8 Retro Junk Foods We Loved vs. Snacks We Feed Our Kids Today (PHOTOS)

retro junk foodAs you've no doubt noticed, the snacks most kids are packing in their lunchboxes these days are a lot different than the processed junk food we consumed on a daily basis growing up -- they're even a lot different than what kids were eating 10 years ago! Indeed, there's a health-conscious substitute out there for nearly every trashy retro treat.

Here are some of our favorite snacks from years past, along with their contemporary counterparts. (Admit it, you like some of the old ones better!)


Images via Callie/Flickr; Jodi Green/Flickr

  • Then: Funyuns


    Image via Sam Howzit/Flickr

    Like onion rings in a bag! With a sort of weirdo aftertaste that probably had something to do with preservatives. But who cared? Like onion rings in a bag!

  • Now: Kale Chips


    Image via Sarah R/Flickr

    Mmmm, kale chips (said no one ever). Just kidding, they're really not so bad -- as long as you're not trying to convince yourself that they taste anything like, say, Funyuns. (They don't.)

  • Then: Yoo-hoo


    Image via Daniel/Flickr

    It's not chocolate milk, it's chocolate "drink" -- got that? The Yoo-hoo people wanted to make sure there's no expectation of nutritional value going on there. 

    More from The Stir: 47 Creative (& Easy) Snack Ideas for Kids 

  • Now: Green Power Smoothie


    Image via Robert Gourley/Flickr

    A brilliant way to sneak veggies into a kid's diet, green smoothies are the new soda. (Well, maybe that's a stretch, but still.)

  • Then: Cheez Balls


    Image via El Gran Dee/Flickr

    Bright orange fingers were a small price to pay for these little spheres of artificial food coloring–laden yum!

  • Now: Seaweed Snacks


    Image via Amazon

    Just call these salty green squares The Cheez Balls of the Sea! Or don't, because they're not. (They are good for you, though.)

    More from The Stir: 10 Snack-Packing Hacks to Save Your Sanity

  • Then: Dunkaroos


    Image via Callie/Flickr

    Is there anything more fun than dunking cookies into a tiny tub of icing? Probably not. Nope, that's as good as life gets (sorry, kids).

  • Now: Hummus & Veggies


    Image via Jodi Green/Flickr

    Dunking raw veggies into chickpea/tahini dip is just like dunking cookies into icing, because it involves dunking, right? WRONG.

  • Then: Fruit Roll-Ups


    Image via Amazon

    Fruit Roll-Ups are "made with real fruit," and that was a good enough reason for our parents to buy them! (Also, we asked for them all the time in a really whiny voice.)

    More from The Stir: 12 Kid-Friendly Snacks Your Whole Family Will Gobble Up (PHOTOS)

  • Now: Freeze Dried Fruit


    Image via Amazon

    Not only is freeze dried fruit made with real fruit, it is real fruit. Except not quite as perishable.

  • Then: Pop-Tarts


    Image via Amazon

    Pop-Tarts are part of a complete breakfast! (Assuming there's an entire other breakfast involving actual food that you serve, too.)

  • Now: Avocado Toast


    Image via Shashank Jain/Flickr

    If you've never heard of avocado toast, you've never gone on Instagram or Pinterest (or the Internet at all). This IS a pretty yummy snack. If only it came with a refined sugar rush!

    More from The Stir: 8 Truly Tasty Snacks Under 250 Calories (PHOTOS)

  • Then: Pudding Cups


    Image via Mike Mozart/Flickr

    Pudding in a disposable cup means pudding anywhere, anytime. Which also pretty much means pudding ALL THE TIME.

  • Now: Greek Yogurt


    Image via Mr.TinDC/Flickr

    Does anybody even eat regular yogurt anymore? Greek yogurt ain't pudding, but it's not half bad.

  • Then: Twinkies


    Image via Christian Cable/Flickr

    Twinkies are nature's perfect food. It was pretty scary when they were gonna stop making them, wasn't it? Thankfully they're back on the shelves! Not that we're going to eat them, or anything.

    More from The Stir: 6 Late-Night Snacks That Won't Pack on the Pounds (PHOTOS)

  • Now: Gluten-Free Vanilla Cupcake


    Image via Christa/Flickr

    With a rise in cases of gluten-intolerance (and other food allergies), gluten-free treats are becoming the norm, not the exception. Some of them are pretty good! None of them are Twinkies.


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