My picky eater won’t take a vitamin, so I don’t even have that as a fall back position. He says vitamins make his stomach hurt and he could be right. I had a bottle of vitamins that made *mine* hurt, so I switched brands. But there’s no switching with Mr. All Or Nothing. “ALL” vitamins make his stomach hurt, y’know. But if your child will take a vitamin, it may help you at least *feel* like he’s getting A and others. My younger two will take vitamins – my youngest is 2.5 and loves them…a little too much.
My oldest son will eat tomato sauce on spaghetti – a pretty healthy vegetable, really. He recently started eating very mild salsa. He also eats raw carrots and ranch dressing, but I notice your picky eater won’t touch carrots and I don’t think my oldest ate raw carrots at 20 months. Maybe not until he was more than 3 (he’s 7 now…so the bad news is that pickiness doesn’t necessarily go away!) Mine also simply loves canned green beans. Not frozen, not even wonderfully farm fresh and in season. Nope. Soggy, limp, canned. He even likes canned baked beans…go figure.
And speaking of canned, I wanted to give my kids fresh fruits and vegetables thinking they’d be healthier. They wouldn’t have it! So canned apricots might go over better than fresh and same for other canned products. One thing I’d suggest is to simply not worry too much about it. Unless you think your child is seriously underweight or your ped has said something. At my house – considering the personalities involved, including mine – pickiness can quickly turn into a control contest. That’s worse than just pickiness, trust me! And I think “hiding” the veggies is okay. *I* don’t happen to like certain raw foods, but I’ll eat them in a muffin or a casserole. And for my picky eater, I even have to be careful of the “hiding.”
I can’t just chop up apples and put them in muffins, for example – because there’ll be *things* in the muffins. But I could use applesauce. My picky eater also doesn’t like certain “mixed up” foods or foods that have somehow changed form… He loves those canned green beans, but wouldn’t touch a green bean casserole. He likes raw carrots, but not cooked. And while he likes tomato sauce, raw tomatoes are out of the question. I don’t know if this helps with food suggestions or is just comiseration. I will tell you that my son’s pickiness has gotten less and less over the years. Or at least his picky targets change so much that I’ve lost track.