Sam has always been a small kid. The highest percentile he ever reached was maybe the 30th, when he was a few months old. He's usually in the 5th to 10th (and I know there's no "perfect" percentile) and for a long time we were willing to let him eat what he wanted to because hey, he was eating, wasn't he? And there's so many issues wrapped up with food. We don't want them to clean the plate, but to stop eating when they're hungry. We don't want them to turn to food for comfort, but they do stop whining when we feed them what they're asking for . . . etc.
I realize that the whining should be dealt with as a discipline issue, but I leave most of that out of these postings because it's boring and personal. It is an absolutely endless job, teaching and training children. I have to constantly turn to Christ for strength, patience, and wisdom.
I also don't agree with the idea of offering the child the same plate of food for 5 days until he/she eats it. I think that's unsanitary and gross. We, the parents, don't eat leftovers that are more than 3 days old and certainly not ones that have been heated, chilled, reheated, rechilled, reheated, rechilled . . . you get the idea. That would just be the recipe for major bacteria growth and foodborne illness, if you ask me. We do tell them, "this is what's for supper and there's no more food until morning," or something along those lines. Or, "this is going in the fridge and if you're hungry before bed, you can have this." But that's as far as it goes.
The whining, actually, permeates all areas of our lives . . . they push, we try to hold the line, they push harder . . . we hold the line. or cave. or compromise. As consistently as we can.