Comorbid Conditions Symptom Tests

[Self-Test] Avoidant Restrictive Food Intake Disorder in Children

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder is much more than picky eating. Take this quiz to see if your child might be showing signs of this eating disorder.

picky eating - child looking concerned over a dish

Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID) is an eating disorder often characterized as “extreme picky eating.” Food avoidance or restriction in ARFID can be due to any of the following:1

  • a lack of interest/appetite in food or eating
  • sensitivity to sensory characteristics of food (like smell, texture, and color)
  • concerns over unpleasant consequences of eating, like choking, vomiting, and stomach aches

Unlike other eating disorders, like anorexia nervosa and bulimia nervosa, the eating behaviors seen in ARFID are not associated with concerns about body weight or shape. Children with ARFID may struggle to meet nutritional and/or energy needs, and they may be dependent on nutritional supplements for functioning.

ARFID often co-occurs with autism, anxiety, and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).2 Some symptoms of autism, like rigid eating behaviors and sensory sensitivity, overlap with ARFID.

If you suspect that your child has symptoms of ARFID, answer the questions below and share the results with your child’s pediatrician or a licensed mental health professional who is experienced in diagnosing and treating ARFID.

If you or a loved one are suffering from an eating disorder, contact the National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA) for support, resources, and treatment options. Call or text NEDA at 800-931-2237 or visit to reach a NEDA volunteer.

This self-test was adapted in part from the Nine Item ARFID Screen (NIAS) and incorporates findings from research on ARFID. It is designed to screen for the possibility of ARFID, and it is for personal use only. This test is not intended as a diagnostic tool. Only a licensed mental health professional can diagnose ARFID.

My child seems to have a smaller appetite than other children.

I often have to encourage my child to eat regular meals throughout the day.

It’s a struggle for my child to eat enough during mealtimes, even food(s) they like.

My child dislikes most foods that other children like.

My child doesn’t seem interested in eating.

My child seems to avoid eating for fear of stomach aches, choking, vomiting, nausea, and/or other gastrointestinal issues.

My child is fearful of trying new foods.

My child only likes to eat foods from certain brands.

My child is a picky eater.

My child avoids foods based on sensory characteristics (like appearance, texture, color, smell, and temperature).

My child mostly eats sugary, processed foods.

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ARFID Symptoms in Children: Next Steps

View Article Sources

1 American Psychiatric Association. (2013). Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder. In Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (5th ed.).

2 Seetharaman, S., & Fields, E. L. (2020). Avoidant/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder. Pediatrics in review, 41(12), 613–622.