Feeding my kids has always been the single biggest source of stress to me as a parent. As an infant, my oldest didn't nurse well and I didn't make enough milk, and I had bought into the breast-feeding propaganda about how your baby would be ruined for life if they got formula from a bottle. (Luckily I managed to figure out that it wasn't that big of deal and was able to relax with my second one.)
Then when they were eating baby food, it was still me being personally responsible for every ounce of nutrition that went into them. I nearly had a nervous breakdown packing for a cruise when my youngest was 6 months old. What if I didn't bring enough rice cereal and pureed sweet potato? But at least then they ate veggies.
Now my oldest has it as a point of pride that he does not eat veggies. But it might be getting better. At a parent ed program recently the topic was nutrition, and I was inspired to try putting those veggies on his plate at least once in a while. Our weekday schedule doesn't provide a time for "family meal" (at least not with the whole family) but on weekends now we're all eating the same thing.
One night it was chili. "Are there vegetables in chili? Next time you make chili you should not put any vegetables in it," says the five year old. The three-year-old will try anything. The five year old complained some and only ate the meat. But the week before that we had risotto and he threw a full-on screaming rolling-around-on-the-floor fit about the onion in the risotto. Maybe we were making progress.
Then last night I cooked up his favorite food item: ravioli. He asked me what was in the ravioli. I said, truthfully, butternut squash. He started on a 20-minute fit that at one point became so overblown and dramatic I had to stifle laughter. Mercifully I was relieved by my husband to go to a parent ed session. The change of authority figure presented the proper setting for consumption of the food, apparently. Dad convinced him it was edible. Progress takes many forms, I suppose.