My stepdaughter went through this phase a couple of years ago. But, it wasn't so much that she was picky, it was more a matter of she wanted junk food over healthy food. When she would sit down at the table for a meal, she would pick at the food and play with it. Then when everyone else was done, she wanted down from the table. We would let her down, but put her plate in the fridge. When she would mention she was hungry, her plate was warmed up and put back in front of her. After a few times of doing this, she learned that she had to eat what was cooked before she got any type of sweets. She is now almost 5 years old and we hardly ever have a problem with her eating anymore.
Also, I read somewhere that it can take 8-15 exposures to a food before a toddler will start liking some foods. So we never give up on things she won't eat, until we have reached that 15 exposure mark. There were things that she wouldn't eat a year ago, that she will eat now; because we kept exposing her to them.
We would let her down, but put her plate in the fridge. When she would mention she was hungry, her plate was warmed up and put back in front of her. After a few times of doing this, she learned that she had to eat what was cooked before she got any type of sweets. She is now almost 5 years old and we hardly ever have a problem with her eating anymore.
I think that is the way to go. That is how we handled my daughter's pickiness.
Obviously there are things that kids just don't like, or they look gross, so the kids don't want to try them. I always said, "you don't have to eat a lot of it, but you do have to at least try it". You'd be surprised at how many things kids like if you can get them to try it. Mike's daughter told me she didn't like asparagus, so .I said, great just try it how .I have cooked it and if you don't want more that is ok. She ended up eating nearly all of what .I had cooked and always asks us to have it as a veggie when she's here. I wish it worked that well with her father.
Instead of having your kids clean their plates have them eat one good bite for every year they are old.
my son at around 7 months stopped eating baby food and all he wanted was a bottle. sometimes i could get him to eat a little of baby food. the dr told me just try to find something that he would eat so he would eat chocolate pudding and banana's and sometimes yogurt. i tried everything i could to get him to eat nothing worked he would not eat real food till around 18 months. he was not a real good eater till 2 years old.
i just watched a show about this the other day. it was the mom show (i think it's only in canada). they were saying sort of the same things, that you shouldn't make a big deal out of it or force them to eat it but that you should keep trying it and eventually they will probably come around and start to eat it. i think if you force them to eat it and they throw it up or gag or something you'll just make it worse but at the same time they should know that they can't dictate the menu and at some point they will just have to eat what they are being served. i was bad when i was a kid. my sister was the skinny one and i was the chubby one and we would do things like exchange foods so that i had all the meat sauce and she had all the spaghetti or i would take her mashed potatoes and she would take all my salad. i guess that's how i ended up being the fat one. i wish my mom would have done something about it because i ended up with all the weight problems and food issues and my sister has never had any. i had to reteach myself as an adult how to eat healthy because it was never taught in my home growing up. i hope i'm able to teach my kid without going overboard so they learn to choose healthier foods on their own.
When I was a baby, I too stopped eating good food and the doc's advice was the same. "Feed her what she'll eat, you can't starve her." So she did. As I grew out of that phase she was always there with healthier food for me, so I eventually got back onto it.