A GRAN says she dreads Christmas Day because she has a phobia of Brussels sprouts.
Kerstin Shepherd, 54, says she gets hot, sweaty and shaky if faced with them.
She said she has hated the festive veg for as long as she can remember.
And she said she had to bin her entire dinner when she was a child if any were put on her plate.
Kerstin, who works in marketing, said she tried to conquer her fear about 15 years ago when she managed to swallow one but says her phobia is now worse than ever.
The gran-of-four said: “I cannot tolerate them and I certainly couldn’t cook them for somebody else.
“I’ve done everything I can to try and overcome this phobia and there’s nothing else I can do.”
Kerstin, of Alnwick, Northumberland, described sprouts as her “worst Christmas nightmare” and said her family used to hide them in her food.
She said: “I’d lift up my Yorkshire pudding or mashed potato to find them squashed underneath and half inside my mash so that I’d eat it by accident — it just made me shudder from head to foot.
“I don’t know why I dislike them — maybe it’s the texture.
“I think it was because I felt like I was being forced.
“It used to make me dread sitting down on Christmas Day and I’d find myself getting upset and I think this was made worse because I was told I was ‘being ridiculous’ for being so upset.
“To find a hidden sprout really does render everything else on that plate inedible.
“It’s a question of getting up, putting the whole lot in the bin and getting a fresh plate.”
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