In my house we had the “3 bite” rule, before anyone was allowed to say they didn’t like something they had to try 3 bites, if they still didn’t like it I didn’t make it often, but I reintroduced it, say, a few months later, as tastes change over time.
Salad or taco bars at home are a great way to try new foods, anything presented well in a colorful manner helps. Dishes of brightly colored vegetables, fruits, lean protein, and whole grains make it easy for your child to pick their own meal. You can make some guidelines of course, if no vegetables must take some fruit, etc.
Your blender can be your best friend, blend green beans, carrots, mushrooms, broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, etc. and add it to soups, hamburger, pasta sauce, mashed potatoes, wherever you can think of.
Fun shapes are a great way to get kids to eat different foods as well, make fruits and veggies into trees, faces, animals, houses, etc. Also fun names can help, remember back to “bumps on a log” which is celery with peanut butter and raisins. Mash bananas into peanut butter for a “power sandwich.”
Cook them a different way, or serve raw. I know kids who won’t eat mushy canned vegetables but love them fresh or steamed. If your kids don’t like cooked spinach try it on a pizza or in lasagna, or fresh in a salad. A husband of a good friend stated emphatically he will not eat spinach to a friend, she laughed and said “Sweetie you ate spinach last night.” He said, “No, I ate a big green salad last night.” I love that story, he didn’t even know he liked it.
If your kids won’t eat anything but chicken nuggets, make your own, control what goes in it. We make our own on occasion here, baked and with herbs and spices. Make your own healthier ranch dressing, if your kids will eat stuff dipped. Grilled cheese with sauteed vegetables on whole grain bread is delicious.
Keep trying, don’t give up. I will post more specific recipes over the next few days, this is just to get started.