9/25/08

"Mom, can I have a snack?"



If you have kids you could hear that phrase a few times a day, or more. You probably reach for the cheese and crackers, pretzels or yogurt. Fruit is always a good choice but if you are fresh out you could try some

If you have never had dehydrated fruit it's crisp and packs a punch in the flavor area. Dehydrated fruit has a crunch kids love and is a good alternative to chips and junk. 
Funky Monkey dehydrated fruit comes in 4 flavors: Bananamon, Jivealime, Purple Funk and Carnaval Mix.
The difference I find with this product compared to other dehydrated fruits we eat is the flavorings. The Bananamon, Jivealime and Purple Funk are are sprayed with a  thin coat of cinnamon, lime or acai berry. The Purple Funk is banana coated with acai, many people have never heard of acai, it is a very high in anti-oxidants. The acai berry is a drupe and comes from the same family as the coconut.
The pineapple was a bit tart for our 5 year old, I'd love to see a coconut pineapple flavor something a bit more mellow. Our favorite flavoring was the Bananamon, dried bananas coated with cinnamon.
Our favorite overall was the Carnaval Mix with raisins, apple, papaya, banana and pineapple, because the true fruit flavors came through so well.
I'd say these would not be great for very small children because the pieces are a bit sharp, but perfect in an a school lunch. Over all we liked them a lot and they are a great snack and a healthy one! Each 1 oz. pack contains 3 of the four daily servings of fruit required for a healthy diet.
The other thing I was curious about was the life span. Products with water extracted tend to rehydrate and become chewy or sticky over time. Surprisingly these didn't, we left them open for a few hours and then sealed the bags with a bag clip. The next day they were just as crisp!
The best part is that they are organic,
all natural, no sugar or fat added. No colors or preservatives are added and they are gluten free, dairy free, wheat-free and certified Kosher.
We made a cone out of a paper bag and filled it with cereal and Funky Monkey and coconut. It is a great way to do a craft with your child and eat healthy mixes too!



Here is a recipe from my book The Toddler Café

Happy Trails Mix
Tell the children it’s time to be important explorers who need some healthy snacks to bring with them on the trek. This is a great way to use up all those half-empty packages in your pantry. Dehydrated foods are healthy and easy for small hands to pick up and eat. Portion out small amounts into reusable containers and store for a grab-and-go snack. Get adventurous—look around and buy different kinds of dried fruit for this recipe.

Use dried fruit such as
Large flake coconut
Dried kiwi
Pineapple
Cherries
Raspberries
Blueberries
Cashew pieces
Any leftover cereal
Dehydrated fruit of any kind

Mix and store in an airtight container.
Keep some in the car for hunger emergencies.

To make paper cone
1. Help your child cut out a circle from a paper bag using an upside down bowl about 6 inches across as the circle template.


2. Have your child draw and decorate paper circle.

3. Create a cone shape and seal with tape.

4. Have your child scoop whichever ingredients they choose into the “cone.”





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3 comments:

Nina said...

Awww these look adorable! I love dried fruit, especially freeze dried!

Rachel said...

I just received an order of freeze-dried fruits and veggies from Just Tomatoes, and I am in love. Thank you for recommending them in your book! I will have to try to Funky Monkey brand, too. Can't wait to make trail mix with it!

Thank you, by the way, for visiting my blog! I'm a big fan of The Toddler Cafe--it's one of the best little-tyke-centered cookbooks I've seen. We have the Popcorn Soup regularly, and the Lily Pad Pancakes are too good (I ate more than my son)!

Acai Berry said...

It is my favorite too. I just love it.

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