DS is 22m and strong willed to say the least. He will try new food but has a few favorites. Is it really bad if I just ask him what he wants and give it to him for 2 meals out of 3? The only meal where I will try my best to get him to eat reasonably is dinner as it'll affect his sleep.for instance today he decided he didn't want the rice I made, but asked for coco pops and cheese strings instead. He's a skinny boy and frankly I'm just happy he's eating. Am I setting myself up for some serious fussy eating in future by going with the flow? I'd just rather avoid the tantrums to be honest and am trying to pick my battles!
Mine have got fussier and fussier over the years, and are now 7 and 6 and pretty difficult to feed. I am not surprised because as a child I was the fussiest eater and could/would only eat about three things. My parents naturally worried about this, tried to make me eat other stuff, all of which resulted in HUGE battles and much upset over many years. I think I have an unhealthy relationship with food as a result, as I tend to crave chocolate/cake etc for comfort reasons and I often get a bit overweight before having to rein myself in with a diet. However, I did also get much braver about food when I left home and wanted to fit in with university pals, and now I eat pretty well, albeit probably too much sugar and stodge. I am taking the laid back approach with my children because despite a very limited diet they are clearly in good health and I think the emotional fall-out from constant confrontation is definitely harmful. For now I try to make sure their limited food intake is at least fairly well balanced and I am hoping that, like me, they will suddenly decide to try new foods of their own volition when they realise it's a bit pathetic not to like avocado/asparagus/curry/artichoke etc. For now, I only give them what I know they will eat, with an occasional experiment on the plate alongside something I know is safe, but I don't insist if they really don't want it. They are very, very healthy boys and one of them hasn't ever missed a day of school and the other only 4 days in 3.5 years at school... so I don't think they are deficient in anything.
yes yes to somehow getting them involved in making it.
The difference between DD's attitude to eggs was so marked! Wouldn't eat boiled eggs. So next time I got her to stand up on a stool and watch me draw her name and a smiley face on an egg and helped me fill the pot with water. "DD, here's your special egg", etc. Now LOVES boiled eggs and asks for them all the time.
Ditto chopping veges. Loves 'helping' me cut the end off a raw bean or carrot.
She'll basically eat ANYTHING she's 'helped' to make.