12 Foods You Ate if You Went to a British School in the 90s

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The other day at lunch, we were trying to work out where we should go. Pret’s boring. Eat never has the pies I want. Tesco is just hell between the hours of 1 and 2pm. Just what the hell are we supposed to eat?

And then it came to us. Let’s just transport back 20-odd years. Because there’s no denying that 90s school food was the absolute greatest. Whether you brought in your own lunch, or you dined in style in the canteen, you always knew you were in for a treat. You also knew you were in line for quite a few calories, which is probably why we were such porkers when we were young.

So we decided to reminisce by writing up this post on the best 90s school food. And now we’re even more ridiculously hungry than we were before.

Smiley faces

90s school food: Smug little buggers.
Credit: craftforum.com

Before the rise of emojis, we had these smug little buggers. And oh my gosh, they tasted so good. 5-year-old us used to love squishing the faces down in ketchup, watching tomato sauce ooze out of all the holes. (Oh god, just read that back. Sounds a bit Dexter-ish.) Potato smiley faces remind us of a much simpler time. Now the kids of today have to make do with Mashtags, complete with potato hashtags, asterisks and ‘@’ signs. Yeah, we’re leaving the planet.

Sunny Delight

90s school food: Sunny Delight turns you orange? That's cool, we'll go along with that.
Credit: blog.bloguzz.com

Sunny Ds were so good – but did you opt for Florida or California style? The creators must seriously have put some sort of drugs in there, because we couldn’t get enough. It was only when kids around the world started turning orange from drinking the stuff that we realised we needed to get clinical help.


90s school food: Don't lie. You needed a tutorial to eat Cheestrings too.
Credit: imthelittlemissfit.wordpress.com

Before Cheestrings landed in our lunchboxes, cheese just wasn’t the same. Sure we ate it, but something was amiss. Where was the fun factor? Cheestrings brought all that in spades. Mum would tell us “not to play with our food.” And then we’d be like, “Chill out mum, it’s a Cheestring.” We still miss that sweet, sweet satisfaction of peeling back our stringy cheese and falling into a cheese coma for the rest of the afternoon.

Jam sponge with custard

90s school food: Nothing has ever tasted this good since
Credit: katielovescooking.wordpress.com

This was the highlight of our week when the dinner ladies wheeled this one out. If we saw custard and jam, then we would know we would be in for a real treat. Sure the actual cake itself tasted like cardboard, but after seven years eating the stuff we kind of got used to it. Marks and Spencers’ desserts just aren’t the same.

Tizer Ice

90s school food: Tizer Ice just weren't given the time to shine, man
Credit: thespiritof.co.uk

While you might be more familiar with the red Tizer bottles, the Tizer Ice cans were the bomb. The drink always tasted cold thanks to the extra ingredient of menthol. Plus it meant our breath always smelt incredible. Sadly this Tizer variant didn’t sell well and was removed from sale pretty swiftly. Boo.

Shakey Jake

Nah, not the Blues singer, but the epic milkshakes that came in chocolate, banana and strawberry flavours. In truth, we can’t really remember what they even taste like. But what we DO remember is that amazing TV jingle. Wibble wobble yum yum.

White chocolate Aero

90s school food: Someone please tell me it's not just me who missed this Aero variation?
Credit: paperblog.com

Sure you can get those stupid round balls of milk/white chocolate now. But I’ve tasted them, and let me tell you – they are nowhere NEAR the incredibleness of these blue-packaged white chocolate Aeros. Yeah, I know. It’s probably some sort of weird psychological goings-on. But my life has never been the same since my lunchbox came with one of these.

Turkey dinosaurs

90s school food: Turkey dinosaurs never looked this good when we were at school
Credit: bernardmatthews.com

Awww yeah. Bernard Matthews Turkey Dinosaurs were the absolute greatest.  Especially when they were doubled up with fish stars and a dollop of mash potato that tasted like soap. BLISS.


90s school food: Quarterbacks crisps. Anyone remember these? No?
Credit: grocerygems.blogspot.com

“You’ve got to put Quarterbacks crisps on the list,” my boss said.
“The what now?” I said.

Surely it can’t just be me who’s never heard of these ones? I mean, I couldn’t even find an acceptable photo on Google. Wikipedia hasn’t even heard of them. So, erm, yeah. If you remember these please let me know what they tasted like.

Billy Bear Slices

90s school food: Billy Bear sausages in sandwiches were LIFE itself.
Billy Bear as you’ve never seen it – as a whole sausage | Credit: boatlife.blogspot.com

Woah, mumma. When you saw these in your sandwiches, you knew you were going to be the school G. Our Internet research has failed to confirm whether these are still available to buy or not. We kind of hope so, cos we’d take one of these fellas over a Michelin-star steak any day. Well, if we weren’t now vegetarian.

3D Doritos

90s school food: Can we bring the proper 3D Doritos back please?
Credit: complex.com

Double the crispy goodness, the beefed-up 3D Doritos came into our lives in the 1990s. And they’ve had a piece of our heart ever since…even if they are now discontinued. The movement to bring 3D Doritos back into our lives quickly gained momentum, causing Doritos to introduce Jacked 3D crisps. They’re basically Doritos on steroids. We’re not happy.

Panda Pops

90s school food: Panda Pops were the absolute bomb
Credit: luuux.com

Screw you, healthy living. Our beloved Panda Pops were scraped in 2011 over ‘mums’ negative perceptions of fizzy drinks.‘ Luckily us 90s kids had the best flavours in its heyday. Anyone remember the strawberry jelly ice cream bottles? Or cherryade, blue raspberry and green cola? Coca Cola just pales in comparison.

Enjoyed reminiscing about 90s school food? Why not get reading some of our other nostalgic articles, including This Is How Six of Our Favourite Kids TV Shows Ended and 90s Childhood Hobbies You Wish Were Still Socially Acceptable