I really didn't feel like cooking tonight so I knew I was going to make something simple. As my wife and I try to do on a consistent basis, we asked our kids what sounded best out of three different options. Once my kids decided, I helped them prepare their own plates. We had turkey sandwiches with carrots, hummus, and fruit. They were in charge of making their sandwiches with as much or little turkey, cheese, mayo and/or mustard. I stood by just to help unscrew a container or handle a sharp knife. They also put as much or as little of the other foods on their plate depending on their own hunger.
When they started to sit down to eat I made sure not to comment on what or how much they ate. When they were finished they said their usual, "I'm done" and they took their plates to the sink. Of course they wanted dessert and we usually offer something sweet to our kids. As with the main meal, we offered choices and tonight my son choose Bunnies, and my daughter wanted a Popsicle. The interesting thing we do with dessert is we let our kids choose how much they want. As you can see from the picture below, my son got a small bowl, opened the Bunnies himself and served his own portion. In case you can't see it, he took about 15-20 Bunnies.
We have worked had to build trust with our kids and their food choices. I think that our kids trust it too. They know that we will offer foods they like and a variety of play foods. We trust that they will eat until they are full and that they will not abuse the play foods that we provide.
How have you succeeded or struggled with feeding your kids? I'd love to hear your experiences.