OKLAHOMA CITY, OK (WCMH) — Nine-year-old Michael loves most things kids his age enjoy; video games, and bouncing on trampolines.
But unlike most kids his age, Michael has never tasted birthday cake, cheeseburgers, or chicken nuggets.
“He literally gets sick at the sight of food,” Michael’s mother, Sandra Jackson tells KFOR.
It’s not just picky eating that keeps Michael from eating meats, dairy, fruits and vegetables. He has been diagnosed with neophobia, or the fear of anything new or unfamiliar.
“If I taste it, it will start to hurt my stomach. It will start to hurt,” says Michael.
“If you buy his regular Cheez-Its with anything extra, like letters, he won’t eat it. It has to be the plain original Cheez-Its. Smell, texture and even sight…a lot of things he won’t touch even if you bribe him,” Sandra tells KFOR.
Michael’s mom says even movies, like “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” causes him to get nervous and sick.
“He can’t watch it. Scared of the food. He’ll tell me ‘I’m sorry mom. I want to eat. I don’t want to die. I want to live and things like that. I’m trying,’” says Sandra.
Pediatrician Doctor Amy Middleman says most eating disorders are linked to anxiety and depression, but says there is hope for Michael.
“There is absolutely hope. We treat patients with these kinds of issues all the time. And the prognosis is terrific,” says Middleman.
Sandra just wants Michael to eventually start liking the foods most kids his age like.