I fondly refer to dried dates as nature’s candy. It is simple to remove the pit from a dried date by cutting a slit lengthwise down the middle of the fruit and popping the pit out with your finger. I store them in an airtight container in the back of the refrigerator. As far as I can tell, they last forever.
There are so many possibilities for stuffing dried dates. Potentially brilliant ideas I’ve seen include: whole nuts (e.g., almonds, pecans, pistachios, or walnuts), and small bits of cheese (e.g., parmesan, brie, or marscapone). Obviously, your child’s biting and chewing abilities will dictate what you can experiment with as the date alone can be a mouthful. I think my kids started eating dried dates somewhere around the latter part of their second year.
I’ve only had the opportunity to try two varieties of date: Medjool and Deglet Noor. The Medjool is supposedly the most sought-after variety as it is large, moist, and has a hint of spice. The Deglet Noor is a bit smaller and not as moist, but has a delightfully sweet taste. When it comes to the kids, I prefer to serve Deglet Noors for stuffed dates as they are smaller and have a less complex flavor.
More on Dates:
What’s the Deal with Dates? from The Kitchn