn’t like, but rather from eating too much of those items I do enjoy. At the moment it’s not as bad as it has been at many times in my life, but the most dangerous thing in the world is for me to feel full; it makes me feel like I just have to get rid of all I’ve eaten.

  18. Claire Says:

    Bulimia – I’ve had the urge, but I’ve never given in to it. Had an anorexic-type-phase for a year or so in my 20s.

  19. Laura Vass Says:

    Mariclaire, I have never had the compulsion or urge to be bulimic. I can’t stand to throw up. I was however, accused of being anorexic from time to time in my younger days. Especially during my 30’s. Certainly not the case today. In those times I ate like a bird, but I ate all the time and anything I wanted. (usually junk, which would upset my stomach)

    My sister’s use to tease me and say that sooner or later it would catch up with me. Well, once I hit 45…it caught up with me…lol. I could never be accused of being anorexic today.

  20. Nicolai Says:

    Hi all, just discovered this site and thought I would share my perspective. Ive been a picky eater all my life, 30 years. Well mum said I used to eat things like bananas when I was very young, but as long as i can remember ive been picky. For me its flavours that are too strong and textures that are too gooey/mushy. I like my food plain, one of my favourite sayings is “Sauce is bad”. Spices (not hot spices) are fine, but sauce is bad :). I dont like mixed flavours, I like to eat my foods one flavour at a time, as such I dont like complex foods like Pizza or Pastas. I dont like Tomatoes in any form and I hate strawberries the most. I like carrots raw but not cooked. I hate cheese raw but like it melted ??
    I gag when I eat foods I really dont like, and that is the thing i hate the most. I hate it when I gag when im amongst company, I instantly get embarrased and as such that has affected my social life and made me a bit of an introvert. But unlike what seems to be the norm, I dont try to hide it, I tell people all the time that I am a picky eater, id rather tell someone before dinner than get caught during dinner not eating anything.
    Im not surprised that there are other out there like me, but im surprised that the stories and what we like and dislike are so similar.
    Nice to meet you all.

  21. kerry Says:

    Hi,
    I can’t believe i found this site like many of you i too thought that i was a freak and that no one else suffered like i do, its comforting to know that i’m not alone. I’m only 22 but have suffered all througout my childhood, teenage and my early adult years with being a picky eater, i have even passed off some of my food problems with sayings such as “i’m allergic to that” hich is obviously a lie but to me it helps me from having people look down on me, i can’t stand it when people call me a “fussy eater” i feel embarassed, its not easy its a real problem to me that causes me ifficultie in home life and social situations.

    My problem is meat, its strange really i can eat most veg fine but i never cook them just because i have nothing to cook them with really. Meat and veg go well from what i can tell! The only meat i eat is Beef mince and sausages nothing else at all, i try all the time but i can’t eat more than a mouthful, matter how big or how small or how much sauce is covering it without gagging. its embarassing considering i can eat beef mince people think its strange that i can’t eat a roast beef or a steak, but to me its normal.

    My mum has always told me that she was concerned about my eating from an early age as when i was a baby all i’d eat was cheese and milk, cheese is still favourite food to this day.

    well thanks for letting me get that out of my system

    xxx

  22. Claire Says:

    Hi you three! Thanks for sharing

  23. Allison Says:

    Wow, I must say I am surprised to see there are so many others who struggle with this issue. I have never met anyone who eats (or doesn’t eat) like I do. I have been a picky eater since I switched to solid foods and very little has changed in the more than 20 years since. I eat peanut butter on soda crackers, some basic cereals, grilled cheese sandwiches (on white bread), tomato soup, cheese pizza, and very little else. No meat, no fruit, no vegetables (except occasionally in liquid – soup or juice – form), no pasta. I have always been embarrassed about it, but it has become increasingly difficult to deal with my eating habits in the professional realm. I keep trying to gag some food down at work events, but it is not getting any easier!

    Has anyone had any success in broadening the selection of foods they can tolerate? If so, please share your strategies!

  24. Laura Says:

    Hey there!
    You don’t know how happy i am to have found this site. I am 20 yrs old and been a picky eating since i was little. I thought i was really picky but reading some comments on her im not as much as i thought. I don’t want to be like this anymore and there have been many embarrasing times that have came with it. Not long ago i was at a indian friends house with about 15 other people – i was tired but went cos my friend wanted me to. Anyway when i got there, there was a big selection of indian food, however i freaked out and didn’t want to eat it as i didn’t know what was in it (and i know alot of indian food has onions which is no.1 on the list of what i don’t eat). So his parent kept pushing me to eat and i honestly couldn’t. And everyone started to look my way… it was so humiliating. And other occasions like that have happened so sometimes i just choose not to go. Any tips for helping would help! An idea i have is to write down a list of the foods i don’t eat (which is most veges/fruit) and every week try a new one. Let see if that works…. Nice to meet you all anyway!

  25. Meredith Says:

    Hello! Like so many of you, I am so happy to have found this site. ALthough I am from the United States, I can finally say I don’t feel like a freak anymore. I am 19, and currently in college. My entire life I have suffered from picky eating. As a result, I am always sick and am now malnourished. On the outside I look fine and normal, however, I take about 5 medicines and 15 vitamins daily. I have been to numerous doctors to find out what is wrong with me, but I think it really just comes down getting the right nutrients. I am currently seeing a homeopathic doctor because my mom is concerned about all the medication I am on, however he is the one who is making me take the vitamins? Is there a name for this? Because I am the type who had a completely normal childhood, yet can not physically eat ANYTHING. My diet is limited to carbohydrates. All types of bread. Is there anyway to get rid of this pickiness?

    • Aly Says:

      get pregnant and all of the foods you’ve lived on your whole life will start to disgust you and youll be forced to try new things! I also only live on carbs (no meats, vegetables, fruits, beans or even rice). In my case, havent tried new things but I’ve began taking an ensure milkshake every day and that helps me. Also try to find a good protein bar that you like (I think natures valley has a great dark chocolate and almond one). Good luck, know how you feel!

  26. angel Says:

    Hey everyone, my boyfriend is a very picky eater. as far as pasta is concerned he will only eat fettucini with the origanal sauce, spaghetti whith the traditional rague sauce and that is it. he only eats peperoni or cheese pizza. he will eat tyson chicken fried never baked. chicken breasts glazed with orange sauce and broiled. wont usually eat fried chicken. hates fruits and vegetables and will only eat green grapes, green apples, and corn. will eat potatoes with pepper never gravy. loves lasagna with cottage cheese on it but cant stand the thought of eating cottage cheese. loves enchiladas, tacos, navajo tacos, basically anything fried and no healthy stuff. nothing on his plate can touch in fact if he can he will use several plates for what he is eating. but most of the time we will have one item meals. i used to think that how pickey he is was childish but now maybe he truely does actually hate all of the food he hates. haha one time i tricked him into eating moose. my mom had cooked it once before and he would not eat it so the next time she made moose steaks i told him we were having steak and he asked what kind and i told him good steak lol. so he ate it and said it was good and we told him the truth after he ate it and he still said he hated moose and the next time we had it he would absoulutely not eat it cause he hated it. another time was he would eat these bbq rib sandwitches from the store at work and loved them for a couple weeks untill he got to reading the package and found out they had pork in them and hasn’t had one since incisting they are gross. another is that he insisted that he hated orange chicken and it took a few trips to the mall i would have orange chicken and he would have pizza till he finally tried a piece and he loved it so much he found a recipie and we perfected it and now that is what we have all the time. even on thanksgiving since he hates turkey. and every other thanksgiving food except potatoes and corn and chocolate pie. he is very specific about the foods he likes and nothing can be combined. so if something has an ingreedient combination he hates he wont touch it even if he likes the foods seperately. but at least now i can come to understand his eating habits.

  27. hannah Says:

    I am shocked and stunned that there is a website for people just like me!!! I am 28 and have been fussy since the age of 3 or 4. I absolutely hate it!!! My partner is always moaning that his diet is bad because mine is and theres no point cooking 2 separate meals (even though I would). We can never go to nice restaurants and I’m loathed to go to friends for dinner as they just dont ‘get it’. People seem to think that if they’ve cooked it you will eat it but I physically cannot! And don’t you hate it when people say ‘well have you ever even tried it?’ and you haven’t so you can’t give an explanation as to why you wont eat it (obviously I just lie now and say of course I have!!!!).
    Has anyone tried hypnotherapy??? I’m seriously considering it.

  28. Keri Says:

    Hello everyone. I think that it is to cool that there are so many of us. I too will not eat anything green (except green grapes), very limited dairy. Meat I will eat but it does nothing for me and it CAN NOT be red at all. The only veggies that I consume are corn and potatos (what a shock right lol). I also I been told my whole life “what is wrong with you “, “you don’t know what you are missing” , ect. The thing that gets me the most is why people get upset about our eating habits. My mother-n-law truly becomes offended when we have family dinners and I pass certain dishes past me. People don’t beleive me when I say I wish I could eat those things (because I know that they are health) but I just can’t, they make me sick! I have to say that my favorite comment everyone has made is our similarity in tomatos but I love pizza and pasta.

  29. Eleanor Says:

    Hello, my boyfriend has a serious problem with food in general, to the point where it really effects me as all I do is worry about what hes doing to himself. He will not touch a potato, 98% of vegetables, Seafood and Fish, most pasta dishes unless made with a particular tomato sauce, wet food, or food with sauces, unless its a certain type of curry or one of his mothers dishes (hes 29 years old). On the other hand he will eat Macdonalds, Kebabs & KFC. Fried Egg (the yolk not the white) and bacon (well done) he will eat thin wafer ham but not thick ham. Meat such as beef has to be cut finely, if too thick then he wont eat it. He continously snacks on crisps and sweets, sometimes binging on them (most night he wakes up and snacks on sweets and wont stop until there is none left). I really could go on forever, he shows definate signs of OCD which I think runs through the family and some of them are picky eaters too. I know this effects him because he is always lathargic, sometimes hes depressed, always moaning that he doesnt feel well and that he’s tired yet can sleep in the excess of 12-14 hrs. I’m so worried that all the fatty fried food and junk he’s consuming is killing him and although he says he knows he should change he never does and I really dont know what to do?

  30. mike Says:

    hi. im mike. Well im a 19 year old college student who has been picky since i was a child. Now that im older i really hate it but cant seem to change or get past it. My parents say that it is just psychological and all i need to do is just suck it up and eat it. Well i cant. The texture, scent, and taste of most things just will not literally allow me to hold them down. As an adult now, i often go to eat with my friends and family and feel like a complete idiot. When all my friends order their salads and soups and what not, i order a cheeseburger or chicken fingers or something simple and plain. I do not eat hardly any vegetables and/or fruits. Very very few. Besides all of the awkwardness when it come to eating, i am currently pursuing a career in the fire service. I have always been very athletic and “skinny”. I am 6’0″ and currently weigh around 155lbs. Now it may not seem like that bad, but the thing is i am not the size i need to be to become a firefighter. I do go to the gym and work out constantly, but there is only so much muscle i can build with so little fat from the selective foods i eat. I take protein shakes and some multivitamins. But the thing is that i need to eat properly and get all my proper nutrition but how is that when i eat close to nothing that helps me out? it really sucks when your family can eat regular meals every night, but you are there with cereal bowl cause you wont eat what is made. Any one feel me? Would love to hear back.

    ciao.
    .mike

  31. MsSadie Says:

    Mike – when I was in high school I’d sit down to an empty plate and make my own dinner while my family had lasagna or whatever. I think it made it worse, anyway, I know how you feel.

    I eat fruits and veggies but am particular about which veggies I can eat. I don’t think nuts are food. I don’t eat cream sauces or cheese except for melted cheese. I do eat yogurt now. The smell of eggs makes me want to vomit. I don’t like to mix things together. I will eat pizza and chips, I will not eat burgers or fish but will eat chicken and steak. Oh yeah, no meatloaf or anything like that. And no mystery food! I usually avoid sauces and condiments. I love some really spicy food but not others, for example I get physically ill from curry. I do tend to eat the same things all the time. Also lately my stomach seems more sensitive (or else it won’t accept new things I try).

    For me it probably stems from control issues, no big mysteries there. In addition to a fat-phobia I inherited from my mother :) My parents never “gave in”, I just refused to eat until I moved out on my own. Apparently I used to throw tantrums every day at mealtime – I remember being hungry, but wouldn’t eat. I used to fill up on cookies and sweets: out of hunger, not out of being a pig. I hardly ate at all in my teens and developed thyroid issues, vitamin deficiencies, and was really underweight for a time when I lived off cigarettes, diet coke and hostess cupcakes! It’s bad for your head too.

    Mostly I have avoided eating at all in front of people, or pretend I already ate, etc., or even admit that I’m fussy and laugh it off. Usually I can find things at restaurants. I think I have overcome lots of it and make real efforts to have a moderate and balanced diet… Also I have taken vitamins my entire life and take 3 or 4 every morning. I’m at my ideal body weight and will take action if/when that changes.

    Nonetheless, lately it has been more of an issue (professionally). Apparently I am not acting “normal” and it is apparently ok to talk to me like I am 6 years old about it. I am frankly annoyed that this is still an issue at age 30, and am less frustrated with myself than I am with anyone who thinks it is acceptable to scrutinize and ridicule my habits. I’ve given up cigarettes and alcohol and fizzy drinks, not to mention worked hard on the whole “food issue” – and think anyone who wants to give me trouble about my slightly eccentric dining habits can f*** the h*ll off :) Am currently trying to figure out how to say this assertively but politely.

    I love you all for being on this blog, I wish I’d found it years ago!

  32. Kim Says:

    Hello everyone, i found this site months ago but have ever left a message. But I felt the need to after an incident with a friend. As many of your know holidays can be difficult. My immediate family has gotten used to my eating habits so there is no real issue with them. But I moved away and one of my friends loves to have the big holiday dinners at her place. I try to be quiet so not to call attention to myself but, this past Easter one of my friends noticed that all I was eating was bread. He looked at me and said, “Is that all your eating?” Me getting very embarrassed started nervously laughing and I said I will have more later. He quickly responded with, “this isn’t funny, we are going to talk about this later.” Luckily that didn’t happen.

    The next incident with the same friend we were working on a project and took a break to get some food at sandwich restaurant. I asked my boyfriend to get me some bread with cheese then I walked away so I wasn’t there when he asked for my weird request. My friend comes up to me and asked what I was ordering. I told him and he asked, “are you self conscience about your appearance?” This question caught me off guard so I think I looked guilty but I responded no. He then went on to say, “Are you lying to me, cause that is bull s***.” I told him no again. Weeks later that incident is still in my head. I know he is just a concern friend but geez I felt like crawling into a corner.

    As much as your try to hide your eating habits someone will noticed and then you just have to prepare for the same questions over and over again. How are you still alive? You are missing out on so much. Have you tried it before?

    I am 23 and it is good to hear from the older picky eaters that you are healthy and doing well. I am very picky I don’t eat any meat, fruits or vegetables and I get worried that I maybe doing damage to my body. But I am getting relief from reading your messages. Thank you everyone!

  33. India Says:

    Hi, I’m India. I am almost 15. For as long as I can remember I have only eaten carbs, carbs, carbs, and fruit. I eat pasta everynight for dinner (my parents make it for me though and don’t force me to eat what they do), and I only like corn (has to be on the cob) and potatos as far a veggies go. I have never in my life eaten meat either. I like just about all fruits. I’m big on cheese and dairy, but thats it. It’s so embarassing when you go to friends houses ffor dinner or have big family dinners. I want to change but I feel like I can’t ever…….

  34. Lindsay Says:

    Wow. Thank you everyone for sharing their experiences. It is truly a relief to find out that I’m not a solitary freak out there! I’ve been picky my entire life, my parents have told me that I was picky from the get-go. I absolutely hate it, and have always wanted to be able to eat whatever I wanted to eat, and look longingly at the meals I see others eat. For some reason, I seem to be hooked on cooking shows but know that I would never, in a million years, eat what they are showing/cooking. Fortunately, I have gotten better as I’ve gotten older (I’m now 29) so I’m able to eat a lot more than when i was younger. However, I’m now starting to really worry because I am not skilled in making “normal” meals, and am a single mom trying to make sure my 20 month old daughter grows up eating healthy…and normal! It’s very difficult when there are so many people that just tell you, “oh, have you ever even tried it?” or “just make yourself eat it, eventually you’ll like it” yeah, that one’s my favorite, lol. Nice to know that I’m not alone in the way I gag or in the way that I do binge on the foods I am able to eat. This is a very frustrating situation….I’m now overweight because of it, and in my attempts to lose weight I feel as though I hit a brick wall because I just can’t bring myself to eat the right foods/healthy foods. I really related to the one post talking about how she experienced a period of anorexia for a time in her teens (same here, struggled with that for a while) then went to the other end of the spectrum and have verged on bulemia. I do binge, and hate the feeling of being full, but can’t bring myself to actually purge. ugh. The whole thing makes me sick to think about.
    I have actually gone to a couple of different therapists to try to address this problem, but have been basically blown off by both of them, or one of them told me to just try something new everyday, and my problem would most likely sort itself out. Sigh.
    Thank you for letting me vent:-] Best of luck to all of you!!

  35. Wattsy Says:

    After another day of acid intergestion I thought I would have a look around for some info on picky eating. I have been picky for most of the life. I tend to eat easy food (bread, pizza sausages, crisps and of course CHEESE) things that have been micned up or processed in some way and things that I do not need to Bite into to separate. I avoid onions like they will kill me, I have to check each food I buy to make sure it does not contain the dreaded vegtable. I have improved a whole lot since meeting my wife but I still hate social eating situtations and especally work eating situations.
    Trying food is hard, I hate the texture of so many different types. Salad just makes me choke. Breaking the skin of a fruit or veg makes me gag and onions actually make me sick.

    I am sure it is down to something in my head (like my tounge) but I really want to get to the bottom of this terrible problem and eat a normal meal with my wife with out sifting through it looking for bad things.

    I want to eat an apple or even a banana but I am so scared that I just avoid it. For some reason though I like spinach :|

    Its good to see that there are many people out there with picky habits. I can say I am pretty healthy, no health problems and pass all medical and phtsical exams so my picky diet can’t be that bad for me (I am 28 now)

    Oh yeah I like my food regimened so nothing contaminates anything else (now that has got to be OCD)
    Good luck to all of us!

  36. Julie Says:

    Wow!! I’m absolutley loving this! pickey eaters unite!! lol, I am 18 and this is basically all I eat:
    cheese pizza, spaghetti w/ parmesan and butter only, fetticine alfredo(no garlic & has 2 be the right kind) plain chicken(fried or boiled), french fries and ketchup, chicken ramen noodles, spaghettios, mini raviolis ( i have a hard time with these sometimes though b/c the pieces of meat gross me out), most fruits, breads, NO VEGETABLES
    I tend to eat the same meal day after day and it gets sooo old, but even the thought of trying these other foods completley grosses me out and i cant find the “courage” to even attempt this. Does anyone absolutley despise all veggies? im also afraid to eat plain red sauce b/c of the tiny tomatoe chunks i am afraid of finding. We should like have a comittee or something!!! *~Julie~*

  37. Tineke Says:

    Hi, I am so glad I have found this site, because this is the club I belong to. I am 38, living in The Netherlands and a pickey eater since I was 5 years old. My parents never pushed me to eat. Sometimes my mum said: You don’t have to try it, because you don’t like it! Now I am afraid to try new things. I always say: I don’t like it even I have never tried it. But sometimes there are periods in my life I have enough courage to try new things.

  38. paul6279 Says:

    Wow, this has been a revelation to me. For the 29 years I’ve been on this planet I have never come across anyone else like me and, like most people, assumed I was just the picky one that annoys everyone else at the dinner table.

    I’ve always been a picky eater and, according to my mum, even refused most flavours of baby food. I’m not as bad as I was as a child as now I will eat a few different vegetables (instead of just potato), a couple of “hard” fruits and I can eat a very small amount of meat if I have to but only if I can hide it in potato.

    As with most people it seems I am terrified about trying new things and it seems to be very much a smell and texture issue. I can not eat a slab of meat because of the way it looks on the plate and I struggle with most vegetables because to me they have a very bitter smell.

    The thing I struggle with most is that other people always seem to want to make an issue out of what I won’t eat. I am happy with what I eat because, although my diet is very limited and unhealthy, I REALLY like the foods I eat. It saddens me in some aspects because I sometimes see things others are eating and would love to try them but I just can’t.

    My only real worry with my habits are the fact that I am verging on obese because of them. I have just started on an exercise regime to try and combat it as I know this is part of my problem so hopefully that will help to stop me feeling socially ostracised by more than just my eating habits

  39. Lou Says:

    I was wondering if anyone could help me. I myself am not a picky eater but my partner is. He survives on nothing but the same sandwiches every day and at a push the occasional pizza. He has only recently told me about his problem and now I am completely unsure how to deal with it. I want to help him but i’m not sure how to, he’s very sensitive about it. None of his friends know and his social life suffers dramatically because of this. Has anyone got any tips on how to be supportive with out sounding patronising? Anything would be greatly appreciated.

  40. Claire Says:

    Hi there Lou, and hi to everyone.
    I would point your partner towards this site, Lou, and then maybe ask him the same question you’ve asked here. From the sound of things I would guess the first most supportive thing you could do would be just to be accepting of it in the first instance. Tell him I said hi, anyway :-)

  41. Marie Says:

    First of all, I am SO GLAD this website exists.

    What picky eating is like for me…it sucks. It’s so stressful when I want to hang out with people and they want to go out to eat. Pretty much the only places I can go to are McDonald’s or Abry’s, and then I can only have the fries. I’m unique because I actually really like some fruit, especially grapes. I’ll also eat lettuce (only the light green kind), carrots, apples, snow peas, and a few other miscilaneous fruits and veggies. Although I’ve gotten a little better since I was younger (i’ll force myself to swallow rice & paste at my school cafeteria), it’s still very debilitating. Since I just started college, I can’t afford to go out all the time and buy food which I go through quickly anyway so I’ve been eating a lot less since the school doesn’t really offer a lot of stuff I’d really LIKE to eat. It’s a problem because I’ve made a really good friend who thinks I’m anorexic. I explained to him I’m just super-picky but I was afraid to explain to him the degree to which I was picky. Still, it’s frustrating. Today I tried to eat some baked cheese ravioli. It looked plain disgusting but I figured I should try to swallow it anyway. I got a very very very tiny bite down. The next one I swallowed a tiny one and I felt like I was going to throw up so I dumped it then.

    If anyway happens to have ANY IDEA how to even sort of treat it, I’d appreciate it!

  42. Anna Says:

    My boyfriend is a very picky eater. He won’t eat vegetables of any kind, and only eat meat. Even if the meal consist only of meat, if he doesn’t like it he won’t eat it. For instance, I just boiled some shrimp dumplings that only had a little bit of mushroom in it and he spit it out. When he ordered take out if it has vegetable in it he stops eating. This frustrates me, especially since he has a fast metabolism and lose weight like crazy.

  43. Sonya Says:

    So I was going to start this diet today and just “Suck it up” and gag down the fruits and veggies. I quickly realized it’s not possible. I cannot make myself eat them. Like many of you, it’s a texture thing. It is humiliating and makes it extremely impossible to diet. I can do sweet potatoes and some veggies like broccoli if they are very well cooked. But fresh fruits make me puke the moment they hit my mouth.
    I really want to change. Everyone things I’m crazy. Isn’t there something I can do? Isn’t there a diagnosis besides “crazy” and “picky”? PLEASE HELP I AM DESPERATE!

  44. MsSadie Says:

    Just checking back in. I had some insights that someone might find useful:

    I quit smoking and drinking and caffeine last spring. I found this site while on a search for personal care/growth similar to my searches for answers on substance issues. For me, it’s all the same kind of bundle of stuff: issues of control, ritualized behaviour, ingrained habits, family baggage. Stuff I’ve done a lot to get past.

    For the record, I’m back to occasional drinks and mochaccinos (fortunately I never qualified as an actual addict) but exercise regularly, do not smoke, and am doing great. I am still a bit of a weird eater but am not really thinking about it. I pick up new things at Safeway and pick items off menus, sometimes new items. If someone’s being a jerk about it, I’ll let them know. I decided to let myself have food preferences but not limit myself to them. The more I or someone else makes a big deal out of it, the worse it is. I am very aware of the food groups and work to include them in my daily diet. And I’m comfortable with where I’m at. and, for the record, my ideal body weight.

    Again, you guys all rock. Good luck! Stay healthy.

  45. MsSadie Says:

    Just to be clear: I am not presuming my own experience is the same as everyone else’s!

  46. Kate Says:

    I am SO HAPPY I found this site! No one around me understands whats its like to be picky- and I am always mortified going to someones house, or out to eat with a boss.
    Its terrible.
    And I don’t want to be this way!!!!
    For example- I have tried salad over and over again, and I can’t do it. It makes me so sick to chew it- the texture is disgusting- its just some mental barrier I can’t get over! My other big barrier is can’t stand eating two different textures- like i will not eat lasagna because I can’t stand the warm cheese with sticky pasta with chruchy onions and chewy meat. Eugh…

    I feel like im digging myself an early grave by not eating any veggies and any healthy food.

  47. Sharon Says:

    My 15 year old adopyed granddaughter is a very picky eater she only eats pizza, chicken breast with nothing on it . She will not eat anything with sauce and she eats cold ceral and sausauge. She will eat a chicken sandwich but completely plain. I really beleive this is all she eats. My daughter and son in law are always fighting about my son in law allowing her to not eat dinner and to just eat what she wants. Oh peanut butter and jelly sandwichs she loves. Chris is having a big formal sweet 16 party and only wants pizza served, this is at a banquet hall with a DJ. I explained to her that there are other people who are there who would like to eat more then pizza and that is was fancy, but she said i just want pizza and a few chips. I have read all the blogs and want to know is this an illness or considered an eating disorder? Should we seek help foe her or try to force her to eat, we are concerned and worried about her.

  48. Cynthia Chan Says:

    Here is one idea for your granddaughter: Have her sweet 16 catered by a fancy pizzaria and order several different kinds of pizza. Also buy different kinds of chips. That way, she gets to eat what she wants, and her friends get to have a lot of food choices.

  49. James Says:

    Hi Claire,

    You’ve put it into words that I never could… it’s all that and more. I get the gag / choking / panic reflex, a phobia is the best analogy I can come up with. It’s not for lack of want – people can’t seem to understand that it’s not an active choice. I would love to eat normally more than anything. I’d trade anything & everything to enjoy food.

    Accessing any kind of help seems impossible… medical professionals seem unaware. “You need to eat better” – great advice doc!

    Hopefully starting CBT in the next few weeks see if I’ve any luck that way. It’s a complete mental block & something that drives me crazy.

    Good luck to all battling this.

  50. Chelsea Says:

    I know everyone else has already said it, but I can’t believe there’s a site for this! I’m almost 20 years old (American, but moving to England, so perhaps I count as a UK picky eater!) and have been labelled as “very picky” my entire life, and even though I use the term “picky,” I’ve always felt like I never had any choice in the matter. Like a lot of you, I can only eat potatoes and corn for vegetables, mostly because of the texture and odor. I love tomato sauce and inhale pizza and mozerella sticks and the like, but for some reason I can’t eat large quantites of tomato sauce on pasta without feeling sick. I’d rather slather my pasta in cheese, which I love in pretty much all forms. Fruits I can’t eat for the texture, but I LOVE fruit juice and smoothies and fruit-flavored things (though I can’t deal with pineapple, and peel a citrus fruit in the same room as me and you’ve HAD it). I hate the sound of fresh vegetables and fruit being eaten or sliced, and I can’t touch or go too close to vegetables because I think the smell will get on my hands or something. I love hot dogs and I like bacon, but sometimes I can’t handle bacon because it’s too chewy. I’m particular about my chicken as well, but I can manage it in most forms. In the past year, I’ve been able to manage hamburgers, but I’ve tried and failed with steak. Fish is an absolute no-go. I’ve been getting better and better year by year, but even though occasionally I can broaden my horizons by one or two food products a year, I know I’m never going to be able to eat perfectly normally. I’ve considered hypnosis for the sake of my health, but it’s encouraging to see so many older people that have made it mostly unscathed :).

    I can be a bit insane about other things related to food…for the most part, I can’t stand watching food being prepared, even my own. I eat lots of things with a knife and fork even when it’s not required. I need separate peices of silverware for a lot of food items, and none of my foods that aren’t self-contained (i.e., have any chance of leaking or oozing onto each other) can touch, which usually means separate plates. When I’m full, even safe foods repulse me, and I can’t think about putting anything solid into my mouth until I digest.

    Even though I’ve never really cared what people think about me in any form, my food aversions can be embarrassing at sit-down dinners, especially when someone else has cooked something at home. I’m an expert at cutting up my food and mushing it around to make it look like I ate something, but I could never hide it for fear of being found out. I usually just say that I have a “small stomach” (which I do…I can’t eat large quantities even of safe foods for the most part) and people never expect me to eat a lot, but I always am embarrassed when they look down at my plate and see hardly any food missing. I don’t care what other people think about me and my food issues, but I always feel terrible about wasting food or the money that was spent on the food, and worry about offending the host.

    I wonder where all this came from, since my parents say I used to eat everything until I was about four or five. While they were never extremely strict and they never said anything like “you MUST eat this, you can’t leave until you do,” they badger me about it to this day. I’ve learned to shut off my ears and wait till the topic is changed, because it’s not like I’m doing it to defy them or be original…I just CAN’T eat certain things. My friends just know I’m “selective” and eat small quantites and for the most part don’t notice anything that irregular, since I’m a normal weight and height and am actually never, ever sick. I think I must be a sponge or something that sucks nutrients from the air.

    I’ve always known I was picky, of course, but I’ve never thought it was an actual disorder or anything like that. I started to explain my eating habits to a friend yesterday, putting it all into words for the first time, and it made me wonder, so I got to googling and realized that there are more people out there like me than I thought. I read all the comments and they almost made me cry, because now I know it’s not just me being stubborn and that I’m not kidding myself when I say I physically CAN’T put certain things into my mouth. because I know I’ll gag or throw up. Thank you for this site! I was a bit worried that it was now defunct, but I see 2009 posts at the bottom! :) Even if it was defunct, though, it was wonderful to read all the old comments.

    Thanks to you all for sharing!

  51. Lizette Says:

    Picky eating to me is that I eat out of habit not because I really love it and want it. I do not eat any vegetables or fruit. I do not eat out things I do not know what ingredients were used. I do not like eating other peoples cooking. In fact I don’t like eating except for junk. I love chocolate, chips and used to like nuts but have diverticular disease and can’t eat them now. I stopped eating apparently when I was about 3. Before that I ate everything even things I should eat. Mum and dad worried about my eating and would take me to the drs who fobbed them off as being neurotic. They tried to force me a couple of times, never good. I vomit. I was made to stay at the table , I would sit ALL night if I had to. I would hide food in my pockets, shoes etc. I can’t go to restaurants or friends for dinner. I could not even buy fruit and vegies , now I can. Progress! I have a very limited diet and it impacts on my life immensely. I hate it . Good to know though at 40 there are others who understand. Maybe together we can have our plight seriously looked at so that we can aim for some sort of health diet and normality. I was always so thin, but at 40 it seems to have caught up to me. How do you diet when you have such a limited range to start with? I do not want my children to suffer as I do. I can see my children learning stuff from me I would rather they didn’t, despite my best efforts. My husband suffers as I hate cooking, eating etc. When we go out he eats both our meals. Not great for him either obviously. Lets hope that someday soon they nail the cause and possible treatments to help us all. I think it is a smell, textural and unknown thing. I am too anxious to try new things. I hate the smell of things like asparagus, cabbage etc I can’t stomach mushy foods. Have tried crunchy carrot and celery. Kept down but don’t like. Can’t try to often is totally overwhelming.

    Sorry this is so long, trying to share 40 years of frustration. Feel better already!! There is hope;)
    Lizette

  52. Chelsea Says:

    hey i am very picky on what i eat things i mostly eat is fruit,junk food, chips and for pop its cream soda,sprite and pepsie i feel so good saying what i am picky about know i don’t have to hide it again

  53. steve Says:

    hey i am a personal trainer and a picky eater. i am only 21 but my diet consists of plain pasta no sauce, cheese pizza, crumbed chicken by itself. i don’t eat any veggies at all and my mother is a vegan. my brother sister and father eat ne thing u put in front of them. i used to eat lots of take away such as maccas and kfc but found ordering a mcchicken burger with no lettuce and no mayo a tad bit embarrassing around my friends. i used to eat lollies chocolate cakes sweets etc and a lot of bread. wno that i’m a personal trainer i found it easy to eliminate the unhealthy stuff out of my diet but still can’t find enough goodness in the very few meals i can eat. it really makes me mad that i can’t eat other food. i try to try new things but i just stare at it on my plate and can’t put it to my mouth or if i do i have already decided i’m not going to like it and so i don’t .. does ne one know of ne way to cure it!

  54. elisabeth Says:

    Hi, I just came across this lick when i decided to google picky eaters as i was feeling quite down about not being able to eat what other people eat. You see my fiance has a great appetite and will eat pretty much anything, but i only have about 20 things that i can eat. i went out for dinner with his family recently and i ordered a plate of chips as thats the only thing that i can generally eat in restaurants as there are too many variables in the food they serve so i stick with chips as they are usually the same no matter where you get them. anyway, the evening was horrible, from the moment the waiter took the order i wanted to cry. waiter made a big deal about me ordering just chips in his fine dining restuarant, he wasnt impressed, this led to my fiances family listing off every dish on the menu saying “get this, try this”,etc. My refusal only added to their amusement and they then spent the next 2hours making jokes at my expense and claiming that picky eaters are just attention seekers and alot of other ridiculous claims. i left the restaurant feeling so low that all i could do was cry myself to sleep. so i decided to google picky eaters and so i came across this site. Its such a relief to know that im not the only one whose food intake is limited! so thank you for starting this blog as im finding it so helpful reading ur articles! please keep up the good work.

  55. MsMarvel Says:

    I am a 42yo picky eater, I have always been this way. Going to people’s houses for meals is very stressful for me. I found a lot of answers by reading this author’s books: http://www.hsperson.com/ Highly sensitive people often reject foods due to texture, flavor, association, appearance and/or smell.

  56. AJ Says:

    A friend recently linked to this blog and I’m so happy she did. I’m 30 years old and I’ve been picky since I was about two. I know a lot of my pickiness comes from texture issues (pulp – like tomatoes or oranges – makes me gag no matter what I try), but some of it I just don’t know. I’ve long suspected I’m a super-taster, based on some bitterness issues with things I have tried, but even that doesn’t explain everything I avoid.

    Onions and tomatoes are my biggest issues, mainly because I come from an Italian-American family, so they’re impossible to completely avoid. I’ve gotten better at scraping off the pulpy/seedy/skin bits where I can and just coping with the rest, but it took 25 years for me to do that.

    Some things I just haven’t been able to do. When I was a kid, one of my best friends loves strawberries so much, she couldn’t believe I’d never had one. After years of pressure, I tried one. It took me ten minutes to work up the nerve to put it in my mouth and bite down. Then I had to spit it right back out. I love the smell of cooking bell peppers but I have yet to bring myself to be able to put a piece of pepper in my mouth.

    It’s frustrating and so often dismissed as being no big deal, so I’m thrilled to find I’m not alone.

  57. LittleGirl Says:

    My partner is a fussy eater and when I met him 3 years ago he only seemed to like between 5 and 10 things, mostly fast food, meat and chips/crisps and no veg other than potatoes – and onion, which is one of the few things that I can’t eat in this world! As you can imagine, making dinner was a bit of a struggle, but with a bit of patience, imagination and an open mind, we have made some progress and fast food is not his staple anymore! It’s still not great and he won’t eat things like fish, fruit or boiled veg, but we have discovered that he loves most soups, so there’s where his vegetable intake comes from. Also, when making spag bol, I add things like mushrooms and carrots so that he gets some extra vegetables in his diet without suffering, and I put lots of small bits of carrot and peas in my beef stew, which he surprisingly loves! He likes meatballs, so for a healthier option I decided to try turkey mince and even meat free balls, and he doesn’t like them as much as the beef ones, but he does eat them happily these days. I also try marinating meats, using herbs and spices and cooking the things he likes in different ways (if you like one ingredient, there is a good chance you may like it cooked in at least 2 different ways, and if you don’t like something, keep trying until you find something new that excites you), and now we can have dinner together. His friends used to make constant jokes about his poor diet, now I shut them up by showing them our diet is probably healthier and more varied than theirs!! He’s done so well that one day I may even get him to eat fish :)

  58. Melissa Says:

    I’m a “picky” eater. I’ve made a ton of progress just by cajoling myself to try things cooked in various ways.

    If it’s a new vegetable I try it raw, boiled, steamed, stir fried, etc until I figure out what ways I CAN eat it.

    In order to try something new, I cut up a VERY small bit of it first. Then I take that, and chew it. If I like it, I work up to eating bigger pieces.
    Generally it takes about 4 or 5 times of trying a new food before I can eat “normal” sized portions of it. But don’t beat yourself up if it takes longer. Progress is progress.

    For example, I love carrots raw or stir fried, don’t really care for them boiled. Cooked broccoli is one of my favorites, but I despise it raw. So for chinese, I often order Beef with Broccoli because it really is enjoyable for me to eat and I’m getting vegetables that way. The snowpea pods stir fried are great as well.

    I never eat salad, and often have to ask for it to be replaced with soup or bread, because leafy greens make me literally gag or feel nauseous. I only like my greens cooked, Love them in soup.

    I would encourage other food phobics to do this as well. It’s cliche’, but the more you try, the prouder of yourself you will be and the less fearful. Now that I have a system down for trying new things, and also realized that it’s okay not to like things cooked in a certain way, it makes life much easier.

    It just sucks to have to constantly keep a running tab like that.
    It’s hard when my phobia is real bad and it makes me dissolve into tears even though I’m 28 years old. I’ve still never tried Chili because it looks disgusting to me. Even after analyzing the ingredients and seeing that I would probably like how it tastes, thought of eating it makes me feel ill.

    That’s the other thing. Look at ingredients of things you are scared to try and see if it’s made up of other things that you like.

    I still can’t eat salads, but at least I can eat the components cooked differently, or raw veggies instead.

    The part I don’t like is when people try to pressure me into eating something, like I can just snap out of it. I’ve had people get pissed off at me like I was doing it to spite them, when in reality, the anxiety is so bad sometimes my throat starts to close if I am trying a new food and forced into it.

    I wish people would be more understanding about it. I really wish I could be one of those people who could just eat anything and not even care. It would be so liberating. But unfortunately I haven’t gotten there yet.

  59. kim Says:

    My daughter is a picky eater and at the moment with the weather so cold i cant get it through to her she should try something warm. Shes now having headaches a lot and i’m sure its because she isnt eating what she should. No breakfast, two barm cakes for dinner and hardly any tea until she gets the munches later on at night. Loves bacon will eat that all day and will also eat tinned macaroni cheese. Pizza at a push but seems to have odd taste buds, likes pepperoni and spicy german sausage but not much else. We are so worried about her health in the long term. We have given up trying to get her to eat anything if u give her anything with onion on or mushrooms in she would pick them out, oh the list is endless but she says before she tries it i dont like that i’m desperate to try and get her to eat nice normal things but she just says im not hungry Helpppppppppppp

  60. I love the various articles that have been written, and especially the comments posted! This can be a

  61. Karina Says:

    Hi fellow picky eaters, I don’t live in the U.K.; I live in United States. My mom tells me that before I was 2 I ate anything/everything, including “nasty yucky” veggies and ethnic foods. When I was 2, apparently, I had a hormonal outburst that resulted in intense sensitivity, including selective eating, discomfort on many fabrics, screaming at bad smells (for a while, I was too young to express myself in “plain English”.)

    My brother is a picky eater too, but most people don’t like everything and if my recollections are correct, he is more adventurous than myself. My dad will eat anything except fish (I hate all seafood even though I’ve never tried it, and my dad will only eat fish if it’s the ONLY food there is.) My mom eats most things, and she seems to love cooking. My brother and I both HATE melted cheese. When we were young, we used to hide in our rooms with towels/mats/bedsheets stuffed in the gap between the door and the floor to block the smell whenever our parents ate it for dinner. I never ate school lunches.

    I don’t like trying new foods because I vaguely remember nonspecific incidents in which I tried a new food and it would taste so awful that the memory of the taste stayed with me for a long time, even if the taste itself didn’t physically linger in my mouth. I hate most vegetables, especially when they’re cooked. Cooking a vegetable (or anything, really) brings out the smell. I’ve never tried most sauces, but I like certain tomato sauces on pasta. I will NOT eat sauce with vegetables in it!!!! I like supermarket pasta, and I like to cook it and serve it with either tomato sauce or parmesan cheese NOT BOTH. Whenever my parents made anything that I thought/knew I wouldn’t like, I either refused to eat or cooked myself pasta. It was not an uncommon instance in our house to see on the kitchen table a serving dish of chicken in gravy, a serving dish with vegetables of some sort, and a smaller dish of pasta.

    I can’t say that I hate most fruits; in fact I can tolerate most of them. But I don’t like to eat fruit regularly because my diet revolves around carbs and sugar (chocolate desserts) that I feel the sugar in fruit would compound the problem of my “daily sugar allowance” going in debt.

    My parents and grandparents have made “jokes”- when I say I don’t like something in their hearing or don’t want to try something, my mom says “Oh, you don’t like much, do you?” as a rhetorical question, and my dad will complain about my rigidity and tell me that I need to try new things, the world doesn’t revolve around me, damn it! Of course I know he’s right, but it hurts my feelings nevertheless.

    My mom once reminded me of a time when I was 5; we were in Barbados for my mother’s cousin’s wedding, and we stayed for at least 2 weeks. We were at a restaurant, and my mom was suggesting different items to me from the menu. I, of course, refused each one, and eventually the waitress ran out of patience and said, “She don’t like nuttin”.

    Another time, when I was 5, we were in Switzerland (my grandfather’s 60th birthday) and we were (deja vu!) in a restaurant! My brother wisely ordered fries (a child’s-palate, universal food that doesn’t take long to prepare), my parents had (probably) ordered “adult food” (my term for any widely-believed-to-be-healthy food that can be expensive and contains many ingredients mixed together, like steak or salads), and I had ordered pasta. My parents and my brother were eating, and I was still waiting. When the pasta finally arrived, IT HAD PARSLEY ON TOP! I burst into tears and screamed, “THERE’S GREEN STUFF ON MY PASTA!!” The waitress was hurriedly saying “It’s okay sweetheart, we can take it off” but I probably assumed that even if the parsley was removed, there would either be a small amount remaining, and/or the pasta would still taste like parsley. LOL.

    I don’t like to mix most foods. Some foods, pasta and fries in particular, I can’t eat by themselves. I try to make fun of myself with friends, but with family, I just get too offended. I’ve heard family members make jokes, “What if she goes off pasta?” I do not like any toppings on my pizza except plain cheese. When people ask me “Do you like pizza?” I never know how to respond! Different restaurants make different kinds, duh! Ex: Domino’s Pizza=Good; Papa Murphy’s=Bad (never tried it, but it smells like vomit.)

    I always apologize profusely whenever I refuse something; I sometimes just pretend I’m not hungry. I will NOT eat spicy food. There are foods that I can tolerate, but that I don’t like to consider as an actual meal, because they just do not interest me, like most kinds of chicken. (The one exception to this so far is chicken fingers. Yum!)

    I sound like a huge bitch, which I kind of am. Food is practically the only thing on my mind. Whenever my parents wanted to take me on vacation, I wasn’t thinking “Will I get to buy souvenirs?” I was thinking “What if the food is bad?”

    Sorry about the rant! I know I left out a heck of a lot of stuff.

  62. ShamWows Says:

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  64. Noel Otley Says:

    What a great fair post! All these burgers and pizzas are junk food. And these cause worst effect on body and mind.
    Hypnotism for Weight Loss

  65. Ellen Says:

    Oh my god, this is amazing! I’ve never found anyone else I know who has this kind of thing too! I’m 17 and cannot eat fruit in its own form, it terrifies me! My parents have joked about it and got cross with me about it but I can’t do it and am beginning to suspect I never will. I wish I’d found this before because I always felt like such a freak. It’s been going on since I was tiny but my parents weaned me on to most foods when I was still quite young. It was only last summer that I actually chose to try stuff I’d never tried before, as my own decision and without managing to put myself off, though!
    I realise now that actually my version of it is pretty mild, seeing as fruit is really the only thing I won’t eat (other than an aversion to stuff with masses of oil and a hatred of butter and cheese but I’m pretty sure that’s to do with the fat content more than anything else!) but if anyone has any advice or anything that’d be great.

  66. Tammy Says:

    “How are you alive? Can’t you eat like a human? Just try it!!” These questions I have heard over and over my 35 years of eating picky. No one has understood what it has been like except for those that are living it (like you). I am a picky eater. I eat toast, PB & Jelly sandwiches, pizza (scrape off any toppings), plain pasta or Alfredo, cheese & crackers, fruit and unhealthy snacks and of coarse never eat anything that touched a food I don’t eat. I refuse and never have tried many foods in the meats and veggies area, although I can cook very well. Many of you are in the same vote that it has to do with texture although there are foods that I won’t eat that smell good. My only wish in life is to be able to sit down and eat … and enjoy a nice salad. Many of my coworkers never understood why I would not try, so I did one day and when they sat there at lunch and watched me gag and literally start turning colors, they understood what a horrible experience it was for me and never asked to see it again. LOL.
    I was introduced to a doctor at a local hospital that specialized in Hypnotherapy and gave it a try. I also tried self hypnotherapy and both conclusions is that something from my childhood was blocking me from eating properly. Unfortunately nothing helped and it was a waste of time.
    Until someone invents a magic wand that will make me normal … my life of making excuses and ordering off of kids meals in restaurants will continue.
    It is really nice to know that I am no longer alone!! Keep posting!

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Or you can man up and keep eating it until you stop gagging. Once you get that small victory under your belt, things will start to turn around. Don’t avoid it, attack it! Don’t makes excuses, make statues to your fucking victories. I’ve tackled my social anxiety and arachnaphobia, you can tackle your picky eating. you just have to really want to.

  67. Rob Says:

    I remember my mom once saying that all you get to eat in jail is bread and water. I remember thinking, “that’s not bad at all.” I could easily be happy with just bread and water. I remember when I was kid refusing to eat the rice on my plate. I was left in the kitchen by myself until I finished it. I just sat there for hours staring at my plate. My mom even turned the lights off on me, and then she finally sent me to bed. The rice was still untouched. I remember refusing to eat scrambled eggs. I was crying and I was being yelled at to eat them, and “don’t you dare gag!” I somehow managed to get the fork into my mouth and of course I instantly gagged. My mom took my glass of milk and threw it in my face.
    Look my mom is not a bad or mean person. She was just extremely frustrated and at her wits end trying to get an extremely picky child to eat. These are just times when she just snapped and couldn’t take it any more.
    God, I dreaded dinner time. I could get away with cereal for breakfast, peanut butter and honey sandwiches for lunch (not jelly), but there was always a vegetable with dinner. Of course there meats I couldn’t take either. Lamb? No thanks. Meatloaf? No way. Pot roast? Too fatty. What to do with the food you didn’t like? Swallow the peas like pills. Cut up string beans and swallow them whole too. Put your food in a napkin and throw it in the trashcan. That worked for a while until the parents found out and they started checking my napkin. So then I would sneak an extra napkin in my pocket before I sat down, put as much food as I could in that napkin and excuse myself to the bathroom. Then empty the contents of the napkin into the toilet and flush away the evidence. I eventually got caught swallowing the food whole and was ridiculed for that as well.

    Fast forward fifteen years: I’ve made enough excuses to get out of dinner invites that I just don’t get asked anymore. I lived on the coast for 4 years and can’t stand seafood. Guess how many oyster roasts I went to. I have a hard time starting new relationships because it is just one more person I have to introduce to my pickiness. They never respond well. People will joke at cookouts, “I never see you eat.” “Yeah, I eat really early.” (lie) “It looks good, I’m just not hungry.” (lie, I’m starving)

    Thanks for creating this site. Even if there is no way to fix this affliction, at least I know I am no longer alone. The uncanny thing is how similar we are in a lot of our tastes with food. The fact that these similarities are so specific and common, it really makes you think there’s more to it than just traumatic childhood experiences or whatever.

    Finally, I just wanted to say, what is everyone else’s problem? Why do people always have to make such a big deal over you not wanting to eat certain foods. I mean it’s one thing if you cooked the food and I’m not eating it. I can understand how your feelings can be hurt from that. But that’s not even what I’m talking about. Whether I eat something or not has literally no effect on them. Yet they have to say something. They have to make a big deal about it. There’s always someone. Just when you think no one will notice, there’s always that one person who has to make a comment. And if I wasn’t already embarrassed enough, I would just lay into that person and tell them off. But then it would be, ‘look at the over sensitive picky eater.’ You can’t win. All you can do is deflect or self deprecate and hopefully change the conversation. Of course you will be in my crosshairs for the rest of the night. Don’t slip up.

    Thanks for giving me a place to finally vent. I could have written for hours.

    – Your friend from “The States”

  68. karen Says:

    I am always embarassed by ordering food very specifically. I cannot eat anything that has what I specifically not asked for in or near it. As a child, my family would get mad at me constantly for asking for burgers with pickles and onions only. I go to restaurants now and I feel the need to apologize for ordering salads, appetizers and meals in a particular way. When I sit with someone who eats food that I find disgusting, it makes me physically ill and unable to finish my meal if I watch them eat. So many of my meals are eaten looking at my plate only and trying to avoid watching them eat. I feel stupid, ashamed and embarassed. I NEVER ask family to fix me anything special. If there is nothing there I will eat, I grab a piece of bread and say I’m not hungry. If I go through a drive thru and ask for a hamburger a special way “plain”, I am irate if it is not. I have a boyfriend that will eat it anyway if he asks for no cheese and gets it. It is IMPOSSIBLE for me to put food anything near me that has condiments let alone actually taking a bite. My friends and family find me annoying and don’t understand that food that I find disgusting, really make me physically ill. I avoid dinner get togethers with strangers like the plague. I would lose a potential friendship rather than go to the dinner. Family get togethers that revolve around food fill me with such anxiety that I can’t wait to go home and away from the food. Going to a new restaurant is a definite no unless I know for a fact that there is something there I can find to eat. There’s no stopping at a “mom and pop” restaurant to try it. It’s hard to explain to friends and family that it really makes me ill and I’m not just being difficult. Until recently, I just thought it was me. I HAD NO IDEA OTHER PEOPLE WERE LIKE ME. Thanks for listening and letting me know I’m not alone or crazy. BTW, I’m 45.

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Stop hiding behind your excuses and attack your problem. Try tiny bits at a time until you can handle it. Throw up if you touch it? Big deal. Keep doing it. If it works for hardcore phobias, it can work for this.

  69. Susan Long Says:

    Interesting to read that people stubborn and rejecting about food tend to be that way in other areas of their life. I can see it in a friend who is otherwise intelligent and interesting and fun. Her food and political issues drive me nuts but I have learned to live with it. Find friends who “get it” and don’t force food you hate on you. Tell them what you eat and let them serve you that. If they are not friend enough to ignore the issue, how much of a friend are they? Find work where you are not forced to socialize when you don’t want to.

    • Clarice007 Says:

      Hi Susan, thanks for your comment. I’m not sure it’s really fair to describe an involuntary physical reaction to certain foods as being stubborn and rejecting, but still…

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Real friends care enough to tell you the truth and try to work with you to fix it. Eating unhealthy foods all the time will put you in an early grave.

  70. Karina Says:

    @Claire- the reaction may not always be completely involuntary.

    • Claire Says:

      Karina -thanks for your comment, but I’m not sure what you’re getting at. I simply said it isn’t fair to describe an involuntary reaction as stubborn or rejecting – and I believe that point still stands. Speaking for myself, it IS always involuntary in any case. If you are thinking of someone who gags or vomits by choice, then perhaps you are thinking of bulimia or something similar – which is a completely different thing from what we are talking about here.

  71. Karina Says:

    @Rob, my family always jokes about it. I hate cookouts too, barbecues, whatever they’re called…The food at those kinds of things is kinda spicy. I remember I once wanted to have pizza for dinner, but my mom told me she wouldn’t order any unless I finished the leftover pasta for lunch. The leftover pasta tasted weirder than I expected- and I never even liked leftover pasta to begin with! So I took each tiny mouthful with a huge gulp of water. I went to my grandparents’ this summer and I spent a lot of meals eating just one course, then dessert. I got pretty annoyed at the desserts- a lot of the chocolate they had was semisweet when I prefer sweet.

  72. Rebecca Says:

    I’m a producer for a hit TLC show and we’re currently looking for ADULTS with PICKY EATING HABITS and/or FOOD ADDICTION! If you’re interested and LIVE in the STATES, please send an email to pickyeaterscasting@gmail.com with your name, number, and brief description of your eating habits.

    Hope to hear from you soon,

    Rebecca

  73. Ann Says:

    After all these years it is so nice to hear that I am not alone. I am waiting for three pills to be invented – Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner. I hate to eat, but knowing that it is the “bread of life”, I eat – but do not eat bread! For the last 6 years I have not had bread – once in a while I will eat some of a bagle, take a bite of a dinner roll, but that is it! I also do not like anything green except for green M&M’s. My mother could make ground beef over a 1,000 different ways and Mr. Wonderful (my ex husband) also loved hamburger every night, I refuse to even have the meat in my home. No meatballs, no meatloaf, no casseroles, NO GROUND BEEF! Spicy foods and sauces are a good cover up for hiding something nobody would eat if they could see what was there, or would spit out if the spice was removed.Condiments are only for covering up the taste of something that should have been put in the trash. Even the family dog would not eat it. Chicken and turkey are my food of choice.
    Even healthy snacks like raisins! My mom said they look like rabbit “turds”. My kids stopped eating them too. I am picky because I do not like to be lied to ” taste it, its good!”, the feel in my mouth makes me gag, the color is wrong, and the comparisons make my stomach churn, and I hate to chew alot! Please – somebody work hard on those three pills!

  74. John Says:

    My wife is a picky eater and it is definitely a problem for our relationship. It is very discouraging that the number of foods we might eat and cook together is fewer than ten. It is discouraging that most of our neighborhood’s best restaurants are off-limits for us. Although I can go out and eat what I want by myself, I don’t want to. A husband and wife are supposed to eat together and we can’t.

    Picky eating is a problem for other people. I’m sorry, but it is. This is an eating disorder.

  75. Anna N. Says:

    John, even if it is an eating disorder – and whether or not I agree is beside the point – making it all about YOU is never helpful.

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Leaving him completely out of the equation is just bad. My wife is a picky eater too, drives me up the wall.

  76. Brooke Says:

    A lot of these stories sound so familiar. I have a very very limited diet. I’ll maybe eat like 10 different things if that. Meat is my ultimate nemesis. Texture and smell tends to bother me a lot when it comes to food. I also have an anxiety disorder tied into it, which means when I’m nervous and I try eating anything I throw up. When I was thirteen I had to be hospitalized because it got to a point where I couldn’t eat anything. I did get to a stable weight later on, which was good but I still have issues with food. Now that I’m in college it is really hard. There are some days that I’m so stressed out that I can’t eat and others days where I’m so afraid of being judged for ordering the same thing every day that I go without anything. I haven’t met anyone yet who really understands my issue. It is hard. Thanksgiving is probably the worst. All I can eat are the rolls and we spend thanksgiving with family I may only see a couple times a year so they don’t really understand. They make fun of me all day for it which just makes it worse. It is nice to know that I am not the only one that has problems with food. I just wish that the world was more educated about it.

  77. H Says:

    I was out at dinner last week with several people, one of whom turned out, like me, to be a ‘picky’ eater. It was amazing to meet someone who had the same (but totally different, of course) pattern of eating and we said we should start a support group! Today I decided to look it up – and found that there are tons of us! Like all of the above comments, I have foods I never eat and never will (luckily they don’t include entire food categories, except shellfish), foods I have a craving for once every 2 years or so (like bananas, eggs, cereal), foods I love on their own, but not with any sauces or in any combinations, or only raw/cooked etc, and foods I will always eat day or night (luckily not only chocolate!). I think it’s most annoying for the people around us, although I do get sick of standing around in cafeterias staring at a selection of foods I’m not interested in. And I hate that I throw away a lot of food (just because you feel like one egg every now and then doesn’t mean you can eat 6 of them before they go rotten!) As a matter of fact, I think in my case it really is a lack of interest in food in general – I only eat when I feel hungry, only cook for other people. This has only been a problem for me in situations with long-term limited food choice (by which I mean 3rd world work assignments), where it becomes a kind of anorexia (inability to forcefeed myself food I can’t stand, no other food around – i.e. starvation). One of my grandmothers was also a very fussy eater, and I think that made it easier for me to cope with it, as my family was already used to dealing with it. I don’t know if it’s really a ‘problem’ – it’s just the way I am. It’s nice to meet others with similar stories though, and not feel like I’m just being a pain! I agree totally with the comment “The more I or someone else makes a big deal out of it, the worse it is.” When people notice that you’re not eating much (because you don’t want what’s available) they seem to either think you don’t feel well or you’re on a diet/anorexic – either way they begin to interfere (out of concern), which can make it stressful and even harder to eat those things you don’t like. Usually I say ‘if you really want to help with this, can you just go and find me something I do want to eat? (a list usually follows)’ I think that many people just don’t really get it – it is not a whim or allergy but actually a complete lack of appetite for many things. Personally I’m glad that I prefer raw vegetables to cooked, no sauces on anything and no fat on my meat – I never have to diet and always get enough fibre. Thanks for the website!

  78. Baruch Atta Says:

    I understand about food dislikes, I have a few myself. Here is what works for me. When out with people or at holidays, were foods might be a problem, I just say that I KEEP KOSHER. Keeping Kosher is accepted and almost no one would make fun of a Kosher diet. Say it is Thanksgiving – and the table is full of foods that you hate. Just announce that nothing here is Kosher…except for – – -, and fill in with just what you think you would eat.

  79. Lisa Says:

    My boyfriend is a picky eater. I’ll admit, for me, it is a really hard thing to deal with in our relationship. I love him so much and I don’t want to judge him or embarrass him, but it is very frustrating. I am very adventurous when it comes to foods and like going to different restaurants, but I simply cannot do that with him. He eats fried chicken, chicken nuggets (no sauce, just ketchup), steak, french fries, chicken tenders, fried fish, plain pancakes with no syrup, and dried cherrios. These are the only foods I’ve ever seen him eat, and I don’t think he likes anything else. I feel embarrased because I know I can’t bring him into certain social situations. Also, I am VERY concerned about his health, as he has high blood pressure from eating all these fried foods along with stress, and he is very skinny. Another thing, and I may be jumping the gun here, I’m concerned about whenever we do get married and decide to have a family that he will pass along these habits to our kids. I feel terrible because I want to be there for him in the best way I can and help him expland his food choices, both for health and social reasons. But at the same time I don’t want him to feel as if I’m changing him. I don’t know how to deal with it. I don’t know if I can, but I just can’t break up with him because of his eating habits. I don’t know what to do.

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Keep on him. I told my wife straight out that her picky eating wasn’t going to continue *because* I love her. She yelled and scream and fought and cursed and threw shit, but I stood my ground. She can expand her choices or go hungry, and you know what? She’s expanding. It takes *time* and effort, and lots (I can’t over emphasis this) LOTS of communication. I’m not doing this to be mean. I’m not doing this because I want to change her. I’m doing this becaus eI love her, and its not healthy for her to be like this.

  80. Bex Says:

    I’m so glad there are so many people with the same ‘problem’. My eating was really bad as a child, my mother had to write a special letter to the school kitchens with a list of the foods I eat and won’t eat, and because they’d (obviously) never make special amendments on the school menu I would hide my food in my pencil case or throw it under the table. If I was out with friends or on a date and couldn’t eat the food I’d move it around the plate, and pretend I was eating so that it wasn’t obvious to other people. I’m so picky it frustrates me, I love tomato ketchup but i can’t stand the taste of a tomato. I can eat grated cheese, but not melted cheese. I can’t stand pizza or soups, i need the food to be separated, not combined together. I can’t eat most meats, but I can eat sausages and chicken nuggets. It’s embarrassing always having to order from the kids menu so that I can deal with smaller portions. I gag when I’m around strong smelling foods. To avoid people realizing I was so fussy at college I simply stopped eating, it’s rare I’ll eat in front of people and it’s damaged my health because of it. I wish I could eat a wide range of foods, but I simply can’t. I can only ever have small mouth fulls too, and a lot of my friends find it weird and tease because of it. My ex would have loved to have taken me to lots of restaurants but he simply couldn’t because it would end up with me eating from the kids menu and moving my food around a plate. I can try new foods within limit if I’ve baked it myself and prepared it, but if I’m expected to try new foods in public prepared by other people I simply can’t do it, i genuinely panic. I used to eat a lot of fish and bananas as a young child, but now I can’t stomach them. I wish there was some form of cure so I could be a normal weight and not panic whenever I’m faced with the challenge of eating.

  81. david Says:

    i thought i was the only one with this problem, i’m a 19 year old university student living at home, i try to avoid social events where theres a meal or where people are cooking such as the in-laws, i really struggle at occasions like weddings and feel embarassed of it, as if there is something wrong with me. people always tell me to “try it” and “you wont know until you like it”.. but i do know that i will not like it. its the texture, the taste and the smell of food that when i put it in my mouth, it makes me gag and i cant swallow. i constantly eat unhealthy foods, i go to the gym and i have gotten quite muscular but i think its got to the limit where my body cant build any more muscle due to the fact im not having the nutrients needed for normal bodily function. I only eat cheese and tomato pizza (even though i dont like tomatoes), chips, cheese on toast (not melted cheese), potatoes, and i like most fruit, but thats basically all i like, from time to time i like hamburgers and some chicken depending on how its made, this site has made me realise that im not just a freak and that there are normal people just like me suffering from being a ‘fussy eater’. Thanks
    – David

  82. Sammie Says:

    I know this feeling. I’m 21 and live in the UK where ‘junk food’ is easily accessed. My range of food doesn’t branch out that far; crisps. sweets. chocolate. cake. ect.
    I didn’t realise that this was such a common problem until searching for recipes online, for picky eaters, which yet still, I wouldn’t eat. Breads, Chicken, Potatoes and Vegetables are usually what each meal consists of.
    The pickiness stems from smell, or colour, or just generally the way it looks. If it doesn’t look appetising, i’m not going to eat it. The smell of garlic or peppers nauseates me. I don’t eat pasta, pork, salad, any condiments other than ketchup, mushrooms, pizza, cheese…the list could go on.
    It’s great to know that i’m not the only “alien” with this problem!

    • Cody Patton Says:

      Are you really for real on this? Man the fuck up and eat it. I eat things I don’t like, you know why? Cause its healthy and I want to stick around long enough to see grandkids. Have a few of them almost made me puke? Yeah. Know what I did? Fucking ate it the next time. And I kept eating it until I could stand it. I’m not going to let some food aspect stop me from eating it if I want. YOU control your appetite, not your fear.

      • Cody Patton is a Douche Says:

        Or maybe you could fuck off and die or something?

        We don’t refuse to eat things we don’t like. We CAN’T eat certain foods. You leaving comments like you think you’re such a fucking badass is NOT HELPING. It’s like those cunts who think shouting ‘EAT!’ at someone with anorexia is going to solve the problem. The problem is deeper than your obviously simplistic mind can handle.

        Do you really think we’re all a bunch of pwecious little snowflakes who turn their noses up at something that they don’t feel like eating? We would give ANYTHING to be able to eat normally. NO ONE would choose to be like this. There are plenty of us who really do try and overcome this disorder.

        And don’t give me this bullshit about ‘keep trying something until you can eat it’. How many foods do you think there are in the world, dipshit? How long do you think it would take to learn to tolerate them all? And what about the people who can’t have different foods touching? How you gonna solve that? Fucking tard.

  83. Skye Says:

    I agree with everything you said. My parents call me pathetic ect just because I eat unhealthy food because I have no choice. People say that I don`t like anything and I have missed out on loads of parties because of the food there. I feel iscolated and even dream about being able to eat anything I wanted to like other people. I feel so ashamed.

  84. jessica Says:

    Hey, i know exactly how you all must feel. I have been a fussy eater for as long as i can remember, although i dont really understand why. I have been to see doctors etc etc, but they just tend to be unsympathetic and tend to have no understanding of the issue. It may seem that us people are stubborn, but i can assure you for most of us, eating healthy or a typical normal diet is what we all want. For me, i love food! just not the rite sort. I eat alot of unhealthy junk foods such as crisps, chips (fries), bread, chocolate. The only meat i do eat is chicken but it has to be off the bone (i dont like the look of all the darker meat you get when attached to a bone) I dont like vegetables, fish, most red meat, pizza, burgers, HATE cheese, the thought makes me cringe, sauses, currys, well basically everything! Its the same thing with me as with very one else, sight, smell, texture. I must say though it doesnt prevent me from going to social event or eating out because almost every menu now offers chips or plain chicken. What does affect me is how im unable to diet, and if i do try i tend to cave in within 2-3 days. I would love to see more help around for us fussy eater!

  85. max Says:

    hi everyone,i am able to eat most of the things when i am alone or with my family but i freak out when i am with office colleagues or friends or some1 who is not from my immediate family, i feel nauseatic when i am with these people…….does ny1 have the same issuee as me ….!!!

  86. Scott Says:

    I am not a picky eater, I found this website for my best friend, he can’t eat anything but pig meat, plain pizza, chocolate, shakes, chicken, and general junk food. Any other food makes him sick looking at it. He eats like a pig, but gains no weight. Due to iron deficiencies, he gets very depressed during holidays, when he doesn’t have a lot of human contact. I think this website has helped him to realise, he isn’t alone. So thanks to you all, for simply existing.

  87. chloe Says:

    hi , im sixteen years old and i have also been a fussy eater all my life! most people seem to see it as atention seeking when its the complete opposite. i don’t like to draw attention to the fact i cant eat most foods , which is why i dont go out for meals much with family or friends. im so unhealthy , i only eat burgers, chicken and , sausages etc, so my diet is mainly meat !, i do not eat any vegetables and i haven’t for some time now, the closest i get to healthy is an apple. some other people blame our parents when its not their fault my mam brought me to doctors as a kid and they said i lost my apetite and it would come back soon and that was when i was a toddler! its so disheartening , im a teenager who would love nothiing more than to eat healthy and be thin , but thats not really an option. people make it out like im a freak because i dont eat chips or pizza when all i want is to be able to eat like everyone else. and its impossible for me to diet because there are no healthy substitutes for my meals , i dont even drink milk!!, So being a fussy eater is a very difficult way to live so fair play to evry one teling their story:) , this site has made me feel much better knowing that i am not alone !

    • jessy Says:

      Your definitely not only girly. I only worry for what happens in the future..are we prone to illness faster? I also hate the drawn attention.

  88. Lisa Says:

    I don’t understand the people on here who are criticizing picky eaters. Why did you come on this sight if picky eaters irritate you. I have also read about people’s relationships being ruined because they are picky. It makes me feel so lucky that I found a guy who is just as picky as me. There are a few foods that we disagree on but for the most part we agree on everything. It makes going out to eat and cooking much easier. I am also not ashamed that I am a picky eater. Everyone knows I’m picky so if there is a social function around food they will either ask me what I would like to have there or they understand why I am not eating. Don’t be ashamed, its who you are and if other people don’t like it then that’s their problem.

  89. Parmita Nagy Says:

    Hmm is anyone else encountering problems with the images on this blog loading?
    I’m trying to find out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the
    blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

    • Tisha S Says:

      I’m the same as all of you but my concern is what happens when we get older? I’m almost 40 – Does anyone ever over-come this? What if we become ill, get cancer, or some other illness? I don’t want to leave my kids without a mom because I’m not healthy enough to survive an illness.

  90. Victoria Says:

    I would say i am one of the most fussiest people out there i only eat chips, garlic bread, philidelphia, yorkshire puddings with tomato sauce and chocolate and other snacks no fruit, veg or meat. It’s not that I chose to eat like this its because i feel I can’t try other food however I do love the smell of other foods. I’m sick of eating the way i do myself never mind other people’s opinions, however there doesn’t seem to be help for me. There should be more help rather than letting people like me suffer!

    • jessy Says:

      I agree with you. Its the same way i feel…most of the times i dont like going out with my fiance because we eat same place and hes kind enough to it for me but i hate myself for it. Other food smell good but just cant eat it for some reason. Its not that i don’t want to.

  91. jessy Says:

    I am 20 and all my life i feel ashamed and embarrass because I’m a, picky eater. I can’t help it that i only eat plain things or some spanish meal when i go out. Im not a veggie or fruit person..the only ones i have is apple, banana and strawberry, as for veggies only in chicken soup. I get bored easily of meat and hate cheese and anything spicy. I’ve asked myself many times why i can’t enjoy food with others and i want to know. I despise people telling me to try Things that don’t look satisfying to me. Also i notice all the hidden stuff too and i will not eat until its out of my plate. If i have to say what i do like to eat the list is not long. Everytime i travel i find comfort in mcdonalds if there is not a place where there is food familiar to my taste and texture.

  92. Jade Says:

    Hey I’m 22 years old and I know exactly what it’s like to be an extremely picky eater. It really sucks I’ve been this way since I was 7 years old or around that age,. I’m always afraid like it says on this blog about going to my friend’s houses or to a college event, that has food that I won’t like or won’t even try and like it says you can feel ashamed when others around you will try almost anything at least once and it does make you feel like a freak.. I’ve been to the doctors twice now about it as well and they are useless, one said that as long as she’s eating something and the other said just look online what the damage could do to you. But I already know that I mean how dumb do they think we are is why I asked for help from a professional but nope they wouldn’t budge. I found a website that I think might help some of you guys as well if you already don’t know like I didn’t until I saw it what it might be. I’m glad I found this site it helps me to know that I’m not alone in this.

    http://weighingthefacts.blogspot.co.uk/2009/02/selective-eating-disorder-sed.html

  93. Amy Says:

    HI! Im 20 and ive been a fussy eater for as long as I can remember! I eat a lot of pizza, pasta, chicken and cheese mainly and varieties of, but not really much else. I really struggle in picking meals and Im really bored of eating the same things but I just cant seem to try new foods! When I order food in a restaurant I try to eat a bit of green but I just cant eat it! So it ends up just pushed to the side of my plate. Half the foods I say I dislike and pull my face at when I have never even tasted them. I think its the texture that puts me off alot of food… But then again, I cant really say that for the foods I havent tried. It really is annoying. I dont eat any green veg or any fruit, although I enjoy fruit juices! I wish there was a solution. How do I know if I have selective eating disorder for sure?

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  96. Chrissie Says:

    Hi I’m 28 & have been a picky eater for as longs I can think, I live on chicken really but it has to be plain, I have to say it’s nice to see I’m not alone in this world all these years I’ve Had people try to force feed me food & there’s me saying I just can’t eat it & there like yes you can it’s all in your head, just get over it, your going to make yourself ill if you don’t change, what they don’t get is you can’t there’s like a mental block that won’t even let you put the food to your mouth, I would love to b able to go out for a meal or a date but my family/friends have to show me a menu first so they know there’s something for me, I feel for them cause it must b hard to put up with I just wish they could understand how hard it is for me to,

  97. scott Says:

    the description at the top in white from the host, really speaks to me as i can remember most of it for myself, the 101 questions from people who find out or confide in but one piece i would change for myself is.

    people think I eat what I eat because that’s what I prefer out of all the vast range of things I “could” be eating. But the reality is that the majority of foods are things I can’t eat, much as I would like to. I eat what I eat not out of choice, but because that’s all I’ve can eat.

    for me this sentince would end in, thats all i can survive on, i am not saying that wasnt ment in meaning as when i use to be taken on holidays with my family i would actually starve and as my diet consist of very few foods that when i went abroad i could not find the foods i need and felt stuck in a country that cannot cater to my diet.

    i feel like i am in a prison with no fences but using harsh brutile truth to keep me here and my ambition is to live in a nice sunny country but the biggest thing holding me back is fear of the unknown and i am my own prison warden.

  98. Lyndsay Rafferty Says:

    I am a vegetarian because I don’t like the taste of meat and there is not many vegetarian foods I like. I don’t like onion, tomatoes, pizza, lentils, cabbage, spicy food, curries, quorn and lots more. I want to eat more any help would be good.

  99. Bob Says:

    So many people need help and answers and there are none. I am a picky eater due to textures, the smell of a steak is amazing but chewing it makes me want to barf. Been like this since i was two now my daughter is doing the same things i did. Its all mental really really mental lol


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