Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

How Do You “Cure” Picky Eating? August 12, 2007

Filed under: adult picky eating — Claire @ 9:35 am

This is a question I suspect a lot of people would like an answer to.  Unfortunately, I don’t know of any proven “cure”, though there are lots of things a person could try.  A lot of us haven’t tried any form of formal treatment beyond our own efforts, which I imagine is partly because the medical profession doesn’t even acknowledge our problem.  If you have been to a doctor, they might have suggested a nutritionist – as if the problem stems from nutritional ignorance – whose best advice is probably “eat fruit and vegetables”.  Doh! Like we hadn’t thought of that!  Like if it was that easy we’d still be having a problem!  On top of this, thinking we were the only one, and being met with little sympathy or advice from doctors, probably discouraged us from hoping that there was anything that could be done, or that the medical profession really gave two hoots about it.

There are a couple of things though that I have heard people talk about in relation to this – I haven’t personally tried any, and I know that the rate of success is very variable.  I think this is because we are a diverse group, and selective eating is not a unitary phenomenon – one’s level of success with a given treatment will depend on the cause and nature of one’s problem, which is not the same for all of us.

So here are some suggestions – you will probably have thought of them already, but just in case:

* My personal view, as a psychologist of sorts, is that NLP is a dangerous, disingenuous, charlatanistic thing and I wouldn’t touch it with a bargepole.  Makes me think of Scientology, to be quite frank.  Your mileage may vary, so don’t let my view influence you.  I just can’t bring myself in all conscience to recommend it.


15 Responses to “How Do You “Cure” Picky Eating?”

  1. Jack Says:

    I’ve thought about hypnosis but did not know how to approach the matter with the “therapist’.
    In the states, they seem to treat mostly smokers, overeaters and sideshow acts.
    I’ve always been a skeptic but thought if I could only
    have him/her treat me for one issue it may get me over the hump. Say I was hypnotized to eat one item like a salad or even simpler like a cantalope, just one small success even if it was only tempoary might jog some brain cells into responding properly.

    I don’t know ,just a thought. The potential embarassment discussing this with a “therapist” has kept me away from trying…

    I guess that is why I enjoy this site so much….

  2. Claire Says:

    Well, first I would say, for more info on this, and from people in the states who have tried it, I’d check out the us yahoo group. It’s Bob Krause, you may have heard of him. I know some of them have tried hypnosis and various things, though I’m not sure with what success. Also, I might warn you, that group is mostly parents of picky eaters, so they have a certain investment in how they view this thing, and what you’re allowed to say about it. Personally I found it limiting and offensive, but your mileage may vary.

    Do you think the embarassment thing might be easier now that you know you’re not alone? It’s not just you, you don’t need to be ashamed of it. Have you tried talking to your doctor about it? Some of them might be starting to hear of it now in the media and so on. I’d say talking about it to someone would be a really good first step.

  3. Claire Says:

    ps What I said to my doctor was “I’ve got an eating thing. I can’t eat any fruits or vegetables or seafood or rice or pasta or pulses or nuts. I never have. I’ve tried but I just can’t do it. I’ve been like this all my life. I’d like some help with it. How about some therapy?”.

  4. Jack Says:

    Thanks for the tips and the Yahoo lead but Parents of Picky Eaters would never work for me. I’m a Parent that is a Picky Eater. Truthfully, I think it was one of my parents that I can thank for scewing me up. It took me many years of denial but there is no doubt in my mind that is where it all started. I’m not one to shift my personal responsibility for being what I’m off to blame some someone else, but it is what it is.

    Doctors are so young or ethnic these days I cant see me reaching out to them for help.

    And yes; I’am very ashamed, this just shoundn’t be.
    I can fix just about any hardware, software, electrical, mechanical, wood, or plumbing problem put in front of me, but I can’t fix this head of mine.


  5. Claire Says:

    I can’t fix this head of mine.

    None of us can! 🙂 yet.

  6. I find that when it comes to trying new things and broadening my abilities it helps to get all the information I can and to have a hand to hold. If i were blind folded and someone put a piece of green pepper in my mouth I would probably spit the offending thing right out of my mouth. BUT, if someone were to show it to me, cut it open, let me smell it, explained that it would have a wierd begining crunch of wetness that started bitter but would end with a hidden sweetness and the chewiness of an apple peel then I could make an educated attempt at understanding and enjoying the pepper. I use this same approach with my children and it works very well (which in no way means that they aren’t picky eaters).

  7. Kaaryn Says:

    I fell upon ‘picky’ eating tonight by accident, i was hoping to find a miracle website where i could enter ingredients i DO like and come up with recipes.

    I have been crying all night… The stories i have read have so many similarities to my life and i never knew anyone else felt like i did. I explain to people that i simply was not brought up on certain but there are way too many overlapping food groups that i seem to have in common with people. Basic things like onion or cooked vegies… i wont touch sea food… i dont get it, is this an illness?

  8. Claire Says:

    Hi Kaaryn, I’m glad you found us. I don’t get it either, but I don’t think it’s an illness. It’s a disorder, or a condition, I would say. Hope you find the site helpful.

  9. Lyndsey Says:

    Best website ever! I mean it. I am 23 and it’s so embarrassing trying to explain to people that I don’t eat vegetables because they FEEL weird. I would LOVE to eat a salad but I gag whenever I try to chew the leaf and it doesn’t go away. I for some reason overreact and feel like it won’t ever go away. I also don’t like a crunch with soft food, I don’t like to hear what I am eating, crazy I know. Odd thing is I don’t mind “hearing” what I eat if it’s just crunchy alone, does that make sense. I can’t even explain it myself!

    I am hoping to get some help and have thought extensively about hypnotherapy. I am afraid that it won’t work though which is what keeps me from actually trying it.

    I am so glad I found this site. Thank you! I’m serious, I feel like crying knowing that I am not alone and maybe I’m not so crazy (or immature as most people usually think) for being this way!

  10. Claire Says:

    Thanks Lyndsey!
    Yes, it makes perfect sense to me.
    And I know just what you mean about being held back from trying, for fear it won’t work.
    I’m glad you found us too, and I hope you stick around.
    I’ve found it makes a huge difference just to know that you’re not alone.

  11. Piran Says:

    Hi, I do not have SED, but my girlfriend does and I am trying to find ways in which to help her.

    I have been searching for the past couple of hours and this is the best site I have been to so far, thank you.

    The links you posted have been very useful to me. I can’t even begin to imagine how you must all feel about this, but I think it is a great that you want to change (that sounds patronising coming from someone without SED to me sorry). I know it pains me to see my girlfriend feel so embarrassed by this and feels she is alone in this and this site seems like a place to me where she can share this condition with other people like her and get better help from you than she can probably get from me, who can’t even feel what she is going through.

    I read about the cognitive behavioural therapy and it sounds like something I suggested to her and I think I shall see if she is willing to try it.

    I shall point her in the direction of this site and hopefully she shall contact you herself and maybe that can help her as well

    Thank you, you’ve made a very deeply worried person calm and have hope.


  12. Jane Goody Says:

    Not that I’m totally impressed, but this is more than I expected for when I stumpled upon a link on Delicious telling that the info here is awesome. Thanks.

  13. CantBeBothered To Log In Says:

    Well, I’m even less impressed with yours, dear.

  14. Beth Says:

    Apparently, according to my family, I once was not a picky eater. I’d eat it all. Now I claim to have sensory perception disorder. It seems to fit (self diagnosis, you know). I can eat some types of greens, some veggies, some fruit but then there are ones I CANNOT even handle a sliver of. To me it is texture and bitterness that gets me the most. It worries me because I am overweight and really SHOULD eat these things.

    I will be married in Oct and eventually would like to have a healthy baby–fruits and veggies a must. *sigh*

    So glad to find this site!

  15. Nat Says:

    I’m 29 years old about to turn 30, I’ve been incredibly fussy my whole life. There is only a handful of foods I’ve ever tried. When I do try to eat foods that I haven’t tasted before, I gag and have to spit it out if I don’t like the texture or taste. For instance watermelon the other day :/ it looks so nice but the texture nearly made me vomit. I don’t understand what’s wrong with me.

    This issue is very embarrassing for me and restricts me from doing things i would love to be doing such as – going on dinner dates, or eating at other people’s houses. And I really want to travel the world within the next couple of years, but thinking about it lately I’m becoming depressed at the thought that I wouldn’t be able to taste the foods from different countries and places etc. and that’s a sad thought for me!

    I would really love to be able to finally eat a pizza for the first time, and eat most fruit & vegetables etc etc. I’m so embarrassed and feel totally helpless about this…. Somebody help! 😦

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