Involve your child. Take them shopping and ask them which apples or fruit they want to take home, or have them weigh the vegetables and tell them what you are going to make and how you make it. You can also (as I’ve written before) spend a lot of quality time with your children by cooking with them or letting them make their own snacks.
Make new foods fun. If you can get your child to like a particular veggie dipping or sauce you can use it to get them into all sorts of new veggies. Or use cookie cutters and recipes and make their favorite and best snacks together. Maybe serve breakfast for dinner or have them pick new recipes. But—
Be patient with new foods too. It can take a long time for a child to get over one bad experience with a food, or to come around to something new especially if it doesn’t look appetizing (goulash, for instance). Young children especially will touch, smell, even taste and retaste the same piece of food and spit it up again before they are convinced. This is called exposure and it may take several meals before the new food is completely accepted. To help the process try serving the new food beside other favorites to get the appetite up. And remember, they have their whole lives to get used to all kinds of foods—you don’t have to win every battle at once.
Use descriptions. Too often parents say that food will taste good or that the child will like it. Your kid is probably smart enough to realize that you are saying that because they know you probably won’t. Instead talk about the food—what it is made from, how the texture feels, how it tastes, how it smells, whether it is warm or not, or creamy, or sweet, or crisp.
Don’t offer desert as a reward! It puts a negative association on the food you want them to like for itself!
And as always, make sure BOTH parents set a good example when eating. If one of you is as picky as the children they will notice and follow suit. Instead enjoy eating and make it a family event. You don’t have to be a foodie to talk about why you like eating this food, eating together as a family, and eating food that is also good for you. Enjoy!