I leave pellets and fresh water in their cage at all times. I also leave some foraging treats hidden in toys and around their play area for them to look for. (They love peanuts in the shell, almonds in the shell, baby crackers, cheerios, puffed wheat cereal, and dry pasta)
My birds have their own set of ceramic dishes (which are actually the saucers off of the bottom of planters). I usually put a spoonful of whatever we're eating on their dishes, and they might end up with two or three different things to choose from, usually whatever we're having.
For breakfast they usually get a spoonful of hot cereal (oatmeal), a little bit of egg (scrambled or boiled), and a couple of blueberries or a strawberry. Often a little spoonful of greek yogurt.
For lunch it's fresh veggies, and whatever we're having. My birds like sugar snap peas, green peas, any kind of pepper, whatever we're putting into our sandwiches or salads. Maybe a bite or two of apple or pear. Cottage cheese, a bite of shredded cheese, a pinch of tuna or lunch meat.
For dinner it's usually cooked vegetables, beans, some type of whole grain bread or pasta, and maybe a bite or two of cooked meat.
I also bake birdie muffins (recipes in the food section of this forum), and they get one of those each day to pick at.
They probably eat less than half of whats on their plate at any given meal, but they have choices and a variety. I leave the plates out for about an hour, then throw away whatever is left over and pop the ceramic saucers into the dishwasher to be cleaned.
I'm finding that they won't eat something NEW for the first several times they see it, but if I keep putting it on their plate next to foods they enjoy, eventually they will try a bite or two and decide they like it. I also try sprinkling some millet or hot pepper on new foods, because they will nibble at whatever is on top and end up getting a taste of the new food.
Oh, and I forgot to add....the fact that they have their own special "dishes" that they are accustomed to eating off of seems to help.
Since they like most everything that's served on their dish, I've found that they are more likely to taste something if it's served in the "usual and customary" manner, ie, the DISH
. If I put it on something else or serve a familiar food in an unfamiliar way, they are very suspicious of it.