Jeremy and I are food hobbyists. Food is what we do, it's what we watch for entertainment, it's what we think about, what we enjoy. We were determined from the start not to have picky eaters for children, if only because #1 We refused to eat mac and cheese more often than once a month, and #2 I refuse to cook more than one meal.
For the most part, we are pretty pleased with the good little eater that Owen has turned out to be. (We definitely still have arguments with Owen at the dinner table, but we can see that it's an argument about control rather than relating to the particular food that is in front of him.)
Now that Jonas is well-into solid foods, we are working on getting him to eat along with the rest of the family as well. Here's how we try and get that to happen:
If this is what the family is eating, then. . .
This is what the baby gets.
We try and give the baby everything that we are eating--just in a way that appeals to and works for him. It's hard for a baby to eat a chip or cracker with toppings, it just doesn't work, and babies want to feed themselves. So the pieces I prepare for the baby are all ingredients from what we are eating just in a separate and bite-sized finger food form(including chunks of cheese instead of shredded). That's what Jonas gets in his high chair.
Then if there is anything I can spoon feed him (in this case refried beans) I will try and do so.
Then there are some things like corn chips and lettuce that are simply not baby food at this age, but imagination can go a long way. (We introduced lettuce to Owen buy cutting the thick ribs out of the middle of green-leaf lettuce and giving him those to chew on. Leafy greens are not necessarily Owen's favorite thing, but we can get him to eat quite a bit, particularly if we give him dressing to dip it in or sugared nuts to roll up in the middle of it.)
We feel like the most important thing is them getting a variety of foods so they get accustomed to different colors, textures, temperatures, and in the end learn that a LOT of foods can taste really delicious!
The great child diet-training experiment #2 is now in full force. I hope the results turn out just as well as the first one!