I've heard the advice about not forcing/insisting a child eat certain foods. I do believe that it is true, the child may grow up hating it or never eating it again when they are older.
And yet, I've been thinking now that DS (turning 5 years old) and I recently have been making a really good connection with each other in terms of cooperation/relationship (thanks to the advice I learned on this forum about ahaparenting.com), I wonder if, when DS doesn't eat his vegetables, I could teach/guide/instruct/encourage/and gently insist with an "I care about you" tone of voice. If I were to say to him: Just as you "learn how to " eg. ride a bike/swim/dress yourself/etc. you can "train yourself to learn how to (and perhaps even like) eating vegetables."
I would gently and with care, say to him that, just as you learn how to take a bath to clean the outside of you, eating vegetables helps to clean the insides of you.
I would then offer him suggestions on how to train himself, like "you can take a small bite of vegetables together with a big bite of meat/yummy food"-- ("and eventually, over time, increase the vegetable portion size") or "wait until you're very hungry, then eat the vegetables I serve you first instead of waiting for the other yummy foods I'm preparing for your meal" and any other ideas I have.
I would NOT insist that he eat the WHOLE serving of food EVERY time, but I would monitor his vegetable intake over the course of a week or so and if it falls short, I would again work with him on this process of training himself to learn how to like vegetables.
Is there something about taste buds or psychology or anything else that I am unaware of and shouldn't do this because it could backfire on us?