If a toddler is certain about one thing, it's that he wants to be more independent. Oftentimes this desire leads to fights about eating. A toddler wants to let the adult know what he wants to eat and when he wants it. That sounds great, but it may present some difficulty, especially when it comes to offering nutritious foods.
A parent's job is to make sure the toddler in her life is getting the nutrition he needs. This does not mean a toddler can have no choice in the matter, though. The key is to offer appropriate choices. What does that mean? This means a parent can offer the healthy foods and have a child choose from there. Of course, a parent has to learn to anticipate problems as well.
Perhaps a toddler isn't picky at all. That's fabulous news for that parent. However, most toddlers can be characterized as picky eaters at one point or another. Some toddlers begin to stick to one and only one food such as macaroni and cheese or chicken nuggets. Some will refuse to even try anything that they don't think they will like. These are the kind of problems that a parent must anticipate.
Almost every parent of a toddler can describe a food jag at one point or another. What's a food jag? It's when a child gets stuck on only wanting to eat one kind of food. The parent does not need to give in that easily. Instead, the parent should continue to offer a variety of foods and choices. A toddler will learn to be more flexible over time and won't starve in the process.