I have a long history with food. Not all of it great. Lots of dieting, thinking different foods are BAD, obsessing about it, counting calories and then stressing about passing that onto my own kids. One of my big parenting goals was to NOT pass this disorder thinking about food onto my kids. I try very hard to live by the advice "I give the kids the good food, and it's their job to eat it". We try to sit down and eat as a family as much as possible. On the weekends, when they are too excited to sit and eat breakfast, we explain that you can get up without eating, but no snacks. Next food chance is lunch. Food is a relatively low stress parenting area for me, honestly.
I try to get them to try new things, but in general, they eat pasta, mac and cheese, chicken nuggets, pizza, and grilled cheese sandwiches. All fruits, a few veggies, and usually both kids eat what I would classify as a good dinner. Sometimes we will have ice pops or cookies or brownies, but I try to not make that a nightly thing. And I also try to not tie the treats to finishing their dinner. On the other hand, I don't let them only have cookies for dinner, either. (I will admit to ice cream for dinner every once in a while, though).
I don't know if I over think the food thing because of my history, or if this is totally normal for all parents, but I am grateful that in general, my kids eat decently and have age appropriate table manners.
As with all things parenting, I've finally gotten to my breaking point with dinner. Every night we cook what I would classify as 1.5 dinners. We cook for Aaron and I, and then we are sure to cook something we know the kids will eat. It isn't like it HUGE time consuming thing, but it's another pot to clean, appliance to turn on, blah blah blah. And since I haven't been working from home, I can't prep dinners in advance like I used to. I just want things to be a little easier, and I feel like the kids are old enough that we can all just eat the same thing. I know, Jen. You are smart and have been doing this since day 1. But I feel like now, the longer I put it off, the harder it may be! So, tonight, we begin the hardcore 'this is what we are serving for dinner'. I know in my heart that they won't let themselves starve, and I also know that even when I give them exactly what they want for dinner, they sometimes don't eat it. My kids usually eat really well at two meals.
But I also don't relish losing my relatively safe and drama free dinner time, either. Hold me.