In Episode 1 of The Picky Eaters Project, I talk about creating "The List." Anything I want to improve on, I believe in measuring; The List is one of those tools. It consists of all the foods your picky eaters eat, plus variations.
Kids are very texture-sensitive, which is why looking at The List is a good place to start. Let’s be honest, kids are sensitive to a variety of weird things: textures, visuals (color), temperature, taste. What's smart about going with The List is you're branching out from textures and flavors that they already like.
Let's take raw carrots for instance. Ask yourself, "What would be a great thing to serve someone who loves raw carrots?" Factoring in textures, I would go with raw cucumber sticks. One might think it would be interesting to try roasted carrots because they get sweeter, but that changes the texture.
Starting with texture and getting foods similar in that category is a better way to start than flavor profiles. So look at your list and find ways to branch out, focusing on textures. Do your kids like their chicken nuggets microwaved or toasted to a crisp in the oven? All of these things make a difference.