No surprise: The best way to broaden your child's palate is to have the produce available.
"I would see the stuff I wasn't using rotting away. It was criminal," said Cornell, who lives in Minneapolis. "I decided it was time to get things in hand. From that point on, I started planning all of our family meals around the vegetables we were getting every week."
A happy consequence of Cornell's decision is that Nora, now 9, and brother Arlo, 7, have become world-class vegetable eaters, without coercion.
"Are there vegetables they don't like? Sure. I wouldn't say I've sold them on Brussels sprouts. I serve them what they like -- my son will always eat green beans," she said. "Plain and simple is best for kids."
About a year ago, Cornell, a former editor at Minnesota Parent and regular contributor to the Heavy Table online food magazine, discovered she had accumulated 75 recipes she routinely made with the vegetables from the family's CSA share. This revelation was the launching point for her new cookbook, "Eat More Vegetables: Making the Most of Your Seasonal Produce" (Minnesota Historical Society Press, $27.95).
A seasonal turn
Since the family began purchasing its June through October CSA produce from Hog's Back Farm in Arkansaw, Wis., almost 10 years ago, the weekly deliveries have become an interesting way for Nora and Arlo to mark time seasonally.
"In June, they know I'll be making a lot of the lettuce rolls they love since we can easily get several heads of lettuce in our box each week," said Cornell.
For some families, the subject of vegetables can be tricky -- mostly if kids refuse to eat them -- but Cornell advises parents to just relax.
"My job ends when I put good food on the table. It's the kids' job to eat it or not," she said. "The rule we do have in our house is that if something is not on the table at mealtime, it's not on the table. I don't let my kids choose something else to eat. That's the way we've always done it, and I don't think it would ever cross their minds to ask for an alternative."
Kids' tastes can also change, which is why Cornell thinks parents should be careful about pegging a child as "the one who doesn't eat spinach."
"I believe in respecting what my children like to eat, but I don't want to be bound by that and feel like their favorites are all we can have," she said. "Yesterday, your child might not have eaten something that they will definitely try today."
Purchasing a CSA share, planting a back-yard garden or regularly visiting a local farmers market are all good ways to encourage kids to give vegetables a chance.
"The market is really such a vibrant gathering place and we see many families here," said Martha Archer, executive director of Mill City Farmers Market in downtown Minneapolis.
"Our mission is all about education and the experiential piece of learning about where food comes from, meeting the farmers and tasting what they have to offer," she said. "Kids can't help but want to go home with a bag of fresh vegetables."
Have an idea for the Your Family page? E-mail us at email@example.com with "Your Family" in the subject line.