Kicking It Old-School20 Things ‘90s Kids Actually Ate For LunchGina Vaynshteyn

When you were a kid, you had two favorite times of the day: lunch, and when the bell rang at 3:30pm. Lunch was pretty special though, even if you were stuck at school. Lunch time led to the grand unveiling of what your mom or dad packed you in your Hercules lunch box.

If you were a child of the ’90s, chances are, it was probably garbage. Sweet, delicious garbage. These days, my sister-in-law packs organic granola bars and sliced gala apples for my niece and nephew, but I remember my dad throwing whatever I had picked out at the grocery store into my backpack, and that was totally normal. In fact, if your lunch box *didn’t* contain at least one or two completely processed snacks, you were probably looked down upon. Like, who do you think you are, not bringing a bag of fruit snacks laden with red dye no. 6 to school?

The best part about ’90s snacks, was that most of them were designed to be some sort of activity for us. We were constantly “making” our own pizzas, or wearing chips on our fingers. Although we probably grew out of most of these treats (I said probably!), we can still reminisce, right? See if you can remember finding some of these technically edible gems in your lunch box:

1. Lunchables


Lunchables gave you the culinary ingenuity to do whatever you wanted with your ingredients. Stack your crackers, cheese, and deli meat up like a leaning tower of junk food, make pizzas out of fudge and M&Ms, shove Reese’s in your mini burgers — the options were infinite.

2. Sprinkl’ins Yogurt


Sprinkl’ins offered you the opportunity to show your parents you could eat healthy by consuming “yogurt.” Also, you got to mix in a surprise variety of sprinkles or powder every single time!

3. Nilla Wafers

nilla wafers

For some reason, you always fooled yourself into thinking these were delicious, when in reality, Nilla Wafers are just tasteless, vanilla-scented pucks.

4. Ritz Bits


Crackers with peanut-butter or cheese? GENIUS.

5. Bologna and Kraft American cheese sandwich


Nitrites be damned. This sandwich was everything.

6. Fruit Rolls Ups


Fruit Rolls Ups were like sheets of strawberry-flavored plastic, but you could artistically express yourself with them by making strawberry plastic pizzas and tie-dye hearts.

7. Bugles


Placing bugles on our fingers and curling our hands at friends like we were witches was the only proper way to consume Bugles.

8. Handi-Snacks


I’m still not sure why we needed a red wand to make cheese and cracker sandwiches.

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  1. Loved them all and I haven’t grown up yet because I still pack these in my bag all the time. What ones that are still available.

  2. rainbow chip frosting (see #10 solution) has been discontinued. sign the petition to get betty crocker to bring it back!!

  3. Hahahaha. I thought I was the only one!

    I had a potentially unhealthy obsession with Harriet the Spy after I read the book/saw the movie (I mean, I had my own spy belt), and I ate mayo/tomato (+a pound of salt, probably) sandwiches for lunch everyday for the better part of a year.

    I couldn’t eat another tomato until I was 23.

  4. No wonder diabetis is so common in our generation.

  5. That’s weird. I was able to remember Dunkaroos weren’t that great for around 3 bucks at a Dollar General in the middle of the US.

  6. Im disgusted by the lack of snack packs


  8. Koala Yummies!!

  9. Kudos bars!!

  10. Sodalicious candy!! They were my love in elementary

  11. Being Norwegian my lunch usually looked something like this:

  12. Go-Gurt, Surge, Mini M&Ms, Butterfinger BB’s, Fruitopia, Trix Yogurt, Dizzy Grizzlies, Amazin’ Fruit, Orbitz drinks, Push Pop, Fun Dip, Wonder Ball, Ring Pop, Fruit String Thing.

  13. Have you tried the Birthday Cake Oreos (vanilla cookie with funfetti filling)? They taste DANGEROUSLY close to dunkaroos. Of course you don’t get to dunk the cookies on your own, but they’re still delicious. Just putting that out there…

  14. You left out Chef Boyardee! I ate SO much of that stuff

  15. Nilla Wafers and Nutella are absolutely worth trying, even as an adult! I am strickly not allowed to buy these two at the same time as I will eat the entire box and jar in one sitting!!


  17. I was born in ’97 and I remember eating most of this stuff. So yummy^^

  18. Lunchables are still popular with the kids. As are Gushers and other fruit snacks.

  19. FYI the arizona energy drinks with the green and black cans taste like ecto cooler.

  20. I also worked for the company that makes Lunchables for 10 years…STILL LOVE THEM!