Ellyn Satter on NPR yesterday discussed how to diffuse food battles with your toddlers. I agree with her advice (see my post here). She recommends offering regular meals, regular snacks, and a variety of foods, all with no pressure to eat. Ms. Satter and I believe as a mom it is my job to offer healthy food and Clare can choose what and how much to eat from what I have offered her. I am a rule follower so I needed to find some rules for myself; mine are to offer Clare a whole grain, protein, fruit and veggie at every meal. Most of the time she chooses to eat next to nothing. But during some meals it is feast time, instead of famine, and she will devour second and third helpings!
Check out Ellyn Satter's books, as well as the toddler book, How Do Dinosaurs Eat Their Food? by Jane Yolen and Mark Teague mentioned in the article.