Thursday, January 14, 2010

Fruit Phobia

My family of boys, both old and young, have a terrible relationship with fruit. It is like a fruit phobia. I wonder if that is a real documented phobia? It is impossible for me to understand since I love the stuff myself. Currently I am addicted to these small grapefruits that are juicy and yummy and good. I have eaten way too many of them over the last couple of days. That is how it goes with me though. I tend to get on a fruit kick, where I can't get enough of grapefruit, blackberries, blueberries, watermelon, cherries, usually whatever is in season or on sale at the grocery store. I buy it, eat it to excess, then take a break for a while. So knowing that you should understand that fruit is always in this house, available for snacking by any of its members. I am here to tell you that my members are not interested at all!

Let's take a look at the boys in the house and see if we can try to understand their complicated relationship with fruit. I should start with my hubby. His relationship with fruit is awful, although in the last six years or so he has expanded his fruit horizons a bit. Prior to 2003, he would eat an apple and/or applesauce. Didn't really love either, but he would eat them on a rare occasion. At 38 years old he ate his first banana. His entire life he loved all things banana flavored - banana bread, banana pudding, Banana Twin Little Debbie's. But at 38 he took his first bite of a fresh, real, whole Banana. He ate the whole thing. It was a sight to behold. I won't go into how much he struggles with taking the peel off of a banana - we will save that for another post all on its own! So as of this posting he will eat bananas, applesauce, an occasional apple, and for the first time ever last Thursday night at 44 years of age he ate a fresh blackberry. His first fresh berry EVER. I called his sister, my mom and dad, and countless friends with the news. It is like I need a baby book to write down his introductions to food - but he is FORTY FOUR!!! I made a huge deal out of it too - trying to get the little men in this house on board with how fabulous and rewarding the eating of fruit can be. Now let's look at their walk with fruit.

The idea for this post is actually because of my oldest son, who on this blog I call "13". This afternoon after school 13 walks into the house and immediately turns up his nose and says "What is that awful smell?" I am sniffing all around trying to find the source of the odor that has attacked his nostrils. He finally narrows it down to "That thing!" That thing was a sweet little innocent grapefruit half sitting on the kitchen counter that I hadn't yet consumed. 13 eats zero fruit - none - zip - he seems to think it is physically impossible for him to eat fruit. He might be right because his relationship with fruit has been bad for as long as I can remember. Even at baby food stage, he always preferred the carrots, sweet potatoes and squash over any of the fruits. Surely he would eat at least the applesauce? Can't recall. Anyway, I can remember once when he was about 2 years old or so and we were down at my parent's house for a visit. There were some green grapes sitting on the counter and my mom cut a few in half for him. She handed them to him and he picked up a half and licked it. All hell broke loose, he was spitting, choking, licking his arm and the counter top trying to get the grape taste out of his mouth. It was hysterical. A couple of years ago he was in the grocery store with me and said "Mom, I think I want to try a banana." I picked myself up off the floor, grab the closest banana to me, paid a cashier and tore out of that store. In the privacy of our car, he peeled that banana and took a honest good bite. Then he barfed. It was not hysterical, it was maddening. I shared this story with some of our friends and they just found it impossible to believe that this kid would not eat fruit. One night they were over for dinner and some friendly wagers were offered up for 13 to give a strawberry a go. He bit it - he barfed. It is just ridiculous. It must be the texture, because fruit tastes great!!! Here is his saving grace - he will eat lots of veggies. It is because he eats veggies that I can sleep at night.

Moving on to our youngest son, that we will call "7". He is an eating machine. He loves food in general - carbs in particular seem to be his favorite. Pasta, rice, bread, those are what make his heart sing. On the fruit front however, he will eat raisins. That's it - just raisins. Are raisins even considered a real fruit? In this house we call them a fruit. We also consider NutriGrain Strawberry Fruit Bars a fruit, because he also eats those. He also eats some veggies, although not nearly as many as I would like. Food challenges abound in this house.

In the end, I will blame my hubby's genes as the reason my children have such fruit phobias. I will take the blame for them being bad jumpers - those are my genes for sure. Maybe they will outgrow this phobia. As I have typed this blog, I have decided to redouble my efforts to introduce fruit to my children's bodies. Maybe I will try blending up some fruit with frozen yogurt and act like it is an ice cream treat. Might just work with 7! 13 not so much - he doesn't like ice cream. WHAT IS WRONG WITH THESE CHILDREN!!!!

Wish me luck!


  1. For the record...I had a banana this evening and had ZERO problems peeling it !!

  2. Do they drink fruit juice? You guys are freaks!

  3. In response to huberliz_321, is sweet tea considered a fruit?

  4. I don't know if this will work but you could try making sorbets our of fresh fruit. In the summer it would be great since they are like a frozen drink. AB on the cooking netwook made a watermelon sorbet that looked wonderful. And you can always add sweetener to them to make them more palatible for those kids. I would think if would be neat to due an experiment with them. Blindfold the kids and see how many foods they can identify. Don't tell them you will be doing fruits and mix in some veggies as well. May even offer rewards for getting them right. Good luck!

  5. I have a really terrible fruit phobia and what they're going through is not a joke.

  6. I worry about my 13 year old son who also has a strong aversion for fruit. He will gag if he is forced to eat fruit. He can't stand the smell and even dislikes walking through the fruit section of the supermarket. I believe that fruit has essential nutients that are necessary for good health. I want him to be healthy but am concerned his health will be jeopardised as he cannot seem to eat fruit. Has anyone a suggestion?

  7. im 17 and i cant stand fruits. i dont want to go near them. i hold my breath when i walk by the supermarket that displays their fruit section on the outside. i wouldnt use a plate that a piece of fruit has touched. i have my own cup, plate and bowl. and i go hysterical if someone uses them.(TO EAT FRUITS). i wouldnt go in the kitchen if it reeks of fruits. nope. errr, i although i do love vegies. my family cant stand me . so hey, im glad i'm not the only one now eh?

  8. This is a year late commenting but I know exactly what they are going through and I'm actually incredibly sick of people not considering it a real phobia and just thinking I'm being stupid.
    Even my family after 17 years get sick of me acting like that which is just infuriating. I drink orange and apple juice but NEVER smoothies. I can't stand being in the same room as a piece of fruit let alone eat it, especially bananas, and if my mum or anyone has been touching fruit I will make them wash their hands and any surfaces it has been on and even then not let them touch me for like 10 minutes.
    I won't bring the subject up with people I don't know for fear that they will not take it seriously and make 'jokes' about it buy putting it near me or something, which even my best friends have done and thought it ridiculous when I don't take it as a joke.
    Just be considerate if someone says they don't like fruit then take it seriously. And to be honest, I eat vegetables and since I've never really eaten fruit, my body can't miss what it's never had.

  9. I am 22 and have never eaten fruit - when i have attempted to i have had the same reaction as 13. I can'T stand it when fruit is in the room, I can't stand when someone eats it near many, and I can't eat anything that has been prepared on the same surface as fruit. I couldn't tell you why I am like this, or what it is that makes me do so. But I find it incredibly offensive that this behaviour is seen as 'wrong' a lot of people choose to exclude certain food groups from their life without being branded 'freaks' or anything of the sort. The kid doesn't like fruit, pretty sure it is not the end of the world. The question is: is he healthy and happy? when the answer is yes then it should probably not be such an issue that he doesn't like fruit. And to force something on him, something with which he has such a massive problem is just cruel.

  10. Hi,

    I have a fruit phobia too. I wonder what therapy you've taken as even if I see a woman I like eating fruit, i'm disattracted to her and even my friends annoy me if they eat fruit often.

    CBT doesn't work too well for me

  11. I have this phobia too, I am so glad I am not alone. I am female, 19, and my phobia of f****has steadily worsened as I have got older. The thought of it is enough to set me on edge and disgust me, let alone the smell or the sight of it. I am extremely uneasy if it is in the same room as me and can't eat anything that contains it. Nor can I touch anything that has touched it. The people close to me (family, friends, boyfriend, etc) have no problem with it and I find this incredibly hard to deal with (although they are very sensitive about eating it anywhere near me). If some one mentions it in conversation I cringe. My main emotion concerning it is disgust, utter revulsion. If someone eats it I immediately am repelled by them. My hatred of it is such that I have no intention whatsoever of being 'cured'; I feel my phobia somehow justified although I am aware it is abnormal.

  12. I am 32 and in the same boat. Just reading about fruit makes me ill. I can't stand the smell when someone is eating an orange within 50 feet of me, I seriously feel nauseous. One time I accidentally started eating a chocolate-covered cherry not realizing what it was, and I nearly threw up, I spit it up and felt disgusting for hours.

    I don't know what it is, the smell, the texture, everything about it. I always have to explain to people, and they get so confused, like asking which ones I don't like. ALL OF THEM. And they're like, have you tried all of them? NO! I don't want to, I have a complete revulsion to all fruits, and I have no idea why.

    I will drink a margarita or daqueri if it's artificially flavored, but not if actual fruit is used. I love lemonade, but if there are pieces of lemon, I'm grossed out.

    I do eat some vegetables, like carrots and cucumbers, I'll eat lettuce in a salad, and I love potatoes and corn, if those count as vegetables.

    I've been this way for a very long time, I vaguely remember eating grapes, apple sauce and bananas as a little kid, but now it grosses me out to think about. My mom says even as a baby I wasn't big on fruit.

    It's not a choice, I really do feel ill when confronted with any kind of fruit. Someone could offer to pay me $1,000 to eat an apple, and I'd have to turn it down.