Ask Sam letter


To Sam

Food makes me feel sick :(

Hello Sam.

I cannot eat in school without feeling sick, and I cannot watch people eat food disgustingly. My worst fear is a food fight. There have been a few times where I have even cried because somebody threw food at me :(

Something that scares me is people watching me eat. It makes me feel really scared and sick. I don’t like food getting really messy and one thing I don’t like is crumbs. Just thinking about them makes me feel very uncomfortable. I know it doesn’t really make sense, but I was just wondering about if this is normal and what I can do to be less scared of eating. All of my friends think it’s weird that I don’t like messing with food or eating food.

Thank you xx

Ask Sam


Hi there,

Being scared of eating and of messy food can sometimes develop into a type of phobia. There are ways to reduce your anxiety and to develop a healthier relationship with food. One way of overcoming your fears is to face them one step at a time.

It can be difficult when you feel stressed about an everyday activity, like eating. It can feel like there are reminders of your fear all the time, which makes it difficult to stay calm. It’s important to find ways to relax that work for you. For example try keeping a mood journal or expressing your feelings using the Art box.

Feeling different or that you are being watched might make you feel uncomfortable. Learning to cope with stress can help you to feel calmer. Try taking a few slow deep breaths before mealtimes and each time that you feel anxious or stressed when you are eating.

Try to concentrate on something else and ignore what other people are doing. You don't have to watch or be involved in their food fights or impolite ways of eating. If things feel too difficult you could ask a teacher or your head of year if there is somewhere quiet that you could go to eat at lunchtime.

Feeling anxious and scared can make you feel sick. This can make eating difficult as it's natural to not want food when you feel nauseous. Healthy eating is important to your health and wellbeing. If you're feeling sick often you can also see your doctor for advice and support.

Remember you can always get support from a trusted adult, and our Childline counsellors are always here for you.

Take care and I hope my suggestions will help.


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