Tell me, does this sound familiar to you: dinner time rolls around, and that kid of yours takes a bite of something, makes a face, and runs away/gags/whines/complains/vomits? Or eats the only thing he/she likes on that particular day- carrots, maybe, or a piece of bread?
You're not alone. In fact, take a peek at the "Verdict" section on almost all the recipes I've posted so far. I think none of them have captured my second son's heart.
So how do you deal with a picky kid? In my (somewhat) limited experience, I do nothing, really. I remember hearing that my brother chased his kid around the house with a carrot in hand. Not me. I'd rather really enjoy eating my dinner than come back to it later, cranky and bitter.
My first son was the same, basically. He ate a little more fruit and a little less soup, but he was that kid. His kindergarten teacher played a huge roll in him learning to try new foods, and I learned from her as well: offer what they like, make them taste what they don't- a lick, a couple of chews, whatever- even if it doesn't get swallowed, their tastebuds will start to learn the flavour.
You could have knocked me over with a feather the first time he asked me to make chili for dinner. I remember asking him "It's got beans in it? It's a little spicy? That's the food you want?" Prior to that it was a tiny amount of chili, him gagging though every bite. And now he's amazing at food. He still doesn't like some things, but he'll give it a try. And I know eventually those flavours will be enjoyed as well.
So I'm not stressing out about my second son. He likes lots of things my first-born didn't at this age already, like chili and just about every kind of soup I've ever made. He gets something from every food group every day, and even if his diet isn't as varied as I would like it to be, I know he'll get there at some point if I keep offering.
Feel free to comment on your experiences and your thoughts about picky eaters! I'd love to hear them.