Many parents worry about how picky their children are. If given a choice, majority of children will eat junk food. Some children are easier "to warm" up to new foods than others, but parents should never give up serving new and healthy foods.
During meals, everybody has a job: parents to serve a healthy and nutritious meal, and children to eat it! Having a meal structure should help with meal-planning: breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks in-between, and a bed-time snack. Children have small stomach, thus they fill up quickly. Therefore, frequent, small, and nutritious meals will assure adequate nutrition.
Serve fruits and vegetables with every meal (frozen tend to be less expensive than fresh, but are as nutritious and last longer!), expect that your child eats them. If she fusses because she does not like what you made for lunch, let her leave the table. I guarantee that she will be hungry for the next meal! Kids have an inner ability to regulate how much food they need for growth, so don't worry: your daughter will not let herself starve. To make up for nutritional deficiencies that might arise due to her pickiness, give her a daily multivitamin.
Unless she's been diagnosed, it's highly unlikely she has a food sensory issue. Sometimes as parents we have to play hardball. You are letting her make her food decisions instead of making them for her. By not putting your foot down you are doing her a disservice by creating a set of bad eating habits that will follow her throughout her life. You are also doing yourself a disservice by letting her make decisions instead of you. This makes it 10X harder for you to put your foot down on other issues and get her to do what you need her to do. Tell her that if she doesn't eat the healthy food you put in front of her she can just not eat. Don't force her to, eat, just tell her it's fine if she doesn't want to but that's all the food there is to eat. I bet you'll solve her bad eating habits in less than two meals if you can just put up with the massive temper tantrum that is sure to result.
Hi, We had a similar 'picky eater' issue with our daughter when she was a preschooler. One thing that helped us in getting her to eat more variety was having her eat with other children. She would see them eating something, and she would want to try it too. Another thing we tried was cooking with our daughter. That helped build her interest in the food, and she nibbled as we cooked, as well as once the items were done (such as soup and pizza).