For an accessible version or to translate, visit:


Scan to view online

Session 4

Selective Eating vs ARFID

Session 4


  • Share this page
  • Download this page
  • Leave feedback

Track your progress

Reset this module Reset this session

Please note: Answers & notes will be reset


What is your desired result? What exactly do you want to accomplish? Think about WHO, WHAT, WHERE, WHY, WHEN.


How will you track your progress and outcome? Can you quantify or put numbers to your outcome?


Is this goal realistic? Have you got the resources to achieve this goal? What factors may prevent you from achieving your goal?


Why is this goal significant to you? What effect will achieving this goal have on your life and on others?


When will you achieve this goal? If your goal is large, try breaking it down into smaller goals with incremental deadlines.

SMART goals

What are the benefits of achieving your goal?
How will you know when you get there?

Five step model



What exactly are your child’s eating difficulties? Are there difficulties with the amount of food or the range of foods or both? Are these long standing difficulties or more recent? Is your child having any additional supplements; if so, how many, via what method and when are they given? Are the difficulties experienced across all environments: school, home, friends, relatives, restaurants?


What are the main drivers for avoidance and restrictive patterns of eating? Low interest in food? Sensory sensitivities? Concern about adverse consequences? Why might these be present? Disrupted appetite, low desire to eat due to mood, stress, concentration, over arousal? Is restriction a side effect of medication? Are any concurrent illness or conditions affecting avoidance or restrictive eating such as oral-motor difficulties? Is your child a supertaster? Are their feelings of disgust or anxiety related to past negative experiences or worries picked up from others? Other difficulties such as ADHD, ASD, intellectual disabilities, family with restrictive eating difficulties?


Accepting this is how things are at present. Accepting it is okay to worry and it is likely your child’s eating is a result of normal fear related responses. Understanding and accepting why your child might be responding this way at present. Understanding that this does not have to be forever and that change can be a slow process.


Identify what needs to change and whether there is real potential for change. What needs exploring first? How might this be achieved? What are the current consequences of eating difficulties and how might this affect what is changed first?


To start making changes follow this five-step model sequence. Keep a record of changes, things that you try, what works and what doesn't. Appreciate the small changes and be realistic about your expectations. Be as clear and consistent as you can, minimising confrontation as much as possible.

Progress review

What has been going well?

What have been the challenges?

What has helped you to overcome these challenges?

What do you need continued support with?

Are you on target for your goals?

What are your next steps?

Take away lessons!

Step 1 - Explore what type of difficulties are present.

Step 2 - Get help if needed.

Step 3 - Choose the approach together.

Step 4 - Consider a different intervention if the first one doesn't work.

Step 5 - Be consistent and set manageable expectations.

Everyone is unique

“ Change will take place over
time, but I know I have
begun my journey. “

Acknowledgements: Selective Eating vs ARFID

Created by:

  • (Module Lead): Dr Paola Falcoski, Advanced Specialist Eating Disorder Dietitian
  • Bedfordshire and Luton Mental Health and Wellbeing Services

Image references available upon request, stock images provided by Adobe stock images, Shutterstock and Freepik. For any copyright questions or concerns please contact our web development service provider Infused Media Ltd.

Well Done!

- Completed
You have

References or Creators Credit


My Notes

Supporting Videos

The Fight, Flight, Freeze Response

If you could change one thing about your body, what would it be?

Mindful Eating