As a mom of two and former in-home caregiver, I learned a long time ago that snacking is a toddler’s favorite hobby. (Let’s be honest. It’s one of mine, too.) From the moment they’re old enough to feed themselves, snack containers become an at-home and diaper bag essential.
That said, when it’s time to transition your little one from hand-feeding to independently grabbing those delicious snacks, things might get…a little chaotic. After all, maneuvering those little fingers to pick up bite-sized nibbles is a skill in itself. Keeping the puffs from trailing all over the floor like a Hansel & Gretel reenactment is another. (Gravity isn’t the easiest concept for them to grasp, is it?) Like every other milestone, this one requires the right tools to be seamless. Enter: the perfect kids’ snack container.
When to introduce snack containers
By the time your child begins to show an interest in self-feeding, usually around the 9 to 12-month mark, you can consider introducing snack containers. This not only promotes their fine motor skills but also gives them a sense of independence. But, just like with sippy cups, the journey to finding the right snack container might require a bit of experimentation.
And oh, the choices! There are snack cups with easy-grip handles, ones with slotted tops to prevent too many snacks from spilling out, and even some with attachable lids for on-the-go snacking. (How jealous is your mom of all this snack container innovation?!) Deciding which one suits your child best can seem a bit overwhelming. However, remember that each child is unique and what works for one may not work for another. You may have to try a few before finding a winner.
What makes a great snack cup
While your kiddo might be drawn to the flashiest design or their favorite character, there are a few key things to consider when choosing a snack container. First, and perhaps most crucially, how easy it is to clean? Those tiny nooks and crannies can hide remnants of snacks, harboring mold and ick which no one wants to deal with.
It’s also a good idea to consider the snack cup’s portability. Handles are great for the “do-it-myself”ers, but it’s also going to spend a fair amount of time tucked into your diaper bag. Collapsible styles are great for travel and can easily be stored without taking up too much space.
Lastly, you’ll want a snack cup that’s durable and spill-proof. Little hands are still mastering their grip, and accidents happen. (So do purposeful tosses to the ground.) The last thing you want is an entire container of goldfish crackers scattered all over your freshly cleaned carpet or crushed into your backseat.
To help in your quest, we’ve curated a list of some of the top kids’ snack containers available. Each one is tried and tested for maximum toddler satisfaction and minimal parent frustration. Here’s to effortless, mess-less snacking!
Our top snack container picks
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