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Thread: Picky Eating

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    Suave y Fuerte BadOctopus's Avatar
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    Default Picky Eating

    Many children go through a picky eating phase, but there are some who don't grow out of it, and carry their picky eating habits into adulthood. In most cases, these adult picky eaters will only eat bland, white foods, like bread, chicken, plain noodles, cheese sandwiches, etc. They will almost never eat fruits or vegetables. As a result, they tend to be underweight, although sometimes they can appear completely healthy.

    I personally know two people who have what is now being called Selective Eating Disorder. The number of foods they will eat can be counted on two hands, and they will reject everything else without trying it. (One of them is in his '40s and had never eaten a strawberry until last year.) Social situations where food is involved fill them with anxiety, because they know they will likely be asked why they're not eating anything. But the thought of trying something new literally terrifies them. Actually attempting to try a new food makes them gag, or sometimes even vomit.

    Studies have suggested a link between extreme picky eating and OCD, autism, and/or Sensory Processing Disorder. In some cases, a person might be a "super taster", for whom strong flavors are intensified and can be overwhelming.

    I wish I knew how to help my friends who have this problem, because not only are they physically unhealthy, but they recognize that it severely limits their social lives. But how do you help someone who is terrified of food?

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    Senior Member ceecee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BadOctopus View Post
    Many children go through a picky eating phase, but there are some who don't grow out of it, and carry their picky eating habits into adulthood. In most cases, these adult picky eaters will only eat bland, white foods, like bread, chicken, plain noodles, cheese sandwiches, etc. They will almost never eat fruits or vegetables. As a result, they tend to be underweight, although sometimes they can appear completely healthy.

    I personally know two people who have what is now being called Selective Eating Disorder. The number of foods they will eat can be counted on two hands, and they will reject everything else without trying it. (One of them is in his '40s and had never eaten a strawberry until last year.) Social situations where food is involved fill them with anxiety, because they know they will likely be asked why they're not eating anything. But the thought of trying something new literally terrifies them. Actually attempting to try a new food makes them gag, or sometimes even vomit.

    Studies have suggested a link between extreme picky eating and OCD, autism, and/or Sensory Processing Disorder. In some cases, a person might be a "super taster", for whom strong flavors are intensified and can be overwhelming.

    I wish I knew how to help my friends who have this problem, because not only are they physically unhealthy, but they recognize that it severely limits their social lives. But how do you help someone who is terrified of food?
    I don't know. I have a friend like this although, I don't think she is quite this bad. From all the information she has given me, I think this started in childhood (as muck of it does) but in her case, it was selection and preparation of food, plus being forced to eat things (clean your plate). She is trying to branch out, it's not due to fear, in my opinion. More of just thinking she won't like it. But the things she has never tried blows my mind. To me, they're not exotic but very common foods. Poached eggs, fennel, butter lettuce, kalamata olives....this list goes on forever.

    I try to make her one new food item when she visits us, nothing strange. The last one was roasted rainbow carrots. She had a bit of a hard time with the purple ones but once she tried them, she liked them.
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    Senior Member Passacaglia's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ceecee View Post
    I try to make her one new food item when she visits us, nothing strange. The last one was roasted rainbow carrots. She had a bit of a hard time with the purple ones but once she tried them, she liked them.
    I had to google this one, and I'm still not convinced that I'm not simply looking at photoshopped pics of regular carrots.

    On topic: I think ceecee's approach is the way to go. Whenever you eat with a picky eater, make sure they have access to one of their old stand-byes, plus one or more new foods. Try to be energetic about the new ones without being pushy. "I used this great new pesto recipe today, you should try it!" Or maybe even just say that to a different friend in the picky one's presence.

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    Suave y Fuerte BadOctopus's Avatar
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    I just read this article, written by a self-confessed picky eater.

    Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables | Bustle

    There are a few foods I dislike and will generally avoid them. (Mushrooms, green beans, and shrimp are not my friends.) But even then, I'll eat them if I have to. I know they won't kill me. For the most part, I love food, and I love cooking. It's like art and science combined. And I love trying new things and experiencing new flavors. It's one of life's simple pleasures.

    The idea of someone living with constant anxiety over food just... makes me sad.

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    The Green Jolly Robin H.
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    i refuse to eat processed food. It causes me to shit blood. Other than that...I'm not that picky.
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    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrotTheThief View Post
    i refuse to eat processed food. It causes me to shit blood. Other than that...I'm not that picky.
    Dude. If you are having bloody stool, you need to take these every day to prevent colon cancer:

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    Quote Originally Posted by BadOctopus View Post
    I just read this article, written by a self-confessed picky eater.

    Is Picky Eating an Eating Disorder? Living With Selective Eating Disorder and No Vegetables*|*Bustle

    There are a few foods I dislike and will generally avoid them. (Mushrooms, green beans, and shrimp are not my friends.) But even then, I'll eat them if I have to. I know they won't kill me. For the most part, I love food, and I love cooking. It's like art and science combined. And I love trying new things and experiencing new flavors. It's one of life's simple pleasures.

    The idea of someone living with constant anxiety over food just... makes me sad.
    I need to meet this woman, we're made for each other.

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    The Green Jolly Robin H.
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    Quote Originally Posted by AphroditeGoneAwry View Post
    Dude. If you are having bloody stool, you need to take these every day to prevent colon cancer:

    Longevity | Young Living Essential Oils
    I'm not having them except for after eating synthetic foods...but thanks I will book mark those and see about them.
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    failure to thrive AphroditeGoneAwry's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GarrotTheThief View Post
    I'm not having them except for after eating synthetic foods...but thanks I will book mark those and see about them.

    That is good, and I understand. However, when blood is present it means that your bowels are friable, and that usually means they are inflamed. Kind of like when gums bleed because they are inflamed. Inflammation is a state suggestive of disease, or unhealth, and almost always precedes cancer. Most of us have inflammation of some sort going on inside our bodies somewhere.

    Your synthetic foods might irritate that swollen bowel enough to make it bleed, but it is likely still inflamed when not bleeding. Restoring health is what those essential oils can do for you, along with killing germs and, I believe, prohibiting the growth of cancer cells (just for prevention).
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    Emperor/Dictator kyuuei's Avatar
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    I was reading an article unrelated about how to get over a food you hate.. and another on spicy foods. Both articles said there's no way around it--exposure is best. For spicy foods, you work your way up slowly, using increasingly hotter things and trying it again and again until you're just okay with the heat. I tried this and while it works to an extent, it isn't fool proof, and I can't eat a whole pickled jalapeno from ye old mexican restaurant... but I CAN eat jalapenos overall with just a bit of crying and hydration therapy. I used to think banana peppers were spicy. now they're no problem at all.

    I think that same principle can be applied to picky eating. OCD is treated with controlled exposure.. people washing their hands constantly are taught to stop, and think, and actively make effort to not wash their hands until it is necessary. Controlled exposure.. Looking at the foods they already like, and getting them to regularly integrate foods similar to those into their diet. And then similar to those. Making foods that look like the foods they like. Etc.

    People who 'hate' water generally just don't have a taste for it.. your body is designed to crave water. It's really impossible to hate most foods physiologically. Some foods, sure, everyone does.. but not most foods by any means. While there are SOME physiological things (allergies, being born with those weird taste buds that taste broccoli and cilantro and think it tastes like ass, intolerance to dairy/gluten/PKU), those are anomalies and pretty easy to diagnose. Picky eating? It's a mental thing, not a physiological one.. So mental style treatments are best.
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