Picky Eater

As a mom, I'm sure there are many challenges I'll have to face.  I mean, it comes with the territory, right?  Brantley's been a pretty easy really easy baby.  He started sleeping through the night at four weeks old, after all!  He's always been a minimally fussy, easy-going, laid-back baby!  He's also always been a fantastic eater - formula, cereal, solids - didn't matter, there were never any issues.  But lately I'm sensing a change.  The kid likes to eat.  That's for sure.  But he only likes to eat what he likes to eat.  Blueberries, bananas, and hot dogs are at the top of his list.  He's learning quickly to be a picky eater!  And I am not okay with that!

The weird part is...when it was pureed food, he ate everything.
Ham, chicken, beef, and turkey - check!
Peas, broccoli, squash, carrots, sweet potato, green beans - check!
Rice, oatmeal - check!

But now he doesn't want anything to do with any of the above.

Grilled chicken?  Nope!
Mixed veggies?  Not a chance.
Beans?  Not any more.
Even bread (grilled cheese), pancakes, waffles, and muffins - not crazy about any of them.

Not to mention, he refuses anything with a pureed consistency.  Yogurt and oatmeal, for example.  He wants to feed himself and thinks he's too good for "baby" food.

I'm cool with the blueberries and bananas.  Besides being expensive (blueberries), they are both very healthy foods.  And in fact, he eats nearly all fruits, which I'm thankful for.  (Cantaloupe is the exception.)

But as for his main entree and a balanced meal - I'm just not sure hot dogs fit the bill. 

So, here's the challenge.  Do I give him what he wants (hot dogs*) for every meal?  At least, then I know his belly's full and I'm supplying him the calories he needs to grow.  Or do I continue to attempt healthy meats, veggies, dairy, and grains like the doctor ordered?

Is it normal for toddlers to have favorite foods and refuse all others?  Does he know he'll get what he wants if he throws everyone else on the floor?

In just one short year, I've learned that, as a parent, I have to pick my battles.  (Actually, I've learned that more as a teacher, but it definitely carries over to parenting.)  But I think this is a battle I want to pick??  I've always said I will not raise a picky eater.  So how in the world do I go about that??

*He will also eat frozen chicken nuggets and pasta.

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