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I was talking with some friends today about early finger foods for babies. Actually, we were talking about how our babies got started on the “baby crack” snack foods–cheerios and puffs. Yes, I buy organic cheerios. No, I don’t think they’re significantly healthier than regular cheerios. The organic label just makes me feel a little better.

However, there is an easily portable and delicious finger food that’s perfect for snacks that I do think is healthier than most of the alternatives: freeze dried fruit. You’d think that uncooked, crunchy fruit could be a choking hazard, but freeze dried fruit is actually easier to chew than puffs or cheerios. It practically melts in your mouth. And the ingredients? Fruit. Nothing else. Best of all, freeze drying fruit preserves it, so you can keep a container in your bag indefinitely and pull it out when you need it. Once you open it, you should use it within a few days, but unopened bags can be stored for years.

My favorite source for freeze-dried fruit snacks is Trader Joe’s, even though it’s not a local company. They have a rotating collection of different type of fruit, but strawberry was my daughter’s favorite. You can get freeze-dried (but not organic) fruit from local company Unique Foods Atlanta. You can also get freeze dried fruit in bulk from many survival food suppliers (yes, it’s a survival food too!) such as USA Emergency Supply. Or, if you just want a bag to try and don’t want to make a special trip, you can pick up a package of Gerber freeze dried fruit at Target or Kroger.