I think the "willingly" is the crucial part of this sentence.
Having a child that struggles to eat variety is crushing, especially as we know that the more we try the worse it often seems to get.
Enabling a child to take easy steps forward is what we always aim for. Giving them the confidence that new foods are OK and that something we haven't tried before can be delicious.
This story is that of a lovely mother I worked with last month. Her 4 y.o. comes happily to the dinner table. His very limited range of foods is gradually being expanded. But it's being done at his pace and with him making decisions.
Deciding to eat fish was huge but it was a function of the atmosphere at the table. Calm, nurturing and low pressure. He felt comfortable trying something new and that lead to him eating a sizable amount.
Initially this wasn't the case. He would take a nano nibble of new things (in itself major progress from where he started) but did not have the confidence to eat volume. His mother gradually enabled him to find that confidence.
As she says it's like a super slow walk up a mountain (which is I'm sure is the way it feels) however, when I look at where they have come from in 3 weeks it's still pretty amazing!
Judith is passionate about good food and is even more passionate about enabling other people to enjoy the wide variety of fresh food available today.