Do you remember that phrase, “Stop playing with your food?” It’s time everyone realizes the truth about this: there is nothing wrong with playing with your food. In fact, the food industry would probably agree—plus, aren’t there studies that say the more satisfied you are with your meal the less you will overeat?
While the food industry and online studies don’t have the final say,who says snacking has to be boring? Playing with your food is not an endeavor only allowed for kids; here are 9 of the best foods made to give eating an amusement factor (for all ages).
1. Alphabet Soup
This Campbell’s classic has been bringing people smiles for the past 150 years. Unlike most of the other playable foods, this soup is a filling meal. The letter-shaped pasta allows you to spell out words, write cute messages to a friend (or at least a poor attempt at one) and have a grand old time.
While “where” and “how” Alphabet soup was invented is still debated, the legend goes that a factory mishap left pasta in the shape of a C. This induced the lettered pasta idea, which just took off from there. One of the best ways to enjoy this soup is in a mug or bowl, heated up, with a friend to write notes to.
2. Ring Pops
Need a sweet treat to give to your best friend? Need a ring for your elementary school “proposal”-or prom-posal? This may be exactly what you’re looking for.
Ring Pops, which bring back fond childhood memories, are manufactured by the Topps company. It’s all thanks to Frank Richards, who invented these wearable, fruit-flavored lollipops in 1979 with the purpose of thwarting his daughter’s habit of thumb-sucking.
Even picky people love ring pops because of their wide variety, of which there are at least 12 flavors including strawberry, raspberry and watermelon. Go ahead, have a sweet treat. And pretend you’ve got a diamond ring too.
3. String Cheese
There’s no need to feel ashamed for still loving your favorite Kindergarten snack. This one is a go-to lunch box staple, or a clean, on-the-go travel food. String cheese has an unexplained entertaining quality; whatever it is, there’s just something thrilling (and slightly addicting) about peeling those thin strands of cheesy goodness.
While some may believe string cheese is unhealthy and strangely processed, they’re wrong. String cheese is made by heating regular mozzarella cheese to 140°F. This temperature aligns certain milk proteins, making the cheese strong and stringy: no chemicals, no unnatural processing, only fun satisfaction. You’ve got to love aligned milk proteins.
4. Candy Jewelry
The sweet and chalky taste of edible jewelry is priceless. Real necklaces and bracelets would break your teeth if you munched on them (not that I would know), but edible jewelry doesn’t crack your pearly whites. Instead, they make you feel like you’ve acquired a superhuman jaw (take that, Spiderman!).
The downside? These aren’t the healthiest snacks to eat because they’re basically pure sugar. Fortunately though, the rest of our wardrobe has not yet been made into edible material, which could be a sticky situation.
5. Shaped Chicken Nuggets
If you have not tried shaped chicken nuggets, you are missing out. Period.
Not only do these give you the experience of savory nuggets, which you can dip in the condiment of your choosing, but they can also livin’ up dinnertime. From stars to hearts, and crowns to (my personal favorite) dinosaurs, this food is aesthetically pleasing and fun to eat.
6. Smiley-faced French Fries
What makes these french fry variations unique is that they give you a friendly smile right before you bite their faces off. Also, they have what I like to call the “Toy-Effect”. This is when something, in this case food, becomes perceived as a playful toy.
For example, if you like ketchup, you can press the smiley fry into a blob of ketchup. Who doesn’t love seeing blood-red ketchup oozing from the innocent, happy face you are about to devour–or wait, maybe that’s just me.
7. Sugar Cigarettes
This candy is perfect for those who like to pretend to smoke without the dangerous possible side effects of developing lung cancer (Warning: over-consumption may lead to type II diabetes).
8. Marshmallow Guns
Are you looking for a more action-filled snack time? Then Marshmallow shooters are for you. These guns allow for safe shooting, so you (probably) won’t shoot your eye out. You can even have a literal food fight.
While it’s not advised to eat food off of the ground, you could have a marshmallow war in the backyard while snacking at the same time. I’m not sure who first had the idea to combine these edible pillows of goodness with a violent weapon, but they should win some sort of obscure award for their creativity.
(Precautions: Cannot be used for game hunting and should not be used to roast marshmallows over the fire.)
It wasn’t too long ago that Pringles hit the markets and took the world by chip-storm with their classic crunch, flavor and duck-face potential. Credit should seriously go to Pringles for inventing the duck-face — or for at least making it closer to looking like an actual duck bill. Just don’t get your hand stuck in the container.
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