Nostalgic Snacks and Sweets


Julia Cleland

Growing up, food is a kid’s whole world, or at least for me it was. There’s nothing like coming home from a long day at kindergarten to find your favorite snack in the pantry or eating something sweet to cheer you up after falling off the monkey bars. So without further ado and in no particular order, here are my top ten childhood foods.

Goldfish: They’re the salty and crunchy snack that smiles back. When a box of cheddar Goldfish entered the Cleland house, you could count on it being empty after just a few handfuls. Time for another grocery run. 

Chocolate chip pancakes: Need I say more? Waking up to fluffy, sweet pancakes paired with a fresh glass of orange juice and a side of crispy bacon was my perfect morning. Still kind of is, actually. 

Mac and cheese: The poster child of foods that kids love and rightfully so. It’s cheesy, comforting, and easy to make. At restaurants, it was always the first thing I looked for on the menu. 

Chicken nuggets: The second thing I looked for on the menu. Dip them in ketchup, add a side of fries, and I had the perfect meal. They’re also a decent source of protein, I might add. 

Oreo cookies: I went through a phase in elementary school where I would walk through the door, make myself a glass of milk, and peel open the package of double stuffed Oreos almost every day. Don’t worry, I’ve outgrown that habit. I only do it once a week now. 

Sour Patch Kids: My all-time favorite candy (that isn’t chocolate). Just like the bag promises, they’re sour then sweet and soft and chewy. I remember sitting in the movie theater trying to pick out the blue ones (because they’re the best) with what little light I had. 

Popsicles: You know, the ones that come in the plastic tube and are different colors? I’m convinced that literally every kid loves them. On a Texas summer day, biting into those flavored ice pops was heaven. Don’t forget slurping the leftover juice after the popsicle is gone. 

Grilled cheese: A Mrs. Cleland go-to. I had these for lunch more often than I would like to admit, but you can’t go wrong with a classic grilled cheese sandwich. When they’re made right, they definitely hit the spot, and they’re perfect for filling a little kid’s stomach. 

Grapes: I think we can all agree there’s something about little kids and grapes. The fruit is sweet, juicy, and apparently good for you. As a child, it would start by popping just a few into my mouth, but before I knew it, I’d eaten the whole bowl. 

Applesauce: Definitely an overlooked food if you ask me. At the third grade lunch table, I used to dip pretzels in my applesauce, which I was highly judged for. Nevertheless, applesauce is one of the most common childhood foods, and there’s always plenty in my refrigerator. 

From household staples to common sweets, food is a significant and nostalgic part of my childhood as well as many other people’s.