As a parent we have to face facts - our children just want to eat, play, and have fun. I cannot blame them. I am just jealous that I am an adult with responsibilities.
It is our job as parents to care for our children, nurture our children, and help them grow and develop. Growth and development comes in many shapes and form - crawling, walking, talking, eating. The list goes on and on and on. There are certain things that children will pick up on their own at their own pace - crawling and walking for example.
There are many other things that we need to teach our children (or heavily encourage) which require a bit of creativity. Teaching them to talk, read, and write is no small task. But there are many ways to do it - talk to them, read a book to them, play games, or make flashcards to name a few. The idea is for our children to enjoy the activity and the benefit will be that they learn along the way. Let's be honest, as a child and eventually student the last thing I really wanted to do was sit inside at a table or desk and sit and read or practice handwriting. But if the learning activity was really a fun game that disguised the boring learning part I would have been more inclined.
This little bit of ingenuity carries over into meal time as well. All children go through phases of what they are willing to eat or will spit out of their mouths. If you can make your child believe that a vegetable or another component of their meal is not on their "spit out" list but is rather something they eat - you can get them to eat it. And this creativity generally has to come on the fly as mid-meal a child can decide they no longer like the meat or vegetable they ate just two minutes before.
As parents this is just another reason we have to be on our toes. Our children will learn and grow on their own, but the more we can foster that growth using creativity the more our children will enjoy it.