Tag Archives: fussy eating

3 signs you are a fussy eater

I used to think I’d eat pretty much anything. I was deprived of food as a child so I tried to make up for it as an adult. Then I started travelling, and I realised that not liking seafood or mushrooms actually made me quite selective over what I could eat.

Thing is, I could push a prawn or mushroom to one side, and carry no eating the rest of the meal. It was no big deal. So I’m not really a fussy eater, it’s just that the things I don’t like happen to be in lots of dishes!

There is a ‘thing’ these days called Selective Eating Disorder – it’s what we might have called Fussy Eating in the past. So you are a probably a fussy eater if

1.You spent hours sat at the kitchen table as a child

Did you parents make you sit at the table until you finished everything on your plate? Were you always left at the table when everyone else had finished and left? The first sign that your subconscious has a problem with eating is your behaviour as a kid. Often clients I see say they have been told they were always fussy as a kid. Often the parents would really worry and, as well as talking to doctors, would try anything to get a child to eat a balanced meal. Of course, it didn’t work. And it made everybody miserable. You probably wasted hours of your childhood sat at a table staring at the food in front of you.

2. You avoid going out for meals and to events where there is food

The problem with not eating a range of foods is that it can be really hard to find a restaurant that meets your limited requirements. And most people don’t want to let on to their friends that they are fussy over what they eat. Events can be a particular nightmare because it’s not so easy to avoid them. I have had clients that would not even go for a coffee with friends because they didn’t want to explain why they wouldn’t eat anything.

3. You eat the same food all the time because it’s safe

You have a very limited range of foods that you eat. You never try anything new because you are worried about what will happen if you don’t like it.

‘Fussy Eating’ is a very real problem. It is a problem in your subconscious. In my experience it comes from either a fear of being sick, or a fear of gagging choking. When you think about different foods, or try different foods it triggers an alert point in your subconscious

Warning! Risk of gagging or being sick if you continue

To protect you from this perceived threat, your subconscious takes over and tries to prevent you putting yourself at risk. Ironically, to do this, it usually makes you gag or feel sick – the very thing it’s protecting you from!

This is not a conscious thing. But it’s also not true. If we look back through your memories to when this alert was established, we will usually find a childhood event that your subconscious totally misinterpreted. When we correct that misinterpretation, that alert is no longer activated around food and you begin to eat a wider range.

In my experience with my clients, this takes effect almost immediately, with clients often leaving a therapy session and eating different food for the first time in their lives.

Because of this, working with fussy eaters/people with SED is probably one of my favourite things to do as the change is more immediately life changing than my work with anyone else.

If you feel this describes you, why not drop an email to dawn@thinkitchangeit.com and let me help you.

Fussy eating or subconscious “thing”?


Adults try and control everything. We define what our children eat, when they eat it, how much they eat.

We forget that everyone is programmed to eat enough of the right thing. As children we are closer to animals in our eating habits, than we are to humans.  Children innately listen to their bodies. You can’t make a child eat when they are not hungry. If they are hungry, they will go through food like a plague of locusts. If a child is absorbed in play they won’t think about food until their stomach tells them to eat. A child doesn’t eat until they fell sick, unless they have been deprived of something and they overdose when they get a chance!

Three meals a day is an adult concept. A balanced meal is an adult concept. And yet adults will eat when they are not hungry. Adults will eat beyond being satisfied. We often limit our child’s ability to listen to their body by imposing our adult rules on what they should and shouldn’t eat.

Children have simple tastes that are evolving day by day. What they like today they may hate tomorrow. What they hate to day, they may love next week. I used to hate onions, I love them now. I have never liked mushrooms. With my daughter, when she says she doesn’t like something, we always say “yet”. All we ask is she tries. If she doesn’t like it, it’s no big deal. Often she will say “I think I’ll try X again because I might like it now” and sometimes she does.

So it is normal for a child to be more fussy than an adult when it comes to eating choices. They get by just fine despite this. Even on a very limited diet, children still grow an flourish.

So what is the difference between the natural fussy eating habits of a child and an actual thing that is getting in the way driven from their subconscious?

Usually, the biggest clue is when the child also wants to be able to eat a wider range of food but can’t.

Over the last year I have seen a number of children about eating problems. They are usually around the age of 11-12 when they begin to realise that a very limited diet also limits their social life. It means they can’t go out for lunch with friends, they can’t go to a sleepover or they can’t go on a school trip.

At this point, something that’s just been a source of nagging from their parents, becomes lifestyle limiting for them. This is where I come in.

There are two things that are usually behind a child’s inability to eat different types of food (also applies to adults)

1. Fear of choking

2. Fear of being sick

In both of these situations, something has happened when they were younger that established a rule in the subconscious to protect them from being hurt. For example; they were suddenly sick and it scared them or they choked on a bit of food.

When you are scared as a child, your subconscious assumes there is danger that you need to stay away from. Because your subconscious works on caveman rules, something dangerous equals death. So it will do everything in its power to avoid death in the future.

It is that easy to create a rule that says “don’t eat anything unless you are absolutely sure it is safe” – and so, what appears to be fussy eating is established. But really it’s just your subconscious trying to stop you dying.

Clearly it’s wrong. Firstly if you there was danger of death, you would already be dead. Secondly, being sick is a good thing. It gets toxins out of your body. So it is a simple matter of going back and reprogramming the subconscious to remove the trigger for fear. Without the “thing” it becomes ok again to try different foods.

In my experience, using this approach, it only takes 2-3 sessions to completely remove the problem with food.

This is what the mother of one 10 year old boy said:

Thank you so much for what you have done. You have made more progress in one session than we have made in years of seeing doctors, consultants and psychiatrists.

So you don’t need to be stuck in a battle of wills. If your child has a very limited range of foods they will eat, it’s not their choice. I can help change it. Email dawn@thinkitchangeit.com to find out more