Most children go thru "food jags" starting around 1-2 years of age. It's important to provide a variety of foods at every meal. There is a 'rule of 15' that suggests that providing the same foods (vegetables, fruits, anything else you are encouraging) up to 15 different mealtimes encourages the child to eventually eat that food.
Another important factor to remember is to encourage the behavior you want (eating other foods) without making a fight of the other preferences your child may have. Food fights often work against parents rather than helping to accomplish the desired outcome.
You didn't mention the age of your picky eater, but if they are old enough to help in the kitchen-let them. I found that by including my little one's in the food preparation that they ate better. Allow them to do simple tasks, such as stirring or adding items or toppings. Often they are satisfied just to watch you cook and be the "official taster".
Also, Carnation has an excellent Breakfast Drink that comes in Vanilla, French Vanilla, Chocolate and Strawberry that you just add to 1 Cup of Milk. It provides lots of nutrition and I enjoy it just for a breakfast on the go or with other meals-my daughter's favorite-Chocolate, my son & I-Vanilla, but you can buy it in a variety pack and try them all.
I'm going to share a few quick simple recipes that may help, my kids love to eat their vegetables with these.
Cheese Sauce- In small sauce pot over medium heat, add chunks of Velveeta cheese and a small amount of milk. Melt cheese while stirring-if your cheese sauce is too thick add more milk, too thin add more cheese. Sprinkle with a little Paprika and serve with Broccoli, Brussel Sprouts, Cauliflower or Carrots.
Another recipe for carrots-Candied Carrots-slice carrots into coins, steam until tender but still firm. Place into a frying pan with water, add brown sugar and toss the carrots about to coat.
Sweet Potatoes-Melt butter/margarine, I like Smart Balance, add a bit of nutmeg or cinnamon or both if you'd like. Bake potato by washing and pricking a few places with a fork an microwave until cooked through and tender, split potato open, top with a few mini marshmallows and pour a bit of the melted butter mixture over top. My kids love this!
Dip for raw vegetables-a small amount of sour cream mixed with dry Ranch dressing powder -optional-add bits of cooked bacon and shredded cheddar cheese. Serve with any raw vegetable and apple slices (dipped in lemon juice) my kids like to add apples with their raw vegetables for some reason, but that's good too-makes a great snack and picnic item. Include some crackers & chips if you'd like.
Guacamole-buy dark green to black avocado, lightly squeeze-should be soft, slice open remove pit and scoop green flesh out with a spoon, add to a small bowl and squeeze in a small amount of lemon or lime juice (adds flavor but also prevents browning), sprinkle with a little smoked sea salt and serve with whole grain tortilla chips.
Smash cooked pinto beans and serve along with your chips and some strips of unbreaded chicken.
Hope these ideas will help and your picky eater will enjoy making & eating these simple dishes with you.
well boost esentials is a good sourse of nutritional drink that suplements any meal. Even something like shopping for vegetables can be fun. Have your child find fruits and vegetables that start with each of the letters of the alphabet. You may find that apples become their new favorite fruit.