This question is near to my heart.. because my daughter is so picky in what she eats lately! We just fill her plate and let her eat what she wants and save it for later. We cant force her to eat or like certain foods.. so unfortunately we have to be the patient ones.
I’ve also seen where people make Bento’s for lunch – it’s a Japanese thing, where your kid’s lunch has a lot of visual appeal. That might be something to try.
Dinner is our family meal where we all sit down together. I plan menus a week at a time and everyone gets one night that they get to pick up a meal and I pick the remainder (since I’m the one doing all the cooking).
We all eat whatever is served. Don’t like it, too bad. There is always something on their plate that they are willing to eat, and if not breakfast is about 12 hours away. You won’t starve. I will make exceptions if I try a new recipe and no one likes it, then maybe you can have a peanut butter sandwich or something to tide you over. For breakfast and lunch I’m willing to play short order cook as long as each meal includes some fruit or veggies, protein and carbs (preferably in that order)
Now at 6, my daughter is still the pickiest of the bunch but her recent choices have included Hamburger Stroganoff, Chicken Cordon Bleu and Bee Bim Bop. Sometimes when I make something new I’ll be sure that she won’t like it, but then surprises me and asks for seconds.
I’ve also found that it helps when someone other than mom or dad offer her things that are different. She’s more likely to try something new if a cousin, aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa offer it to her.
Before we started having children my hubby and I talked and both agreed that we were never going to cook something else for a picky eater child. Unless it finally became necessary. So far it has worked!