Happy Throwback Thursday! Nostalgia is powerful, and one thing that never fails to make memories come rushing back is food. Remember comparing and sometimes trading bags of chips and pudding cups over lunchtime tables? Or devouring pizza bites and sodas at birthday parties, as our parents looked on? Worrying about what went into those snacks was a much less common issue before the 2000’s. These days, parents are looking a lot more closely at what goes into their kid’s bellies. But does that mean that our little ones should have to miss out on some of the foods that made our childhoods memorable?

Nope. Some foods have been upgraded to be just as tasty as the originals, sans all the extra artificial, overly processed and unnatural ingredients. Check out some of these gems for your kids, and save a few for yourself to relive the magic.


1. Lunchables / Half Time

Healthy Upgrades to 8 of Our Favorite Childhood Foods

As a parent, Lunchables were a convenient reprieve from having to prepare a lunch for the day. As a kid, you’d look forward to breaking open that box at lunch and assembling some cracker sandwiches. Now, we realize it may not be the best idea to send the kids off to school with a platter of processed and sugar packed food. Applegate now offers an organic alternative to the classic lunch kit that leave no room for worries about artificial ingredients.


2. Capri Sun / Honest Kids


Whether packed in your lunch bag or offered up at the sidelines during a game, it was always a refreshing treat to pop a straw into one of the many flavored Capri Sun juice pouches. For a long time these single sized portions had a high calorie count, and high fructose corn syrup for sweetness. In an extension of their thriving organic tea company, Honest launched a line of organic juice pouches for kids that rival Capri Sun for flavor, but promise to leave behind the extra sugar and artificial ingredients.


3. Goldfish / Annie’s Cheddar Bunnies


Goldfish really gave a new meaning to playing with your food. The fish shaped crackers were as fun to create make-believe under water scenes with as they were to eat. For a long time, they were touted as a natural and healthy snack option – and they were, for the most part. Then, Annie’s hopped along with a natural, bunny-shaped rival cracker. The ingredients incorporated slight adjustments, such using as sunflower oil instead of canola and soybean oils.


4. Poptarts / Nature’s Path



The scent of a toasted Pop Tart in the morning was heavenly. While these pastries may not have been the the healthiest way to start the day, they were one of the tastiest. Nature’s Path’s version of the breakfast treat is certainly on par with the original in terms of calorie, carbohydrate and sugar content, but is a more wholesome option that has a far less extensive ingredient list.

5. Crush / Izze


It’s a well known fact that soda is one of the biggest culprits behind the childhood obesity epidemic. But nothing beats cracking open a can or bottle of something delightfully cold, fizzy and sweet. Fruit flavored sodas like Crush were favored for children as a healthier, caffeine free option. However, these drinks used high fructose corn syrup and artificial colors. Izze offers a natural, preservative-free sparkling fruit juice that is sure to quench anyone’s thirst.


6. GoGurt / Chobani




Yogurt in a tube was one of the coolest snack innovations of the 90’s. Kids would no longer have to worry about forgotten spoons or a spray of yogurt to the face when peeling a top off of a cup. Yet, for such a simple snack, GoGurt was packed with sugar and artificial dyes. Chobani came out with its own reduced sugar and higher protein answer to the traditional yogurt tube.


7. Fruit by the Foot / Clif Kid ZFruit Rope 



Fruit by the Foot was always a snack to get excited about. Unrolling the tape-like fruit flavored ribbon, while slowly eating and reading jokes off of the wax paper was a ritual in itself. It turns out that there was never much real fruit to be found in this treat, but plenty of sugars, artificial additives and dyes. Kids won’t have to miss out on the joy of a great fruit snack with Clif Kid ZFruit Ropes, which are organic and use less than 10 ingredients.


8. Sunny D / Vita Coco Kids



When it came to kid’s hydration, parents would often turn to juice as a natural and vitamin packed option, like Sunny D. While certainly more favorable than soda, most juices still contained a ton of added sugar, artificial dyes and preservatives. Coconut water has made a huge splash on the general beverage market in recent years as a powerful, electrolyte packed drink. While most coconut waters are child-friendly as is, Vita Coco offers a kids line of single serve juice pouches, complete with a straw.


What foods from your childhood have new and improved counterparts for the natural leaning trends of today’s youngsters? We’ll be taking a more in depth look at the eating habits of Generation Z (those born after the mid-90’s) in an upcoming post, so stay tuned!