The 90s are known as one of the greatest decades of our generation... At least as far as Millennials are concerned. While some may disagree, there's no denying that this decade brought about some seriously rad games, toys, clothing, music, and, best of all, food. Here at TheRecipe, it's our job to not only discuss food but also to know everything there is to know about it. That includes food from previous decades such as the 90s when sugar was viewed as necessary and anything that came in neon colors was likely either a broken glow stick or a really awesome snack.
We're throwing it back to the days when yogurt with sprinkles was cool, chips came in three-dimensional shapes, and fast food chains were known for outranking each other via absurd commercials. The 90s were a time of vast new ways of eating, and with it, many new flavors to try. Many of these found their way into our lunch boxes (should our parents allow it) while some were only a mere thought in our heads while our parents told us to go finish eating our steamed broccoli... Unless you were like me, a child who actually enjoyed vegetables.
Regardless of our individual experiences with these 90s delights, we can all agree that some should totally be brought back at least once. Some have tried to make a comeback while others will likely never exist again. Let's jump in the time capsule and take a quick trip back to the 90s for the ultimate in food recaps.
26 Trix Yogurt For The Healthy(ish) Kid In All Of Us
As a child, I despised yogurt. The days of GoGurt scarred me and though I can't speak for others, Trix yogurt by Yoplait was the one yogurt to end all yogurt hatred. This unique dairy treat was presented to many a child in bright, vibrant colors. It was created to echo the popular cereal (that has since declined in popularity) and as far as kid gimmicks go, it definitely worked. This was found in every single lunch box at one point or another and was a great way to give kids some probiotics with a side of sugar.
25 Lunchables Made Us Feel Like Adults
There was nothing more satisfying than finding a brand-spankin' new Lunchable pack in your lunch box. That's because not only is it fun to choose your own lunch, but it's a blast to make it, too. Lunchables started out small but have since been revamped to be healthier and tastier, but the 90s was when it all started. These neat little snack trays included everything you needed for a healthy lunch, complete with mini desserts that we all ate before anything else.
24 All The Cereal Our Parents Tried To Say "No" To
Oreo O's were not healthy in any way, shape or form, but the great thing about being a 90s kid or teen was that there were no cares in the world. These sweet little O's changed the game when it came to cereal milk. No longer were we concerned with the cinnamon-sugar milk left behind by Cinnamon Toast Crunch or the slighty sweet milky flavor left behind by Honeycombs. Suddenly, everyone became obsessed with the delish chocolate milk left behind by these mini oreos disguised as a breakfast cereal.
23 3D Doritos That We Could Never Quite Figure Out
It was strange and unusual but kids took the bait anyway. Doritos went through a period when they changed shape dramatically and it was also interesting, to say the least. This new 3D shape lent itself to snacking that was quite a different experience. Rather than simply pulling a chip out of the bag, you would now need to make sure you had a firm grip on a chip before pulling your hand back. This could get pretty annoying after a while, especially since there was nothing but an empty air of disappointment in the center.
22 Dunkaroos Were Sickeningly Sweet
Unpopular opinion: I am not a fan of Dunkaroos. I never really was and that's probably why I was so uncool in school. Despite my poor reaction to them, they're what 90s kids refer to now as a luxury. Walmart briefly tried to bring back these absurdly sugary snacks, which were essentially tiny cookies with a container of icing, but it's not enough -- the world continues to demand more and I, for one, fear anarchy if they're not thrown back into production.
21 Planters Cheese Balls Always Had Us Reaching For Water
There was no way around it: Cheese balls would make your mouth feel like the Sahara desert after roughly ten balls. The problem was -- similar to Pringles -- we just couldn't stop popping them in our mouths. While they were likely a massive choking hazard, it soon became everyone's goal to walk away from one of these cans with neon orange fingers. If you were truly devious, you'd end up chasing your crush around the room with them, determined to smear the cheesy powder all over their grossed-out face.
20 Dinosaur Egg Oatmeal Is Still A Guilty Pleasure
Now, we're talking. Dinosaur oatmeal was -- and still is -- the best way to start your day. Not only do you get a solid helping of oatmeal that claims to be good for you, but you also get to hatch and grow vibrantly-colored dinosaurs. Quaker will also tell you that this breakfast item is a great source of vitamin D and calcium, but whether dinosaurs ever served as either of those in a prehistoric diet remains to be seen. Regardless, the true rebels were the ones who ate the eggs before they were hatched.
19 We Were All Real Bakers Because Of Easy-Bake Ovens
We all know that moment of quiet anticipation. When Easy-Bake Ovens were all the rage in the early 90s, every child looked for them under the Christmas tree that year. I don't care what you say, no kid would even turn down a personal oven, capable of baking a sheet of cookies that are perfectly sized for one. This was a great excuse to stuff your face in the name of "play time" and also an excellent way to not be responsible for washing dishes when you did it.
18 Fruit Gushers Were Trouble For Open-Mouth Chewers
Don't deny it -- There was at least one time when one of these Gushers led to the embarrassment of the century. Everything was fine and dandy until someone would chomp down on a gummy and swaaash... All of the goo would suddenly be making its way across the lunch table at rapid speed. These had the power to make you cool or get you booted from the popular table and for your sake, you'd better hope that you were chewing with your mouth firmly shut. On the other hand? We're still waiting for these to come back in jumbo size.
17 Chef Boyardee
Is the commercial playing in your head yet? It's still unclear what the mystery meat is that resides in the center of the ravioli in Chef Boyardee, but it's best not to think about it. Every 90s kid will be the first to say that they still get an obnoxious craving for these every once in a while. After all, they were a childhood favorite for lunch on weekends, but they function as completely different comfort food for adult 90s kids. Nowadays, we turn to them in times of sadness, as a 2 AM snack, and when nursing a hangover.
16 Bagel Bites Are Life
We're not sure who the genius was behind these tiny bagel-and-pizza-topping bites of heaven, but bravo. Not only did these shape the notion of an "after-school snack", but they revolutionized what we consider to be "pizza". Bagel bites still reign supreme in late-night snack foods to this day, and any 90s kid will tell you that your life is not complete until you've finished off a tray of these. Move aside, pizza rolls, you're still not good enough to beat out a 90s classic.
15 The Real MVP Was Linden's Cookies
No, your snack pack was not complete without a sugary cookie treat from Linden's. These cookies would soon lose their popularity to the likes of Mrs. Field's (that cheater with her soft, chewy cookies) or, even more tantalizing, homemade chocolate chip cookies by your school lunch ladies. These cookies were a lunchtime staple and chances were, someone would be trying to bargain a pudding cup for at least one of three decadent cookies that could be found in this package... Not a chance, Skippy.
14 Handi-Snacks Came In Clutch During Snack Time
The only good part about Handi-Snacks was the cheese that came with it. This was a great way to get a daily dose of that deliciously unhealthy nacho cheese that was at least 90% salt. It was as if someone had taken the cheese powder from Kraft, added water, and boom -- instant spreadable cheese. The Ritz crackers that the packs came with were equally as good, but the proper ratio of cheese to cracker was never quite clear. Inevitably, there was always one cracker leftover because we gorged ourselves on spreadable cheese.
13 Kudos Were A "Healthy" Snack
Were they similar to rice krispies? Were they some kind of granola bar sans granola? No one really knows. What we did know was that there were candy logos onthe side of the box so that was good enough for us. The best way to get a kid to eat anything in the 90s was to either smother it with cheese or top it with candy (not unlike getting us to eat food today) and that's exactly what Kudos did. Whether your bag was straight chocolate, snickers peanuts, or m&m's, there was a snack bar for everyone.
12 Pure Magic Came From Sprinkl'ins
In stark contrast to Trix, Sprinkl'ins provided yet another way to get kids to eat yogurt. This was the cause of team separation at the lunch table... Either you pulled a Trix out of your lunch box and remained true to the rabbit, or you pulled out a pack of sprinkles and shook the magic into your previously plain yogurt. Nowadays, you can find yogurt with granola, graham crackers, chocolate, candy, etc., but back then? All we had was multi-colored yogurt to get us through the day.
11 Wonder Balls Disappeared
This was later revealed to be due to the fact that they were a choking hazard, which is a pretty legitimate reason to discontinue something. We were quite rambunctious in the 90s and it's not unrealistic to imagine a kid ripping open a chocolate Wonder Ball and eating all of its contents, whether that be a candy or a toy. There was no denying that these chocolate balls were decadence for us, and we're still dreaming about all the mini toys we could have scored.
10 Butterfinger BB's Were So Much Better Than Butterfingers
If you didn't sneak at least one of these bags into the movies as a kid, did you really even go to the movies? Butterfinger BB's were an excellent candy choice for lovers of Butterfinger candies (like myself) because they contained all the great flavor without threatening your cavitiy fillings. If you had cavities then you probably should have passed on these but that's beside the point. They also made a great date night snack, because they were likely to melt in your hand or get stuck in your braces... Win.
9 Crispy M&Ms Revolutionized The Candy World
Not too far behind are crispy m&m's. These crunchy little sweets were fun because not only were they texturally pleasing, but they were delicious. These were especially great when trying to throw them into your friend's mouth from across the room when the teacher wasn't looking. They could soon be found in vending machines everywhere and it was a sad day when we found one that didn't carry these crunchy goodies. Not to mention, they far outranked their cousin, the oversize peanut m&m's.
8 Cheetos Paws
There are Cheetos purists and then there are those who loved this range of avant-garde snacks. Cheetos were excellent on their own whether they're puffed or crunchy, but these "paws" as they were called just didn't cut it. They were an awkward shape to chew and for some reason, the cheese powder never really seemed to stick correctly to them. It took much longer to get cheese powder hands, much to the disappointment of Cheetos lovers everywhere. Still, the fact they were so incredibly 90s makes us
7 Kid Cuisine Was Only Good For The Brownie
In the 90s, we saw the emergence of kid-specific dinners called Kid Cuisines. They would normally come with chicken nuggets (with more than enough room for a ketchup or BBQ sauce squirt), corn, mac 'n cheese, and a gooey brownie that never seemed to fully cook. Inevitably, you ate it in the order of brownie, mac 'n cheese, nuggets, and then corn... If you didn't toss the veg into the garbage when your mum wasn't looking. Any other eating order would just be wrong.
6 McDonald's Arch Deluxe Was All We Needed
There have been rumors of this crazy double-stacked burger coming back and we have to admit, we're totally here for it if it does. The golden arches have been a beacon to many a child craving a happy meal and as adults, the Arch Deluxe is really as close as we can get to that warm and fuzzy (and potentially gassy) feeling. Stacked between layers of cheese, pickles, tomato, lettuce, onions, bacon, and special sauce is the reason behind why fast food is so addicting.
5 Anything Pizza Hut-Related
Going to Pizza Hut as a kid in the 90s was something akin to Andy visiting Pizza Planet in Toy Story. There were interactive game tables, personal pizzas, free coloring books with nontoxic crayons, and it was, all in all, a kid-friendly experience. Nowadays, Pizza Hut bases much of their advertising on their delivery service. In the 90s, it was all about pulling into a coveted spot outside of that red hut roof and knowing you were in for some cheesy pizza delight... And possibly a free plastic hand puppet.
4 Purple Ketchup Was Weird And Unusual
As a child, I was so not convinced about this "unique" ketchup. The OCD in me alerted me to the fact that ketchup is not meant to be any other color than red, so I was naturally untrusting of a purple tomato condiment. While I sat in a corner with anxiety at eight years old, my friends proceeded to squirt pounds of this weirdly-colored ketchup on their fries. Needless to say, these were limited edition and did not last long in the world of strange condiments...
3 Shark Bites From Betty Crocker
These got old quickly but were excellent forms of a sugar rush when they first came onto the snack scene. If you walked into school and pulled these out of your lunch box, you were automatically second-coolest next to the kid who brought in Gushers. These sharky snacks were sweet, fruity, and provided just the right amount of chew to pass for legitimate gummies. We're not sure what Betty Crocker was thinking in the brief branching away from their signature cake mix, but it was well-received on our end.
2 Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuffed Burrito From T-Bell Was "Healthy"
When it comes to Taco Bell, there's a mutual understanding amongst 90s kids that there is never a bad time for it. It's the ultimate in comfort food albeit a completely Americanized version of what a taco or burrito should be. As we got older, we had a mild interest in new "healthy" menu items (in order to make the switch from balloon pants to low-rise jeans). Enter: The Chicken Caesar Grilled Stuffed Burrito. It didn't last long in popularity or reputation and lost to Meximelts almost every time.
1 Ellio's Pizza That Was Always Burnt On The Edges
Just looking at it makes you long for the days when lunch was served on a rectangular green snack tray. Ellios pizza seemed to always have its own unique flavor and the term "pizza sauce" and "shredded mozzarella cheese" never rang truer than when one of these was heating up in the oven. If you weren't cooking it in the oven, then you could guarantee that the microwave would always be responsible for uneven cooking. There are two types of people in this world: Those who grin and bear it, and those who skillfully cut the chewy corners off.