"A parent can't just wait for their kid to get old enough to fix all their own food the way they like it, and in the meantime only eat a handful of foods."
Well, they can. I'm not saying that one has to, or even that one should, but people did reach adulthood quite reliably in the days when an orange was a Christmas-stocking treat that one wouldn't dream of complaining about, and criticizing your mother's cooking was a punishable offense. I'd rather listen to the criticism (at home, in private) than have my kids be quietly gagging over my meals, but I also really, truly think it's better for a kid to not eat oranges for a few years than to watch his mother painstakingly strip off the membranes (and then be all happy that he's eating - that's a whole 'nuther thread). I have a four-year who doesn't care for the "white stuff" on oranges. No problem. Oranges are never, ever the only thing offered at a meal. I'm fairly certain that she'll eat oranges someday - assuming that I can keep those mandarins-in-a-cup nastiness out of my house and make sure that her palate isn't keyed into the fake, processed, sanitized version of a whole food.
It's OK not to like some foods. It's even OK not eat at a meal if nothing on the table appeals to you. I think we're all agreed about that. But I don't have time or money or patience to waste on preparing invalid fare for my healthy children, and I don't think "picky" or "highly sensitive" in developmentally normal children is a condition that is helped by doing such meal prep. Remember, what we are trying to get out of all this is an adult who can eat in a way that is socially neutral. Spending ten minutes massaging their orange is not the way to get there IMNSHO.
I am neurotypical, and was a picky kid. I learned from an early age to modify foods to fit my texture and taste preferences, scraping, shoving to the side, picking off, etc. becasue the alternative was....well, not eating. Self preservation and hunger are motivators, for sure - and I have ZERO resentment towards my parents at all; it would never even occur to them to offer me an alternative for the dinner my mom made for all of us. I could leave piles of stuff on my plate after eating around them or cleaning them off or whatever that would make my mom laugh out loud in bemusement, I was so thorough in separating what I wanted from what I didn't want - and there was a realtively substantial list of things I didn't want (or didn't want mixed together). And here is further anecdata: I am having to actively teach my kids this skill because *I have been doing it for them for several years and they don't know how*. They are entirely capable at 4 and almost 7 to pick stuff apart and leave what they don't want. I had to actually explain to them how to dissect a lasagna so they didn't have to eat the ricotta. But now that I've started explaining it to them, they've started doing it on their own to other casserol-y/stew-y combination foods (which is really their only objectionable food type right now). I could scrape sauce off a chicken breast like a pro, and weed out diced onions from a meal like nobody's business. Should I feel mad at my mom for forcing me to do that? I'm actually pretty glad she didn't cater to my neurotypical neuroses (that everyone has) and just let me do my thing to make my meals acceptable. For a neurotypical kid, there's NO reason they can't learn to take stuff apart on their own to suit their tastes...and if they don't want to do that, then they can just eat whatever they find acceptable that's been served until they're ready to take apart whatever it is. I believe that all of us have agreed that there's always *something* on the table that the child likes, so nobody is being forced to eat a plateful of foods they don't like.
I think *everyone* has their "things". Neurotypical neuroses and pickiness and sensitivities, I just, I don't feel like everything needs to be catered to. People with diagnosable medical issues, YES. Absolutely with a capital A, should have accommodations. But neurotypical people with garden variety quirks and pickiness? Meh, everyone has quirks. If you would cry eating potatoes, don't eat potatoes if someone serves them to you - I don't see anyone on here saying they'd force a kid to eat an entire serving of something that would make them cry. Take a small polite serving, push it around, and then eat whatever else is on your plate and be thankful that someone cooked something for you. Then eat again at your next snack or meal. I have to be honest, and will put on my flame-proof suit here, but a lot of this conversation, when pertaining to neurotypical but quirky people sounds like speshul snowflake syndrome to me. And to be clear, I am guilty of having the syndrome myself sometimes, but I'm working on it. How does that saying go? "Just because you can do something doesn't mean you should."