Best Snack Catcher
The Munchkin Snack+ is one of our favorite snack cups. It has a stainless steel base and soft silicone flaps that are gentle on little fingers. A silicone lid fits over the rim to keep things contained, and dual handles make it easy for toddlers to carry. Plus, the entire top twists off for easy filling and cleaning. Some parents may worry that stainless steel is heavier than plastic, but this cup's lightweight body was no problem for our two-year-old tester. Because there is minimal plastic in the design, we feel comfortable putting the Snack+ in the dishwasher, and Munchkin recommends using the top rack.
We are big fans of this catcher, but there are a few imperfections, in our opinion. Because the silicone lid flaps are so pliable, they do not contain things as securely as some others we tested. When the cup is vigorously shaken, one or two pieces will fall out. As is often the case with stainless steel, it can be slightly tricky to line up the threads when putting on the lid. However, in the context of the overall usability, these drawbacks are minor, and we believe you will love the Munchkin Snack+ for all your toddler's munching needs.
Brave Justice Kids Co Snack Attack is a modern-looking, silicone snack container that is dishwasher safe. It may appeal to those who appreciate space-saving features as it telescopes into itself for flat storage. A silicone cover makes it travel-friendly, and with only two parts, there is less to lose. The Snack Attack has an opening large enough for an adult hand and has flaps soft enough for little fingers. All of this makes it one of the most accessible snack holders in this review. We love that it is plastic-free, and the carry handle is one of the easiest to use.
Although it offers easy snacking, it is not entirely spill-proof. The soft flaps hold in almost everything if the container is dropped or left on its side. However, if it is held upside down and shaken (as toddlers love to do), bits and pieces fall out. We also don't like that the flaps are not removable. To fill the container, you must pour/place food through the flaps and do the same to get them out. However, if you have an older toddler that only needs a little assistance, the Brave Justice Kids Co Snack Attack may be the perfect addition to your snacking supplies.
Coming in a two-pack of plastic cups with silicone covers, the Boon SNUG is an affordable option. Each catcher has a narrow slot in the top that stretches to allow tiny hands in and out. While testing, we didn't experience any spillage, even when vigorously shaking the cups. After filling the container with snacks, the task of stretching the cover over the cup is relatively easy, and both parts are dishwasher safe. We also appreciate the cover's versatility as it can be used with any cup of 3.25" - 4" diameter. So, you can cut out the plastic and use a container of your choice.
Some users report that the silicone stretches out over time and eventually tears and splits, so this option may have a shorter shelf-life than other snack catchers in our lineup. The small carry loop can hook onto things, but it is not substantial enough to use as a handle, so smaller toddlers will need two hands or hold the SNUG against their body while carrying. Also, we don't recommend tossing this option into a diaper bag with no lid, as contents can fall out. With that said, if you are on a tight budget and don't mind these drawbacks, the Boon SNUG is a great way to minimize messes.
Standing out among the traditional snack catchers is the Itzy Ritzy Snack Happens, a soft cloth baggie with a zippered closure, making it an excellent alternative for those looking to reduce single-use plastic items. The PUL lining makes the bag water resistant, and you can put slightly juicier foods, such as berries or apple slices inside, without fear of leaking. The large opening is easy to use, and there is no chance of spills when the zipper is closed tight, making this a perfect option to toss in a lunch box, backpack, or diaper bag. Many parents find the Snack Happens to be useful for more than food. It is handy for holding small items and adds organization to your purse or diaper bag.
Despite having a PUL liner, the bag is not airtight, and snacks will go stale faster than traditional plastic baggies. We also suggest using the Itzy Ritzy with older toddlers and kids, as they must be able to operate a zipper and hold things upright. To clean the snack bag, you can toss it in the wash, but it is line dry only, so it requires a bit more effort. However, these bags hold up very well over time and come in handy at home and on the go. We love having a few on hand and think you will too.
The Nuby iMonster is a snack catcher in the shape of a three-eyed creature, creating a fun design for youngsters. In fact, our little tester wanted to carry it around with or without snacks. To grab goodies, toddlers have to reach through the soft plastic teeth. The two arms can rotate and function as handles, and even when held upside down and shaken, we didn't experience any spills. The top half of the monster comes off for easy filling, and the whole thing is top-rack dishwasher safe. With only two parts to assemble, you don't have to worry about losing something.
Although the creative design is attractive to toddlers, extra space taken up by the monster's arms and feet makes it less travel-friendly. The "teeth" are less pliable plastic than silicone flaps, but they keep small items inside more reliably. However, the stiffer flaps and a smaller opening make it challenging to retrieve snacks. Our tester struggled to fit her hand in and grunted with effort to get her fistful of goldfish out. However, she still preferred this product over any other, and if you are looking for a way to liven up snack time, the Nuby iMonster is sure to please.
The NUK Healthy Snacker is a container that solves the problem of soggy snacks. A plastic strainer sits inside the main cup to allow juices from fruits and vegetables to drain, and it is removable when using with dry snacks. A tight sealing lid also helps maintain freshness. When not in use, the lid flips around and snaps onto the bottom, creating a handle in the process. The plastic flaps are a bit stiffer than others, but they are not scratchy, and they prevent spills like a pro. With or without the lid, you do not have to worry about big messes using the NUK.
The lid's tight seal has its pros and cons. It isn't easy to snap on and off, which may prevent toddlers from getting into snacks when they're not supposed to. However, it takes so much effort that we think parents may be tempted to skip the process. Also, the NUK has the most parts of all the snack catchers we reviewed, and even though it is dishwasher safe, there are many pieces to clean and manage. But, if you are looking for an affordable option that keeps juicy snacks fresh, the NUK Healthy Snacker could still be your best bet.
The Ubbi Tweat is a bird-themed snack catcher with a fun wobble base. The lid snaps open and stays connected to the cup by a hinge. To fill the container, the top twists off for easy pouring. The plastic base and lid are solid and durable, and the spill guard is removable, which allows it to be used as a regular snack container. The flaps on the Ubbi are extra stiff, and it passed the shake test with no spills during testing.
The Tweat is entirely plastic, which we prefer to avoid, especially when holding food. Also, because the spill guard is so stiff, it tends to catch little fingers on the way through and is harder to use. We also don't like that there are so many parts to disassemble and clean. However, some parents feel that durability and longevity are worth the trade-off. If you are looking for a snack catcher that can take a beating, the Ubbi Tweat is a potential choice.
The LiangTing Gyro Bowl is somewhere between a snack catcher and a regular bowl. The inner snack holder rests on a ring that allows it to pivot and twist independently of the exterior, preventing spills while your toddler is hanging on to the outer handles; a fun trick that is intriguing to young kids learning how to keep things upright. With no flaps, snack access is as easy as reaching into a standard bowl, and a lid snaps on when you want to toss it in a diaper bag.
The design of this innovative option is to reduce spills, not eliminate them. Therefore, we recommend this option only for older kids with more coordination but don't always pay attention to what they're doing with their hands. Unfortunately, there were a few occasions during testing when the hinges stuck, keeping the bowl from rotating, and everything spilled. Although it is dishwasher safe, there are many parts to track when cleaning, and it is a pain to disassemble. Keeping these things in mind, we think this is an entertaining option for older kids who are starting to develop stronger motor skills and can hold a bowl with fewer spills.
Why You Should Trust Us
With decades of collective baby knowledge as parents and caregivers, we use what we have learned over the years to inform our recommendations. Senior Review Editor, Abriah Wofford led product selection and testing for this snack catcher review. She has more than 6 years of professional childcare experience and has been with BabyGearLab since 2015, testing and evaluating products that can help ease your way through parenthood.
To help us gauge kid ease-of-use, we enlisted 2-year-old Annie. We filled each snack catcher with various foods and noted which ones were easy for her to use and carry and which ones kept the messes down to a minimum. After further in-house testing to evaluate parent ease-of-use, we feel confident that we can suggest the best product for your home.
Analysis and Test Results
Teaching toddlers how to feed themselves can get messy. After cleaning spill after spill, you are probably ready for something to make the process easier. Enter the snack cup! These spill-resistant containers are perfect for toddlers who crave more independence.
Kid Ease of Use
We believe it is essential for a snack catcher to be user-friendly for toddlers. After all, if they can't get snacks out, it defeats the purpose. Factoring in ease of use is the container's size, how easy it is to carry, and how stiff is the spill guard. Containers such as the Munchkin Snack+ and the Ubbi Tweat with two handles offer more control for small hands. There are no handles on the Boon Snug, so kids have to set the cup down on a flat surface or hold it against their body with one hand while digging for snacks with the other.
We also prefer products with more pliable flaps on the spill guard. Silicone is softer and more pliable for small fingers to manipulate, and these are the easiest. Cups in this review with silicone spill guards include the Munchkin Snack+, the BraveJusticeKidsCo Snack Attack, and the Boon Snug. All others are plastic with varying levels of flexibility.
Last, the depth of the cup is important. You want a snack cup with a large enough opening for an entire toddler hand to fit inside or one with a shallow base that only requires fingertips to fit inside.
Parent Ease of Use
As parents, we understand how frustrating some baby gear can be. As a result, we appreciate a product that is easy to assemble, fill, and clean. Therefore, we considered this element during testing, so you know what you are getting into. We generally like containers with fewer parts and pieces. They are easier to assemble, more straightforward to clean, and you don't have to worry about losing anything. However, when filling, it is nice to have a removable spill guard. Otherwise, you are stuck trying to stuff food through the flaps, as with the BraveJusticeKidsCo Snack Attack. Some cups, like the Boon Snug and the NUK Healthy Snacker, have a carry loop or handle that can easily hook onto a stroller or diaper bag.
Some of our least favorite catchers to clean were the Ubbi Tweat, LiangTing Gyro Bowl, and the NUK Healthy Snacker. They all have an above-average number of parts, and they are not easy to assemble afterward. Sometimes the threads were difficult to align, and other times we accidentally put the spill guard on upside down. You could easily lose the smaller pieces if you aren't careful.
How well a snack holder keeps its contents contained depends on a few factors. How stiff is the spill guard? Softer flaps are more likely to spill. Our testing showed that the most secure spill guards were on the NUK Healthy Snacker and the Ubbi Tweat. The Boon Snug is a unique product because it has a narrow slit in the silicone sleeve instead of flaps. We found this design to be very effective at keeping food contained while remaining gentle on fingers.
All of this is a moot point if the lid doesn't stay on the container. We found the "screw top" lids to be the most reliable, and an example of this includes the Munchkin Snack+. The top of the Nuby iMonster snaps on, and if the catcher is thrown or dropped, it can pop off, spilling its contents.
As is the case with the Munchkin Snack+ and the Ubbi Tweat, many products have attached covers that add an extra measure of security if you toss the container in your diaper bag. The Boon Snug kept contents secure during our shake test but it does not have a cover, so it may not be the best choice for travel.
Whether you plan to use a snack catcher on the go or around the house, they always come in handy. A quick snack can turn your toddler's mood from sour to sunshine in no time, making them an important parenting tool. Give your toddler a little snacking independence while maintaining your sanity. We are confident that our selection of snack holders includes perfect products for each stage of development and situation.
— Abriah Wofford