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15 Treats from Your ’80s Lunchbox

From the colorful neon clothing to synth pop music, big hair and tubular language, we loved everything about the '80s—including the snacks. Do you remember these '80 lunchbox classics?

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Hi-C Ecto Cooler

Hi-C Ecto Cooler was the perfect blend of sugar and Ghostbusters hype. What child of the ’80s didn’t have a Hi-C in their lunch once in a while? From pizza rolls to potato skins, here are ’80s recipes that still rock.

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First introduced in the mid-’80s, Squeezits were small, plastic bottles filled with brightly-colored juice. But instead of drinking this juice through a straw, kids had to squeeze the bottle to get anything out (hence the name). You might remember that Squeezits had crazy flavors, too, including Chucklin’ Cherry, Berry B. Wild, and Silly Billy Strawberry. Psst! Here’s the grownup version of your favorite juice.

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Oh, Handi-Snacks! This snack pack was filled with processed cheese on one side and buttery crackers on the other. And let’s not forget about that red stick we used to ever so gently spread the cheese onto the cracker without breaking it. Hungry? You can find Handi-Snacks on Amazon.

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PB Max

Released in 1989, this candy bar was part peanut butter, part cookie and 100% irresistible. For this treat, Mars whipped peanut butter and oats together, set them atop a cookie and covered it all in chocolate. Don’t miss our recipes for delicious peanut butter desserts.

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Crystal Light

Crystal Light was the easiest way to make water taste like something. In 1985, this powdery mix was advertised as a healthy go-to. (Remember those commercials that featured Linda Evans doing aerobics?) You can probably still hear the company’s peppy jingle now: “I believe in Crystal Light, ’cause I believe in me.” Learn how to make lemonade from scratch.

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Cheez Balls

Planters Cheez Balls are an iconic treat every ’80s kid snacked on at least once during their childhood. Who didn’t love licking that orange dust off their fingers? Fun fact: The public loved the florescent orange snack so much, it’s back on the shelves for good.

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Lunchables have been around forever. (Probably because they’re quick and easy!) Today, Lunchables offers 26 meals, including small hot dogs, pizzas, nachos, burgers, subs and wraps. ’80s kids weren’t as lucky—the original Lunchable consisted of crackers, cheese and some type of meat. (Usually bologna.)

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Fruit Roll-Ups

Even though Fruit Roll-Ups hit the shelves in the mid-’80s, these fruity snacks are still a lunchbox staple in many households. (Including my family! My husband shamelessly loves these things.)

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Keebler Fudge Magic Middles

Keebler’s Magic Middles were like two desserts wrapped in one delicious shortbread package. While this sweet treat hit its peak in the late ’80s, kids of the ’90s were pretty taken by their chocolaty center, too. Unfortunately, despite fans’ efforts to bring them back, these cookies were discontinued.

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Keebler Tribbles

Here’s something you’d never trade away in the school cafeteria. In the ’80s, Keebler released Tribbles, bite-size cookies in a handful of flavors like mint chocolate and chocolate chip. This is what it was like to cook at home in the 1980s.

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BarNone Chocolate Bars

This candy bar debuted in 1987 and, well, people loved it! BarNone featured a cocoa wafer, chocolate creme, peanuts and a milk chocolate coating, making it “the chocolate lovers bar.” Find the most popular candy from the 1940s to the 2000s.

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Reese’s Pieces

Reese’s Pieces were technically introduced in 1977 but skyrocketed in popularity after the candy appeared in E.T. in 1982. It became a must-have treat for kids (and extra-terrestrials) everywhere. See what the McDonald’s menu looked like in the ’80s.

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Hostess Fruit Pies

Like Reese’s Pieces, Hostess Fruit Pies have been around since at least the ’70s. But there was no greater pleasure than opening your lunch box and discovering a Fruit Pie in its waxy wrapper. The crusty exterior and gooey pie filling were a strangely delicious treat.

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Here’s one for kids of the early ’80s. The bright pink can appeared in Back to the Future and, of course, in the hands of teenagers everywhere.

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classic cokeCharles KCharles Kelly/AP/Shutterstockelly/AP/Shutterstock

New Coke

OK, maybe you didn’t love New Coke. Fortunately, it only took Coca-Cola executives 79 days to start making Old Coke (aka Coca-Cola Classic) again. It pairs perfectly with a ham and cheese sandwich, am I right?

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Tabitha Britt
Tabitha earned her master's degree in Creative Publishing and Critical Journalism from the The New School. She enjoys writing about food, fashion, and other lifestyle topics (especially potato-related news). In her spare time, she likes to check out hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Brooklyn, try out weird new foods, and drink a ridiculous amount of coffee.

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