Personally I think catering to a child’s appetite is a bad habit to get into. Largely because, they tend not to be the most well rounded eater when left to their own devices. So, what to do? Obviously they need to eat too, and no one wants turned up little noses at the dinner table.
On top of which I think that planning two meals, even if one is just PB&J is not worth the trouble.
Here are my suggestions:
Go ahead and serve their favorite healthy & fun foods for lunch.
Serve their dinner in separate piles. There’s no reason a salad of any type needs to be eaten mixed together.
I abide by the rule that everything must at least be tasted, and if they don’t like it subsequent meals involving that food still include a taste for them.
There are some foods that I don’t insist on, for instance raw onions – diced for tacos – are perhaps too strong for most children.
I also try to include something in each meal that is well liked. In fact when my son was younger it often worked to give him a taste of everything and then tell him that for more of his favorite he needed to eat the little bit of everything else currently on his plate. It still does.
For another viewpoint, you can check out this post by Tammie entitled Picky Eaters.