NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- As the summer weather fades, many of us begin to find ourselves nostalgic for the simpler times of our school years. We remember the nervousness and excitement of the first day of school or the feeling of success after building giant leaf piles in the fall.
In addition to these early childhood memories are others that involve some of our favorite junk foods. School children, whether in the cafeteria or after school, could find themselves fixated on the superficial importance of the fattening foods available to them.
While as adults we may be dedicated to eating as healthy as possible, as children we could agree that unhealthy foods tasted best.
Many companies are starting to bring back previously discontinued foods and drinks for those of us wishing to be taken back to our childhoods. Products such as Clearly Canadian, Crispy M&Ms, French Toast Crunch and Surge are gradually reappearing on grocery store shelves throughout the U.S.
As children today start school with health-conscious snacks in their lunch bags, we've put together a list of the junk food we miss the most.
Think we missed any? Tell us in the comments section below.
1. Mr. T Cereal
While best known for his roles in "The A-Team" and Rocky III during the 1980s, Mr. T (Laurence Tureaud) established a kid-friendly persona through guest appearances on TV shows such as "Diff'rent Stokes" (1983) and "Alvin and the Chipmunks" (1983).
Unfortunately, this box of T-shaped crispy sweet corn and oats cereal wasn’t popular enough to be produced for more than one year.
These small packages of cookies and frosting were introduced by Betty Crocker in 1988 and remain a fond memory for U.S. customers who have been unable to purchase the snacks recently. All of the cookies were originally cinnamon flavored, but more flavors were added as Dunkaroos gained in popularity. While Dunkaroos are now only available in Canada, consumers in the U.S. are still hoping for their return.
3. Oreo O’s
From 1998 to 2007, anyone craving a sleeve of Oreo cookies upon waking up could indulge in Oreo O’s cereal for breakfast. When Post, which owns the cereal, and Kraft, which owns Oreos, split in 2007, Oreo O’s were discontinued. However, fans of the cereal can still find it in South Korea if they’re willing to pay the shipping costs.
4. Doritos 3D’s
In the 1990s, Frito Lay introduced a new line of chips in flavors including Jalapeño Cheddar, Nacho Cheese and Zesty Ranch. These chips were described as “Doritos-meets-Bugles,” as their puffed shape allowed for hollow insides.
5. Jell-O 1-2-3
Available in supermarkets until 1996, Jell-O 1-2-3 was a gelatin mix that separated into three different layers. The bottom layer was classic Jell-O, the middle layer had a custard- or mousse-type consistency and the top layer was foam. Those interested in recreating this dessert can find recipes online.
6. Heinz Colored Ketchup
In 2000, H.J. Heinz Company introduced a new ketchup bottle with a narrow nozzle perfect for creating designs on plates and burgers. The EZ Squirt ketchup originally came in two colors: red and green. Since the products were such a success, Heinz added purple, pink, orange, teal, and blue EZ Squirt varieties. Only six years after its initial launch, the line was discontinued in 2006.
7. Nestlé Wonder Ball
In the early 1990s, Nestlé presented a new candy hollow milk chocolate ball that revealed a small toy when broken, similar to a Kinder Surprise. Nestlé withdrew the candy in 1997, as the small toys inside the chocolate ball were believed to be a choking hazard for young children, but the company replaced the toys with small candies when the Wonder Ball was re-released in 2000. Unfortunately, the Frankford Company discontinued the candy after it purchased Nestlé in 2004, but nostalgic fans can still find them online.
8. Sprite Remix
Based on Coca-Cola’s original lemon-lime flavored soda, Sprite Remix was a colorless, caffeine-free version of Sprite that came in three flavors: Tropical, Berryclear and Aruba Jam. Sprite Remix only lasted between 2003 and 2005, and while Tropical Sprite was reintroduced into the Coca-Cola product line up this year, fans still hope to see a return of the other Remix flavors.
9. Planters PB Crisps
From 1992 to 1995, Planters produced PB Crisps, a graham peanut-shaped cookie filled with peanut butter crème. During this time, Planters also introduced Chocolate Crisps, filled with chocolate crème, and PB&J Crisps, filled with both strawberry jelly and peanut butter crème.
Squeezit, made by General Mills, was a soft drink that came in flavors represented by different characters, such as Berry B. Wild, Chucklin' Cherry, Grumpy Grape, Mean Green Puncher, Rockin' Red Puncher, Silly Billy Strawberry, Smarty Arty Orange and Troppi Tropical Punch. As the name suggests, the beverage was released by squeezing the plastic bottle. SqueezIts were marketed from the mid-1980s until 2001.
11. Bubble Beeper
When beepers were considered popular fashion accessories sometime in the early 1990s, Amurol Products introduced the Bubble Beeper. This novelty bubble gum package looked like a telephone beeper, which could be used as a clip-on coin purse once the candy was finished, and each gum wrapper was a written message, such as "Sorry, Line's Busy," "Urgent" or "Call Me.” This seemingly harmless product quickly received backlash from families in some neighborhoods, who associated beepers with local drug dealers.
This controversy did not sway all customers away from buying Bubble Beepers, and many adults can still remember showing off their plastic fake beepers at school.
12. Ghostbusters Hi-C Ecto-Coolers
The Hi-C Ecto-Cooler was a product tie-in with the 1984 film Ghostbusters and the 1986 cartoon series "The Real Ghostbusters." Introduced in 1987, these drinks exceeded the expectations of the product's developers and continued to sell long after "The Real Ghostbusters" ended its television run in 1991. In 2001, the connection to Ghostbusters was withdrawn, and the product was renamed Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen. Shoutin' Orange Tangergreen was renamed Crazy Citrus Cooler in 2006, only to be completely discontinued one year later.
Anyone looking to recreate the Ecto-Cooler can use a recipe made by the fan group "Ghostbusters Chicago Division" that supposedly tastes just like the original.
13. Keelber Magic Middles
These fudge- or peanut butter-filled shortbread cookies of the late 1980s silently disappeared from store shelves, but fans have been loud and clear about their hopes for the return of Keebler's Magic Middles.
14. Crystal Pepsi
Between 1992 and 1993, Pepsi sold a clear, caffeine-free soft drink in an attempt to appeal to an audience searching for what could be seen as a healthy alternative to normal cola. Despite the product's failure (Yum! Brands Chairman David C. Novak noted in 2011 that Crystal Pepsi was "the best idea I ever had, and the worst executed... It would have been nice if I'd made sure the product tasted good."), an online campaign began that received 37,000 Change.org petition signatures to bring the drink back.
On June 8, 2015, Pepsi Co. sent a tweet to the creator of the campaign suggesting that Crystal Pepsi may be making a comeback in the near future.
15. Melody Pops
Whistle Pops were originally introduced by Spangler Candy Company as a lollipop designed with a hole in them in order to make a whistling sound. Chupa Chups ultimately reintroduced these lollipops as Melody Pops, with an encouragement to "play real music." Unfortunately, the candy's popularity seems to have decreased over the years, but consumers of the past still look back fondly on these unique, noise-making lollipops.
16. Pepsi Blue
Introduced in mid-2002 after the success of Mountain Dew Code Red, Pepsi Blue was a soft drink with a flavor reminiscent of berries like raspberry and blueberry or of cotton candy with a berry-like aftertaste. The drink was colored using Blue 1, which is a highly controversial synthetic dye that, at the time, was banned in various countries. In 2003, the United States FDA issued a public health advisory to warn of the potential toxicity of Blue 1.
In 1997, Clearly Canadian introduced Orbitz, a non-carbonated fruit-flavored drink with small, floating edible balls made of gellan gum. The floating balls gave the drink the look of a lava lamp in addition to texturally enhancing the drink itself. Unfortunately, the taste of Orbitz reminded too many people of cough-syrup, and the product was quickly discontinued.
18. Rice Krispies Treats Cereal
In 1993, Kellogg's presented a product that gave children, and adults, a way to enjoy one of the company's most popular desserts for breakfast: Rice Krispies Treats Cereal. Unlike the original Rice Krispies cereal, these clusters of marshmallows and Rice Krispies don't become soggy in a bowl of milk. Unfortunately, while the cereal hasn't been discontinued, it's difficult to find in most parts of the United States.
19. Planters Cheez Balls
These corn puffs covered in artificial cheese may never have been imagined in today's health-forward society. However, in the mid-1980s, Planters Cheez Balls were a popular after-school snack that are just as sorely missed as Planters PB Crisps. Fans claim that the "cheese balls" of other brands are not nearly as good as Planters Cheez Balls and have created online petitions asking the company to bring the snack back.
20. Shark Bites
Shark Bites were such a popular fruit snack during the 1990s that they deserve to make a comeback into the mainstream. The flavor of each candy shark is represented by its color, although the flavor of the opaque white shark, often argued as the best flavor available, is ambiguous.