The main rule here for at the table eating is if you are 3 years old, you must try one bite of everything. Once you are 3.5 or more, it's one bite per year of age of each item on your plate. We figure that gives them enough of a chance to really see if they like something or not. Otherwise they'd stick their tongue on the food and call it a bite, lol. If there is gagging and puking involved, then they don't have to take another *at this meal*, but they must try it again next time.
The reason this starts at 3 in this house is because I'm always still breastfeeding so we don't worry about babe's nutrition as much. If I were to wean my current nursling for some reason before the age of 3 (we normally wean around 3.5), the rule would change accordingly.
For breakfast, they are on their own, but we always have fruit, yogurt, cottage cheese, string cheese, healthier cereals, organic pb/j, multigrain bread for toast, etc....
Lunch, if I don't make it, they are on their own, same choices as for breakfast. They are probably on their own for lunch 2 times a week.
Snacks...same choices as above, free range, unless I am cooking supper and they are hunting for food, lol.
We do not keep alot of unhealthy items in the house, but when we do buy something junky, they are allowed to eat it, but w/in reason, and they are very good about it.
There have been several occasions where my kids have been at someone else's house and they were offered realllllllly sugary cereals, etc. for breakfast and they requested cheerios.
Makes me so proud! They also regularly turn down soda/juice/koolaid offers and want water instead. They know that is what will really quench their thirst.
We have a huge garden and lots of fresh eggs, so they get to help w/their food from all angles. That really helps them appreciate it more, I think.