While picky eaters may balk at something new, if you are persistent and keep offering it up, they may have a change of heart. Especially in the case where the snacks look friendly -- the ones with the Sesame Street characters for instance -- they be more eager to try than usual.
I tested all of these products (see ethics policy below) with my own personal tester, my 3-year-old son, S. His thoughts are listed after every product summary.
A preschooler's opinion: My son declared these snacks to be very crunchy and good. At first he didn't want to "eat Elmo" (Big Bird he had no problem with!) but once he acquiesced, he couldn't stop!
A preschooler's opinion: Before he even took a taste, I knew my preschooler would like these -- he was totally sold on the pouch. The shape sure, but he was actually quite a fan of the packaging. I think he also liked identifying the fruit on the outside and knowing that it was on the inside. He enjoyed the taste too, asking for more as soon as he had finished the first one. Of the three he tried, he liked the Strawberry, Kiwi, Beet & Pear variety best.
A preschooler's opinion: These were by far S.'s favorite snack of all the ones we tested. One filled him up nicely and held him from about an hour after lunch all the way until dinner. He wasn't crazy about the banana créme one (the slightly tangy taste is why I liked it!), but he could not get enough of the peanut butter and peanut butter and chocolate ones. (I've bought four boxes since our taste test!)
Note: According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, popcorn should not be given to a child under age four.
A preschooler's opinion: S. wasn't crazy about the Chicago Mix -- he didn't like the sweet and salty combination (although my older two children loved it) -- but he did like the flavors when they were separated out. He liked the cheese flavor and the kettle corn the best. He was also very enthusiastic about this snack in general -- he doesn't get popcorn often so he was happy to try it. (Because he is three, I broke up the popcorn pieces as best I could while he ate them. In the bags we reviewed, we didn't find one unpopped kernel, which is definitely helpful.)
A preschooler's opinion: Even before our little taste test, my preschooler has eaten Pirate's Booty and loves it -- he asks for it every time we hit the grocery store. Still, in the interest of a fair test, I purchased some solely for this little experiment. He was not disappointed. His favorite part is the taste -- "cheesy popcorn!" but he also likes the bag that it comes in and the pirate that adorns the cover.
A preschooler's opinion: Another snack that we regularly purchase, S. calls these "Fruit in That Drawer" because of where we keep them in our kitchen (to get the full effect, you need to be watching him as he points). Still, this is another one of his favorites. Depending on the flavor they are both sweet and tart and nicely sticky.
A preschooler's opinion: "Suspiciously" is the word I'd use to describe the way my preschooler eyed these sandwich bars -- it didn't look like a snack to him apparently. But once he had a taste he was sold. We had the blueberry & oatmeal and he really liked it. In fact, he wanted to know if he could have it for his lunch, rather than as a snack, and that was a good thing.
A preschooler's opinion: S. doesn't like yogurt so I didn't know how he was going to react to these, but I was able to coax him to try them. Once again, he didn't like the banana flavor at all but he was a good sport about eating the cherry and the apple. I ended up freezing the cherry flavor and giving it to him and he loved it as an icy cold treat.
A preschooler's opinion: S.'s favorite part of this snack was the large crunch that they made. He also found it funny that he was eating "carrots that don't look like carrots but are the same color." The cakes have a nice sweet taste and did a good job of keeping him full until his next meal.
Disclosure: In some cases, a review product was provided by the manufacturer. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.