Your child is a competent eater when . . .
He feels good about eating. He enjoys food and joins in happily with family meals and snacks.He enjoys meals and behaves nicely at mealtime. He feels good about being included in family meals and does his part to make mealtime pleasant. He does not make a fuss.He picks and chooses from food you make available. He is okay with being offered food he has never seen before. He says “yes, please,” and “no, thank you.” He ignores food he does not want and also “sneaks up” on new food and learns to like it. Eventually he will learn to eat almost everything you do.He determines for himself how much to eat. Only he knows how much that is.Trusting him to eat as much he needs lets him grow consistently and develop the body that nature intended for him.- See more at: http://ellynsatterinstitute.org/htf/....ByOIGlDS.dpuf
'll try to answer your questions:
1) if you read Satter carefully, you will see that she is not particularly fond of the words "healthy" or "junk food". We shouldn't feel obligated to eat certain foods or ashamed if we eat others.
As for your particular situation, this is what I would do: some days I would serve pretzels or chips, some days I would serve carrots and hummus, or fruit and cheese for a snack (or whatever you consider healthy). What is important according to Satter is that you don't limit portions or force them to eat if they don't want to. I do this with my kids and "junk food" is pretty much a snack as any other. Occasionally, one or both of my kids refuse to eat their chips.
One more thing, if the kids refuse to eat the non-junk food snack, I wouldn't give them other options. I would have them wait until dinner. If they are hungry, they will eat. Also, rude behaviour would not be acceptable. Just give it a couple of weeks and they will learn.
2) Satter DOES address budget / food limitations. She says that if a food is desired by everyone (such as bacon) everyone should have their portion, but there should be other foods on the table for people to fill up on.
I would tweak a bit your approach. As far as the cookies are concerned, I would bake as often as I, the cook, wanted and let everyone eat their fill as a snack. Satter does not say we should feed them limitless quantities of cookies all the time. Let them be upset if there are no more cookies. They'll get over it. Look at it as being an opportunity for them to learn to like other foods.
3) The most important thing in Satter's approach is that you should have family meals and serve what you, the parents, enjoy eating. So ds wouldn't get a special meal just for himself. If he refuses to eat, his portion can be packed as lunch by one of the other family members. And I'm sure ds would have a hearty breakfast the next morning
If you teach them they don't have second options other than what's on the table, they WILL eat, I promise.
4) Satter also says that the most important ingredient at the table is you, the parent. I think they a bit too young (especially the 6 yo) to be expected to take care of themselves with respect to feeding in the morning. My two kids (7 and 12) also get up early and have screen time on weekends while we sleep in, but I don't expect them to eat breakfast first (and if I did, they would probably eat nothing, or eat in a hurry and leave a mess, and I would have to serve them a second breakfast anyway.) Depending on how late you, the parents, wake up, I would let them play and I would eat breakfast with them when I wake up.
I very much agree with Satter that my role as a parent in feeding my kids is not to forbid junk food, or restrict their diet to the latest fad (low fat, low sugar, organic or whatever), or to fatten them up, or to keep them skinny. My job is to raise competent eaters. Here is an excerpt from her website: