It’s 12 p.m. on a Wednesday. You pull out your lunch surrounded by your fourth grade class. Today is special: your mom didn’t have time to cook in the morning so you stopped at Safeway to get some food. That’s right—it’s Lunchable time.
Audible gasps can be heard around the table. Everyone scrambles to pull out their prime trading material as the teacher looks the other way. The food dealing has begun.
Lunchables are the quintessential nostalgia food. Specifically, the pizza variant. That memory of pulling out the sauce, the crust and the cheese to sprinkle made us all admittedly feel like Gordon Ramsey. They were cheap and we all begged our mothers to take us to the store and buy them for us, even though they were supposedly “unhealthy.” Best of all was the feeling of looking up and down the aisles for the prime pizza lunchable—the one that came with Oreos and Capri Sun.
This brings us to the next item: Capri Sun. No one given the choice between Kool-Aid and Capri Sun picked Kool-Aid, and that’s just a fact. The different Capri Sun flavors tasted the same but we all had a favorite. That sense of accomplishment we got when we were able to push the straw into the hole on the first try is satisfying and unforgettable. I’d even go as far as to speculate that the reason boba is so popular is because pushing the straw through the seal reminds us all of our old Capri Sun days.
Of course, SunnyD was a close second. Remember that? Convincing our moms that it was just regular orange juice and that it was healthy when in reality we all knew it was filled to the brim with sugar. The mini caps on the SunnyD made it easy to share by pouring it in to them instead of getting someone else’s germs on your drink. SunnyD was easily a staple of elementary school life.
Last but not least, this list would be incomplete if I didn’t mention Gushers. They were so colorful and pretty and they’d just paint your tongue with arrays of color.Wikipedia calls them “made primarily of sugar and fruit juice, with small amounts of other ingredients,” but that didn’t stop us from eating them like they were the last food on earth.
Overall, food can hold a lot of memories. It can remind us of happier times as small children and send us to the past that’s complete with tons of sugar. Maybe I’ll go get some Lunchables now, just to remember how easy life used to be.