[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.
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 www.nationaleatingdisorders.org 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.
Can’t see the self-test questions above? Click here to open this test in a new window.
ARFID Symptoms in Children: Next Steps
- Self-Test: Eating Disorders in Children and Teens
- Find: ARFID and Eating Disorder Specialists Near You
- Read: ARFID, SPD, and Other Conditions Linked to Feeding Difficulties in Children
- Read: Got a Picky Eater on Your Hands? Here’s How to Cope
- Read: The Parent’s Guide to Mealtime with Picky Eaters
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. https://doi.org/10.1542/pir.2019-0133