Ah, childhood. The days were simpler, easier and we didn’t even know the definition of “calories”. Music and pop culture thrived in the 1990s and early 2000s but other aspects faltered a bit, like food. Sugary snacks from our childhood would not fit into our health-conscious culture today, but let’s rewind 15 years and take a look at this list of 13 gross and unhealthy foods that you probably ate as a child:
1. Heinz EZ Squirt Ketchup
I’m still not sure why Heinz thought it was a good idea to introduce a line of colored ketchups in 2000, but alas it happened. This phenomenon appeared through thoughtfully named colors such as Blastin’ Green, Stellar Blue, Funky Purple and even the limited edition Shrek bottle that was (sadly?) discontinued in 2006.
2. Pixy Stix
These pure sugar sticks take me back to the days of elementary school birthday parties where kids would take these sticks as shots only to follow them with a Hi-C juice box as a chaser. Despite the gag-worthy amount of sugar, you probably didn’t know Pixy Stix are considerably low in calories, with only 9 calories per tube and 0 grams of fat.
3. Wax Soda Candy
Cue another sugary candy from our childhood. Wax Soda Candy required a bit of effort to open but were totally worth it, right? To consume, you’d rip off the soft wax tip without swallowing it (okay, you definitely swallowed it once or twice…) and then try to suck the sugary liquid out of the teeny container. Yum.
4. Fruit Gushers
I’ll be the first to admit that I still eat these sugary, syrupy nuggets from time to time. To no surprise, Fruit Gushers are pretty terrible for you. With 12 grams of sugar and 90 calories per pack, I tend to flip the nutrition facts face down when I munch on these.
5. Bubblicious Bubble Tape
#Tbt to when I’d try fit the whole five-foot roll of gum into my mouth. I look back and frown-upon this poor choice of judgment that inevitably caused immense jaw pain every single time. Why weren’t my parents watching?
6. Kid Cuisine
The OG TV dinners (please tell me this was a thing in your childhood household, too). These mini-meals looked exquisitely gourmet from outside but behind the wrapper disappointment awaited because Kid’s Cuisine actually looks like this:
7. Trix Yogurt
I don’t think anyone will soon forget the neon-colored Trix Yogurt that came in fruity flavors like Triple Cherry and Watermelon Burst but minus any actual fruit ingredients. With 14g of sugar, eating a cup of Trix Yogurt is like chugging seven Pixy Stix.
8. Candy Cigarettes
I don’t quite understand why someone thought candy cigarettes were appropriate for young children, but they were all the rage in the early 2000s.
9. Ritz Crackers N’ Cheese Handi Snacks
What’s better than slabbing some over-processed cheese spread on top a flimsy plastic stick only to spread it upon a salty, stale cracker? I can think of a couple of things.
This sugary, creamy mess of a popsicle was a staple in everyone’s childhood summer diet (unless you were like me and Creamsicles repulsed you).
As much as it pains me to include Dunkaroos on a list of “gross foods,” I had to. Basically, they were just off-brand graham cracker bites dipped into Funfetti icing. If you’re like me and mourning the loss of this favorite childhood treat, check out this recipe on creating your own three-ingredient Dunkaroos.
12. Fun Dip
Let’s all be honest with ourselves: Fun Dip was just a stick of hardened sugar dipped into more powdery sugar. Pretty gross looking back, huh?
13. Cheese Whiz
Easy Cheese has to be one of the most disgusting food products to ever exist. Artificial cheese squeezed out of a pressurized container? I’ll take a hard pass. It’s packed with unrecognizable ingredients like Sodium alginate, Apocarotenal and Sodium Citrate. Umm can we get a food translator plz?
Honestly, I’m surprised our generation hasn’t had a cavity epidemic or an outbreak of a terminal sugar rush.