|Giving DS something else to eat is sometimes the best way to get good nutrition into his body. If I set in front of him the exact family meal, he often ends up eating only the starch. I could choose to only eat such foods as would appeal to all members of the household, but I like having hot enchiladas and spaghetti puttanesca and whatever else, and my little ones don't, so we often do eat different things.
This is us.
I COULD make dinners every night that DD would eat. It would be things like bean and cheese quesadillas, vegetable soups, bean soups, pizza, and other kid-friendly stuff. But...cooking is one of my great joys in life, and I can't see limiting myself to the (relatively broad, but still restricted) foods my DD enjoys. I don't think it would be fair to expect her to eat the bitter greens, spicy foods, exotic vegetables, etc etc that DH and I enjoy. She would eat the starch, pick out a few vegetables, and then she would wake up in the middle of the night crying for bananas and toast. I know this because *it's happened* on occasions when we haven't had much to offer her that she likes and she's gone to bed without eating very much. I am not going to get up every night to feed my 2yo a snack because I am married to some idea that she had to eat arugula and spicy tofu salad for dinner or go hungry! I am also certainly not going to deny her that food in the middle of the night to "teach her a lesson" or something. So, to me, it's important to make sure she eats.
It's no huge deal for me to make her a quesadilla and cut up some fruit and vegetables for her when she has her early dinner at 6 pm. My husband puts her to bed while I prepare our dinner, which we enjoy together as adults after she is asleep.
Just so we're clear, I am always offering DD things that I made for us that I think she might enjoy. Today she did eat some of the beets and beet greens out of the pasta we had last night. We hardly did purees at all, I always gave her highly flavored foods, and when she was a younger toddler, she readily ate all kinds of things she won't eat now. But when she got to be two, her list of foods got a lot shorter and she got very suspicious of anything new. I'm pretty certain this is developmental. Enh. Food is not worth a battle in my book. She does eat quite healthily, so it's as not as though this has turned her into a chicken-nuggets-only child. She is also a great weight for her size and in great health.
I do expect that she will be eating what we eat much more when she is older and goes to bed later, but I don't think I will ever do the "You eat this or you go hungry" routine. I will offer something like PB&J and yogurt. I too was made to sit at an empty table with a cold pork chop for hours as a child. What the hell? Not for me.