Education and Counseling for Individuals Affected by Autism Spectrum Disorders


Aspergers Teens and Picky Eating: Questionnaire

Question: "Are you a fussy eater?"

My whole life, I've found that I seem to be more fussy than most when it comes to foods. It seems to be more the texture that bothers me about the food than the taste itself.

My meals consist largely of the same things every day. When I eat a particular thing, I tend to get addicted to it and will eat it constantly for days and days until I finally get sick of eating the food I kept on eating for so many days.

I suspect that it's my Aspergers that has made me fussy when it comes to food.

I've heard of lots of babies/toddlers with Aspergers who vomit when they try to swallow foods of certain textures. This was the case for me when it came to many types of foods when I was a young age. The main food that I remember vomiting after trying to swallow was potatoes. It was simply impossible for me to swallow mashed potatoes without throwing up or gagging until I was maybe ten years old or so.



Yes, I am the most fussiest eater that there is. However, I think that it's related to the OCD part of Aspergers, and the way that we like everything to be predictable and in order. When we are in a restaurant, for example, we feel out of control about what we eat. Sometimes, I can just 'let go' and order anything, but mostly I get anxious about what the chef will make (despite me choosing off a menu). I also have Bulimia. I don't think that the eating disorder + Aspergers issue has been discussed at all on this forum.


For sure.

My mom has always said I’m the pickiest eater she knows. Texture definitely plays a big role in it. Cheese and eggs, fish and mushrooms, I won't touch. Usually I just won't eat if those foods are on the menu. When I sleep over somewhere I always dread breakfast because it usually involves eggs or grilled cheese sandwiches, so I’ll usually go hungry.

Lately I’ve been living off of ground beef or pork chops with a side of pasta.

I've been to certain fancy restaurants that are big on exquisite foods, and I’ll order a simple hamburger and fries...


Very similar to me. With me this is structure at first, and appearance, and then smell. I smell everything (food, clothes, other things, helps me feel things and like them if I smell it, whatever it is), but then it comes to taste. Anyway, I have trouble with trying new things and even as a toddler, so I can't try new food in any way, if I am not psychically prepared. I'd freak out if I am pushed to do it when I am actually not psychically prepared to.


There are some things I simply can't stand eating, but I would think that's more just to do with personal taste.

My pickiness isn't so much to do with me being picky about what I eat, but more that I tend to stick to what I know. I'm very reluctant to try different foods, and the thought of doing so simply freaks me out a bit.

I also don't particularly like other people preparing food. As soon as I see that someone else's hands are involved in making the food, it freaks me out. But I just force myself to go along with it. I'd look like a complete nutter if I was all, "Nope, I can't eat that... I saw you touching the food while preparing it." BUT, if I don't see the person preparing the food, it doesn't get to me at all.


This was a big topic with my Psychotherapist. She asked many questions about how I eat and what I eat. She also asked my Mother the same questions when it was her appointment, but geared more towards when I was a toddler, obviously. My Mum told her I would always eat the same sort of food and reject all others. I think it was baked beans for quite a while... Poor me, looking back!

Nowadays I'm no real different; I eat the food I like and do not touch others at all. I don't tend to eat many vegetables, save for carrots and sweet corn. Texture was not really brought up but positioning of food was. Although I can eat it I like all my food to be separate on the plate and on its own - not grouped together. I also tend to eat with my fork far more than my knife. Many meal times I will simply not even use the knife once, and stab/cut the food with my fork.

She also asked if I could tell the difference easily. That is to say if I had chicken soup and then another day was prepared a different make of it (but not told) would I be able to tell? The answer being "Of COURSE."


When I was a kid I was a very picky eater because I always worried that there were germs in the food and food always reminded me of horrible things, for example, sausages looked like fingers, chocolate sauce looked like dog poo, melted cheese looked like vomit, etc. Also, I couldn't eat in the presence of anyone who didn't look clean. If my grandfather came round I had to eat in my room, because he looked unclean to me, and I couldn't eat anything around him at all. Poor guy! What a monster kid I was. I am okay now.


I'm going to be the odd-man out here.

No, I have never had problems with foods in that way. I was the easiest child to feed that you could possibly imagine. While other kids were picking candy from the Ryan's buffet, I was going for the broccoli and the spaghetti. So, I suppose I was a bit weird with food... but not in a picky way so much. I'm still like that too. I don't eat much candy or junk, I prefer real food, and have no problem with ~97% of veggies and fruits. There is some food that I don't like, but everyone has dislikes, so I don't attribute it to my AS. I do have my own food quirks though... I don't try to eat the same stuff every day, but it doesn't bother me if I do, if I like the food. I can't tell the number of times I've eaten leftovers, and everyone else was sick of it, and I was still eating it because it was there. What it is doesn't really matter to me; food is food. It all looks the same coming out anyway...

I have one other quirk that is related to OCD, which is that I tend to eat things in a certain manner or pattern. Any cereals with different kinds of pieces deserve its own ritual for consumption. Lucky Charms take me a while to eat because I have to eat the non-mallow pieces first, and then eat the mallow pieces in a certain order. Whenever eating malleable things on a plate, I have to mash the food against the lip in such a way that the food makes a semi-circle pattern. I do the same thing with cereals that consist of one design, but I eat a hole (circle) in the middle, and then mash it against the side to make the half-circle.


I too would happily eat the same meal for weeks on end. I ate nothing but tuna mayonnaise sandwiches when I first moved out of my parent's house. I started avoiding the local mini market because they were starting to question me about buying the same things every time and it was a little embarrassing. I am really fussy with bread and have to examine it and sniff it before I use it. I will not eat the first or last biscuit in a packet, these have to be binned. If I'm eating chips then the ends must be pulled off.

When I was going through the diagnostic interviews, the psychologist did actually touch on eating disorders. I suppose what I went through years ago could technically be called bulimia though I never thought of myself as having an eating disorder. I simply didn't like eating and couldn't be bothered. I weighed seven stone at my lightest when my ideal weight is actually closer to ten.

The Parenting Aspergers Resource Guide: A Complete
Resource Guide For Parents Who Have Children Diagnosed
With Aspergers Syndrome.


Life with my Aspie said...

My Aspie child has the same issues. He absolutely hates mashed potatoes and will vomit the moment it is in his mouth. This is an Aspie quality. He also doesn't like his food to touch on the plate and will only eat a few types of food, all which are not healthy. Smells make him vomit, textures on his skin make him vomit, anxiety makes him vomit...he's a vomiting machine. I have not figured out how to stop this from happening. The best we can do is identify and remove any thing that triggers vomiting. Good luck to you.

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Anonymous said...

My son won't eat most fruit or vegetables because of the textures. He can;t stand the crunch of raw vegetables or the mushiness of soft ones. He also won't eat juice that isn't completely smooth. He hates the texture of apple sauce. He dislikes the texture of grapes and most berries. He'll occasionally eat cooked peas and corn, candied carrots, and seedless watermelon. But the only fruits/veggies that he regularly eats are sweet potatoes and apple juice. I'm worried he isn't getting the proper nutrition. He also had Marfan's syndrome, which contributes to him being underweight.

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