Everyone knows that snacking isn't generally very good for you. Only eating at set mealtimes is one of the top ways that you can manage your health. Of course, what's good for us and what we want aren't always the same thing, and anyway, if you eat right most of the time and keep up your exercise, then there will be space in your diet for a little treat now and then. Besides, what if you get low blood sugar and underperform at school?
Catering to these exceptions and to the people who've decided they won't be told, or just prefer to snack, the snack industry has become a global behemoth. No wing of it is more effective or better-funded than the kids' snacks, because creating brand loyalty can mean a customer for life, and kids tend to lack self-discipline. This means there are plenty of yummy options aimed at children, and always more entering a crowded market.
Of course, thanks to our parents trying to limit the amount of nonsense we put into our bodies, we tend to remember well our favorite childhood snacks. They were made all the more precious thanks to their deliciousness being combined with the lure of the forbidden fruit. Let's see how well you recall the top children's treats of the 1990s!
Before there was Baby Shark, the shark on everyone's lips were Shark Bites. These delights came from Betty Crocker, and they came in lots of colors - though they did, of course, eventually introduce a Great White!
If you found Oreos to be not enough work, Betty Crocker had a snack for you! You got the cookies, you got the icing, and you could combine them in whatever amounts suited you.
Trix Yogurt doesn't look healthy, even though it has yogurt in the name. That's because it wasn't. Still, it was a fun snack if you enjoyed swirling one color of sugar into another!
MicroMagic Hamburgers are a little slider, part of the MicroMagic range. The meat in them was essentially pure salt/fat/chlorine, with very little actual beef, but that didn't mean people didn't love them!
Keebler brought us Magic Middles, which were a little like a Pop-Tart. They were a cookie that had a filling in the middle - and that filling was good. It was very good.
Again, 1990s snacks sometimes liked to introduce a gamification element, and no more obvious example existed than SqueezeIt. Is this a silly game that wastes some of the drink? Sure it is, but you have to remember that not everyone had the internet yet, so standards for games were lower.
If you thought actual juice was entirely too liquid, Minute Maid Juice Bars were for you. They were basically a pop dressed up with the healthier word "juice," and unlike our other snacks here, they weren't totally devoid of nutritional value. Great for the summer weather!
The original Ghostbusters came out in the 1980s, but in the '90s, monsters from it were still big news. Thus, Ecto Cooler, which is a not-horrible drink version of the horrible "ectoplasm" ghost slime from the movie.
Remember how 1990s girl bands often had four outfits, all made of the same fabric but each with a different weird cut-out or styling choice? Orbitz Drink packaging was like that. The contents were about as authentically "food" as the autotune on some of those CDs, too!
"Dorito" means "little golden thing," and it dates back to the late 1960s. However, in the 1990s they were all about trying new versions. Enter the 3D version; a little pyramid of snacky goodness!
LifeSavers very smartly realized that making their candy then throwing away the holes was wasteful. People wanted to eat those holes - and they did!
The marketing idea behind this was essentially, "Do you want to think about wrestlers, but not eat like one?" These snack bars were ideal to eat while watching the big fight. If you wanted to fight in it, you probably needed more lean protein than they offered!
Soda-licious helped to make the carbonated beverage experience solid. There are a lot of imitators out there now, but Soda-licious predates them all.
Unilever made this delicious British ice-cream-and-chocolate layer cake that was then spread to the world! It just came back under the Breyer's brand in the US.
Cookie Crisp gave you a boost of sugar to start your day. It is supposed to taste like chocolate chip cookies but contain some of the benefits of cereal, such as fiber.
Warheads were not aimed at the pacifist parent. They were extremely sour, and if you ate enough of them, your tongue did indeed feel like it had gone to war - but your tummy felt like it had won!
Little Hugs Fruit Barrels are a fruity drink that comes in a foil-capped bottle. Big Hug were the 16oz version. Little Hug did indeed feel like a hug for your tastebuds!
If you loved "toot sweet" from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, then Melody Pops were the real world version. A lot of people couldn't make much music with them, so it was a badge of honor on the playground if you could!
String Thing came in long ropes of fruity candy. That meant you could tie it in knots and otherwise occupy yourself with the parts you weren't eating!
Oatmeal Swirlers were all about spicing up your morning oatmeal with a little more flavor. They were a smart snack, because giving them to your kids incentivized them to eat the healthy oatmeal that came with them!
Bubble Jug was full of little nuggets that started off powdery, then turned into gum as you chewed them! Your saliva effectively rehydrated them and made them chewy.
If you loved salty, cheesy goodness, Planters Cheese Balls were the way to go. They came in a handy cannister, which you could then repurpose for crayons!
If you thought marshmallows were great, but not fruity enough, this was the snack for you. Jet-Puffed Funmallows were marshmallows that had all sorts of flavors and could make any cocoa drink delightful.
Crystal Pepsi was a hit, but Pepsi Blue was... not. It was the New Coke of the 1990s, and it happily disappeared later on.
The candy was only OK, but the distribution of it using this not-entirely-unlike Pez dispenser was a lot of fun. Push-Ups also sounded like exercise, and that's healthy... right?
Pizzarias sound like they are a pizza crossed with a song, but they are actually a pizza crossed with a chip! They came from Keebler and they were pretty darn sinful.
The Ninja Turtles were everywhere in the 1990s, and that included this snack. It was a lot of fun to eat, as well as darn delicious!
Nestle sold this candy under their Willy Wonka brand at first. Laffy Taffy remains on the shelves today, but it was first big in the 1990s, bringing its chewy delights to snackers everywhere.
Ring pops were designed to be awfully convenient because you could put them on your finger and then have your hands effectively free. Indeed, they'd be the ideal candy for the age of everyone constantly being on their phones!
If you liked brownies but wanted a little more sugar on the top, then Cosmic Brownies were the best option for you. There are plenty of copycat recipes out there, too, so you can actually make your own version of this one!
Fruit Gushers, commonly known as gushers, were a very geometric candy. They came in a variety of colors and once you got through the hard shell, fruit flavor would gush everywhere!
If you thought ketchup was great but the color was dull, EZ Squirt Ketchup was likely to be your jam, or at least, your condiment. It came in colors that, in our more health-conscious time, are sure to make the parental eyes pop.
Nowadays there are a thousand types of M&Ms. However, there used to just be chocolate and peanut. Enter Crispy M&Ms, which were a delicious revelation that blazed the trail for caramel and all the rest!
This was called yogurt, but it's actually a yogurt drink. It is probably the most nutritionally valuable item on this list, which might explain why it's still going strong 25 years later!
If you liked your candy in portions that you chose, Hubba Bubba Bubble Tape was great. It went for several feet, and you could tear off as much as you wanted. It was also a handy way of giving some to your friends, and in choosing amounts that let them knew where they stood.
Jolt was actually introduced in 1985, and it wasn't very suitable for kids. That didn't stop '90s kids using it, especially the ones who needed to stay awake when dealing with difficult term papers.
Oatmeal Creme Pies came from Little Debbi in the 1960s. They were popular in the 1990s, however, where the fact that they were oatmeal cookies took away from the fact that they were, still, cookies with icing in the middle. They were darn good, though!
If you liked your jam sandwiches without the crusts, then Smucker's Uncrustables was probably a regular in your pantry. They are a little like a Pop Tart, but with a softer shell, and came in a number of varieties!