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How to help someone with ARFID

There are ways to support people with avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, commonly referred to as ARFID. It might feel overwhelming sometimes, but we’re here to help. Check out our tips for practical and emotional support.

What is ARFID? What causes it?

ARFID is an eating disorder where someone avoids certain foods or types of food, restricts the amount of food they eat, or both. It’s usually based in one or a combination of:

Find out more about the symptoms and causes of ARFID.

Is it ARFID or ‘just’ picky eating?

Lots of children go through a picky eating phase. Over time, most people add more foods into their diet, but what if someone doesn’t? When does it become ARFID? There are two key signs to look out for:

It’s important to remember that every person with ARFID is different. There’s no ‘normal’ when it comes to weight or body image and the condition.

Read our blog about the differences between ARFID and picky eating

Getting started

If you’re worried about a loved one, it can be hard to know where to start. You might be worried that by talking about it you’ll make it worse, or that you’ll say the wrong thing. But there are things you can do to help.

Practical tips

Here are some ideas for helping you and your loved one live well.

Looking after yourself

Need help now?

If you need help now contact our Helpline.
We're here for you.


HelpFinder is our directory of eating disorder support services. Find services in your area online. You can filter to show those that specifically support ARFID.