I have a picky eater, she's 8, always been slight, no food allergies. We used to be able to tell her it was chicken and she'd gobble it up. I miss that. She eats a lot of cereal, but at least once-twice a day she has to have fruit or veggie. She doesn't like melted cheese (except pizza). It took my weeks to get her to try yogurt. She doesn't do ketchup or dressing. She's never sick either so I don't know what to think of that.
I lived on milk as a kid, until I ended up lactose intolerant around eight. Took me 25 years to tolerate green peppers and I will hate onions forever and egg yolks.
I always have something she will eat- mixed in or on it's own. Whatever it is, she can at least have that. I know she isn't starving. For you I'd do rice on the side or a scrambled egg or whatever. If you have to make veggie tomato sauce everyday, so be it. It's not the healthiest thing, but it will get you through until he expands.
While everyone else is enjoying the rest talk about how good your grown-up food is and we'd put a bit on her plate and tell her we couldn't give her more because we'd have less on of the good food. (Bonus, if it doesn't get eaten- very little waste).
I'll proffer that the problem you're having is not that your child won't eat vegetables. It's that you have a lot of emotional investment in controlling of the actions of another person.
I think your frustration and emotional reaction to the situation (which are completely understandable) aren't allowing you to reach a place where you're in tune with him any longer.
An ideological change may be in order.
Controlling the content, portion sizes, times, opportunities for eating has become a huge factor in our culture. Unfortunately, children want some control over their lives as well.
I do highly recommend the book "How to get your child to eat, but not too much"... despite the horrible and somewhat disturbing title, it's really a great book. I think she came up with the "you decide what and when, and your child decides which and how much" system (hopefully I said that correctly).
Here's what is interesting about your post. You acknowledge that you can't force your child to eat vegetables. BUT, it does sound like you'd do so if you had the choice. :) Is that really a value you have as a parent, or is your frustration pushing you to the point where you aren't acting according to your guiding values anymore?
I'm no expert on these matters or any others. But if you're asking for advice, here's mine. Acknowledge to yourself that YOU HAVE NO CONTROL OVER WHAT YOUR CHILD EATS. And that is ok! All you have to do is make sure he has lots of choices available to him (which you probably do already, because most any normal household that values eating healthy foods has lots of those options). It's up to him to decide if he's going to eat, how much, and which of those choices he will make. And he's not going to make the choices you want him to, in this or most anything else in life. :)
I hope this helps, mama. Good luck with whatever you choose to do.
I laughed at this, especially in tandem with your sig that says you're a veg*n family. I had a vision of your son as an adult, saying that he was raised vegetarian, except for that monkey blood stew!
Actually it's just me that's a vegetarian in the family, though DS is starting to wonder why I don't eat chicken, fish, steak bacon, etc, drawing such conclusions as "women don't eat meat." I explained to him that some women do eat meat, just not mommy and why, but he's still not quite got it clear. lately he has said he is thinking about not eating cows or chickens anymore, but he's still a bit iffy about giving up moneky blood stew and crocodile eggs...those are pretty tasty.
I am not sure when it will be safe to come clean.