Timeless Thoughts

Timeless Thoughts: School Dinners

Tara’s post literally had me up and out of my bed at 9 am screaming, “BACKSTREET’S BACK, ALRIGHT! ?” whilst making my coffee. I am loving the start of this new linkup, and I can’t wait to go on a trip down memory lane. Much nostalgia~

Thanks to Georgie and Tara for hosting this awesome linkup!

Now, this one might resonate more with UK school kids but do you remember school dinners pre-Jamie Oliver? I’m talking about turkey twizzlers, chicken burger and chips, pizza and basically all the unhealthy food we wouldn’t dare feed our children in school now.

Twizzle me this. Source

For me, these foods were a staple in my childhood until 2005 when I arrived at school to see no more burgers and instead, can you believe… vegetables?! When you’re 13 years old, hungry as hell and love junk food then vegetables are probably the last thing on your mind.

I remember there were riots when Jamie Oliver implemented healthier school meals – there were parents protesting outside the school and giving their kids junk food through the bars. I’m sure in the long run they’re probably thanking Jamie Oliver as their children aren’t obese, but who knows…

Funnily enough Jamie’s 15 Minute Meals is one of my favourite shows now, but when I was 13 I hated him with the fury of a thousand suns.

If I wanted to throw it back further to primary school, then I could wax lyrical about those school dinners! Spaghetti hoops, dinosaur chicken nuggets, bangers and mash, the most amazing shortbread cookies for dessert and jelly and whipped cream. Damn, those were the days.

I have no idea what primary school meals are like now, but I bet they haven’t got anything on mine. 90s school meals, FTW! Plus, the dinner lady loved me and always gave me extra portions when she could. Her and I were tight like that ?

Does everyone remember these bad boys? Source

Here is a list of foods/drinks I miss from my childhood:

  • Panda Pops in all their different, crazy colours and flavours
  • Potato waffles
  • Pickled Onion Monster Munch
  • Space Raiders
  • Sunny D (!! there was a rumour that a kid turned yellow because he drank to much of this. Scared me for a while, for sure)
  • Chicken drumsticks! (but like without the bone… so easy~)
  • Penguin Bars

I could go on and on, but I’d probably be here forever. I could definitely get most of what is on this list now, but it’s not the same as when you are little. I could kill for a packet of Monster Munch, now…


  • Nancy

    The food you had at school looks so much better than the ones I had as a kid at school! I remembered we had nasty chalupa’s and I hated Mexican food because of school!! Now, I love tacosss. For sure, people should be thankful that Oliver implemented the healthier meals because now the kids grow up with less chance of obesity! I rather have my kid suffer through eating veggie sticks instead of grow up with dietary regrets XD. I remembered loving drinking Sunny D! It was delish but too sour at times. Too bad it’s not completely orange juice!

    • Chynna

      I just Googled chalupas (and realised it’s tacos) and now I’m hungry. I feel like school either hit or miss with school dinners; Mexican food is life <3

  • Cat

    I don’t know some of the foods on your list! I actually had never heard of turkey twizzlers before! I can imagine as a kid being angry at someone who got rid of my favorite junk foods and replaced them with healthy ones. As an adult, I think it’s a great idea, haha. Definitely should be feeding our kids better!

    I grew up liking vegetables because my mom would stir fry them in her Chinese cooking. I hated vegetables in the school cafeteria though. They were always steamed, and ugh, I hate steamed vegetables. I think kids would like vegetables more if people cooked them better!

    I do miss some of the junk food I ate as a kid. I mean, I could still eat them now, but I’d feel guilty since I’m trying to eat healthier! I guess I miss not caring about eating those kind of things 🙂

    • Chynna

      I was one hangry kid when I was younger, haha. You should try turkey twizzlers! Ermergerd, I love them 🙂

      I loved vegetables, too! But I also loved that I could go to school and not eat them. Except them they started introducing it at school and I couldn’t escape T_T Lol.

  • Tara

    Ahahahaha! I’m glad the Backstreet Boys post made that much of an impact on you! XD

    And whoha, like Cat, those are some foods I’ve never even heard of. A turkey twizzler? WUUUUUT?

    I had to laugh about your hate for Jamie Oliver back then since you wanted your junk food instead of healthy food. Of course, now as an adult, I, too, want kids to eat healthy, but I sure didn’t think like that as a kid myself!

    Your post is making me miss my cafeteria meals! Back then, my friends and I groused about it, but now we actually miss it and talk about how the food wasn’t bad back then, haha!

    Thanks for participating, Chynna! And now I’m hungry! I actually wouldn’t mind some bangers and mash myself!

  • Amy

    I hated turkey twizzlers! They were awful.

    I was only on school dinners for about a week, then a dinner lady tried to force me to eat broccoli and I wasn’t having any of it. Clearly my primary school were kind of healthy before Jamie Oliver’s time. My favourite was chicken teddies, they were amazing.

    I miss Panda Pop, doe it even exist anymore? How can you have a school disco without it?!

    • Chynna

      Blasphemy! Nah, jk. I had a couple of friends who didn’t like turkey twizzlers, so I got to eat theirs :>

      Aw, I remember chicken teddies too! They only came out if they ran out of dinosaurs, haha. Can you imagine what year six discos are like now?! Wonder if they still play Macarena… xx

  • Maroon Caludin

    We didn’t really have those at my school. XD I ate the school lunches and such when I was younger, but went to the salad bar as I got older.

    I do remember Sunny D. I used to like it, but can’t stand it now.

  • Michelle

    Dudeee, your food looks better than what I had growing up. Seriously. We never had school dinners in elementary and beyond in my early days, but we did have school lunches from hell. They were seriously bad and probably not edible. We used to mix the food together into gross messes. I can’t believe I just told you that XD

    • Chynna

      Hahaha, ewwwww! That sounds so gross. I watched a video of school meals from around the world and it’s interesting to see what other kids eat when they’re at school. Our schools don’t serve any of the stuff I mentioned anymore, and that makes me sad 🙁

  • Pauline

    OMG CHYNNA. YAS, GIRL, YAS!!!! This post hit me right in the feels – I miss school dinners too! We used to call them “hot dinners” because that was the only way to distinguish between “packed lunch” peeps because their food would be cold?? I guess??? That’s how little me thought of it 😛

    I LOVE MONSTER MUNCH, I always get it whenever I get the chance to! I remember loving the flavour and the cute packaging – I used to draw the packaging out on a piece of paper… Yep, weird. BUT THEY WERE SO FUN LOOKING AND TASTING. OMG PENGUIN BARS – I used to love reading the little jokes they had on the wrapper (i’m obviously obsessed with packaging rn) me and my friends used to read them to each other and giggle like the little school kids that we were.

    I actually hated spaghetti hoops though, I dont know why they always tasted like sick on a plate. ;_;

    • Chynna

      YAAAAASSSSS! I was so tempted to go and buy Monster Munch afterwards. The packaging was pretty cool 🙂 Haha, I miss having Penguin Bars in my packed lunch. The jokes were like ultimate dad jokes!

      Guuuurl, you weren’t eating the right spaghetti hoops 😛

  • Raisa

    I wanna try those turkey twizzlers! XD I had a packed lunch in elementary school, so I hardly had school lunches. I did start buying lunch in high school, but this was in the Philippines so it was the typical rice + meat combo. Healthier meals are so important though! I’m sorry to see these fun school lunches (dinners? are they the same?) go, but it’s good for kids to eat right in the long run.

    • Chynna

      They’re so good! I had packed lunch in primary school for like the first two years, then moved onto school meals. We did call them school dinners even though it was at lunch XD Definitely agree!

  • Georgie

    Thank you for participating in the linkup Chynna! I hope to see you next month and totally glad to see you enjoyed this month. 😀

    In Australia we don’t have dinners at school but anything from school and our school canteen was totally unhealthy. Pies, curly fries, and and and and what are those smiley face potato things! Basically any kind of freezer food was THE thing to have. In Australia we had a healthy school snacks scheme implemented too. All schools had to offer snacks that had less than 10% sugar, and food that had less than 10% fat, things like that. Some of the new, healthy foods were good, but we missed some of the old ones too.

    I had to look up Sunny D because I thought it was the ice blocks called Sunny Boy. Have you ever heard of those?! They were all the rage in schools here. Same with those double-tube ice blocks that you snapped in half and shared with a friend.

    I think that there are many different kinds of ‘bad foods’ from different countries but the bottom line is we miss it all, even though it was so bad for us. XDDD

    • Chynna

      Definitely would love to do it again! I can’t wait 🙂

      Oooh, I’ve never heard of Sunny Boy but I just Googled it and they look delicious!

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