Toddlers: 12 - 24 Months

15 month old digging in heels at meal time

My 15 month old is starting to decide that he doesn't want what I have prepared him for dinner or lunch. I'm wondering if I should honor and try to figure out what he wants or should I just say this is what we are eating and if you don't want it, that's fine but there isn't another option???? I don't want to be making 30 meals a night or even 2 different ones for that matter. I feel we eat as a family but I'm not sure which is more important - him eating or him learning the rules at his age. Thoughts???

Re: 15 month old digging in heels at meal time

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    We are not there yet, but I'm really dreading this. I have a brother who was very picky growing up and as a result didn't try many foods until he was an adult. I think a good strategy may be to offer what you know they like with something new. My understanding is it takes a few tries for them to be okay with new foods. Sometimes with my kid if I eat or put it directly in his mouth he will try it. 
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    Do you give quality snacks?  The nutritionalist told us to offer the initial meal and if the kids decide that they don't want to eat that's fine because chances are they will eat the snack when offered.  Make sure to schedule meals for picky eaters and don't let them snack throughout non meal periods.
    Our meal schedule 
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    9:30am snack
    12:00 pm lunch
    3:00pm snack
    6:00 pm dinner

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    We don't offer DD something if she refuses her meal. Sometimes she decides she doesn't like something she used to love and after several more appearances of it, she eats it again. I try to offer at least one thing at a meal I know she can/has eaten before, but I have let her go to bed with just milk for dinner. I also don't give her a meal sized portion of the one thing she wants (usually bread) if she refuses to try the other foods. Her eating habits change a lot at this age, but there are very few foods that we've offered several times that she absolutely refuses. I do not think that would be true if I was always ready to make her favorite meals. She went probably 3 months refusing vegetables, and now she loves them all again.

    DH is very supportive of this approach and encourages her to try things and is a ridiculously picky eater himself. He's embarrassed/scared to be invited to someone's for dinner and doesn't want the same for our kids.
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