I've Tried Countless Snack Containers, and This One Solves the Most Problems
I've got two young kids, which means I've handed them roughly 5,743,981 snacks in roughly 23 different containers whenever we've been out of the house. OK, the number of snacks might be a bit of an overstatement, but the amount of different cups, baggies, pouches, and tins I've stuffed them in isn't.
After two weeks of near-constant use, I'm convinced that the Snack Spinner is the only way I want to deliver snacks ever again.
I've tried them all, and while many of them have had plenty of pros, every one of them has had its fair share of cons. The silicone snack baggies were reusable, but anything that wasn't a carrot stick would get smushed into crumbs at the bottom of my purse. Those little "spill-proof" snack cups were easy enough for my kids to use themselves, but the snacks inside would get stale overnight. And if I wanted to offer a variety of snacks? I had a complicated three-slot canister that I'd have to twist open and shut myself.
This past month, while scrolling through my Instagram feed, I discovered a new product that I had to try. And after two weeks of near-constant use, I'm convinced that the GoBe Snack Spinner ($25) — an on-the-go compartmentalized container that kids can use themselves — is the only way I want to deliver snacks ever again.
It's got all the basic necessities down. It's spill-proof, airtight, and easy to clean (the Spinner comes apart easily and is top-rack dishwasher safe, but up until now, I've had an easy enough time doing a quick rinse of the center white divider). With six slots, it allows for more variety of snacks than any other container I've used. And with its oversize center button and a kid-friendly door "tab," my toddler figured out how to operate the container completely on her own after only a few tries. The only downside is that it's slightly bigger than most other kids' snack containers. It still fits in my bag and is well worth things being a little more snug.
But what really impressed me were the five benefits I didn't even know to look for. Keep reading to find out what they were.
It Helps Me Do a Better Job With Portions
I've been committed lately to conquering my kids' bad eating habits — namely that they fill up on snacks and miss out on the nutritious meals I spend time making them. I've gotten better about having stricter snack times at home, but I was still playing fast and loose whenever hunger would strike while we were out. Before, I'd give them a full pouch of dry cereal or a plastic tub filled with apple slices.
The Snack Spinner forced me to downsize my snack portions (from my experience, each divider fits roughly four strawberry slices, seven cheese cubes, 12 mini pretzels, 16 sliced grapes, and six bell pepper slices), and although I worried there wouldn't be enough in just one container, they've rarely finished it off in one sitting.
What's more, I found that my kids self-regulated their food intake. Instead of mindlessly eating from a bag of Goldfish crackers, they'd graze from the different slots. Two blueberries here, a few animal crackers there, and after a handful of spins, they'd be handing the Spinner back to me, content.
It Has Become a Fun Activity on Its Own
The Snack Spinner's play-based approach to delivering snacks has been a genuine hit with my 3- and 5-year-old alike. My youngest is still benefiting from the problem-solving aspects of getting to her snack of choice, and my oldest loves punching the button as fast as she can. They are far more focused when eating from this container, it keeps their attention longer, and they have more fun. Although it was first reserved for car and stroller rides or museum excursions with the nanny, I now even whip it out when we're home as a distraction. And I can't tell you how excited I am to try it on an upcoming flight.
It Encourages Picky Eaters to Try More Foods
The clear case makes this container so visually stimulating. My kids being rainbow-obsessed, I first filled the five slots with fruits in a ROYGBIV pattern to great success. Surprisingly, however, when I swapped in broccoli florets for the previously crowd-pleasing green kiwi slices, my veggie-averse toddler went for it! The same when I subbed in carrots in place of cantaloupe. She may have only eaten a bite or two, but she benefits from this food exposure that I'd been unable to do with portable snacks before.
The fact that you can see all snack options at a single glance has also helped them make positive food choices. When I'm on my A game, I'll try to include a fruit, a vegetable, some nuts, a cracker or other starch, and a sweet treat — like a cookie or a few pieces of chocolate. I find that the more of a variety they are exposed to, the less obsessed they are with only eating the jackpot item, whether that's candy or pretzel sticks.
It Keeps Us From Multitasking Snack Time
At first, a major sticking point for me with the Snack Spinner was the fact that, unlike a lot of other snack containers with easy-grip handles, my kids couldn't use it while on a walk or running around the playground. Both their hands are required to effectively graze among the different slots.
But as I've learned, distracted eating is simply unhealthy for kids: they often overeat while still feeling less satiated. So now, our on-the-go snacking has definitely been less of a multitasked experience (read: no more one-handed munching on the walk home from school). It's been a harder habit to break, but one that's worth it.
It Has So Many Other Uses
My kids now get involved in filling up the Snack Spinner. We'll count out how many raspberries fit into a slot. We'll negotiate which veggie to include in our rainbow spectrum. We'll try out other color patterns and try to think of foods that would fit an orange-and-green spread.
We've even turned eating from it into a game. Some nights, for dessert, I'll fill it with whatever different treats I can, and my kids will pull a number out of a hat. If they pick "3," they push the button three times and get whatever's in that door slot. We've used it to celebrate Valentine's Day, and I've already got big plans for it come Halloween.
Meanwhile, my oldest recently coopted it to organize her growing collection of miniatures, including rocks and beads. I've legitimately found so many great ways to use the Snack Spinner that I ended up getting a second one. And, honestly, I could really use a third.