Let's turn picky eaters around.
One day a week, if the child is small, bargain with the child.
Say something like... "Little Suzy, if you promise Mommy to try one new food and not say Ewwwww! or NO! or Gross! and act like a big girl at the table, you can choose a new hair goodie from the store this week (or whatever will motivate the child).
Yes, it is bribery, but bribery can be weaned.
If the person is older, just make a deal with him/her. "All I ask is that you act like an adult for one night and try the food. If you don't like it... practice your skills at not letting me know, and politely disregard the food."
You see. It's not the "Not liking the food" that bugs me. It's everything that goes with it that bugs me. Kids that are allowed to say EWWWWW, and Yuck! and Gross! at the table grow into adults that tend to say and do the same things at dinner parties and business meetings. Ask me how I know!
Case in point. I abhor mayonaisse. I mean... even the sight of it makes me gag.
BUT! If it is in a food when I am at someones house, or they used it in huge amounts in a food, I will just politely way 'No, thank you'. If I am asked why, I will just say I don't care for Mayo.
I avoid like the plague buffet tables full of mayo based salads.
I have a friend that absolutely hates shrimp. I didn't know this, and when she came over for dinner, what was I serving? Shrimp Scampi. Of course. I said I didn't know!
Anyway... she made a HUGE deal over it. I mean... tons of guffaws, tsks, literally stamping her foot, and telling me she is starving and can't eat that.
I. Was. Dumbfounded.
I was so embarrassed for her. I wanted to slap her mother!
No one taught her how to refuse food or how to eat around the unsavory food!
I quickly asked her if she was allergic, and she nearly shouted and sounded like a 5 yr old and said..."Noooo, I just can't staaaannnd Shrimp! and I'm so hungry!"
I almost dropped my drink.
I made her a nice sandwich, we all ate our Scampi happily, while she kept making faces and squishing her nose.
Thank God I wasn't married or had kids then, although it would have been a great lesson for my kids after she left.
Needless to say, I never cooked for her again, and my boyfriend at the time just about kicked her out the door.
So being a picky eater can actually be curbed just by curbing the attention the whining gets.
Teach them to refuse food gracefully, from a very early age.
Their future employers, in laws, family and everyone else they eat with in the future will thank you. The food is secondary to the manners.
Thank you and Good Night.