The synthesized pop music. The colorful neon clothes. The totally tubular language adults needed a key to—like—decipher. We love everything about the ’80s, especially ’80s food and candy. Take a trip down memory lane with some of our gastronomical favorites from the rad-est decade you ever lived through.

Smurf-Berry Crunch Cereal

The only thing better than watching the Smurfiest show around on Saturday mornings was sitting down to do it with a bowl of Smurf-Berry Crunch in your lap. Total kid bliss.

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TCBY Yogurt

Your kids enjoy theirs with every topping under the sun. But when FroYo debuted on the scene the flavors were the main (and only) feature, and TCBY was where you went to get it.

Bagel Bites

Pizza in the morning, pizza in the evening ... you remember it. While Bagel Bites were largely popular well into the '90s, they had their birth in the good ole '80s, and we're darn proud of that. There was nothing quite rushing home, popping some Bagel Bites in the oven, and subsequently burning the roof of your mouth with piping hot cheese.

SuperPretzel

'80s kids loved bringing the ballpark home. And after a sprinkle of water, a smattering of salt and about 30 seconds in the microwave, this one was ready to eat.

Ecto Cooler

There was no shortage of sugary drinks in the '80s, but none so exciting as Hi-C's repackage of their Citrus Cooler into Ecto Cooler. You could watch your fave episodes of The Real Ghostbusters and sip the drink in all its glory.

 

Quisp Cereal

You could never quite figure out what this guy was and why he wasn’t the star of one of your favorite video games. These are just a few of many deep kid-thoughts you had over bowl after bowl of this crunchy corn cereal.

Push Pop Candy

The original packing for this popular '80s candy looked like it walked right off the set of Saved by the Bell. But you liked it because the cool checkerboard wrapping matched your Vans.

Lean Cuisine

You probably passed by this one when you were rummaging through the freezer on the hunt for popsicles. But this diet food fad of the ’80s wasn’t lost on moms.

Fruit Wrinkles

They may not have looked like much, but Fruit Wrinkles were a pretty tasty snack for the '80s. A sister product to the famed Fruit Roll-Up, the bite-sized bits were supposed to look like wrinkly fruit. 

Pac-Man Cereal

A true cross-marketing colossus, Pac Man cereal fed '80s kids’ Pac Man fever—literally. Between the cereal, the song and the game, kids could eat, sleep and breathe Pac Man … for a few years anyway.

 

Jello-O Pudding Pops

As if pudding wasn’t awesome enough already, the marketing gurus over at Jell-O made it into a popsicle in the ’80s. Rich, creamy and touted as healthy, these were a go-to fave any time of year.

Squeezeits

Squeezeits made lunch and snack time worth it. The plastic, juice-filled bottles came in tons of flavors and were guaranteed to stain your mouth, all while giving you a sugar high.

 

Cool Ranch Doritos

Everyone's favorite salad dressing that became a drench-everything-in-it dip became a tortilla chip. Ad spokesman Jay Leno encouraged our obsession with the tagline: "Crunch all you want, we'll make more."

Crystal Light

You'll be hard-pressed to find a 1980s kid who doesn't know the peppy jingle set to pop music: "I believe in Crystal Light, cause I believe in me." 

Fruit Roll-Ups

A lunchbox staple and must-have, we folded, twisted and tucked the sticky, chewy fruit roll-ups into the right size to stick it to the roof of our mouth for hours after lunch ended. It really did make fruit fun.

Dr. Pepper Gum

No soda machine? No problem! One bite into a Dr. Pepper piece of bubble gum sent a burst of the spicy cola out of the gum's liquid center to quench your thirst.

Cheez Balls

So what if they turned your fingers bright orange and left a cheesy residue all over your hands––Planters Cheez Balls were an easy, airy snack and they came in giant canisters which meant no fighting with your siblings over who got to eat the most.

Toaster Strudel

Your unassuming toaster oven became an instant bakery when you popped in a frozen Toaster Strudel and out came a flaky pastry filled with warm fruit goodness that you got to top with sugary icing. Breakfast was served indeed.

Mr. T Cereal

You pitied the fool who didn't get to start the day with a big bowl of Mr. T cereal. Let's face it—we all just wanted the stickers inside the box.

Reese's Pieces

We were sold on making the switch from M&Ms to Reese's Pieces after our favorite alien E.T. took a liking to them. 

Big League Chew

Move over candy cigarettes, kids of the '80s got more than a mouthful pretending Big League Chew was tobacco. How many of you actually packed an entire bag of the shredded gum into your lower lip? 

Gobstoppers

Anyone else in awe that the sweet shell of an ingenious Gobstopper changed colors multiple times before arriving at its sour center? Entertainment for hours.

Capri Sun

If kids today only knew how hard it was to get the straw into the original packaging of a Capri Sun. But the Wild Cherry juice in the metallic pouch really added some punch to school lunches and snack time. 

Lunchables

In retrospect, Lunchables were like the PlanetBox of the '80s. Circular disks of bologna, squares of neon orange cheese, crackers to stack 'em on and a dessert and drink all tucked perfectly secure into their own compartments. 

Handi-Snacks

Ahhh, Handi-Snacks. We all pretended to be master chefs spreading that hard blob of cheese ever so gently across a buttery cracker without breaking it. In an effort to be eco-friendly, the red stick is no longer included, but a petition is trying to bring it back.

Diet Coke

Diet Coke first hit the scene in 1982 and one or both of your parents probably bought it by the case and lived on it as some sort of magical elixir. 

Keebler's Magic Middles

The cookie was elevated to an art form in Keebler's Magic Middles which thrilled us all with the chocolatey frosting inside. Two desserts in one.

Jolly Rancher Fire Stix

More like a punishment than a treat, Jolly Rancher Fire Stix sticks set your mouth on fire—and cut your tongue once you sucked on them long enough to turn them into a sharp shard.

Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake

If you ate all your veggies, you were promised a thick slice of thawed Sara Lee All Butter Pound Cake that every kid of the '80s came to know and love as an after-dinner dessert.

Hot Pockets

Hot Pockets were the ultimate DIY after school snack. You slid the pizza into that silver sleeve from the space age and watched mind-blowing microwave technology do its thing. 

Nerds

You may still have one of these teeny-tiny pebble-like candies stuck in one of your molars today. You got to pour them straight in your mouth––and if you were really crazy, you slid open BOTH sides of the box to get a mix of each flavor at once. 

Microwave Popcorn

The decade started with a real bang in 1981 when General Mills got the first patent for a microwave popcorn bag. Sure, it wasn't the perfect pop every time, but the convenience factor outweighed the frustration of unpopped kernels.

––Allison Sutcliffe, Beth Shea & Karly Wood

 

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