Selective Eating / ARFID

“My life revolves around when I can eat the foods that work for me.”

“I don’t think my kid can go to birthday parties because he won’t eat pizza!”

“How is my teen going to go on dates when she only eats chicken fingers and mac-n-cheese?!”

“We can’t go to a nice restaurant without worrying if my son will be able to eat anything?”

If you’ve said this or something similar about your child, you’re not alone.

What is ARFID?

Over the past few years, a new diagnosis in the DSM-V, called avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), has become more well known. Often confused with “picky” or “selective” eating, ARFID is a combination of a restrictive eating disorder characterized by the limitation of food intake and sensory hurdles associated with food. Unlike anorexia nervosa, individuals with ARFID do not experience body image distress and there is no fear of weight gain present. This disorder often goes undetected by families and doctors, often under the belief that the child or adult will eventually, “just group out of it.”

This isn’t a problem to scoff at. ARFID can lead to intense social distress because individuals with symptoms may not prefer to eat with other people or they may take a long time to consume a meal. They may not want to eat whats available at all!


You are not alone. There is hope.

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