Top 10 BEST Lunchbox Snacks of the ’90s (Part 2)
When it comes to snacks, everybody has their favorites. If you’re a 90s kid, you’re probably quick to brag about what could best be described as the golden age of lunchbox treats. So, if you want to reminisce about the good old days of the premium snack era, here are more of the Top 10 BEST Lunchbox Snacks Of the ’90s (Part 2).
10. Cosmic Brownies
If the 1990s could be summed up with one single food, it would be Cosmic Brownies. While these little icons were only introduced toward the end of the decade, they were still the epitome of after-school snacks. Nothing made a kid happier than opening up their lunchbox, only to find one of these little treats. Cosmic Brownies were created by Little Debbie and had a very specific inspiration behind their concept. Turns out, the neon, rainbow chocolate sprinkles were not there by accident. They were actually inspired by the Cosmic Bowling trend! You know, those fun bowling alleys with loud music, bright colors, and black lights? These iconic fudgy brownies you loved so much as a kid were made to remind you of out-of-this-world bowling alleys! So I guess it all makes sense now! Not only were Cosmic Brownies perfectly portioned, but they were also so easy to share – that is, if you were in a sharing mood, obviously. This classic chocolate treat held an important place in many kids – and grown-ups – hearts and pantries. Thankfully, they are still available on most grocery store shelves and show no sign of disappearing anytime soon. And how could they? They’re still so delicious! Cosmic Brownies are one of these snacks that will never go out of style and will continue to shape a lot of tasty memories!
9. Fruit By The Foot
If you were lucky enough to get a Fruit By The Foot packet in your lunchbox as a kid, chances are, you were a little more popular than usual that day. It became a rather popular sighting in school cafeterias throughout the 90s. Marketed as an entertaining snack to eat, it was true to its description. Created by General Mills in 1991, it is, however, sold under the Betty Crocker brand name alongside similar fruit snacks, like Fruit Roll-Ups and Fruit Gushers. The elongated, sugary snack was even made a little healthier back in 2017 when all artificial colors and flavors were removed. However, those ingredients didn’t stop the treat from being one of the most beloved things to snack on. The fruity, multi-colored snack had a motto of; “3 feet of fun!” and it wasn’t just another saying. They were fun, tasty, and ridiculously long! It wasn’t uncommon to see kids with 3-foot-long wrappers wrapped around their heads like Rambo and running around thanks to the sugar rush. While these were the thing back in the ’90s, it doesn’t mean the trend has faded. In fact, Fruit by the Foot has recently been the star of a social media trend, in which two contestants stand side-by-side, unroll the snack, and race to a finish by eating it hands-free. The Fruit by the Foot Challenge became so viral that the brand even hosted its very own challenge! With a growing presence, even today, it’s easy to say Fruit by the Foot is nowhere near the finish line of its relevance! Long live Fruit by the Foot!
Chocolate milk is probably every kid’s favorite drink, whether part of a school lunch or not. One of the most popular “chocolate milk-ish” drinks from the 1990s was Yoo-hoo. We say milk-ish, because well, is it really milk? Yoo-hoo was launched by Natale Olivieri in Garfield, New Jersey, all the way back in the 1920s. It gives a whole new meaning to the feeling of nostalgia you get when you hear that familiar pop from opening a bottle, that’s for sure. Olivieri had already created a line of fruit juices but felt that a chocolate flavor was the missing piece to make his brand complete. Since chocolate milk was a very popular drink back then – as it is today – he wanted to create an alternative to milk that would stay fresh for longer without spoiling in warmer temperatures. So, to answer our earlier question: no, technically, Yoo-hoo isn’t milk. The chocolate-y drink is primarily made from water, high-fructose corn syrup, and whey. Nowhere in there is any actual liquid milk. While the packaging clearly states that it’s a “drink” and not flavored milk, it can still be somewhat misleading. Nevertheless, Yoo-hoo is still beloved today and is still in circulation: a true timeless classic. It’s definitely not a “modern drink,” but it’s seen enormous success in almost every single decade, with countless commercials airing in the 1990s. As the slogan goes, it’s a “delicious taste loved for generations.”
Go-Gurts were definitely a game-changer in the school cafeteria. You had those who ate regular yogurt, and then you had the Go-gurt fanatics. About 30 years ago, the story of these cooler than cool tubed yogurts began. In the early 1990s, Stephen Kaufman and Jim Mcguire were working as food scientists at General Mills. They were the first to prove to their colleagues that yogurt could be put in a tube. They are credited for the original idea; however, it wasn’t until the end of the decade that the Go-gurt we know and love today were put on the shelves. The packaging was originally a cone shape, but it quickly became the on-the-go tube. Go-gurt created such a buzz; it was named “the fastest-selling yogurt product ever released” by TIME magazine. Every commercial made kids crave them, with every single one of them reminding the viewer it was “the yogurt you squeeze and slurp, grab and glurp.” The fact that no spoon or scissors were needed was always a pretty big deal. Parents no longer had to remember to pack a spoon, and kids didn’t have to worry about their parents forgetting it! It was basically a win-win situation. Today, with flavors like Cotton Candy and Sour Patch, Go-Gurts are still going strong and are still pretty high on every kid’s list of favorite snacks.
6. String Thing
You were probably told time and again as a kid that you shouldn’t play with your food. But what if the food in question was made for you to play with? It didn’t happen often, but when it did, oh the joy! String Thing was one of those special snacks that was specially designed to encourage kids to have more fun with their food – and boy, everyone took advantage of that! Created by Betty Crocker in the early to mid-90s, String Thing was basically the funnest part of lunchtime. With flavors like Cherry, Berry Blue, and Strawberry, the fruity-flavored, chewy snack was quite similar to Fruit by the foot, only this time, it was intended to be sort of game. The point of String Things was to pull on a string which would reveal a beautiful design and then eat each piece one by one. Commercials encouraged kids to do everything with the candy, like play the bass, jump rope, and even turn it into a wig. Even though it was kind of sticky and messy, it was all worth it. Sadly, the fun and delicious snack kind of disappeared from the shelves after only a couple of years and hasn’t been seen since. Kids these days will never know the extreme satisfaction of playing with their food without getting in trouble.
Uh-oh, did you forget about the classic, one-of-a-kind, delicious lunchbox staple, SpaghettiO’s? It’s practically impossible not to remember these; they were everywhere! When put in a Thermos and packed away in your lunchbox, you were in for a delicious lunch! The emblematic “O” shaped noodles with the marinara-like tangy sauce have been around since 1965 and were created when a man named Donald Goerke was challenged to come up with a pasta dish that kids could eat easily with a spoon. After numerous attempts with different shapes – and probably different letters, the “O” came out the winner. Probably because it had a nice ring to it as well. In 1992, SpaghettiO’s got a newfound popularity boost, thanks to their very own mascot, The-O. As the Daddy-O of SpaghettiOs, The-O was a huge hit with the kids. Even though it’s not as beloved as it was back in the day, today, with 125 million cans sold each year, SpaghettiO’s are still widely available in supermarkets and are always a good alternative for busy days – whether you’re a kid or not. Chances are, from time to time, you still find yourself humming the popular jingle, Uh Oh, SpaghettiOs!
4. Jet-Puffed FunMallows
Marshmallows are and always will be a campfire classic. Stick one of these in between 2 graham crackers and a thin layer of chocolate, and you have got yourself the perfect, comforting snack to eat while you’re listening to scary stories. You can also use them in an array of recipes like Rice Krispies Treats, brownies, or simply pop a handful in your mouth as you walk past the bag. They are delicious in any shape or form – and in this case, flavor! Because marshmallows are apparently not fun enough on their own, Jet-Puffed came up with a whole new concept, FunMallows! Jet-Puffed is probably one of the most popular and successful brands of marshmallows, ever since it was first created in the late 1950s. A product of Kraft, it now has more than 30 different flavors, one of which is the FunMallows. These miniature marshmallows come in four delicious flavors; orange, strawberry, lemon, and lime and are perfect for any type of sweet and fruity recipe you want. You know, just in case you’re craving a very sweet tropical ambrosia salad! With endless possibilities, your lunchbox was never boring if it had any type of dessert with Jet-Puffed as the main ingredient – especially if it was one made with the fruity, mini kind!
3. Little Hugs Fruit Barrels
No lunchbox was complete without at least one sugary drink. It was like, an unwritten rule among ’90s kids. Little Hugs Fruit Barrels literally felt like they were giving a giant hug to your taste buds. First introduced in 1974, Little Hugs was the first single-serve kids drink on the market and quickly charmed every kid and every parent. This on-the-go sugary plastic barrel was perfect for basically any occasion, not only lunchtime. Having a party? Have a barrel. You’re craving an after-school sugar rush? The barrel is here for you. You could never get enough of those little colored sugar water barrels. You could even use your empty barrels for arts and crafts projects! If you go on the website, you’ll find plenty of fun and creative ideas on what to do with your kids! The magical, colorful flavor explosion that is Little Hugs now comes with a reduced amount of sugar, meaning they’re supposed to be “healthier” than they were before – as far as sugary drinks go. While they are still around today, the hype slowly died down, and no one really buys Little Hugs anymore. Kids these days will never know the pure joy of drinking juice out of a plastic barrel. If you’re still craving one of these, but a tiny barrel just seems ridiculously too small for you now, a larger, on-the-go version of the kid-favored drink is now available – the Big Hug!
2. Trix Yogurt
It’s important to know that Trix wasn’t always just a cereal – it was also a deliciously fruity snack that came in enough different flavors to please just about anybody. Another lunchbox staple – that parents weirdly let kids eat like crazy – was Trix Yogurt. These insanely sweet and bright neon treats were the ultimate yogurt containers to find in your lunch. Made by Yoplait, they came in fun colors like purple and blue or green and pink. The only downside? Unless you wanted to eat some brownish, unappetizing yogurt, you couldn’t mix the colors together – you had to enjoy each flavor one by one. Featured on the container was the trusty and famous Trix rabbit, easily recognizable by pretty much everyone. Trix yogurt was mostly marketed to kids, especially with flavors like “Watermelon Burst,” “Rasp-orangey orange swirl,” and “Wildberry Red Swirl,” each more delicious sounding than the last. These have sadly been discontinued, but you can find some very peculiar recipes online on how to make Trix Yogurt Themed Slime! If you can’t have the real thing anymore, you might as well “make your own” – sort of!
1. Shark Bites
If you didn’t beg your parents to buy these when they went to the grocery store, you were not living your best 90s life. If there was one thing every kid was looking forward to, it was the sweet moment after lunch when they could tear open a bag of these chewy, tasty Shark Bites. Shark Bites swam under the Fruit Corners banner, which was part of the Betty Crocker/General Mills family. It debuted in 1988 – just in time for it to become an absolute success in the following decade. Obviously, they were shaped like little sharks and came in different colors, the most common ones being red, orange, yellow, purple, and white. For an unknown reason, the white ones were always unanimously everyone’s favorite. Probably one of the most famous fruit snacks in history, Shark Bites were fun and delicious. They were great to trade with friends, with each trying to get their hands on their favorite flavors. And while most people assume that they’ve been discontinued, since they aren’t often seen anymore, they’re wrong! Betty Crocker confirmed that Shark Bites are still in production, so if you can’t find them at the store, order them! However, there’s a small catch: the colors, texture, and flavors have all been extremely modified. So, if you were expecting the same OG taste, no luck! There’s been a lot of “shark-shaped” things released over the years, but nothing can ever compare to the sheer deliciousness the original Shark Bites provided.
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