A mother claims her family was ‘overwhelmed” by Walkers crisps delivered to her daughter, four years old. She revealed that her family spends hours every day looking for bags in a nationwide shortage.

Michelle, from Narborough, Leicestershire, told the BBC she relies on the crisps as a staple part of Ava’s diet, because she suffers from a number of conditions, including Cohen’s syndrome and avoidant or restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID).

Ava’s mother says that Ava cannot eat toastie waffles or crisps. She also states that Ava only can drink sweetened almond milk, and not prescription vitamins. 

Earlier this month, Michelle revealed she was struggling to find Walkers’ oven baked sea salt-flavour crisps because the product had been caught up in supply chain problems due to a glitch during an IT upgrade.

Michelle now explains how her family has been overwhelmed with crisps. Michelle says that they have received approximately 450 packs and are able to mail them to friends and relatives who also want the same crisps.

Michelle, from Narborough, Leicestershire, has said her family has been 'overwhelmed' by deliveries of Walkers crisps for her four-year-old daughter Ava after revealing she spend hours each day searching for bags amid a national shortage

Michelle, from Narborough, Leicestershire, has said her family has been ‘overwhelmed’ by deliveries of Walkers crisps for her four-year-old daughter Ava after revealing she spend hours each day searching for bags amid a national shortage

Ursula Philpott (This Morning’s resident dietian) said that ARFID wasn’t officially recognized until 2013.

This is characterized by individuals refusing certain foods and severely restricting the amount they eat.

According to Beat Eating Disorders, this condition can be more severe than fussy eating. It may lead to vomiting, choking, or even become scared or anxious around food.

Because it is not related to body image like anorexia, bulimia or other bulimia conditions, this condition is more about a physical aversion of food.

According to her mother, Ava can only eat these crisps, toastie waffles and a specific type of baby puree and only drinks sweetened almond milk and a prescription vitamin mix

Ava’s mother says that Ava cannot eat toastie waffles or crisps. She can also only drink sweetened almond milk, and she will not allow her to take prescription vitamins.


Cohen syndrome is an inheritance condition that causes developmental delays in several areas of the body.

This allows those with the syndrome to experience intellectual disability, small heads size, and weak muscles tone.

Some other features are worsening of nearsightedness, the degeneration and loss of light-sensitive tissue, atypically high joint movement and distinctive facial features. This can be characterized by unusually-shaped eye shapes, long eyelashes and thick hair.

These features can vary from one person to another. Other signs include low white blood cells and ‘overly friendly’ behavior.

The condition can also cause narrow feet and hands as well as thin fingers.


Michelle said, “Ava is affected by Cohen syndrome,” which affects approximately 1,000 people around the globe. 

“That has led to many digestive problems and food allergy. Her ARFID was diagnosed. This is a disorder which prevents you from eating certain foods.

“And that means that she doesn’t feel hungry. She isn’t interested in food.

“Yes they aren’t great. They have high salt content, but it’s better than nothing.” 

After showing a picture to the camera she said: “That’s one example of the things that we give her soft-cut vegetable items like this every day to see whether she will eat it.”

‘She really enjoys the crunch of these crisps and the salt does  make her thirsty and then she manages to drink her juice that we put her prescribed vitamin powder in.

Because they taste the same every time, beige foods are loved by many people with this condition.

Michelle talked to the media about the UK’s shortage of crisps last week, and was met with overwhelming support by strangers.  

Michelle said, “We have been overwhelmed with letters, cards, emails and crisps. We’re just now getting boxes upon boxes from UK citizens who managed to locate them.” 

The responses were not all encouraging.

Michelle shared that she received many negative messages regarding her parenting or Ava’s abilities.

“But AFRID, an eating disorder, is the same thing as anorexia or bulimia.

“We have to face the judgement of a child with a disability every day. It’s not easy.

Michelle said after revealing their story, she was met with judgement from strangers who called her a bad parent (pictured, with Ava)

Michelle stated that after sharing their story with the world, they were met by judgment from people who called Michelle a bad parent. (pictured with Ava). 

A restrictive food intake disorder, or avoidant/restrictive (ARFID), is a condition that restricts the intake of certain foods. 

ARFID refers to a condition in which someone restricts their intake of food or avoids them altogether.

It is not because of beliefs about body weight and shape that people get ARFID. Some possible reasons ARFID could be:

> Negative feelings over the smell, taste or texture of certain foods.

> A response to a past experience with food that was upsetting, for example, choking or being sick after eating something.

> Not feeling hungry or just a lack of interest in eating.

Find out more information about ARFID at the Beat website.

 Source: NHS

Ava is a great eater and will eat any type of food. Her dieticians recommend that Ava eat whatever she likes whenever she pleases.

Michelle continued: ‘She loves playing, she plays all day. Michelle loves Teletubbies and bubbles.

‘She’s everything. She’s everything for me, my dad, and all her extended families. 

“She is a joy to have the opportunity to share every day with.” 

Michelle spoke earlier in the month about her struggles to find food for her child.

Michelle previously stated that Michelle’s little girl prefers to be on a drip rather than eating food she dislikes. 

The couple had been trying to find crisps almost every day for nearly a month. After going five days without their favorite snack, Ava became lethargic.  

‘[If she doesn’t have them]It makes her sleepy, and she doesn’t get enough energy to do anything,’ her mother said. 

Ava’s mom said that children suffering from eating disorders are often drawn to crisps. She also knows of other families who struggle with similar issues. 

She said, “There are many people who experience it at all ages. But there have been lots of judgments and very, very negative comments.

“This is a registered disorder of eating and many people have misconceptions about learning disabilities, ARFID, sensory eating, or autism.

Walkers has stated that its supply issues are likely to continue well into December, with priority given to its more popular flagship crisps, such as salt and vinegar and cheese and onion  .

The mother-of-one said 'eating any food is really valuable to Ava, whatever it is' (pictured, Ava eating her favourite crisps)

The mother-of-one said ‘eating any food is really valuable to Ava, whatever it is’ (pictured, Ava eating her favourite crisps) 

Earlier this month, Michelle described her struggle to find food for her daughter and said she was searching for the Walkers crisps for hours a day

Michelle shared her frustration with finding food for her baby earlier in the month.  

The spokesperson said that they are doing all we can to boost production and bring back the most loved products.

“We are very sorry for any inconvenience.”

Mail Online earlier in the month revealed that Walkers were suffering from shortages, which led to unscrupulous behavior sellers flogging individual packets of salt and vinegar crisps for as much as £6 each online.

Most supermarkets sell the savoury or tangy potato treats at a cost of 90p per bag. 

Ava's mother was worried her daughter might have to go into hospital after suffering lethargy from going five days without her staple snack

After suffering from lethargy for five consecutive days, Ava’s mom was concerned that her daughter would need to be admitted to hospital.

This brand of Walkers' oven baked sea salt-flavoured crisps is one of the few foods Ava will eat, alongside toastie waffles and a specific brand of baby puree

Ava loves Walkers’ sea salt-flavoured crispys, and this brand is also available in toastie waffles.

One eBay one seller from Leicester – coincidentally Walkers’ home city – was selling them for the huge price of 6.89 online – an increase of 665 per cent. 

A second photograph taken in London of a shop showed empty shelves that were normally filled with crisps.

MailOnline was told by a spokesperson for Walkers that a recent upgrade to their IT system had disrupted some of the company’s products. 

“Our sites still make crisps and other snacks, but on a smaller scale.” 

“We will do everything possible to get your favourite products back on the shelves. We apologize for any inconvenience.

Empty shelves of Walkers crisps in Iceland, north London after IT system upgrade at Walkers

Walkers Crisps shelves empty in Iceland, North London following an upgrade to their IT system

Some sellers were advertising one packet of crisps for £6.89 each, dwarfing the usual 90p

Some sellers were advertising one packet of crisps for £6.89 each, dwarfing the usual 90p