I am not a big fan of making your kids eat EVERYTHING on their plate. I think that teaches them an unhealthy habit of eating just because there is food in front of them. I am however a huge believer in making my kids at least "try" everything on their plate.... that is until I had Brody unload the entire contents of his stomach into his dinner plate after forcing him to try a bite of a green bean. After that I cooled it with making him try things... He has proven, on several occasions, that he has an easy gag reflex. He gags if he cries to hard or coughs to hard so making him eat something I know he wont like (mainly green vegetables) will only result in me cleaning up vomit at the dinner table.
Tonight I made tilapia. Stephen hates fish (actually I am pretty sure he has never tried it) but my kids love it... and so do I. It was a pretty standard dinner... Tilapia, wild rice, fresh green beans, and fruit salad. I wasn't going to make the mistake of making Brody eat a green bean again so he only got fish, rice and fruit salad on his plate. He devoured the fish... I mean he literally ate it in record time and asked for more. He had a few bites of rice and then went on to proclaim his utter disgust for the fruit salad on his plate. (I mean seriously?... this kid just got done eating almost 2 entire fillets of fish and he is going to fight me on fruit salad which consisted of pineapple, honeydew melon, cantaloupe, and strawberries all cut up really small kind of like a chunky salsa...please!) So I dug my heels in and told him he had to try one bite before he could get down. I knew he liked the fruit that was in it and that he wouldn't gag it up but he was just being stubborn ( hey- he comes by that stubbornness honestly).
45 minutes later he finally took a bite. Let me just say here that Brody is pretty even tempered... Reagan is a different story, but Brody is pretty mellow most of the time but when this kid throws a tantrum its like a different child overtakes his body and he goes crazy! He fought me tooth and nail tonight, only to take a bite after 45 minutes and say "mmmmm this is yummy" and take 3 more bites. The best comment of the night was when he looked at me and said, with big crocodile tears running down his cheeks, "Mommy I don't want to have Hulk muscles!" (sometimes when I am trying to get him to eat something I will tell him it will make him strong like hulk muscles since he really likes The Hulk right now).
I also need to say here that I am not a big fan of fighting my kids to the death about things... I don't do it often. I believe in choosing my battles and letting go of the rest of it... but I also believe you "Say what you mean and mean what you say". Maybe next time he will remember that.