Remember the days when mom packed a lunchbox for you? As an adult you have to pack your own lunch for work, or worse, hit the vending machine at the noon hour. Somehow, tearing open a brown paper bag and seeing your smooshed cheese sandwich inside just isn’t the same as finding the lunchbox snacks you had as a child.
The whole concept of the school lunchbox is awesome. There you are, with your own private lunchbox, feeling just like dad swinging his briefcase. Or maybe you fantasized about being a woman executive, on her way to an important meeting in the school cafeteria.
The Lunchbox as a Statement
Your lunchbox made a statement about you, too. You either had your favorite superhero, favorite cartoon character, or a lunchbox that really said something about your interests. Like a lunchbox with the Apollo moon landing, or wild animals roaming on the plains of Africa. You could have a lunchbox made out of metal, or even stamped metal – those were cool. Or, you might have had one of the vinyl lunchboxes that all smelled like the inside of a Barbie Doll house.
Lunchbox Snacks: The Best Part of the School Day
But the best part about the school lunchbox was the lunchbox snacks inside. This was before all the peanut allergies, gluten-free craze, and healthy school cafeteria lunch ladies came into existence. Back then, lunchbox snacks were the most nutritionally irresponsible, totally delicious, scrumptious and tasty treats ever invented on the face of the earth. And we miss them. Which one of these lunchbox snacks was your favorite?
1. Hostess Ho-Hos
Hostess ho-Hos were always one of the most popular lunchbox snacks that a kid could hope for. If you opened up your lunchbox and found a couple of these, you could easily make a new friend just by giving one up. Ho-Hos were special. They came in their own little foil wrapped package, all ready to go. Now, everyone had their own way of eating a Ho-Ho. Here’s mine:
Carefully unwrap the foil. (Save the foil! It can be used to make a fake stick of gum, or bite your teeth into to get a weird shocking sensation.)
With the front of your teeth, carefully bite off the chocolate from the bottom of the Ho-Ho.
Now use your fingers to remove the rest of the chocolate coating. Enjoy!
Now for the cake part of the Ho-Ho: Delicately unwrap the Ho-Ho, tearing off bits as you go. You can enjoy these little by little. At the very end, when you have only a tiny little roll left, bite from one end until your Ho-Ho is gone. Now you have to make the hard decision to either trade your Ho-Ho, give it away, or eat it yourself.
2. String Cheese
Technically, string cheese is a protein, so the fact that you mom just had to rip one off the set and toss it into your lunchbox doesn’t make it any less. String cheese was great. If you weren’t really hungry, you could just sit there and play with your food. All the while, it looks like you’re eating. String cheese comes off in such tiny little strips, it could take you the whole lunch hour just to eat one.
3. Goldfish Crackers
Goldfish are essentially little cracker pellets that we used to toss into our mouths like fish food. But what really made them special is the fact that they’re hollow inside. That meant that you could eat a whole packet and still not feel full. When they came out with colored goldfish, the orange ones just never tasted the same, though.
4. Little Debbie Oatmeal Crème Pies
Little Debbie made the best lunchbox snacks in the world. She’s still doing it, but for some reason adults aren’t allowed to have these as lunchbox snacks. But we’ll never forget that soft, chewey gooey sensation as we bit through that outer oatmeal cookie shell and reached the creamy center. (They also made good cafeteria Frisbees!)
Discerning moms who wanted their kids to have juice as part of their kids’ lunchbox snacks included “healthy” Squeezits. They came in exciting colors, with a little funny-faced guy on the box that seemed to say, “Hi there! I’m silly and delicious!” These plastic bottles of juice, which also served as bottle rockets, were nice and sugary; exactly what we need in the middle of a boring school day. Thanks, Mom!
Yeah, the days of fun lunchbox snacks are over. Your own kids will likely never know the joy of a sugar rush in the middle of the day. Those were the days, my friend.