"How you — the parents — talk about food, eat food and present food to your little kids is everything. If you have a limited diet yourself, eat breakfast in the car and dinner standing by the sink, 'don't do gluten/sugar/meat/vegetables/spicy foods/slimy foods/etc.,' you are signaling to your kids that food is something to be feared, avoided if possible, or at a minimum, endured. You are in effect giving them permission to be picky, on their own terms.
So… lighten up, and at the same time, take it more seriously! Enjoy a variety of foods more yourself. Tell you husband, mother-in-law, neighbor or anyone else that's a bad influence to stop criticizing. Be a little more adventuresome yourself, show your kids that food can and is supposed to be enjoyable, and give them as many opportunities as possible to try new things. Eventually, they will follow your lead."
— Nancy Tringali, author of My Two-Year-Old Loves To Eat Octopus: Raising Children Who Love To Eat Everything