Originally Posted by MCR
I must be the meanest mom ever then.
If Dd doesn't eat her dinner, I put it up on the counter for her, if she asks for food cause she's hungry I give it back to her. She's 3.5 years. She's only done it a few times, she's not a picky eater and will normally eat whatever I put in front of her.
I did the same with both the boys, no arguments no trying to persuade anyone they like anything or the must take bites, the food is there, they can eat if they want it, no battles needed. I don't make alternative meals for anyone. Theres always something that they like included, even if it's just the mashed potatoes or something.
I'm not a short order cook, I do one meal at dinner.
That's basically what we do with DD, 21 months. We used to do the "other healthy choices" thing, but that quickly devolved into her subsisting on cheerios and bananas - healthy enough foods, but not enough variety. We've found that while she may not be in the mood for the food for whatever reason during dinner (or breakfast, or lunch) time, she may be perfectly happy to eat it later, so I don't think it's a "mean" thing necessarily. Also, sometimes she just needs to see the same food a few times before she'll eat it, especially if it's new.
DH is incredibly picky (really, it's extreme, he only ate about 10 different foods when I met him), so we are trying very hard to avoid this with our children. His father was a picky eater himself, and his mom did the short-order cook thing (and still does, for DH's even pickier 25-year-old brother that still lives at home). So, aside from not wanting to cook separate meals, I also don't want to do it because I'm concerned about long term effects. Of course, DH and I are both modeling eating every food put on the table (DH acts like he likes it in front of DD, whether he really does or not), and we hope that over time, that will do a lot to help.