mrsmellark had a great answer. Reward her in a small, yet healthy way when she eats.I used a "star chart" when my kids were small for both eating their meals, and for "potty training". When they did something they were supposed to do, they got a "star" on a poster board chart I had made. Upon getting a certain amount of "stars", (you make the decision how many) they were allowed to chose something from a "treasure chest" that I had made. The "treasure chest" consisted of many various items I picked up at the local dollar tree. They LOVED it. This also worked with them in keeping their rooms picked up. It taught them at an early age that effort does pay off.....we now laugh about it, but my daughter just had a baby and is going to do the same with her. I used to make a huge deal when they got a "star", even giving them the star to put on the chart themselves.
babies are like puppies..in a way..keep food around for them to eat..they will eat it when they are hungry..don't expect them to eat..just because You are hungry..your schedule..isn't always theirs...and don't let that bother you...
In addition to ClicketyClack, here are some other observations.
We had to realize that as long as the child is not losing weight they are OK. After discussing this with our pediatrician, he made an eye opening comment. Sometimes kids will only eat pizza for weeks. sometimes they will just eat ice cream. As long as they aren't loosing weight, they will soon tire of the same old food. So, make sure this isn't a 'battle of wills' that is a waste of time. There are SO many important things to pick a fight over. What your kids eats shouldn't be one of them. As at as being a speed eater. Some kids are pokey. Patience is key. Soon the child will learn: If they want to join their friends and play, they must eat faster. Personally, enjoy it. pretty soon your kids will be wolfing down the food and running away from the table and you will WISH they would stick around for longer!