I have a hard time dealing with picky eaters. John isn't too picky, at least not anymore. Lilia is only somewhat picky- I can usually get her to try new foods. Liam is very picky- he will not touch a vegetable. He literally picks it up like it is diseased, and throws it on the floor. He's been like that since we introduced solids. It can be very frustrating, particularly since I grew up in a household that basically forbade being a picky eater. However, the whole "clean your plate or else" rule seems very unhealthy to me, and I am one to pick and choose my battles with my kids. He's only 2, and it doesn't seem like a battle I want to fight right now. Give it a few years, and I'll feel comfortable with "eat x bites" and then you can be done. That works pretty well with Lilia, since like most 4 year olds, she likes to just nibble the foods she doesn't want, and devour the foods she loves.
Which is why I feel it important to keep presenting a variety of vegetables and new foods. I can't use the way I grew up to force my kids to eat, but I think presenting a variety helps to keep their minds open as they grow. My hope and desire is that as they grow, they'll remain open, and even at some point start to enjoy a healthy variety of food while having a healthy view of food.
I bought a bento book from Amazon. I've always been interested in bento, and have a good supply of boxes and accessories, but few recipes, or reason to make it. I thought we'd be making lunch this year for Lilia, then her school decided that they needed to provide lunch and restrict the ability of parents to send in lunch. It's actually quite annoying since Lilia doesn't eat lunch there, but sending her in with a small snack would be nice. And John is able to come home for lunch.
So my bento making hit a roadblock. But I've been thinking about how I would like to try some new foods, particularly various vegetables. We tend to stick with the basics- potatoes, corn, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, brussel sprouts. I figured bento is a good way to try various recipes featuring new vegetables. Of course, if I can even find them here...I can imagine that my monthly trip to Wegmans in Syracuse price tag just increased a little.