There are only a few foods I do not like. I don’t do olives of any sort. I don’t do pickled beets. And I despise Doritos of any flavor. That last one I am super serious about. I don’t even allow Doritos to be eaten in my car. So I am not a picky eater. I know a few picky eaters. Jennifer is one. My former secretary is another. But really, I would use the term picky for anyone who doesn’t eat like I eat.
And now I’ve come to realize that for some, choosing what they do or don’t eat is not always a choice left up to them. And to call them picky, can actually be quite hurtful. I’ve been introduced to Selective Eating Disorder, or the more formal term: Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder.
People with selective eating disorder often choose foods in which they feel is safe. This could mean in terms of texture, color, taste, and so forth. More important for us to know is that these people often feel a lot of stress and anxiety around eating, especially when eating around others.
It’s a topic that we need to talk about on Anchored in Education because I can think of so many times I’ve commented or heard others comment on lunches students eat at school. Thankfully, Linda B. Davis, author of the fictional book Food Fight, a juvenile novel designed to help educate readers on Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder joins us to talk more about this rare eating disorder.
Linda B. Davis has always been curious about why we do the things we do. She holds master’s degrees in social work and developmental psychology. As a social worker in a community mental health setting, Linda became passionate about the need for accurate and accessible mental health information in children’s literature. She is a member of SCBWI and active in the Chicago writing community. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, buying more books than she can possibly read, and maintaining her Little Free Library. Her middle grade novel, Food Fight, is the story of an overnight class trip that becomes a survival mission for an eleven-year-old boy living with Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Food Fight was released by Regal House Publishing on June 27, 2023.