Available at Whole Foods since early last year, Funky Monkey Dried Fruit Snacks combine the crunch of potato chips with (most of) the nutrition of fresh fruit. Even better, three of the company's four varieties (Bananamon, Purple Funk and Jivealime) have been certified organic according to Natural Organic Program standards; the fourth variety, Carnaval Mix, is made with organic banana and pineapple along with non-qualifying ingredients.
So the freeze-dried fruit snacks would seem to be healthy, at least compared to most of the other prepackaged snacks kids love. The real question, then, is whether kids will eat them.
According to a recent City of Ate taste test, that depends on the variety--and the kid. Iris (11) and Lyle (7) sampled all four Funky Monkey flavors. I did too, and found them all quite tasty, particularly the banana varieties. But what I think doesn't matter. Their impressions:
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Jivealime (pineapple with lime)
Lyle (referring to swarming fruit flies): Eww, why would they want this?
Iris: They want anything that's fruit.
Lyle (to flies): Here guys, want this?
How is it overall? Would you eat it as a snack?
Iris: It's medium. I wouldn't eat it.
Lyle: It's baddest.
Bananamon (banana with cinnamon)
Iris: They taste OK. These are something I might eat.
Lyle: Second to grossest.
Iris: How do you know? You haven't tried the others.
Would you rather eat these, or real fruit?
Both: Real fruit.
Iris: I'm not a fan of any dried fruit.
Lyle: Me neither. It tastes bad.
Purple Funk (banana with acai)
Iris (surprised): Mmm! These are good!
Carnaval Mix (banana, pineapple, apple, papaya and raisins)
Iris: Whatever this is (holding up a yellow piece--apple?), is good. Whatever this is (holding red piece--papaya?), is bad. I don't like regular raisins, but these are good.
Lyle (whispering, with eyes widened in mock horror): They're horrible. Horrible. Horrible.