Molly Michelman, MS, RD at UNLV says “This is a classic question for parents, and a very important one, too. Involving your children in meal planning, grocery shopping, and preparing meals will automatically spark their interest. Ask them about the fruits and vegetables that they prefer, and have them select those, along with new and different types at the store. At home, give them simple tasks such as tearing lettuce or mixing fruit salad. To give them even more of a feeling of control, provide small plates or bowls set up like a home-salad bar with various fruits and vegetables from which to choose. Another way to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables is to really make these foods accessible and available. So, for example, consistently have a bowl of pre-washed fresh fruit (apples, pears, grapes) on the counter. Or, cut up carrots and celery and place at your kids’ eye-level in the refrigerator, along with a miniature plastic cup of light ranch or other preferred dressing for dipping.
It’s also important to keep in mind: 1. Kids don’t have to like what you like, nor do they have to have a huge variety of fruits and vegetables in their personal eating repertoire. 2. It is perfectly fine to serve and eat frozen, canned or dried fruit; fresh is not a requirement. For example: mix frozen strawberries into a smoothie with yogurt; serve no-salt-added canned corn with tacos or chili; put raisins in the lunch box or add to cereal. Good luck!”