College is all about branching out and trying new things, especially food. Growing up, I stuck to a typical picky eater diet of chicken tenders, plain pasta, and mac and cheese. While I was - and probably always will be - somewhat of a picky eater, I have gotten more adventurous recently. If you're a picky eater too, keep reading for the best foods to try to help you open your palate.

1.  Sushi

sushi, seafood, avocado, rice, salmon, wasabi, fish, shrimp, tuna, eel, nori, cucumber, ginger, crab, roll, sushi roll, California roll, Take Out
Caroline Ingalls

Sushi is a picky eater's nightmare, seaweed, raw fish, and avocado. The texture can be weird, especially on the first try. If you're afraid of raw fish, there are options such as a cucumber roll or sweet potato rolls. A California roll, which is usually made of imitation crab, avocado, and rice, is another safe option.

Verdict: Good, so many options!

2. Mushrooms

mushroom, vegetable, nut
Lisa Xu

Edible fungus. Another fear of picky eaters everywhere. Mushrooms are one of those things that you avoid at all costs as a kid and I never really got over that. For their bad reputation, they are rich in B vitamins. To incorporate mushrooms, try them in creamy mushroom soup or an omelette. Ready to try it? Check out this recipe for mushroom and cheese omelettes! 

Verdict: Not my favorite

3. Sponge Candy

While not necessarily adventurous, these candies are worth a try. I had never even heard of this honeycomb toffee candy before my friend from Buffalo brought some for us to try. It's a light, sponge-like candy covered in chocolate that melts in your mouth. The bubbly texture in the candy is created when the baking soda and vinegar react and form carbon dioxide. After being covered in chocolate, the result is a very unique candy.

Verdict: Super sweet and totally delicious.

4. Cauliflower

cauliflower, sweet, vegetable, rice
Kristine Mahan

Cauliflower isn't exactly many people's vegetable of choice and it definitely isn't mine. Cauliflower and broccoli are both high in antioxidants and have lots of fiber, protein, and vitamin K. If you're a picky eater and not a cauliflower fan either, here are some of the best cauliflower substitutes.

Verdict: Pass the broccoli instead. 

5. Zucchini Noodles 

spaghetti, zucchini, courgette, pasta, garlic, vegetable
Katie Jannotta

Vegetable noodles have been growing in popularity as a low-carb alternative to pasta. However, in my opinion nothing beats the original spaghetti noodle. Zoodles can be a bit watery, yet can be great covered in pesto or marinara sauce. Since on their own zucchini noodles don't have a strong flavor or texture, they are an easy try for a picky eater. 

Verdict: Pretty good

6. Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream

While this may not be the craziest food to try, it still makes the list because of its Columbus roots. Jeni's has many locations around the country, but their headquarters location is here in Columbus. I am a die-hard Graeter's fan - almost nothing compares to a double scoop of black raspberry chip. But, Jeni's homemade waffle cones and unique flavors like fluffernutter pie, is my ice cream home away from home.

Verdict: AMAZING

7. Falafel

meat, meatball, beef, falafel, mince, vegetable, pork
Jade Silva

A Mediterranean appetizer, falafel is a fried ball of beans or chickpeas, covered with herbs and spices. It was as underwhelming as it sounds, but this tahini dressing would take them to the next level. If you're ready to try these deep-fried appetizers, check out the Mediterranean-style Brassica, which has a few locations in Columbus.

Verdict: Would try again

8. Feta

sweet, dairy product, milk, dairy, Feta, cheese, crumbles
Caroline Ingalls

This cheese is also a great first step to opening up your palate. It isn't too foreign, but can be a refreshing switch from the basic cheddar and Parmesan. This well-known Greek cheese is somewhat salty and is often served crumbled on salads. However, feta is pretty versatile; it can be great on pizza or pasta too.

Verdict: New favorite cheese

This list may have outed me as one of the more picky eaters out there. Because picky eaters tend to stick with what they know, trying new things is hard. College has encouraged me to go out and try things I normally wouldn't and as my mom says, "expand my horizons." While I'll continue to try new foods, I will never be embarrassed to order the chicken tender basket or mac and cheese at any restaurant. 

If you're a picky eater too, check out these healthy recipes so you can try some new foods!