The 10 Yummiest Trader Joe's Snacks, According to 100 Kids|Recipes Spots

  • on August 26, 2023
The 10 Yummiest Trader Joe's Snacks, According to 100 Kids

Trader Joe's store front
Simply Recipes / Photo Illustration by Wanda Abraham

As a mom of three, it seems like the passing of time is measured by how many snacks I pack. Three times five for school days, plus two times three on soccer days, and three times five for weekend nature hikes. It’s a dizzying amount of snacks.

Though sliced apples, oranges, bananas, and baby carrots are go-to’s, the vast majority of my kids’ favorite snacks come from Trader Joe’s. I rarely leave the store without TJ’s dried mangoes or White Cheddar Corn Puffs.

I’m always on the lookout for new TJ’s snacks to pack in my kids’ lunchboxes and with a new school year beginning, I asked my friends with children about their favorites. Then I asked the players on my son’s soccer team. And the kids in line at my local bookstore. I even asked a family in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s.

After a while, I noticed a pattern emerging: There were a handful of popular TJ’s product names that came up over and over again. And since I found it so fun to chat with kids (and their adults) about our mutual love for Trader Joe’s, I officially set off to find the top 10 TJ’s snacks by polling 100 kids.

How I Polled 100 Kids

I clipped five pages of printer paper on a clipboard, stuck a pen behind my ear, and asked 100 kids to name their one favorite TJ’s snack during my kids’ soccer, basketball, and baseball games, and at our local playground and pool. One day I polled high school kids hanging out at a Barnes and Noble. I also posted the question on Instagram—about 40 percent of the responses came through friends with kids spread across the U.S.

I also took note of the age of the kids I polled, which ranged from about three years old to 17.

Below are the top 10 yummiest snacks, according to the 100 kids, listed in order of most to least votes. A few of my kids’ favorites are on here and I’m adding the rest to my shopping list.

Trader Joe's Bamba peanut snacks
Trader Joe’s

1. Bamba Peanut Snacks ($1.79)

For about 20 kids under the age of 10 that I polled, Bamba Peanut Snacks is their top pick. My Israeli friends claim this is the quintessential Israeli snack, and arguably, Trader Joe’s is turning it into one stateside. And it’s no surprise it’s so popular—it’s crunchy, light, and super peanut-y. A five-year-old told me he eats it every day after school so his mom has to buy it all the time. That’s a gold-star testimonial!

Trader Joe’s now carries two variations: Dark Chocolate Bamba Snacks and Bamba with Hazelnut Creme Filling. Both sound amazing.

Trader Joe's Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips
Trader Joe’s

2. Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips ($2.99)

“The fake Takis.” That’s what most kids called TJ’s Chili & Lime Flavored Rolled Corn Tortilla Chips—that is a mouthful of a name. Not surprisingly, this snack made the list because it’s also the 2023 TJ’s Customer Choice Awards overall winner and favorite in the snack category.

These chips have a big crunch and a spicy kick, so they are popular with older kids—almost every single high schooler I asked.

Trader Joe's Multigrain Crackers
Trader Joe’s

3. Multigrain Crackers ($2.99)

“The round crackers in the white box with green around it.” I absolutely love this response and I knew exactly which product the 10-year-old was referring to. TJ’s Multigrain Crackers is always in our snack drawer.

These multigrain crackers are surprisingly delicious. They’re a tiny bit sweet, nutty, and with the smallest hint of onion flavor—good enough to eat as is though amazing with this cheddar cheese spread.

Trader Joe's Pain au Lait
Trader Joe’s

4. Chocolate Chip Pain Au Lait ($3.49)

Pain au lait (“milk bread” in French) is a go-to snack for kids in France and a popular one amongst the kids I polled. These contain mini dark chocolate chips and the bread is so soft it basically melts in your mouth. Every time I go to Trader Joe’s, I grab two bags. My kids are huge fans.

A genius tip: One kid shared with me that his mom—who turns out to be French—spreads salted butter on a split loaf of pain au lait and it’s mind blowing.

Trader Joe's Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers
Trader Joe’s

5. Mini Peanut Butter Sandwich Crackers ($3.49)

A nine-year-old told me he can easily crush a whole box of TJ’s peanut butter crackers and I believe him because I watched him run circles around all the other soccer players on the field moments before I spoke to him. Then a five-year-old said (well, he yelled), “I can’t live without this stuff! SO GOOD! AAAHEEEHOOO!” I think that means he loves it, a lot.

Trader Joe's banana & cream yogurt cups
Trader Joe’s

6. Strawberries & Cream and Bananas & Cream Yogurt Cups ($3.49)

These yogurt cups are really popular with the wee little ones under five. Bananas & Cream was mentioned most followed by mango, which doesn’t come in this duo flavor pack. The other flavor is Strawberries & Cream.

I buy these for my kids too, and what I love most is that they don’t taste artificial and they’re super creamy.

On an episode of Trader Joe’s official podcast, I heard you can poke a craft stick through the lid and freeze the yogurt to create popsicles. It’s a genius way to upgrade a beloved snack to the next level.

Trader Joe's baked cheese crunchies
Trader Joe’s

7. Baked Cheese Crunchies ($1.99)

A 17-year-old told me, “Oh my gosh, these are a million times better than Cheetos! I love them so much!” I do agree that TJ’s Baked Cheese Crunchies don’t taste as artificial as Cheetos and from a mom’s perspective I find the ingredients list less scary too.

Trader Joe's fruit leather buttons
Trader Joe’s

8. Grape-Mango Peel Away Fruit Leather Buttons ($0.59)

The amazing thing about TJ’s Fruit Leather Buttons is that every single adult who accompanied the kid said they loved them too. “Sometimes I eat them all before my kids get to them,” said one dad. At 59 cents per pack, these are the perfect sweet treat for when your kids (or you) want a little sugary pick-me-up.

Most kids couldn’t name the product and instead used funny descriptions like, “the fruit thingy in the pink bag,” “candy dots,” and “the purple round thingy.” Kids are the best.

Trader Joe's chips in a pickle
Trader Joe’s

9. Chips in a Pickle Potato Chips ($2.99)

Even kids latched onto pickle mania (you need to try our pickle pizza by the way). And even those who typically dislike pickles and will remove them from every burger or sandwich still love these dill pickle-flavored chips.

A 15-year-old told me, “They make my mouth water in the best way. You can’t just eat one. My mom has to hide these from me, but really it’s because she wants to eat them by herself.”

Trader Joe's Scandinavian Swimmers
Trader Joe’s

10. Scandinavian Swimmers ($3.49)

I spent 30 minutes at a baseball game talking to a group of 10 and 11-year-olds about which color of Scandinavian Swimmers tastes best. Orange is orange-flavored, blue is huckleberry, yellow is mango-peach, and red is berry. The group of seven kids I spoke to agreed that yellow is best and blue always gets left behind in the bag. I am buying a bag for my kids to see if they agree.

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