Adult Picky Eaters UK

For Picky-Eating Adults in the UK and worldwide

About Me November 11, 2006

I am an Adult Picky Eater, living in London.  I am female, aged 33, otherwise healthy (as far as I know).

I’ve been a picky eater all my life, ever since I first was weaned as a baby.  When anyone would try to feed me, I just would clamp my mouth shut and refuse to eat.  Not surprisingly, I lost a lot of weight.  I was below the 5th percentile.  Nobody knew what to do, or how to make me eat.  Doctors couldn’t work out what was wrong with me, they thought I might be a non-achondraplasic dwarf, and tested me for growth hormone, but ruled it out.  It was decided I was perfectly healthy, if very small and thin, and so my mother was left to just muddle through.

Gradually I began to eat a very few things, enough to keep me going, and since the doctors couldn’t find anything wrong, that was how it was left.  But throughout my childhood I would eat no fruit, no vegetables, no eggs, no rice, no pulses, no nuts, no seafood, no pizza, no pasta, nothing spicy, and I avoided a whole bunch of other random things too.  They just didn’t seem like food to me, and I was scared to try them really, I just couldn’t do it.  I think on some level I knew it would make me gag (though I didn’t plan on finding out).

Of course, people tried to make me eat.  Doing “aeroplanes” and smiley faces with the food – I liked that, but I wasn’t going to eat it.  At one point, around age 2, I went for a fortnight without eating anything.  At the end of the two weeks, the alleged half-dozen of my grandmother’s jam tarts that I ate in one sitting were, I recall, the most delicious experience on the planet. Though I don’t remember being especially hungry prior to being presented with them.  When I was older, I’d be told I couldn’t leave the table until I’d eaten the food.  I remember resigning myself very sadly to sitting in front of that plate for the rest of my life – I had no other option, because I knew I couldn’t eat it if my life depended on it. 

Predictably, I was always small for my age.  I would have to wear clothes meant for children two or more years younger than me.  I never was quite sure how to feel about that.  School dinners were a dreadful ordeal.  Some days it would be ok, and I could at least eat or force down part of the meal.  But other days – if it was salad or coleslaw, or tapioca for eg, I’d be done for.  I couldn’t even pretend to be eating it.  And so I’d be made to sit in front of it all through the lunch break while the other children went out to play, and I was left alone at the table, with a plate of cold, congealing “food” in front of me, that wasn’t terribly well-prepared in the first place.  It doesn’t make you feel very happy, I can say.   Luckily my mother let me take packed lunches in the end.

Since childhood I’ve got a little better, I’ve “learned” to eat and even like a few more things, mostly in my twenties – I can eat pizza if it is margherita, I can eat some pasta, scrambled eggs, peanuts, bagels, fajitas (depending what’s inside), even smoked salmon.  But I’ve still never eaten or even tasted a fruit or a vegetable (though I can eat potatoes in all their forms).

When I would see my parents going out to dinner parties, I used to dread being a grown-up – when you’re a child and you can’t eat something, you can at least cry, and it’s ok because you’re just a kid.  But I knew I wouldn’t be able to do that as an adult, I’d be expected to eat all kinds of stuff, because that’s what grown-ups do, right?  Well, not this grown-up. 

When I went to university, it began to come up as an issue with social things.  I knew I couldn’t live the rest of my life in dread, so I would just say to people “I’ve got an eating thing, so please don’t be offended if I don’t eat what you cook/go out to eat”.  It’s difficult, because not many people have heard of adult picky eating.  My friends and family are accomodating and kind, but I don’t think they really understand.  People I told about it would ask what this “eating thing” was all about: Am I anorexic? No.  Am I frightened of eating in front of people? No.  Am I allergic or intolerant to things? No.  Do I have a medical condition? No. Do I just not like the stuff? I don’t know, I’ve never tried most of it, I don’t need to.   I just can’t eat a lot of what most people eat.  I don’t know why.

I would love to be able to eat the things that normal people do, but I just can’t imagine it.  I can’t imagine what it would be like.  I think something fundamental about me would have to change, but I don’t know what, or if it would be for the better or for the worse.

Recently I stumbled across a website for adult picky eaters and discovered that I’m not alone.  What a revelation that was!  I couldn’t believe it, after all these years.  And now I want that revelation for the rest of Britain’s Adult Picky Eaters.  I know you’re out there.


82 Responses to “About Me”

  1. carolyn Says:

    You could be my daughter writing that article. Audrey, my daughter, eats only a few things and has done since she was about four. Sometimes I could scream, sorry, but when you have cooked the same thing night after night for the last twenty five years it’s hard not to feel like that! People who live with and love picky eaters need a little understanding too. What worries me is the health aspect of this disorder. Audrey looks perfectly healthy, 6′ 2″, great hair and nails, 25 and no fillings in her teeth, but I know that all is not well. Audrey has B12 injections and will do for the rest of her life, she is 3 stone overweight and I just know that her diet is the worst anyone can eat. Fish fingers, sausage rolls, crisps and sweets…please tell me that 25 years of this can’t damage you in some way? I pray that someone will come up with a ‘cure’ as I’m sure you do too.
    Sorry to moan, thanks for the web page, there is something about the English, no offence but that other site was full of ‘Stepford Wives!’
    Keep up the good work,
    Loving mum of a picky eater.

  2. Claire Says:

    Hi Carolyn, thanks for posting
    Yes, the health aspect worries me a bit too. I feel sure I will die a humiliating and painful death from a bowel disease or similar, but there are people in their 50’s and 60’s on that other site who seem to be perfectly fine, so maybe that fear is misplaced. And I guess that’s probably the upper age limit for internet-literacy, so presumably there are older people out there too. I would guess that the overweight thing is not due solely to the diet, but also exercise relative to food intake.

    So far, my picky eating doesn’t seem to have damaged me physically, except maybe I have slightly more body fat to contend with than I might have done, though I’m not overweight by any means.

    Thanks again for posting, and say hi to Audrey.

  3. Gingersnap Says:

    I’m an adult picky eater in the USA and I decided to find out more about it and came across your site.

    I’m not as restricted as some but maybe more restricted than a few. Left to my own devices I could cheerfully eat just one thing for weeks on end before becoming tired of it (if I ever did).

    I can usually find something to eat in social situations even if it isn’t something interesting by other people’s standards. I can eat at buffets and restaurants that offer at least some plain foods.

    I’m not worried about my health (which is good) or my weight (slim but normal). What would be helpful is for other people to forget about my eating habits.

    I dislike the idea that I need to be “fixed” in some way. I will never eat a pumpkin pie or an eggplant or curry-anything. So what? My ancestors didn’t either and they were okay.

    Sometimes it’s okay to eat to live instead of living to eat.

    Good luck on your site!

  4. Claire Says:

    Hi Ginger
    Thanks for posting. Hope you found the site of interest. I like your positive outlook, and I quite agree that other people’s responses to adult pickiness really could be improved.

  5. Jason Says:

    Your childhood sounded like a real struggle (eating wise). I never really had any issues growing up cause like you my parents felt I would grow out of it.
    I never did and eating in front of people that don’t know me can be a struggle but my close friends and family know what I eat and leave me to it. What I find most embarrassing is staff at restaurants, some ask was there a problem with the meal ( I normal will have steak well down and cut off all the fat cause it will make me gag and don’t touch the veg).
    Sometimes I wish I could just eat anything. People that don’t know my habits can’t understand that I can look at something and know I won’t like!

    What you stated that you eat is exactly the same as myself except the salmon. That’s scary.

  6. Claire Says:

    Hi Jason

    I know just what you mean about the restaurant staff. Sometimes you can just tell them that it was delicious, but just too much for you. But sometimes that doesn’t feel very convincing, eg if there is a very specific pattern to what you’ve eaten and what you’ve left. I think they don’t really personally care anyway, they’re just trying to deliver good service.

    I don’t eat the fat on a steak either, or bacon – I can’t understand how anybody could.

    Is it the salmon that’s scary, or the similarity? I only learned how to eat salmon by a forced social eating situation in polite company, where I somehow managed to force some down. Upto and during that occasion, yes, smoked salmon certain was scary.

    Thanks for posting, hope to see you again.

  7. Andy Says:

    At least I know I’m not alone.

    I’m 33, and haven’t eaten any veg (except potaotes – and they’re either in the form of chips or crisps) in the past 20 years. The smell, let alone the taste of them, has me wretching. I only eat apples and bananas as my only fruits. I don’t like pasta, rice, noodles etc. Infact the only things I do eat are generally considered “junk food” or “kids food”. I don’t like fish – apart from the battered cod sold in the chip shops here in the UK.

    I hate going out for meals as there’s so little for me to pick from. I would love to eat as a normal person does, and yes the health thing really worries me, but I feel there is nothing I can do.

  8. Claire Says:

    Hi Andy
    No you’re not alone by any means. More picky eaters are finding this site every day.

    I know what you mean about feeling there is nothing you can do. I posted here last week about the ways that I have found to improve things, albeit my improvement is at a snail’s pace. Hopefully we can learn from eachothers’ successes here.

    Hope to hear from you again

  9. Darren Says:

    Hi all,

    After reading these posts and pages its great to see other people like myself. The page on what is like to be a picky eater is so true.

    I myself am a 38 year old picky eater and dread social events to the extent will turn up after meal is finished. I even left my sisters wedding after photos to go off home to eat myself (to avoid all comments at meal) then went back for evening.

    Most of my friends know I dont like going out for meals as I can only eat certain foods, no Indians, No Chinese etc. but they dont understand why I dont like these foods.

    I to have limited romantic relationships as I dont feel ok about resposes to my eating disorder.

    Bye for now

  10. Claire Says:

    Hi Darren, glad you found us. We should start a picky eaters dating site, what do you think?

  11. Darren Says:

    Hi Claire, That could be a good idea as at least the food problem will be out of the way.

  12. triphop Says:

    Hi Claire, amazing to find a handul of websites and TV programmes, all at the same time – suddenly you realise there are other people in the same boat. And thanks for writing this; it’s genuinely great to read of someone elses experiences. There is just one thing that concerns me though, and that’s on a lot of the discussions groups, people seem to be defining themselves as picky eaters with a sigh of acceptance. There doesn’t seem to be much of a focus on curing, more on just coping.
    I speak as a 31-year old Londonder who’s had these issues for… well, 31 years, but I’m gradually sorting it out by learning to cook, learning to taste, experimenting with herbs & spices…
    Don’t get me wrong, I know as much as anyone how inhibiting this kind of eating can be (20 years without using a knife and fork anyone?!), but I’d rather see what people have done to expand their horizons rather than reinforcing old habits.
    Anyway, keep up the good work, all the best

  13. Claire Says:

    Hi Mike, thanks for posting.

    I think at the moment, so many of us are just so amazed and relieved to discover that we’re not the only one like this after all, that lots of the conversation is inevitably about sharing our experiences with eachother. Like many others, I’ve spent my whole life thinking it was just me, so I’ve never really been able to have a conversation about it with anyone who understood, until a few months ago. I don’t think it’s about reinforcing old habits at all, but rather about establishing a sense of community, about sharing and understanding. A lot of us have suffered hostile reactions, especially in childhood, and it’s natural to want to share and release the pain we have carried surrounding this issue, in a sympathetic environment. Acceptance is something a lot of us haven’t experienced enough of – I think the content of the discussion groups reflects our needs at present, which in turn are a reflection of how recently we have found eachother.

    Also, I’ve yet to come across anyone who reports any significant improvement – I guess someone who used to be picky but isn’t picky any more maybe wouldn’t be drawn to these types of sites anyway.

    But you’re right, I think it would be very beneficial for us to share the successes we have had in sorting it out, as you put it. I posted about my experiences in this area a few posts back on the blog. I’ve also had a couple of inspirations regarding things I’m planning on trying, as ways to improve my eating. I’ll be posting about them on the site in due course. If you’d like to post something of your own on here, that’d be great, I just need your email address to set you up with the privilege on the blog. Or you can just add comments.

  14. trihop Says:

    Hi Claire,
    I’m not too sure how much help I’d be; I guess all I can say is what has happened of late, and see if others can find any use in it.
    I’ve been watching Fussy Eaters and it’s infuriating, because they have two strands of attack to ‘sort’ out fussy eaters, and neither of them are very helpful. The nutritionist seems to think pointing out how unhealthy their diets are will shock these people into taking action – they’re on a TV programme to get it sorted out, so don’t make them feel worse about it! Find me one picky eater who doesn’t wish they weren’t like that in the first place. She seems more interested in becoming the new Gillian Mckeith.

    Then there’s the psychologist. I’m no expert, but his approach seems a little dated- he’s basing everything on psychoanalysis, assuming that finding the event that started all this, or unravelling how the kid felt when the parents were getting stroppy will instantly unravel the problem. Cobblers. Who cares what minor incident at 18 months caused me to spit out food? I know that it’s irrational, entirely psychological and therefore completely curable. It reminds me of people with phobias of flying – they know it doesn’t make sense deep down, but the answer isn’t in finding out the incident that caused the phobia – they need to focus on the here and now to reprogram the way they’re thinking about flying.

    I’m probably about ½ way there from a really limited diet to something that’s pretty shabby but not too limited. There’s room to go obviously, but here’s what I’ve found most useful:
    1) Cooking. Handling foods is really important, and since I’ve started cooking for myself; even if it’s stuff I don’t eat, it makes it much less alien and more involved.
    2) Combining with existing stuff I like. As an eg, I like bread, so I started making my own, then adding things into it that didn’t turn me on, sundried tomatoes. Now I’d eat sundried tomatoes willingly. OK, not earth-shattering but you get the idea.
    3) Repetition. I read somewhere that it takes a child about 10 goes before they really get to enjoy a new food. Same happened with me. I must have cooked a pasta with an amatriciana sauce a dozen times before I really started enjoying it.
    4) Herbs and spices. It’s weird because really strong herbs and spices I’ve found help me eat things I normally couldn’t. So by chucking some oil, lemon juice, chillies and mint together, it makes a salad palatable. Again, I appreciate to anyone who cooks, that’s blindingly obvious, but it’s all new to me. And the difference is, it’s not simply things taste better – it’s stuff that’d make me wretch before I find pretty enjoyable.

    I’m sure everyone has different approaches, but this has certainly helped me

    All the best


  15. karen Aldrin Says:

    Hi,claire and everyone.
    I’ve only caught this weeks programme about fussy eaters and was astounded that there was someone similiar to me.I too stopped eating at 2years old when my sister was born and know that it was a way of controlling the situation.I am now 43.My life has been blighted because of my eating.I was banned from school dinners at 5, by the school,because of vomiting.I spent years seeing dieticians,therapists,counsellors and being weighed.I too would love to get some help from something.
    Two years ago i tried Hypnotherapy,as i had a strong desire to eat new things but felt in my own mind something was controlling me.I had 10 sessions,we went back to my childhood where i righted some wrongs.Each week i was given homework to eat certain new things that i had chosen.I had to self hypnotise everyday to make myself positive.I did try lots of new foods and even had an alcholic drink.However,i still did not like the texture or taste of the foods.They were all just as i had imagined them.After the sessions i have continued to eat rice and the occasional piece of lettuce.I now try to eat a few very thin green beans and tiny cut up bits of veg.Just eating the rice is amazing.I can go to Indian/chinese/thai now it has opened up a whole new way of eating.And i LOVE rice!
    I look forward to reading all the comments on this site.I am so pleased i have found you all.

  16. Claire Says:

    Hi Karen!
    Thanks for posting your success story. I can’t imagine eating rice, let alone loving it.

    And thanks Mike for that excellent advice. I think I agree with your Freaky Eaters comments too.

  17. Marilyn Says:

    I’m in the US but engaged to a man from Wales and I am so glad I found this UK site, the issue is I dread comming over to visit his family because of my eating habits his mum tries her best but when I refuse bread,potatos and most veg I feel that I might hurt her feelings but I also feel guilty for pretending to eat after all food is expensive and I dont want her to think I am ungratful for her hospitality. Any ideas?

  18. Rosemarie Says:

    I think you should be honest. Tell her exactly what you can and cannot eat. As a future mother in law she will want you to like her and will want to please you so make it easy for her. You could mention this web site if she finds it hard as most people do to understand the issue. I am the mother of a picky eater and it breaks my heart to know how difficult the eating issue is for her. Not only does she have to cope with the problem but with the judgemental attitude of otherwise kindly people. Being a fussy eater is seen as a “bad thing” and being a picky eater is just seen as that writ large.

  19. Marilyn Says:

    Thanks Rosemarie, I am lucky that my future father in-law is also a PE, that was evident when they came to visit on holiday. I love his parents dearly and just did not want to come across as an American and all of those connotations even though they know I am Canadian, the last experience they had in the States with the ex-girlfriend who was American was not pleasant. I am looking forward to a return visit and I have promised my boyfriend no more freak-outs in the Tesco with all of the food.

  20. jim brough Says:

    I run the PR for Angela Harkness, the NLP expert used by LBC radio on their picky-eaters show.
    She must have struck a chord with the audience and the show’s host because she ha been invited back a number of times (though on different topics).
    I have read some posts on your site and realise that there is a great deal of frustration about knowing where to look for help for picky-eating, ad I think that Angela could be a good place for your readers to start.
    Angela has a website ( through which she can be contacted in order to set up an initial meeting. Angela is based in London however, she has a network of contacts throughout the country who can help.

  21. Kay Says:

    I should have known you can find anything on the Internet! I have been embarrassed since childhood and also developed a yo-yo diet pattern since about age 9 and at 45 want to lose weight especially since my mother is diabetic and there are heart problems in my dad’s family history, but it’s hard to find diet food that is in my “comfort zone” – I will be excited to learn new ideas from you folks! Keep up the good work!

  22. Jack Says:

    Wow, truly thought I was the only freak that was afraid of food. I’m a 58 year old father of 4 fairly normal eating grown children. To my knowledge I have never eaten salad and most vegtables. As a adult I’ve survived on junk foods, pasta, hamburgers, breads and cereal. I recall attempting to eat fish as a child.
    I survived a year in Vietnam on breakfast (no eggs), crackers, PX beer and pudding.

    I’ve spent the last 50 years attempting to phycoanalyize why I’am what I’am and have an easy dozen excuses.

    I’m a little overweight from all the starches I eat and am in reasonable good health. I have no idea how someone with a diet like mine is still alive. Someday it will catch up with me.

    I’m fairly sucessful professionaly and often wonder, just how far I could have gone without this condition.
    Often avoiding social gatherings; leaving early befor dinner and such has hurt my career. I have also been very unfair and difficult to my wife of 35 years. We have missed out on so much that normal couples enjoy.
    She fights a overweight problem that I have a certainly not helped. We never discuss this, and this is my first time talking to anyone.

    I read this site and am incouraged with what I find.
    Thank you.

  23. Wendy Says:

    What a great website you have! I am too a picky eater and work in an industry where I am always either entertaining client’s over food or being entertained myself… over food. The looks and questions I get used to make me feel very insecure about my eating. I know people who force themselves to eat foods they do not like as they would hate to insult the chef, host or table. I could never ever force food into my mouth that I do not like as it would quickly end up in a pool of vomit on the table. Now THAT would be truly offensive. The foods I will not eat do not follow any particular pattern (textures etc…). Simply put, I will not eat anything that comes from any body of water (no seafood, freshwater fish, seaweed…etc…) I do not eat read meat except for the occasional (maybe 1 time a year) cheeseburger but it must be thoroughly cooked and must not taste like beef! The only meats I will eat are Chicken, Turkey and certain types of pig (including prosciutto – which somehow always seems to surprise people). I despise broccoli, any types of squash, zucchini, cauliflower, asparagus, eggplant and soda (especially colas) etc… and as a teen/college student had to PLUG MY NOSE when I drank beer because I hated the taste AND carbonation… but now can tolerate it and actually enjoy some beers! I like spicy foods (love jalapenos) but do not like curry at all – not even the smell! I LOVE lima beans, string beans, corn, peas, carrots, artichoke, peppers etc… I will not eat foie gras or anything that comes from an animal that is not the meat of the animals listed above (except things that are made from milk – but I will not actually drink milk – yuck!). I love garlic, onions, any type of cheese, can eat Feta (from goats, sheep etc…) until the end of time. I only eat my eggs scrambled HARD! I love green peppers and beans and basil! I love olives… so I feel there is no rhyme or reason that what I eat and will not eat. But as I entertain or am entertained in very high-end restaurants… it is a huge challenge. USUALLY there is “something” on the menu I can eat… but there have been occasions when there is nothing I can eat. I like to let people know ahead of time that I have “food issues” — but there are still the list of questions I get asked about these “issues” and it gets really old really fast. But, I just deal with it and ask that others do the same. Last week at a dinner my CEO said… “ask for the veggie plate now so we don’t all have to wait for them to bring it to you once our plates have been set down!” We both laughed! Of course I let the server know ahead of time and he was poking fun. But this is what I deal with daily! I do not understand it… but am glad to see I am not the only one! I am 35 and have many years ahead of me of eating socially… and I do find some comfort in reading through your site and the comments that are left by others! SO what do you make of this… psychological?

  24. Sophie Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I’m a researcher for a TV production company called Firefly, and I came across your site as I was looking for particular eaters.

    I’m working on a programme about the affects of our diet on our health and would love to speak with you about what you eat and what we’re doing.

    My direct line is 0207 033 2318 or my email address is

    Many thanks and I hope to hear from you soon.

  25. Anita Leiter Says:

    I am in the process of starting a new catering business, that caters to picky eaters. I am trying to find out what the statistics are for how many adult picky eaters there are. Can you help me try to find this out?

    I am a picky eater myself and like you wish I liked normal things like onions, peppers and tomatoes. It is not like I have not tried them. I just don’t like them. 😦

  26. Claire Says:

    Hi Anita
    My guess is that it’s fairly rare. In thirty-odd years, I only ever heard of one other person. Then I stumbled across a link online, and discovered hundreds. But that’s world-wide. I don’t think there are any stats on this, given that it’s not an official diagnosis. Maybe ask Jane Kauer, see what she says?
    Anyway, good luck with the business! Keep us posted on your progress with it.

  27. Katy Isaac Says:

    Hello Claire
    I’m sure you’re the Claire I was friends with at Grove Park? I’m also sure I saw you on Horizon…Didn’t I? I thought I recognised you, but then doubted myself so I ended up Googling you. Anyway, after all these thoughts of you I thought I ought to say hello. Reading your blog is so interesting because I have always vividly remembered you crying over your lunch and the dinner ladies making you sit there while we went out to play. Poor you! More happily I remember sitting with you in Mrs Lywood’s class and chatting and giggling a lot.
    Nice to have a glimpse at your adult self!
    x Katy

  28. Alex Says:

    Hey Claire,

    I’ve stumbled on this site through google. I too like many on here thought i was alone, i just thought i was as many people have called me a ‘freak’. I only really googled adult picky eaters because my boss told me he thought i should go to the doctors about my eating habbits.

    It seems my story slightly differs from most in the fact as a young child i ate anything, i couldnt tell you when i started to become fussy, i just know by about the age of 12 i had really become limited in what i eat.

    I believe i could probably list what i eat on my fingers and its a real struggle, at 21 i’m obviously looking to go out on dates and thing with girls but i feel like i cannot really take them out for a meal, afterall what would i eat?!

    I mostly eat potatoes (in every form) with baked beans (only at a very high heat, i just cannot stomach cold beans) with a chicken based product such as dippers. I dont like any other meat than chicken and pork sausages (but not pork on its own?!?). It seems there is no logic as to what i like and what i dont like and all it does is fustrate me. Each food there seems to be one or more reason why i dont like it, be it the foods texture or smell i just cannot eat it.

    It seems i’m not the only one who dreams of being able to eat like a ‘normal’ person, i drool when i see pizza but ask me to eat it and i can’t. Its not like i dont try either, take last month i gave ham a try and gaged on it almost instantly before i had to spit it out.

    Sorry seems a really long post its just nice to be able to finally talk to some one who may actually understand what life can be like for me!

    I’m gonna carry on having a good look at every thing on this site now 🙂


  29. Anjileen Says:

    Hey there!

    Gosh I can’t tell you how glad I am to have stumbled upon this amazing site!! Like many others out there, I honestly thought I was the only one with these “weird” eating habits.

    I’m a 17 year old female from New Zealand and basically the only things I eat are considered to be “kids foods”. I hate it when people just think I’m being stubborn and fussy when I won’t eat things, but I’m so thrilled to know that there are actually people out there who understand where I’m coming from!

    It’s not a matter of we “won’t eat” but rather we physically “can’t”. I wish people would actally recognise Selective Eating as a proper condition rather than just passing it off as childish behaviour. Grrr it’s sooo annoying!

    But anyway I just wanted to say that finding this site has been life changing for me, and comforting to know that I am not alone!

    I stumbled across this page a few weeks ago and since then I have been motivated to really get out there and try new foods, because I know that this isn’t just a phase that I’m going through, and not something I’m just going to “grow out of” as many people seem to think. Although I am still yet to find any new foods that I can add to my very limited diet, now more than ever I am determined to keep on trying no matter how long it takes.

    Wow this is starting to sound like some sort of an essay now LOL. But in conclusion, really what I just wanted to say is nice to meet you, and thanks!! I sooo totally loveeee this site!!


  30. Claire Says:

    Hi Alex, and Anjileen
    thanks for posting
    wish I had more help to offer

  31. Paul Says:

    Hi there

    As others have been brave enough to write then I should to. I’ve had a phobia of food for 28yrs since I started refusing food at 18mths old. I’ve been left mainly to manage it myself. I have always seen it as my problem and get annoyed when others try to ‘analyse’ me. It also make relationships difficult as I think others wouldn’t be understanding.
    I have mainly eaten breaded chicken and that’s about it. No fruit, veg, the usual story. i got it down to being afraid of the texture of foods and sometimes smell.
    I find it difficult to understand others that have a mixture of foods on the same plate let alone on the same fork.
    All this is only the tip of the iceberg, I could (like others) could write a essay on my experiences. But I am trying to make a change, It all comes down to support (but not pressured) from others and more importantly willpower and knowing where to start.

    The freaky eaters programme on BBC3 had been useful, giving me ideas on what to do, how to do it and how it effects others. I keep the episodes that relate closely to me so I don’t forget or become complacent.

    Slowly i’m trying new things, sausage rolls, pizza and small bits of this and that. I’m trying to conquer fruit at the moment. i’ve eaten smooth yogurts (which is new in itself) and smoothies with no bits and moving on to yogurt with fruit bits and smoothies with bits. I really hope in the near future to be able to eat a piece of fruit or fruit salad.

    Whether this makes any sense or not is another matter. I hope that if it in some way helps one person even slightly or take a new perspective then it will have been worthwhile opening up. I have already read a couple of interesting points in the earlier posts.

    Good luck to you all.


  32. salamanderclary Says:

    I’m in the yahoo group, but I just found this site recently.

    I’m 26 and I’ve been a picky eater for as long as I can remember – since I was 4 or 5, I guess. My parents say that when I was really little, I would eat whatever they gave me, but starting in kindergarten or first grade I would only eat peanut butter and jelly sandwiches for lunch at school. I guess that’s when it started, but I don’t know how or why.

    I gave up trying to hide it a few years ago – in college, I think. It was just easier to give a self-deprecating laugh and say “oh, I’m a picky eater”, and then try to change the subject. Thankfully nobody ever really made fun of me, although I have gotten plenty of “that’s all you’re going to eat?” and “you don’t even like xxx?” over the years.

    (The one thing people do make fun of me about is the fact that I don’t drink alcohol. It all tastes the same and it all tastes vomitous – and tell me again why this is a bad thing? I don’t get it. Every time I tell someone this, they either think it’s for religious reasons (which is a joke, if you know me) or that I’m going to start preaching sobriety at them for some other reason, but once they find out it’s just because “I don’t like it”, then EVER SINGLE TIME they say “Oh, you just haven’t found the right drink yet.” WHY WHY WHY???)

    My biggest problem right now is that I’m losing some foods that I was able to eat. A few years ago I started getting migraines, and I discovered that some preservatives in processed meats (pepperoni, sausage, bacon, etc) trigger my migraines. That’s not a huge deal; unlike a lot of SEDs, I eat steak and chicken and some other meats as long as they’re prepared simply.

    The bigger problem is that within the past few months I appear to have developed a milk allergy. That is a real problem – milk and cheese have been a major part of my diet for years. No more pizza, cereal, cheese tortellini, macaroni and cheese, quesillas, the list goes on. My mom, who is sometimes understanding and often infuriating on the subject, keeps suggesting I try soy based cheese substitutes but the idea of it horrifies me. I did once, actually, try mac&cheese with a soy product, and it was so disgusting I nearly threw up after one small bite.

    I guess it’s not entirely bad that I have to change my eating habits – I guess I’m moderately picky, compared to a lot of people here, since there are plenty things that I CAN eat that I don’t often (because along with being picky, I’m lazy and don’t enjoy cooking for one). But not only were those foods some of the staples of my diet, they were some of my favorites, too, and mostly there is no way to replace them. I can cook with rice milk instead of regular milk, but I haven’t been able to bring myself to try drinking it, yet. It’s scary, and so many people just don’t have a clue how scary it is.

    (That ended up way longer than I intended it to, so kudos to you if you read the whole thing.)


  33. Jessica Says:

    Hi Claire,

    We’ve “met” before, in a virtual way. I don’t know the specific contact you and I had, as it was long ago now, but I am one of the moderators at I recently determined myself to get a forum structure up and running for our poor site. It was much in need of it. I was going through old posts in Yahoo to pick things that I felt needed to be brought over to the new forum, and ran into your name again. I have periodically checked in and read your blogs here. I think you do a great job writing about this, and I am glad you are able to reach people in this creative and upbeat medium. At any rate, we now have the forum set up so there is a section for APEs, Parents, and Loved ones. We are hopeful that this will be good to keep our conversations lively, but give each group there place to vent and talk about specific topics from their point of view. I just wanted to personally invite you back should you wish to join the community again. If you would rather not, I will understand. But I know you would be a great addition to our group, and I know you are passionate for the cause in general.

    As I have just gotten the forum up and running, I haven’t been able to link it on our website yet. But the direct link is here:
    [Link Removed Pending Reciprocity]

    Best wishes,

  34. Claire Says:

    Hi Jessica

    I remember all too well, and I suspect your yahoo archives remember also. 🙂 I certainly haven’t forgotten the bullying that was done to me, or the private messages of support I received from others too scared to speak up on the group.

    Bob Krause said on the forum and in private that he wished me all the best with my site, and that he would link to me on his site, but he never did. I was somewhat saddened by his attitude, I have to say, as well as by the abusive and hostile treatment I received on your yahoo group.

    So while I very much appreciate your invitation and your kind words, nevertheless I must respectfully decline. I do not mean to perpetuate that old unpleasantness, but it left a very nasty taste in my mouth, and I do not mean to revisit such an environment.

    I am happy to have reciprocal links between us, but I am not happy to facilitate a one-way street. All the best with your forum.

  35. Claire Says:

    Hi Anna
    Thanks for your post (and yes, I did read it all).
    It’s a bummer when you lose foods. I have to say, I wouldn’t be able to cope with soya or a dairy substitute. Then again, I thought I’d never be able to cope with lots of things that I now love. Have you tried getting any outside help with it?

  36. kate Says:

    Thank god i found this site. I am a 24 yr old picky eater. my mum said it comes from my terrible 2’s. I would not eat what mum had made and go mad so much that my dad would make me what i wanted to shut me up. I dont remember this, what i eat is all i know and all i have eaten since 2 yrs old.

    I did see my GP about this a few years ago because i become so fustrated at not being able to eat out, eating this same things and being ashamed of eating jam sandwiches at work!
    He refered me to a phycologist who put me in for anxiety classes, which didnt help as they thought my problem was laughable.

    I am considering hypnotherapy, but can not afford it. My family dont really understand, and the thought of going to my future sister in laws for xmas dinner is killing me as the kids all eat the dinner, while i will have to ask for bangers and mash. I need to think of a reason to get out of it.

    Glad i am not the only one out there.
    Good luck my fellow fussy’s x

  37. Social Impediment Says:

    I am so so happy to come across this website and read about your journey into exploring your eating habits. I have been a picky eater since I was about 18 months old – or so I am told. I am now 25. I, like you, have experienced all of the above issues, and it is such a draining issue in my life. My work life is surrounded by social events and requires my presence at dinners, lunches etc. You can only make up the excuses so often – sorry I don’t feel so good; oh I actually ate earlier and so on. Anything to avoid telling people the whole truth. People who eat “normally” cannot comprehend how someone else doesn’t – they just cannot even fathom the idea. What is second nature to everyone else is a mental torture to me. My eating habits are totally unworkable. My diet consists of the following, and I really mean there is no deviation from this list! Cereals – only rice krispies, corn flakes and weetabix (but with no milk as that would make them soggy although milk is my favourite drink but not in a cereal), crisps, chocolate, bread and butter, toast, biscuits and sweets. That is it that is my range of food – pretty pathetic eh? So as you can see – nothing in that selection that I can ask for at a restaurant and not have everyone staring at me or constantly asking me questions. The worse thing is when people keep on and on and keep pressing, oh why don’t you have something, you should, its lovely blah blah blah….(I think it’s the Irish persistence and hospitality too which makes it harder!) Sorry after you hear the same spiel from every individual you have ever had to be around food it – it gets so frustrating. I have had very similar situations put in front of me as a child – bribery almost, try this and we will give you this, flying aeroplanes of food, different shaped food, food hidden in other foods! The lot, my parents were of course worried sick. Doctors always thought I would grow out of it, but of course I’m still here and still nothing has changed. I have tried to be proactive about this and go to see some therapists to see if anyone can help – I am going to my 5th type of therapists this weekend – its Cognitive Based Therapy, it’s worth a shot. I have been reading lately and the term Food Neo-phobic appears to the closet thing to describe the “condition”? I am going to contact some of these academic nutrition writers and see can they help? Apparently there have been no adult cases researched as of yet – as apparently they didn’t know it went beyond the ages of 2-5!! Clearly look at these websites and its clear to see people do suffer from these issues. When I find more info I will come back to you! Anyway I have went on here quiet a while now, I am sure I will be back and I am so glad there are others other there feeling the same….although I wish I could make everyone better so they could feel “normal”!

  38. Caroline Says:

    OMG I’m so pleased that I have found this website it has made me feel so much better about my problem. I have been a picky eater since childhood. The only veg I eat is potatoes as chips or crisps and occasionally some lettuce. The only meat I eat is burgers and sausages. I dont eat anything spicy either, my diet is very limited. On my wedding day I ate sausage and chips whilst the guests tucked inot a roast dinner with all the extras!!
    It has affected me in all the ways you describe – family events, work events, relationships, going to university. People just dont seem to understand how tough it is.
    I have a soon to be one year old child and it is only really now that my eating is starting to worry me. I really want to get help and be able to eat “normally” but I just dont know where to start. I also worry about my health but just can’t seem to bring myself to try other foods.

  39. Mick Says:

    G’day all,
    I stumbled across this website whilst looking for healthier foods that I can eat. I’m 43 and have been a fussy eater all my life living on mainly bread and potatoes. As i was reading some other peoples stories, I was amazed, as I can relate to nearly every one of the comments. Recently eating what little I do eat has finally led to a decline in health, namely a heart attack, which I suffered recently. To have doctors and specialists treat you like a freak after discribing my diet was not much fun at all and to have them tell you that I need to eat more fruit and vegetables is very easy for them to say. Reading some of the posts on this site was like looking in a mirror as I have used all the ‘normal’ excuses to get out of eating anything at social gatherings etc. It’s nice to know that i’m not alone. At the moment I am trying to change but as I am sure you all know it’s slow going, some slight progress but nothing startling yet, but healthwise I feel that I have to try. Thanks to everyone who has posted here for sharing their eating habits because I don’t feel so bad about some of mine now.
    Regards to all.

  40. Sarah Says:

    Hi Claire and co

    I am currently looking for adult picky eaters who are based in Sydney, Australia who may be interested to take part in a new television series looking at food science and diet.

    We are hoping to find some candidates who have a very restricted diet and who would be interested in gaining help from our experts.

    I know this is a UK site but just in case you have any Australian members I thought I would drop you all a line!

    If you are an adult picky eater or know of one who is based in Australia then please get in touch with me at:

    Kind regards


  41. worried wifey Says:

    I have been looking for some informative sites on picky eating for so long now. My boyfriend is a picky eater & is struggling badly with the situation. He literally only eats, Frosties (no milk although he does drink milk its his fav), twix & other plain choc & sweets, choc sponge cup cakes, certain biscuits & cookies, more recently, with encouagement from me, he has started eating bread & butter & will drink apple & blackcurrant smoothies, only tesco own though but its a start. He wont stray from this diet. He is so worried his children will be the same & actually his oldest son, who doesnt live with us, is showing the signs although he does eat, arguably, a dinner it is just junk food . Its so frustrating for us both as we cannot go to any social situations as my partner doesnt eat anything you could order, theres only so many times you can make excuses b4 you stop getting asked! He kept it a big huge burden of a secret, until he met me, he is ashamed and feels stupid, he cant make food for our kids & has never used a knife & fork he is 28. I really want to help him and I think i have but we dont know where to go from here???? Doctors dont take it seriously and are not interested as he looks healthy. No fillings either…unbelievable! Any advice would be well received.

  42. Dave Roberts Says:

    I have been looking for some info on my condition for a while, and seem to have found several sites all at the same time! My name is Dave, and I live in Surrey in the UK. I am 32 (nearly 33) and have been a picky eater for as long as I can remember.

    I understand that I was always an unusual baby in that I would not put things in my mouth (ie toys and stuff), but the real issue began when I was ill at around 18 months old, and stopped eating anything. I eventually started eating a few select things, and ended up with my present list including:-

    – chips (as in fries for the US) and crisps (as in chips for the US)
    – crackers and biscuits
    – chocolate
    – Tomato Soup (although I am very particular about it being Heinz)
    – Peanuts
    – Rice Krispies and Cornflakes (must be kellogs and without milk)

    That is really about it. I have muddled on like this for years, through college and university, and in to work. I am married and have a little boy, and so far I am exactly the same.

    In the past I have seen a hypnotist and a clinical psychologist with little or no effect, although frankly I dont really think at the time that I wanted to change. Now I am feeling a renewed desire to make some changes in my life, and am therefore starting to think about trying some new foods – just not really sure where to start.

    I am guessing that familiarity is the best start, so I am thinking of dipping chips in stuff, and maybe trying toast, which would be a variation on crackers I guess. We wll have to see where they goes. I am also tempted by baked beans in tomato sauce. I am thinking that it cannot be too far removed from tomato soup, esspecially if I remain brand loyal to Heinz!

    I am also thinking of looking for some medical help, since this is clearly a psyhological condition of some kind. I will let you know if I find anyone out there who is any good.

    From a physical point of view I am generally pretty healthy, although I do take an array of multivitamin and mineral tablets in the morning to make up for my deficiencies. I have also started to take some exercise and reduce my calorie intake. I am greedy and therefore a little bit over my desired weight!

    Anyway – good luck with your continued battle with the Fruits. I will keep in touch


  43. Fran Says:


    I really was starting to think it was only me! I am very open to trying most foods but have a total mental block on any kind of fruit or salad. I can’t bear the thought of it. I will eat almost all vegetables but only if they’re cooked, raw vegetables are salad as far as I’m concerned and that’s a no-no!

    I’ve no idea why I decided to exclude fruit and salad, I wish I could eat it but I just can’t bring myself to. I’m lucky I suppose in that I can get by eating out, I can normally ask for the salad to be taken out of burgers and sandwiches.

    I really would like to get past this but I haven’t eaten this stuff for over 26 years, I’m not really sure how to start now.


  44. Louisa Says:

    Hey…Well first of all it feels great knowing that quite a lot of people are in the same boat..Reading some of the comments and the TV programme on freaky eaters, well i couldn’t just throw out all the food i do eat ad start eating a load of veg etc!!…I think they should have someone who knows how it feels and they have managed to expand their diet and help, because thy can understand..I do find it quite strange how many cases I’ve heard have all started at 18 months old, same for me…
    I’m 19 and i find it so frustrating how people who don’t know what it feels like don’t understand at all and make comments as if its the easiest thing in the word to try something new…which it is one of the hardest!!…
    I remember feeling so embarrissed so many times telling people why i’m not eating the same as them or why I’m just eating a bunch of crap…
    I eat more variety now but still struggling…
    I remember my mum tryin to force feed me baked beans once as she was so frustrated and i just threw them up…i can’t stand the smell of them…thats one thing I’m never touching again..
    I eat pizza, chips, most meat, junk food, cheese, bread..My latest love is cheese on toast!!..I do however eat some fruits, i like apples and the taste of orange but like you said on the blog the outer casing of the segment wasn’t too nice..altough when try new things they don’t always make me gag just i can only try the tiniest bit at a time..
    I do get really frustrated with it sometimes and just wish i could eat everything with a click of the finger!!…i get bored of most of the things i eat after havin them so much for so I’m trying to eat more by gettin things i do like and adding to them..Last night i tried a roll with lettice, cheese and ham…I had a few bites of it..not completely satisfied but it didn’t taste too bad..
    As I’ve read I also want to eat more healthy foods as eating crisps and chocolate etc all time is starting to feel not too good..
    The thing I’ve found is most of the things i like are I’m going to try the more crunchy foods..
    I’ve tried loads of things..going to see the doctor, a family based meeting etc..even tried being hypnotised but what I found is that i can only try new things when i feel the urge to and in my own time, when I’m on my own..
    I feel quite happy nowfinding thi website and knowing tht so many people understand what i feel..
    So thanks for the website….Lou

  45. Louisa Says:

    I know i wrote a long post but sorry just to add…
    I only eat choc ceareal with milk and well don’t really eat any others…also i just remembered going on school trips and my mum had to give the teachers a lot of food i ate for packed lunches so i wouldn’t starve!!..god that was embarrissing…my whole class asking me why and all looking at me!!…horrible…anyway sorry for the long posts!!..lou

  46. Lizette Says:


    I am a 40 year old “picky eater” as you call it. It is a HUGE relief to actually find you all. I understand completely how hard this is as I live it. I hate it and know intellectually I need to eat better but if it was that simple I would have, trust me.

    I am the mother of 2 boys, I infuriate my family, husband and friends with this. I do not want to set this role model for my kids but I have tried so many times to change, with the help of doctors, psych. etc

    I have made baby steps with sheer determination but I regress and then don’t eat what I was eating before?!

    I will keep visiting as maybe one day there will be simple reason for the way that we are. That is my dream I just want to be normal and go to a restaurant with my hubby, buy and cook healthy food. I hate cooking!! In fact I don’t really think very much of eating.
    I have health probs as a result. Gall bladder removed, diverticular disease and am overweight. Who wouldn’t want to be different.. It is not a choice it is just the way I am.

    Lizette ( Australia)

  47. missy Says:

    Hi! My name is Missy. I’m 36 years old and live in the united states. I’m totally blind, but I’m not sure how much, if anything, that has to do with my picky eating. Until a couple weeks ago, Ihonestly thought I was the only person on the planet who was picky. It’s been quite a relief to find out that I’m not quite as weird as I thought I was. In general, I’m OK with my picky eating, but I know it’s very frustrating for my mother in particular since most of the foods I eat aren’t considered healthy. On the other hand, I never get sick, and apart from being over weight, I don’t have any chronic medical problems to speak of. Anyway, I’d be interested in corresponding with other picky eaters through email. It would be interesting to compare stories and possibly get ideas from others who share this problem with how to cope, or I suppose in my case, how to help others cope a little better.

  48. charlotte Says:


    As long as i remember i have been a picky eater and i am 20 now and its really starting to get to me. my mum said up to the age of 4/5 i ate everything and then it stopped. I got taken to doctors and they said that i was jus tbeing fussy and i’d grow out of it which i didnt.
    I have read a few other post and i have a lot of similarities but i feel i am a lot worse. i can probably name all the foods i can eat. i dont eat any meat, fruit, or veg. All i live on on a normal day is cereal (i only like rice kirspies, shreddies and some chocolate ones) lunch would be a marmite sandwich (i use to only like white bread but will eat wholemeal now) and for dinner something potato (like jacket potato smiley faces, waffles, chips or croquettes) the other things i do eat are cheese (only chedder or some spreadable) yoghurts (without bits) eggs, chocolate and some biscuits.
    i know how you feel people always asking you why you arent eating and i dont know my family and friends are use to it so i am comfortable going out with them. but if i am meeting someone different like i met my boyfriends family and they just listed loads and loads of different food and every time it was no and then they ask other questions to. its really uncomfortable.
    i really want to get it sorted and my boyfriend wants to help me cause he sees how upset and worried i get when someone mentions going out the first thing ill ask is are we eating there? i really want to get it sorted as i have recently found out i am pregnant. i am so excitied but scared at the same time. my worse fear is that this baby isnt geting enough (i have been taking multi vitamins) but also when i have to wean the baby are they going to be the same as me and also as they get older they will see what i eat and copy.
    i dont know why i can try food i always thing right i am going to try this or that but when it comes to it i cant physically put it in my mouth. i work with children so i always am preparing food and feeding them and they can do it so why cant i. i dont know if anyone is as bad as i am and has become a “normal” eater but i cant actually bring myself to ask the professionals for help i tried ringing to doctors but ended up bottling out i dont know what to do.

    charlotte x

    • worried wifey Says:

      Hi Charlotte

      I can really identify with you, i am not a selective eater myself but my boyfriend of 6yrs is. He is actually much worse than you. He eats only 3 things daily; Dry frosties (no other cereals), bread & butter and Chocolate bars (twix mainly). That is his daily diet. He will only drink milk, hot nesquik, ribena & orange squash. He will eat certain biscuits & sweets & maybe choc sponge cake if we have it. No meat, veg, fruit, dairy etc etc.
      He too was taken to the doctors who also said he would grow out of it, he is 29 now and still exactly the same.
      He has always been worried about his children growing up the same way. He has a son from a previous who is also a selective eater, only a handful of junk foods & yogurts. Our son together though is a very good eater and improving all the time. He did think dads dont eat dinner at one point which was very upsetting for my boyfriend.
      You sound very much like him in the way you feel about it, he really wants to change but cant bring himself to try and feels to embarrased to see the doctor. It causes him to be very insecure in himself and like an outcast at times. He feels very paranoid that i will leave him for someone who can take me out for dinner, but its not the end of the world and i love him very much & just want to see him happy. Obviously i can never understand exactly how he feels.
      We are trying to get some help for him at the moment which is a hard hard task, just getting a referral but its a start & even just a few more foods hopefully savoury would be fantastic. We will see.
      Good luck with the baby hope it all goes well, maybe it will be the incentive u need to make that call.
      Michelle x

  49. jayne Says:

    hi, I am a student writing my dissertation on cereal addiction, and as well as selective eating, as I suffer from this. If people could send me some of their points of views on their selective foods that would be great. I need some case studys, just to ask questions. I am particuarly interested in cereal selective kind. However any form would be great.

    Social Impediment, i read your comments, and its so alike to my own diet. Please if possible could you get in contact, if you don’t mnd answering some of my questions.

    My email is

    Thank you

  50. Robert Says:

    I must say how good it is to have discovered this website and to find out that there’s so many other people out there like me.

    Basically my diet consists of meat, potatoes, cereals and chocolate.

    I find it extremely awkward socially, when i went to Uni I didn’t really mix or go to meals because there was nothing I liked. When my mates go out for a chinese or indian I wait and meet up with them afterwards. Always worry about taking women out for meals or when they invite me around. Taking clients out in work is a worry as well. If you’ve got advance notice then you can at least scope out the menu and back out if necessary.

    Recently tried hypontherapy, but never really took it far enough. At least now I try more, but find most things I try just make me gag. But have found a few new things Cous Cous, Tuna and a few Veg.

    Most of my problem seems to be texture – runny stuff makes me gag, effort – it’s some much easier and quicker to have a milky way than an apple. It would help if I could eat Tomato and Onions as that would open up so many more foods.

    I just want to be normal and to not have to worry about food on every social occassion.

    If anyone can offer any advice.

    • Anna N. Says:

      My advice is to just try to worry about it less. Easier said than done, I do know (been there, etc), but dreaming of being “normal” just makes it all more stressful and frustrating. It turns out that most people don’t pay as much attention to what we eat as we think they do, and most friends will accept “I’m picky, it’s just how I am; how about that weather we’ve been having?”.

      Regarding your mates, there are lots of otherwise not-picky people who don’t like Indian or Chinese food, that’s not really unusual, but have you looked to see if you could get something anyway? I’ve gotten plain meat at Chinese places, for example. Or you could meet them and just get something to drink.

      And regarding being invited around to someone’s home. If there’s nothing I can eat at someone’s house, I eat nothing and shrug it off. I have one picky friend who carries around a bag with chocolate and crackers in it wherever he goes so he’ll have something to eat. Personally, I tend to mention early on in a relationship (of any kind) that I have dietary restrictions. I figure it’s better to have it out in the open, since it food is such a large part of social interaction. I’ve yet to have anyone run screaming, and anyone who makes an issue of it for too long is probably not someone I want to be spending my time with anyway.

      I hope some of this is helpful. Good luck!

  51. Rachel Murphy Says:

    Hi Claire,

    As you have probably gathered from the other comments I have been leaving on your blog, I am writing an article on picky eaters as part of my coursework for my journalism course. It’s been lovely to read your blog and realise that I’m not the only person who is picky with my food. I would love to interview you for my article, as it would be amazing to be able to put across the personal perspective of a picky eater, but also the fact that you have set up this inspirational blog and brought so many people together through it really intrigues me.

    I appreciate that you may be too busy to do this for me, but if you have a few moments, please drop me an email at I’d be incredibly grateful for your input.


    Rachel Murphy.

  52. Jessica Says:

    Hi all!

    I came across this site while doing research for a new docu-series I’m currently casting about picky eaters/people with food quirks.

    The casting notice is posted below. We’re specifically casting in Los Angeles for this season, so we’re limited in who we can reach out to, so we’d appreciate any word of mouth buzz we can generate about the show in order to get in touch with people who are picky eaters in L.A. All my information is listed below!



    Do you know someone that is a picky eater?
    Is your friend, family member or loved one SUCH a picky eater you can’t stand it anymore?
    Are you frustrated because you are can’t enjoy your food because your loved one has MASSIVE limits on what they will eat?
    Does the thought of fruits and veggies make you gag?
    Do you eats the same food morning, noon and night?

    Brand new show on major cable network is looking for Los Angeles’ pickiest eaters.

    If you are a picky eater or you have a picky eater in your life please
    e-mail ASAP!

  53. Mark Says:

    Hey guys just found this website and am amazed by the amount of people just like me. i too gag when i try new food.. over the years i have tried added things into my diet.. chicken, bacon, carrots, peas etc. i have recently been able to eat Sirloin Steak at at a restaurant. now most my fears of eating out are gone. because steak is a food that people dont look at you funny for wanting it completly plain.. if anybody can try it.. i definetly recommend it as it will make going to restaurants with family and friends much more enjoyable.

  54. diana appleyard Says:

    Hi – I am writing a feature for the Femail section of the Daily Mail about picky eating, and I would love to have a chat with you! Could you possibly email me your contacts, if that is OK, to
    Many thanks,
    Diana Appleyard

  55. anna Says:

    Hi i just posted this on the dailymail website:

    Finally an answer to the biggest problem i been faced with since a child. I dread going to those posh resturants where they serve salad as i can’t stand eating the stuff and get horriable looks from people when i leave it. I also dread going over to my husband parent place for dinner as she would serve food that i cannot eat. I trend to keep to myself as i don’t want to be invited out for meal out by friends incase i can’t it, then i feel guilty.
    Before i met my husband all i ever would eat is chips and more chips, but now i sort-off starting liking new range of foods such as pepper, pasta and tomato. Yet i still have this problem where i can’t eat green vegtables such as peas, broccoli and lettuce. I eat lots of fruits and i been told to by a dietian who fully aware of my prblem and been helpful in helping me.

    S.E.D, Sheffield, I share your problem, i’m 26 and i have exactly the same problem. I been called all sort of hurtful name under the sun.
    Did i mention i work for waitrose.

    ( hope u don’t mind me posting a lnk)

    I’m soo soo happy i found this blog 🙂

  56. anna Says:

    Oh one last thing is please feel free to contact me 🙂 It be nice to meet/contact someone with the same problem xxxx

  57. Danni Says:


    I’m a 20 year old picky eater. My 16 year old brother is the same, if not worse, because he does not eat any vegetables whatsoever, but I can manage to eat some such as peas, carrots and pumpkin.

    I always thought we were alone, because I have never met someone with the same issue as us. But this site has eased my mind that we are not freaks. None of my friends really understand whats going on in my mind. Neither does my family either, and neither do I, really.

    The most annoying thing is when they say “just try it!” in regards to trying a particular food. There’s no clear way of explaining the thing in my mind thats just not allowing me to give it a try. I always get nervous and try to leave the room or change the subject.

    This also causes problems with dating, etc. My stomach always drops when a guy asks me to a restaurant, or to go over to his parent’s for dinner. I hate to offend, and I don’t want to look like some brat. It’s absolutely frustrating.

    The one thing that worries me the most is the prospect of one day falling pregnant, and not being able to give my growing child the right nutrients during pregnancy. I guess when it comes to that, i’ll just have to force myself to eat the foods I need to. I’ll just have to close my eyes and block my nose and gun it.

    I wish more people knew about this. It’s so difficult to explain to new people I meet. If there was some kind of treatment available I would go for it 100%. I’m even thinking of hypnotherapy.

    Anyone else had any hypnotherapy experiences that worked?

  58. Sarah Says:

    OMG this is so cool, I’m not the only fussy eater out there!!! I’ve been fussy all my life. Throughout childhood meat and potatos was a staple part of my diet. I too have always been small and only recently at the age of 30, gotten to 50kg in weight. As I’ve gotten older I have gotten better and I’m now eating more veges, but I still don’t like fruit because I don’t like the feeling of the juice in my mouth and I refuse to try peas because they are round and green. My Mum has always been very patient and allowed me to try things when I was ready, but I suspect my older sisters think I’m spoilt and other people have told me I should just be forced to try new things. One colleague even told me last year I should get play therapy and play with fruit so I can get over my “fear” of fruit!
    Thanks for this site, it is reassuring to know there are others out there

  59. Kimmy Says:

    you’re like me!!! lol

  60. Michelle Thacker Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Enable me to inform you that as a now forty-one year of age adult female with the most severe form of Spina Bifida (a birth defect) with another birth defect known as Hydrocephalus which is probably a neurological cause of my major difficulties with eating because I don’t have a good swallowing reflex, enable me to inform you that I would very much appreciate information on the home preparation of a fruit vegetable juice blend which enables me to acquire all the nutrients in which that is needed by me from it without my needing to agonize over the taste and smell of the vegetables within the blended juice?
    Thank You!

    Most Kindest Regards,

    Michelle Thacker

  61. Michelle Thacker Says:

    To Whom It May Concern:

    Enable me to inform you that I would very much appreciate information on the healthiest way in which to prepare fruit-flavored water within my residence without needing to resort to the acquisition by me of the more unhealthy brand names of flavored water which is available to me within the supermarket within my area?
    Thank You!

    Most Kindest Regards,

    Michelle Thacker

  62. scott Says:

    I’ve been picky about food all my life and today looked on the net to get help/info and am stunned at how many there are who have this problem, all my life I thought I was the only one!

    I think you’re very brave Claire trying that fruit. I manage fruit ok. I used to only eat Banans for most of my life but now I can eat strawberries, grapes, pineapple, satsumas/clementines, though only in small amounts!

    My main problems are with main meal foods. I only ate fish fingers and chips for dinner til I was around 25. But I managed to try Birds Eye fish steaks ok. Now I can go to Harvester and have fish and chips as well as some other places. I also eat pork sausages, and yorkshire pudding, that’s it! Though I have things like cereals, bread products, and some other random things I find it immeasurably difficult just putting the stuff in my mouth!!! I just feel so scared, but of what?

  63. Alison Says:

    Wow, this sounds a lot like me! Fruits and veggies are pretty much off limits for me. The texture of all of them makes my skin crawl and the smell/taste makes me nauseous. This limits me to meats and bread-type foods.

    It’s good to know there are other people like me out there!

  64. I’m so relieved to find it’s not just me out there!
    I am 25 years old and (according to my mum) have been a ‘fussy’ eater as soon as I could choose what wet in my mouth.
    I have problems because I don’t eat veg or salad even potatoes unless they are in chip form but even then if they are slightly under cooked I physically can’t eat them. I will only eat strawberries and pineapple fruit wise. I hate dairy products even cheese and milk! I don’t even have margerine or butter in sandwiches which makes getting a quick fix while we are out a problem and it has been the cause of many an arguement between me and my husband if we have been out and about. I also won’t eat anything remotely spicy.
    Like other people on here I can’t stomach the thought of eating more than one thing at once, even if i enjoy them seperately. I even don’t like the majority of sweet food like chocolate or puddings!
    I luckily do like garlic and meat which makes eating out a bit easier, however if there is something on my plate I don’t like I can’t eat anything it has touched!
    I do feel guilty especially because my husband can’t cook us a meal we can both eat, or even cook a meal because 9 times out of 10 I have to cook a meal myself so I know exactly what has gone in to it.
    Sorry for rambling it’s just I could cry with joy knowing that there are other people out there that feel the same when it comes to food they CAN’T eat, not WON’T eat. I just wish there were more people out there who didn’t use the ‘you’re just being stupid’ or ‘why don’t you just try it’ routines.

    Laura x

  65. steve Says:

    hi, im 21 and a ” fussy eater “. i only like a handfull of foods and they have to be the rite brand aswell, if it s not i cant even bring myself to try it. I really want to change my eating habits as i think its affecting my health. i am really skinny and more than anything would like to be a healthy weight. And of course the social aspects have pritty much runned my life. I am at the point now were if i dont change i feel i wont have the experiences in life i want, and wont be able to change in the future. As u can probably tell, i think its a serious problem which i dont share with anyone. So this is great being able to speek openly about it is almost a theropy in itself and is the first time i have ever done it.. but, there doesnt seem to be any ideas on getting over it on this website….. am i just to exept it ? as thats what most of the people on here have done. i really want to change and think a section with help and advice on trying to eat a “normal”, healthy diet would be a massive help.

    I went to a counciler a couple of years ago and the advice she gave me was to start cooking meals for urself so u now exactly what goes in them and to try eat food that directly effect ur social life, like burgers / pizzas, but doing it a little bit at a time. i did try for a while but i could not get over the gag reflex which seems to kick in even when i dont really mind the taste.

    I could go on all day, but i think a help and advice section were people can share how they have overcome SED or any tips to help overcome it can be posted would be such a benefit to everyone that visits this site.

    please reply with ur thoughts..

    THANKS, Steve

  66. Lauren Taylor Says:

    Hi everyone,

    I work at the Press Association, and write for the UK national newspapers and women’s magazines. I’m looking to speak to adult picky eaters for a feature. If you are interested in sharing your story, to raise awarness or help other people, please get in touch on 0207 963 7236 or email me on

    Thank you,
    Lauren Taylor,
    Assistant Editor,
    Press Association

  67. Val H Says:

    I am a average adult with average eating habits, however i do know someone in her 40’s that will only eat fishfingers, Margareta Pizza & chips she also has 2 kids exactly the same
    My philosophy is why get yourself in a state over how these people eat, it’s like you going insane because a member of your family/friend smokes etc etc.

    If we where in the Wild we would survive on whatever was available we even ate grass at one point, hence the left over bit of intestine (appendix)

    I think we should let these people get on with it , no big deal.

    You think you have a problem because you are told you have.

    Let’s face it none of us are perfect & most have hangups or think we are a bit weird.

    Enjoy your life for what it is. 95% of worry is just that , the remaining 5% would happen anyway..

    One of my best mates like nothing better than a good helping of muck complete with worms, she is now 55 and healthy as a spring lamb.

    Eat Happy, Stay Happy


    • Val H Says:
      April 14, 2012 at 12:14 pm
      I am a average adult with average eating habits, however i do know someone in her 40′s that will only eat fishfingers, Margareta Pizza & chips she also has 2 kids exactly the same
      My philosophy is why get yourself in a state over how these people eat, it’s like you going insane because a member of your family/friend smokes etc etc.

      If we where in the Wild we would survive on whatever was available we even ate grass at one point, hence the left over bit of intestine (appendix)

      I think we should let these people get on with it , no big deal.

      You think you have a problem because you are told you have.

      Let’s face it none of us are perfect & most have hangups or think we are a bit weird.

      Enjoy your life for what it is. 95% of worry is just that , the remaining 5% would happen anyway..

      One of my best mates like nothing better than a good helping of muck complete with worms, she is now 55 and healthy as a spring lamb.

      Eat Happy, Stay Happy


  68. Naomi French Says:

    Hi Claire,

    I hope you don’t mind me leaving the following message on your blog. If it is a problem let me know and I’ll take it down but just thought it may be useful to some of your readers!

    Many thanks


    Picky Eaters Wanted for TV Pilot

    Is there certain food you just can’t eat, touch or smell, or go anywhere near and it’s ruling your life? Or do you know someone with a strange food phobia who you think needs help? Then we want to hear from you!

    RDF Television is looking for people with extreme food phobias to take part in a new TV pilot.

    Our team of culinary experts and therapists will use a variety of techniques to help conquer food phobias.
    If you’d like to be involved, call:

    Naomi on 0117 9707644
    or email:

  69. David Says:

    Hi, good to think that I’m not the only one who suffers from this. I heard that some people think it’s related to OCD (which I had), but people don’t seem to take it seriously. From what I have seen – I think it was on the food hospital programme it is a bit like trying to treat an anxiety disorder, where you do graded exposure to different foods (except apparently brussel sprouts which have a chemical in them that you like or don’t like depending on your genetic makeup – I kid you not!!).

  70. Robin Says:

    Hi there,
    I’m a mom of an eight year old boy who battles food aversions. We have had all sorts of help and have come a long way. It is real. It is a long hard journey but is worth it to work at it. He has overcome so much. Read about our story at Best of luck on your journey.

  71. R Van Duren Says:

    You have perfectly described my sons eating issues. He has a peanut allergy in addition to severe picky eating. We have received extensive help and he’s come a long way. Please visit my blog to see if you could utilize any of the suggested techniques. Most techniques are presented as ways for a caregiver to work with children and encourage interaction with food. But other areas you could try. It is an isolating thing but it is not hopeless. We have worked hard for years to build up the number of foods he can tolerate. A good starting place is branching out from where you are. Rather than try an entirely new food take something you like and try all varieties of it. Once that is exhausted try similar foods….food that’s different in just one aspect. Never give up. Best wishes. It is a hard road to travel.

  72. Exactly how much time did it take u to write “About
    Me Adult Picky Eaters UK”? It contains a great deal of beneficial details.
    Many thanks ,Juanita

  73. Fussyeateramie Says:


    My names amie and I’m a fussy eater too. I like that you’ve given a name to being a fussy eater. I don’t eat veg, fruit, or fish and I have a million other food rules. When I order in restaurants I have to order everything without the stuff I hate eg veg. I can’t even stand looking at it. It is so comforting to read that most other people have triggers such as the smell and texture. These are my big two. Sometimes I wish this wasn’t how I was because its hard. I’ve been with my partner for 9months and I love his family. I stay there a few nights a week but I am beginning to struggle with dinner times. They cook food so differently to me, and none of them are fussy, and It’s hard to eat at thier house. I’m saying “yeah I’d love dinner” less and less because I find it so traumatic. I cry myself through mealtimes. Sorry for the essay it’s just nice to know you might read this and understand!

    Amie x

  74. Casting Producer Says:

    SHINE TV are developing a new TV series that will explore the lives of people living with food phobias / selective eating disorders and is looking for people to take part.

    Do you have a food phobia or suffer from anxiety when it comes to eating certain foods?

    Or perhaps you are very picky and only eat certain foods or maybe one type of food?

    Do your eating habits interfere with your life and social situations?

    Are you at the end of your tether and desperate to overcome your fears?

    We’d like to meet a diverse range of people from all over the UK to talk about their eating habits and how it affects them and the people around them.

    If you are over 18 and have a food phobia / selective eating disorder, or know someone who may be interested, please email

  75. mimma Says:

    i am 17 years old and i am constantly criticized for my picky eating, especially being from an italian family where everyone eats all types of delicious things. my nonna cooks the best things i can imagine yet i just don’t eat them. i gag continuously and get really nervous and my whole huge family makes fun of me. they complain because i am too skinny which is not true because my sister is way skinnier and eats everything. all i eat are sweets and french fries, pizza, chicken cutlets (only made the way i like them), any type of nuts, carrots, celery, watermelon, green apples, and a few other things. i don’t even like pasta and everyone complains about it. it is the worst thing ever and i don’t know how to control it. sometimes i get so worried about it, i usually don’t eat lunch at school and try to starve myself until dinner to get myself to eat what is on the table but it never works! i have had this problem since i was about 3 and don’t know what to do about it. everyone said i would grow out of it but i worry i will be like this the rest of my life

  76. ebencipe Says:

    Iam 24 years old living in the Philippines and Im a picky eater. I dont eat vegetables and some dsihes made of pork and meat.To give you an overview, I only eat fish meat,rice and spaghetty – thats it.. It has taken toll on my weight (55 kilos at 177cm). I really wanted to change for the better but I just dont know now how to start. I just cant swallow green and other veggies…

  77. Michelle Says:

    I’m not the only one – phew! That’s a relief!

    I’m 24 years old and I’ve hated vegetables my whole life, or at least as far back as I can remember. According to my parents, I ate everything when I was a baby/toddler until I saw that my older brother didn’t like to eat vegetables and decided that I didn’t like them either. I’m not sure if I believe that story though because out of all of my siblings (there are five of us and my twin sister and I are the youngest) he’s the one I’ve always had the worst relationship with.

    My picky eating doesn’t seem to be as bad as many stories on here, but it’s a huge struggle every day. Up until about a year or two ago, the only fruit I would eat is bananas. I’ve “graduated” now to strawberries, apples, watermelon, kiwi and a couple of others, but they typically have to be forced down. I still don’t enjoy them as much as I do bananas. As far as vegetables go, I like potatoes and I can swallow carrots if they’ve been cooked well and are soft and “mushy”, but that’s about it.

    For the most part, my family doesn’t bother me much about it anymore, although sometimes they’ll slip in the odd comment. My boyfriend has been great about it, he tries cooking things in a lot of different ways in an effort to get me to like them, but he doesn’t go overboard with it. So far, very little has passed the test though.

    I think the most embarrassing part is going out to dinner and having to ask the waiter/waitress, “Can I get that without the tomatoes/peppers/lettuce/onions/mushrooms……?” The first time I met my in-laws, I had to try and explain to them why I picked the most bland thing on the menu. Luckily, they took it pretty well and didn’t think I was too strange to be with their son, but I was so embarrassed!

    I’m just glad to see that I’m not crazy!

  78. Hi there,

    I’m currently carrying out some research for a brand new TV series I’m working on and would love to chat to you further? It would be great if you could email me and I can tell you more!

    Thanks so much.

    Warm wishes,

  79. Laura Says:

    Hi all
    I have just found this recently after doing some research to see if there was a name for the eating disorder I had for 25+ years. Picky eaters or problem feeders is all I could find and just doesn’t seem to cover how I felt about food. I wasn’t ‘picky’ , I felt that my body couldn’t tolerate and food that wasn’t bland. For 25 years all I ate was sausages, waffles, pizza , apples and bread . I remember the trauma the first time my mum talked to me about trying a jacket potato. I wanted to, I really wanted to. I wanted this nightmare of feeling like a social outcast to be over and eventually I did try that potato. I gagged so much that I was nearly sick.
    I didn’t try anything new for another 5 years!
    I met my partner in 2007 at aged 25. She was vegatarian and something clicked in me. I trusted her and allowed her to cook for me. Starting with my mouthful at a time. With no meat on the plate ( which was always my major issue) I finally tried some new things and actually liked them. I think because I was ready emotionally. It was hard, the hardest thing I have ever done. I still don’t eat meat but mostly I have a very varied diet and no longer stress about going out to eat. My body didn’t live the change. I was always tall and lean. Something my parents could never understand . I was always the strongest looking sibling. Although I know they worry about my internal organs and the effect those years will have had. I am a success story. I don’t blame my parents for not conquering the disorder when I was a child. Anyone with this problem knows how stubborn we are when we know our bodies can’t tolerate the foods we are given. I look back now and feel I missed out on a lot of experiences because I was scared of mealtimes. I didn’t join cadets because of weekends away. I didn’t go to university and I never went to meals friends organised . I regret a lot but know that that was my path. At 25 my body was ready to accept new foods physically and emotionally. I no longer gagged or cried. I hope you all get to this point in your lives.
    Lots if love to all those still struggling x x Laura from cardiff

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