How to boost a kid’s brain health with 'weird' foods

From purple potatoes to pickled fruit, 'weird' foods can be packed with kid-friendly health benefits. Here’s how to get your picky eater to give peas a chance.

Katie Anderson knew her six-year-old might not be receptive to "weird" foods, so she hatched a plan. Leaning into her daughter’s YouTube obsession, the Memphis mom would pick a "weird" fruit, then video her daughter talking about its look, feel, and smell before tasting it.

"She’d talk about its flavor and texture and rate it with a thumbs-up, sideways, or down," Anderson says. Her daughter’s favorite so far: horned kiwano melon. "If I had just put these on plates, I likely would’ve gotten nowhere."

Behavioral and cognitive psychologist Katherine Dahlsgaard says that trying unfamiliar foods can invoke a kid’s curiosity and learning. But as Anderson and lots of other parents know, kids aren't always willing to chow down. And that’s normal.

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