How not to freak our when eating with your kids:
Do not insist your children eat their vegetables.
Encourage them to eat them. Say, "My child, I love you. Eating vegetables is so good for you. Please, eat your salad, because I want you to grow big and strong and healthy." They will respond by smiling and saying, "I love you, Mama! I know you want me to be healthy, and I want to be healthy too. I will eat my salad."
Never flat out say, "Finish your salad, then you make have more chicken," because saying this causes confrontation. If you choose confrontation, your child will respond like this, "No," or he might say, "OK," and then get chicken despite your confrontational order. You will not have peace. And you will most likely loose your cool.
If you make the mistake of saying, "Eat your salad." Keep calm! You can fix this. After your child responds, regardless of his answer, say what you should have said initially. Reminding your child of your love and desire for their well being, will encourage positive thoughts, and he will know he has the choice of eating vegetables or not, thus empowering him to make the best choice for him.
Let us play through the worst case scenario. You said, "Eat your salad." He said, "No." You remind him of love and he still does not eat salad, which is highly unlikely, because children are rational beings who can recognize what is best for them, then you have a choice. You can either further insist he eats his salad, which will lead to frustration, or you could punish your sweet, angel innocent as a bunny, or you could let it go.
If you choose the first two choices you will most likely freak out eventually, or feel terrible, and that means you are a sucky mom. But if you choose to let it go, feel empowered. You just allowed your child to make his own choice, and you can always encourage him to eat vegetables at the next meal. Just follow these guide lines. Because life is to short to insist your children do things they do not want to do.