I am always bothered when people tell me that their children are picky eaters and that they must make a separate meal for them. Usually I tell these people that my kids all have different tastes and that some are pickier than others but as a general rule my kids eat oysters, sardines, liver, brie, chevre, broccoli, fish, sauerkraut and pickles. It happens more than occasionally that they assume my kids are different, like they were born theses freaks of nature who not only eat everything I serve, but love it and ask for seconds. The truth is that I don't make kid meals and I always expect them to eat what I make.
When I was a kid, I worked in a family owned restaurant and I watched the chefs carefully. I developed a more refined palate and enjoyed things like capers and foie gras (goose liver pate so delicious it is proof of the existence of God in and of itself). When I met my husband he and I saved our pennies so I could make brie en croute when we had company (who, being fellow students, brought things like PBR). We had kids immediately and never thinking we should change our eating habits they learned to enjoy foods like these. When we have people over for dinner, there is not a separate menu for kids (except perhaps a less spicy version). They see us enjoying food and learn that it is to be enjoyed and that sometimes that food is to be enjoyed by the adults only.
When children see grownup food as a privilege, the whole game is different. When my husband's cousin was in culinary school, she brought over some cave aged goat cheese rolled in ash. My kids who are accustomed to a cheese platter at holiday meals leaped at it and I had to tell them it was for grownups only. Once, when my husband was out of town, that same cousin and I made popcorn and drizzled it with truffle oil and sprinkled it with Grano Padano to munch while watching a movie (and yes, I know we are nuts). The kids had popcorn with butter and parma but there was this sense that they were missing out. The see older siblings enjoying the grownup meals while saying to them, "You can't have any, you wouldn't appreciate it." This creates a desire to eat these foods and pride when they graduate to the adult delicacies. To this day I have to say things like, "Stay away from the American caviar, that is for my birthday dinner!"
I am not trying to make you feel bad about the snottiness of our eating habits, I just am pointing out that being young and not in established middle class, middle aged circles we did what felt natural with our kids and that included feeding them what we were eating but saving the priciest things for ourselves. We did not worry about the "proper and approved" ways of feeding babies or baby food or even kid food. We never give them an option for a sweetened yogurt or a PBJ if they do not like what's for dinner, we don't even discuss the possibility. We have the expectation that they will eat.
But, sometimes they don't. We have a rule in this house: you get what you get and you don't throw a fit. Period. If I serve a meal and junior won't eat it, fine. I do not beg, I do not plead, I do not bribe, and most importantly I do not yell. I remind them of the rule, nicely. Then I wrap up their food and put it in the fridge. Junior will get no solid food (milk at meals and meals only) until they finish their meal. I trot out their cold plate at the next meal, and the next, and even at snack until it is gone. Sometimes I plan their favorite food for an upcoming meal if they are a particularly obstinate child. If they throw a fit (and only one of mine has because they all know the rule) then they go to their room. But do not scream or stomp your foot; make the focus on the disobedience and not the food.
I have always used this rule. It works. Do not tell me that your kid would break me, I have had ten kids. I break kids. If there is nothing I have learned as the mother of a large family, it is to bend others to my will. I have used this system on my own children for 18 years and never has a child failed to eat his plate when hungry enough (Eli did make it to 24 hours, though, on milk at meals). I have given this advice to others for 14 years now and never has a child starved to death. Believe me, yours won't be the first. Once, our parish priest was having dinner and saw the whole thing play out and our completely dispassionate response. He was so impressed that two weeks later a fellow parishioner came and asked my secret because the priest had witnessed her child screaming to the point of vomiting over vegetables at dinner. Even that kid broke. It can be done.