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Recently, I was lucky enough to receive a selection of various snacks from Kiddylicious for my toddler to try out. Amongst the goodies were a couple of bags of these 'Banana Bites'. My youngest son loves fresh bananas - he has to be dragged kicking and screaming out of other people's houses if he spots bananas in the fruit bowl- so I was interested to see how he would get on with this dried snack sized version of his favourite fruit.
The banana bites are, as the name suggests, bite sized slices of dried banana which come conveniently packaged in individual 15g bags. Apparently, each bag contains the equivalent of one large banana which is reassuring for any parents struggling to encourage fussy youngsters to eat fruit. The size of each slice is perfectly proportioned for chubby little fingers and mouths to hold and chew without any difficulty. I would say the recommended age of 12 months onwards is a fairly accurate guide, as little ones do need to be able to bite and chew and to be confident with lumps and textured food to enjoy these crunchy snacks.
My (almost) two year old son had no problem eating these little bites independently. He recognised them instantly as bananas and didn't seem at all perturbed by the difference in texture. I think this is because the slices change very quickly from a crisp texture as they almost instantly seem to melt in the mouth. As soon as they become slightly hydrated, the bites take on a much softer, slightly chewy texture and the taste is unmistakably that of a banana with a pleasant but entirely natural sweetness, which isn't surprising as the only added ingredient is vegetable oil, so there are no artificial additives or any hidden nasties here. The tiny bag was soon devoured by my youngest son and his older brothers fought over the other packet - both finding the snacks a pleasant change from the usual offerings and pretty moreish too. Having tasted the few that I was able to wrestle from my kids, I found these to be much more palatable than the traditional kind of dried banana slices, as found in health food stores. These taste much fresher and much closer to the real thing.
Obviously, the healthiest (and cheapest) option is to buy fresh bananas but these little packets can be much more convenient at certain times. Clearly, as these are dried and vacuum packed, the snacks have a much longer shelf life than their fresh counterparts. This makes them ideal to keep in the store cupboard for 'emergencies' (when you need something to keep your little one distracted for a few minutes!) They are also the ideal size to keep in the changing bag whilst out and about or to include in a packed lunch for an older child, where a fresh banana tends to end up battered and bruised long before getting eaten. Despite the target age range of toddlers, the packaging isn't particularly babyish and these could be given to an older child without embarrassment. My older kids (aged four and nine) were certainly happy enough to eat these.
The only issue with these tasty snacks, is that I've never seen these for sale in any local supermarkets although, according to Kiddylicious these are sold in the baby aisles of most Tesco, Sainsbury's, Asda, Morrison, Boots, Ocado and Waitrose from August for 59p per 15g bag (or four bags for £2.)
Providing I can hold of these locally, I'm definitely going to be repurchasing these tasty Banana Bites for my kids, along with some of the other fun and healthy snacks in their range. Thanks to Kiddylicious for sending us these products to review.