Babysitting has an incredible power to transport you in time to childhood. Whether you loved combing Barbie dolls’ hair or zooming Hot Wheels across the floor, we recall the wonderful things we used to love as children. Though fun and games are great, we all know the true highlight of babysitting is the rush of adrenaline we feel when the kids finally fall asleep and it’s time to raid the pantry. I always “forgot” to pack my own snacks for the evening just so I had an excuse to munch on whatever childhood delicacies I could scavenge from the kitchen.
I always looked forward to this moment because I knew among these shelves were the foods that made my life complete as a child, but that my mother no longer bought. As a mature adolescent, I surely would have been too embarrassed to buy them for myself at the grocery store.
So here’s to hoping this article revives your passion for the nostalgic foods you love, but only see on the rare occurrences you babysit. I hope it helps you find the courage to ignore the haters at the grocery store and buy the delicious and adored children’s snacks anyway.
1. Kraft Macaroni and Cheese
One of the many foods that is exponentially more enjoyable in fun shapes. P.S.A. to anyone reading this while babysitting now: There is now FINDING DORY mac & cheese that could be hiding in the pantry. You’ll miss if you don’t look.
It was as if Christmas came on early the rare occasion we were allowed to bring Lunchables to school. The world has made incredible technological advances since we were children: Lunchables now come in breakfast varieties that include pancakes and cinnamon rolls.
3. Dinosaur Egg Oatmeal
As creepy as this breakfast delight is to think about now, how exciting was it to see those little eggs open up right before we devoured them. We all hated oatmeal as kids, but who could possibly hate dinosaurs?
4. Cookie Crisp Cereal
Let’s face it: you could totally just eat a chocolate chip cookie when you get home. But it is exponentially more fun to eat a whole bowl of tiny cookies soaked in milk, right?
5. Trix Yogurt
The perfect blend of the definitive two best colors for food as a child: pink and blue. If you were that kid who swirled them together, this treat was still a beautiful lavender creation.
But key question: is it frozen Go-Gurt? Better hope it freezes before the parents get home.
7. Capri Sun
Pacific Cooler takes you on a little mini vacation to the coastal waves of California, instead of stuck on some strangers’ couch desperately waiting for them to get home and free you.
Because you can mindlessly munch on these all night long and not feel guilty. #SpoonTip: they’re strangely good alongside chocolate milk.
9. Chocolate Milk
Whether it’s the powdered stuff, the real deal, or Hershey’s chocolate syrup, this is the place to indulge. All chocolate milk drinkers are welcome.
10. Animal Crackers
These little cookies are genius in design. They’re tasty but not too sweet, filling but so light, and who doesn’t love identifying safari animals while they eat?
11. Frosted Animal Cookies
Funny how bright colors and animals never fail to attract both toddlers and college students. Try them in the freezer if you like a little extra crunch.
12. Eggo Waffles
King of all frozen toaster treats. These come in all different flavors, and you can enhance them in any way you like.
13. Cheese Nips
The less-popular cousin of the Cheez-it, this little cracker comes in crazy shapes ranging all the way from CatDog to Angry Birds.
14. Rice Krispie Treats
You could make these at home so easily, but why would you when your employers offer you a Costco-sized box right in their pantry? Plus, they’re so light and sweet that you might as well eat 10.
15. Welch’s Fruit Snacks
We all know and love these as the snack we adored as children and have shamelessly come to rediscover in our adolescence. Plus, if there’s fruit in them, they’re healthy, right?
#SpoonTip: While you’re NOT babysitting, let these babies soak in some vodka for an indulgent alcoholic treat.
16. Fig Newtons
According to Ricky Bobby they’re dangerous and inconvenient, which might not make for the best children’s snack, but they’re just worth the risk.