I just love it when my children compliment a meal I have prepared for them. It's a good feeling. I don't love to cook, so the incentive lies in clean plates and compliments.
My oldest son is a bit picky about green vegetables and there are a few things he just won't eat, but it isn't too hard to get an "Oh, I like this!" from him.
My daughter changes her preferences from meal to meal, it seems; so I don't hope for much from her in the way of accolades. She may like the meat, don't like the rice; or like the rice, but not the meat - I never know.
Middle son is the one who is compelled to tell it like he sees it. I have succeeded in teaching him that "yuck" is a forbidden word and that outright complaints will not be tolerated. Teaching him to understand the nuances of tact is another science altogether.
He is known to sit down to eat and then say, "Well... I like the FRUIT."
I guess the marinated chicken, or the casserole, or the stir-fried veggies are not to his taste. But he didn't say "yuck"! And he was honest!