There are plenty of reasons to love being a kid, but one of the most overlooked perks of childhood is the cuisine. Imagine having to be told not to play with your food. Eating was that fun as a kid.
Unfortunately, many of your favorite kids meals were not so much meals as they were solid clusters of calories and sugar. While bingeing on Spaghettios and SunnyD as an adult may bring back some nostalgia, it will also leave you with a serious food hangover.
For your viewing pleasure (sorry no eating), we’ve come up with a list of our favorite kids foods we wish we could eat as an adult, but know we shouldn’t. Don’t take this list as inspiration for your next snack attack. Trust us. You’ll regret it the next day.
1. Smiley Face Potatoes
5 g fat (0.5 g saturated)
240 mg sodium
Serving: 6 pieces
These overly happy potatoes faces made by McCain Foods could very well ruin your street cred --or at least get you a few funny stares at work if you cooked up a batch for lunch. But if you're insisting on reliving your child-like ways, it's not so bad to have your food smile at you. You might even smile back.
Editor's Note: this article originally misstated the nutritional value of McCain's Smiley Face Potatoes, confusing it with another smiley shaped potato product.
60 g sugars
Let's face it, the friend's mom who always served you SunnyD as a kid was just cooler than the other moms. At least, that's what the SunnyD commercial always said. The truth is that your friend's mom was feeding you the liquid equivalent of a dozen Chips Ahoy cookies, which may have actually been kinda cool back then. This drink is not to be confused with orange juice. In fact, there's only 5 percent juice in a whole bottle of SunnyD. The rest? Orange sugar. Not to be consumed in adulthood. Unless, of course, you want to try the redneck classic "SunnyD and Rum."
3. Candy Shakes
50 g fat (26 g saturated, 1 g trans)
112 g sugars
The nutritional information above is for one small Baskin-Robbins Snickers Shake. Over a thousand calories in a small. Sure, candy-themed shakes were totally awesome as a kid, but as an adult you will definitely regret ordering your Snickers bar with a side of milkshake.
4. Ritz Bits Cracker Sandwiches
Serving size: 1 single serve package (42 grams)
13 g fat (4.5 g saturated)
480 mg sodium
6 g sugars
These little guys seemed totally harmless as a kid. It's just cheese and crackers. What could possibly go wrong? A lot, it turns out. One single serving of Cheese Ritz Bits has more sodium and more than twice the saturated fat as a small order of Chicken McNuggets.
5. Mott's Original Apple Sauce
Serving size: 1/2 cup (128g)
0 g fat
25 g sugars
Just when you think you've found the one healthy thing you used to eat as a kid, here comes high fructose corn syrup to ruin everything. Take a look at the back of your Mott's apple sauce. You will notice the second ingredient after apples is, you guessed it, high fructose corn syrup. Not really the wholesome choice you were looking for.
6. Spaghettios with Sliced Franks
Serving size: half a can
6 g fat (2 g saturated)
600 mg sodium
9 g sugars
The phrase "Uh oh, Spaghettio" never rang as true as it did when you tried eating them again as an adult. First off, gooey noodles are totally gross. Secondly, one bowlful contains more than a quarter of your daily limit for sodium intake. And lastly, it comes in a can that's lined with bisphenol-A (BPA), which is a health hazard of a whole different breed.
2 g fat (1 g saturated)
410 mg sodium
52 g sugars
Sorry to be the bearer of bad news. Yoo-Hoo is not chocolate milk. It's not milk of any kind. Technically, it's "drink." A quick look at the ingredients on the back of the bottle will tell you the sad, sad truth about Yoo-Hoo. There is virtually no milk in the beverage. It's mostly water, sugars, a little cocoa, some milk by-product, and bunch of chemicals.
19 g fat (3 g saturated)
235 mg sodium
15 g sugars
Even your parents knew that the Fluffernutter has close to zero nutritional value. It's the cheapest white bread you can buy with some marshmallow and peanut butter slapped on it.
9. Kraft Handi-Snacks
6 g fat (2 g saturated)
330 mg sodium
2 g sugars
Remember how cool it was to dunk your crackers in a less fluffy version of Cheez Whiz? Remember how that awesome red stick came in the package so you could lather your snack with all the "cheese" you couldn't reach by dunking? Such nice memories. And you should probably keep them that way. The individually-packaged snack is practically all Partially Hydrogenated Oil and artificial coloring and flavors, but it doesn't make the old commercial any less cool.
10. Ring Pops
0 g fat
55 mg sodium
11 g sugars
Rule of thumb for adults wanting to eat a Ring Pop: don't do it unless you want to a.) look super creepy and b.) ingest possibly toxic dye. If you decide to ignore the rule, then at least read the back of the package. Watch out for these ingredients: Blue 1, Blue 2, Citrus Red, Green 3, Orange B, Red 3, Red 40, Yellow 5, and Yellow 6.