If the saying "you are what you eat" applied to my son, he would be a giant Cheerio. I have tried everything from trying to "hide" pureed vegetables in our meals to taking a bite of his food and proclaiming how delicious it is. "What? You don't like broccoli? Mmm! This is sooo good! You better eat this up before I do."
I'm not saying a bowl of Cheerios is the only thing he'll eat, but it's what he asks for when he doesn't like what I'm serving. That happens a lot. When Kellan was a one-year-old, he'd eat everything from goat cheese pizza to pad thai. Shortly after his second birthday, that changed. (That's him at what used to be our favorite Mexican place - now it's my favorite Mexican place.)
My delusions of turning him into an epicure are over, but I still try. A couple of nights ago, I served miso soup. "Is that toe food?" he asked while inspecting the little white squares in his bowl. Well, if you put it that way of course tofu sounds terrible. He made me take out the "toe food" but did eat the soup and a bowl of rice. Hooray, he didn't ask for a bowl of Cheerios!
So with small victories I'll stay optimistic. I limit snacks and I get him involved in making the meal when it's appropriate. You win some, you lose many. However, I won't beg, threaten, or promise dessert in exchange for a few bites. It never works. My husband and I try to set a good example by making lots of meals at home. We also hope traveling with him will help increase his curiosity of different foods.
I know I'm not alone in my struggle. Please share any strategies you have for getting your kids to eat!