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 during travel, and dual handles make it easy for toddlers to carry their goodies everywhere. The entire top twists off to allow for easy filling and cleaning. Some parents may worry that stainless steel will be heavier than plastic options, 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 only.
We are big fans of this catcher, but there are a few imperfections we noticed. Because the silicone lid flaps are so pliable, they do not hold things in 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 vessels, it can be slightly tricky to line up the threads just right when putting the lid back on. 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 snack container made entirely from silicone, and it is dishwasher safe. It may appeal to those who appreciate space-saving features as this product telescopes into itself for flat storage. A silicone cover fits over the top to make it travel-friendly, and with only two parts, you don't have to worry about losing pieces. The Snack Attack has an opening large enough for an adult hand and has flaps soft enough that they won't irritate sensitive fingers. All of this makes it one of the most accessible snack holders we tested. We love that it is an entirely plastic-free design, and the carry handle is one of the easiest for our toddler tester to use.
Although it allows such easy snacking, it is not the most spill-proof option in our tests. The soft flaps can 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 will come 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 it back 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 simple addition to your kitchen.
Coming in a two-pack of plastic cups with silicone covers that stretch over the top, the Boon SNUG is an affordable option. Each one has a narrow slot in the top that stretches and opens to allow tiny hands in and out, but nothing else. While testing, we did not 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 covers' versatility as they can be used with any cup of 3.25" - 4" diameter. So, if you like the system but want to cut out the plastic, you can use a container of your choice.
Some users report that the silicone stretches out over time and eventually tears and splits, so longevity-wise, this option may not get as much use as other snack catchers in our lineup. A small carry loop can hook onto things, but it is not substantial enough to use as a handle, so smaller toddlers should use two hands or hold the SNUG against their body while carrying. We do not suggest tossing this option into a diaper bag for on-the-go use with no lid to seal the opening. 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 in your home.
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 in their home. 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 reach into, and when the zipper is closed tight, there is no chance of spills, 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 much more than just food. It is handy for holding any small items and adds a degree of organization to your purse or diaper bag.
Despite having a PUL liner, the bag is not airtight, and snacks will go stale faster than a traditional plastic baggie. We also suggest using the Itzy Ritzy with older toddlers and kids, as they must be able to operate a zipper and be counted on to hold things upright. To clean the snack bag, you can toss it in the wash, but it must be taken out and line dried, so it requires a bit more effort to maintain. However, these bags hold up very well over time and come in handy all over the home and on-the-go. We love having a few of these on hand and think you will too.
The Nuby iMonster is a snack catcher in the shape of a three-eyed creature, a fun design that is undoubtedly appealing to the younger crowd. 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 for littles to grasp, and even when held upside down and shaken, we did not have any issues with 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 is not very travel-friendly. The "teeth" are plastic that is less pliable than silicone flaps, but they hold small items inside more reliably. However, the stiffer flaps and a smaller opening make it very difficult to retrieve snacks, even for the littlest of hands. Our tester struggled to fit her hand in and grunted with effort to get her fistful of goldfish back out. However, she still preferred this one over any other, and if you are looking for a way to liven up snack time at your house, the Nuby iMonster is sure to interest your toddler.
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 for dry snacks, it is removable. A tight sealing lid also helps maintain freshness for longer. 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 some others, but they are not scratchy at all, 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 is difficult to snap on and off, which may prevent toddlers from getting into snacks when they're not supposed to. However, the process takes so much effort that we think parents may be tempted just to skip it altogether. 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 may 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 both solid and durable, and the spill guard is removable, which allows it to be used long into the future as a regular snack container. The flaps on the Ubbi are extra stiff, and it passed the shake test; we didn't experience any spills during use.
The Tweat is entirely plastic, which we prefer to avoid, especially when dealing with 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 when snack time is over. 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 and keep on going, the Ubbi Tweat is a great 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 just 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 only for older kids with a bit 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 keep track of when cleaning, and it is a pain to disassemble. Keeping these things in mind, we think this is an entertaining snack option for older kids who are starting to develop stronger motor skills and can get used to holding a bowl with fewer spills.
Why You Should Trust Us
With decades of collective baby knowledge as parents and caregivers, we at BabyGearLab 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 took note of 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 be a messy process. After cleaning up spill after spill, you are probably ready for something that will make the process easier. Enter the snack cup! These spill-resistant containers are perfect for toddlers who want a little 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 product's purpose, right? Factoring in ease of use is the container's size, how easy it is to carry, and how stiff the spill guard is. Containers such as the Munchkin Snack+ and the Ubbi Tweat with two handles can offer more control for small hands. In a product like the Boon Snug, there are no handles, so kids will have to either 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 a softer and more pliable material for small fingers to reach through, and these are the easiest to navigate. Cups with silicone spill guards in this review include the Munchkin Snack+, the BraveJusticeKidsCo Snack Attack, and the Boon Snug. All others are plastic with varying levels of flexibility.
Lastly, the depth of the cup is important to consider. If your toddler is still young, you will want to purchase a snack cup that either has a large enough opening for them to fit their entire hand or has a shallow base that allows them to reach just with their fingertips.
Parent Ease of Use
As parents ourselves, we understand how frustrating some baby items can be, and we appreciate a product that is easy to assemble, fill, and clean. Therefore, we considered this element when testing the competition, so you know what you are getting into beforehand. 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 is the case 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, so it is always handy.
Some of our least favorite catchers to clean were the Ubbi Tweat, LiangTing Gyro Bowl, and the NUK Healthy Snacker. They all had an above-average number of parts, and they were not always easy to put together. Sometimes the threads were difficult to align, and other times we would accidentally put the spill guard upside down. You could easily lose the smaller pieces if you aren't careful.
How well a snack catcher can keep its contents contained depends on a few different factors. How stiff are the flaps on the spill guard? The softer the flaps, the more likely spills are to happen. Some of the most secure spill guards we used were on the NUK Healthy Snacker and the Ubbi Tweat. The Boon Snug is a unique product because it does not have flaps but rather a narrow slit in the silicone sleeve. We found this design to be very effective at keeping food contained while still being gentle on the fingers.
All of this is a moot point if the lid doesn't stay on the container. We found the twist on lids to be the most reliable in this aspect, 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 may pop off, spilling its contents.
As is the case with the Munchkin Snack+ and the Ubbi Tweat, many products have included and attached covers that add an extra measure of security if you choose to take the container along in your diaper bag. The Boon Snug did not let anything escape during our shake test but does not have any additional cover, so it may not be the best choice for travel.
Whether you plan to use a snack catcher on the go or just around the house, they always seem to come in handy. A quick snack can turn your toddler's mood from sour to sunshine in no time. We are confident that our selection includes perfect products for different stages of development and various situations. Give your toddler a little snacking independence while maintaining your sanity.
— Abriah Wofford