We’ve spent a lot of time defending the way we feed the kids–which is to pretty much offer whatever’s available at any meal all at once without commenting on what gets eaten. We do encourage trying new things and talk about food groupd and balance, but we never, ever make eating dessert conditional on eating anything else. If there’s dessert, you get it, no matter what.
This worked great with Sam but seemed a little iffy-er with Lily, who had the opportunity to eat a lot more junk, since by then Sam was old enough to be asking for it. For a long time it seemed like her preferred diet was nothing but small crunchy things.
Today for a snack I gave her a carrot, a piece of celery and a leftover cupcake. This is what I got back. I am feeling pretty good.
And right after I posted, she demanded another carrot (“This big” with hands from head down to her waist as if she was showing me the size of her latest catch) and another piece of celery. She left the cupcake on the counter.
Of course, she’s eating it while she watches TV.