Hold the Cheetos Soup (and Other Hilarious Childhood Meals)

Some foods and ingredients are delicious individually—but not mixed together. We collected these childhood memories of unforgettable meals we ate as kids.

Unhappy picky child eating creamy tomato soupShutterstock / Photographee.eu

We’ve all had them—those insane days when we haven’t made it to the supermarket, the pantry’s practically bare, and dinnertime basically becomes a personal episode of Chopped. Or days when we’re feeling creative and the invention goes horribly wrong. Well, those days seemed to happen a lot when we were kids, and sometimes the results were pretty memorable. We asked some friends, who shall remain nameless, to share their stories. Get ready to laugh out loud!

1.”Dad’s Mess”

“My dad often made us his famous ‘Dad’s Mess’—ground beef, rice, cream of mushroom soup, onions. Basically a pile of mush. I had that A LOT growing up.”

Nothing shows a parent’s pride in their own concoction like naming it after themselves! And nothing says yummy like a meal with “mess” in the name! Check out these ideas for more ground beef creations.

2. Better Than Crackers?

“My mom used to put Cheetos in soup…mostly chicken noodle or ramen, but sometimes tomato.”

Why not live on the edge? Soup needs that crunchy texture, so while saltines or oyster crackers are often the go-to, this mom had a cheesy blast. If you’re in the mood for cheesy poofs (or you want to try them on your soup), check out our top picks.

3. Too Much of a Good Thing

“No matter how cool it seems like it would be, separating out all the marshmallows from sugary cereals and eating them by themselves with milk will make you feel like you’ve been poisoned. Don’t try this at home.”

This sounds like every child’s dream! It takes a lot of patience to wait for that moment when you’re briefly unsupervised and devising your ideal meal. It might go down easy, but apparently it doesn’t feel too good later. Check out these yummy homemade marshmallow recipes (not to be eaten as cereal).

4. Unsweetened Candy

“My sister grew sugar crystals for a science experiment in elementary school. When the project was over, I asked her if I could eat them, and she agreed. I had always been a fan of rock candy, so I assumed it would taste the same. Boy was I wrong! It tasted horrible and not at all sweet or sugary.”

Looks can be deceiving! Not all sugary treats are the same. Also, not all science experiments are edible. Here’s an actual rock candy recipe, so you don’t have to eat a science project.

5. Not Your Traditional Italian Sandwich

“When I went over to my friend’s house, his mom would serve us a ‘Spaghetti Sandwich.’ It consisted of two slices of Wonder Bread and cold pasta with marinara sauce.”

Moms know that you’ve got to make the most of those leftovers! Definitely carb-loading at its finest. Try it before your next marathon. We’ve got the spaghetti recipes, you bring the bread.

6. Coconut Surprise

“For my third birthday, my mom made a Cookie Monster cake. It was adorable! It consisted of vanilla icing and shredded coconut dyed blue to look like Cookie Monster’s fur. But all of the kids didn’t like the taste and texture of the coconut, so they didn’t eat it!”

So much hard work and creativity! Count on a 3-year-old to reject a homemade delight that took you hours to put together. Check out these genius cake decorating ideas.

7. Pizza-ish

“Whenever I would go over to my friend’s house after school, her mom would make us her own special ‘pizza.’ It was an English muffin as the crust, ketchup as the sauce and a slice of American cheese.”

A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do. But if you’re in the mood for something more traditional, check out these pizza recipes.

8. Lunch Mixtures

“In grade school we used to mix all of our lunch food together. I always volunteered to try the concoction. I still remember it to this day!”

Trading and upgrading lunch box items is common in school cafeterias across the country. Mixing it all together into one meal is a new one for us! So very brave. (This story reminds us of our favorite school lunches. These lunch-lady copycats will take you back!)

9. Banana Sandwich

“When I went over to my friend’s house, his mom used to make us banana sandwiches. It consisted of two slices of white bread, a banana and whipped cream. It was sorta lunch, sorta dessert.”

Not everything is meant to be a sandwich, but points for a main dish and dessert in one.

No matter the outcome, everybody had their hearts in the right place. So go forth and whip up your own unique creations!


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Meg Scanlon
Meg Scanlon is an actor, improviser, writer, filmmaker and member of SAG-AFTRA. She received her acting and filmmaking training from NYU Tisch's Stonestreet Studios. She studied and performed improv and sketch comedy at The Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, The PIT, The Second City NYC and Gotham City Improv. Her writing can be seen on Funny Or Die, BarkPost, Love TV, The List, Home Life Media, Taste Of Home and Bridgehead Media. She is also sometimes called Megan or Meggie. And Scantron, Scantown, Scandalous and just about any other word that has "Scan" in it.