A lot of parents struggle with kids who are picky eaters. While the foods that picky eaters are willing to eat may vary from one child to another, you can get an idea of some of the items most children are willing to eat by looking at kids menus at restaurants. For example, a lot of kids like mac and cheese, french fries and chicken nuggets.

Dealing with a picky eater can be very difficult. For starters, parents want their children to have a balanced diet that includes the nutrition they need to keep their bodies growing properly. On the flip side, when you have a picky eater in the house, eating a meal is a lot more difficult. If you’re at a restaurant or eating a meal as a family, the picky eater may just refuse to eat anything at all if one of the foods he or she likes isn’t available.

Most picky eaters have at least several types of foods that they like, but sometimes the food restriction is extreme. In these cases, there’s even a name for it, avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Ben Simpson has been very picky about what foods he’ll eat ever since he was weaned from his mother’s breastmilk. As a young child, according to his mother, Wendy Hughes, he would eat “finger foods,” items like french fries. If he went to a friend’s house or was at a party, he often wouldn’t eat anything at all.

It only got worse as he got older. At 15-years-old, Simpson was only eating a specific brand of breakfast sausages 3 meals a day every day. He would not eat anything else.

Hughes didn’t know what to do. She was worried about her son’s health. She knew she had to do something to get him to even try different foods.

Hughes told SWNS, “It is frustrating. Sometimes you just think, ‘Oh God, will you just eat it?’ But then Ben gets upset and teary.”

Desperate, Hughes was willing to try anything to get her son to eat normally. When a family friend suggested that she try hypnosis, she took the advice seriously and found a a cognitive behavioral hypnotherapist named David Kilmurry on Facebook.

Kilmurry believed he could help Simpson, but Hughes was skeptical. She didn’t really expect the therapy to work, but she was willing to try. Simpson was very hesitant of even attending the video meeting, but he did.

After an initial 2-hour video chat, Hughes diagnosed Simpson with ARFID. He also used techniques like “subliminal wording” and “neurological seed drop” to change Simpson’s anxiety about trying new foods to excitement.

Hughes is amazed at how much the therapy has helped her son. She says that when she hands him a new food to try, “he will pop it straight into his mouth.” 

Watch the video below to see a few examples of Hughes offering Simpson different types of foods. As you’ll see, he doesn’t like all of them, but he’s at least willing to try them.

According to Kilmurry, seafood is one type of food that ARFID patients have the hardest time being willing to eat, but Hughes sent him a video of her son actually tasting seafood. He considers that video proof that Simpson has been cured.

Are your kids picky eaters?