Inspired by a vlog from Kalel re-living in the nineties and an old Travis S video where he basically ate all his childhood favorites, I wanted to try a theme of food to spice up my weekend a little bit. Hence, I decided to experiment and replicate all of my favorite childhood foods and see if I could find healthy-ish replicas of my good ol’ favorites. Plus, who wouldn’t want to travel back in time for a day? Sorry to disappoint you guys, but I didn’t bother to go out of my way and purchase new items for the sake of this full day of eating. I wasn’t certain if I would be able to finish an entire box of Reese’s Puffs or a pint of non-dairy Haagen Daaz. Besides, my childhood self didn’t pay a single DOLLAR for her food. Come on, we’re being realistic here.
What I was even more curious about was how many calories I ate as a child. Honestly, my childhood self didn’t care whatsoever about calories or macros, but let’s be real–given that I ate a lot of sweets, I probably consumed quite a hefty amount. I’ve been intrigued to see how many grams of sugar I ingested into my tiny little growing child body. I’d figure that it’d be a lot–same with calories and carbohydrates, and not too many micronutrients or fiber! I wasn’t interested in putting myself through an entirely sugar-loaded day. Instead of trying to make a completely parallel day of childhood eating, I decided to healthify my typical favorites from way back when.
BREAKFAST: three cups of this Wild Kratts peanut butter and jelly cereal in coconut milk (fortified with calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, magnesium, and zinc), plus a vegan and gluten free chocolate zucchini brownie loaf from Miss Teaberry’s Baked Goods! I used to ADORE eating peanut butter and jelly sandwiches and cereal (ESPECIALLY Reese’s Puffs, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, and Froot Loops) as a kid.
This combination was just too perfect to marry my two favorites! I like the taste of this cereal, but I would have liked more peanut butter flavors in the yellow cereal pieces. Not sure if I would purchase it again, as I would rather mix a fruity cereal and a strong peanut butter cereal for more elevated flavors. But the brownie—OH MY LORD. It doesn’t taste healthy at all! It’s so richly chocolatey, soft, and fluffy, but has small chocolate chips inside. I almost wished it was bigger!
- CALORIES: 565
POST-WORKOUT SNACK: can you think of a more iconic childhood combination than cookies and milk? Well, my childhood self used to eat cookie dough by the jar and drink three glasses of milk a day. Here I made a vegan True Nutrition salted caramel protein shake and finished the last of my vegan oatmeal raisin and vegan golden Oreo n’ cream protein cookie doughs from The Lions Pack! I reviewed about the cookie dough from this brand before, but stay tuned for more recaps of the individual cookie dough flavors.
- Oatmeal raisin: has a lovely cinnamon smell and combination of chewy raisins and oats in a smooth base! Growing up, I also ate a lot of oatmeal for breakfast and would have those red Sun Maid raisin boxes as part of my school lunches. Combined into cookie dough = perfection!
- Golden Oreo n’ cream: holds an amazing balance of crunchiness from the gluten free golden cookies inside the creamy dough! I did eat a lot of Oreos as a child, but not the golden kinds. However, if my five year-old self tries them, she would have adored them too!
- CALORIES: 337
LUNCH: soy-free black bean tofu with white and orange roasted sweet potato wedges and organic ketchup! SUCH a wondrous meal. The black bean tofu tasted gloriously heavenly and the sweet potatoes were phenomenal. French fries and deep-fried tofu were some of my favorites when I was a kid. However, these are much healthier since the black bean tofu is pan-fried without oil and the fries aren’t deep-fried either! In addition, I topped the black bean tofu with a little nutritional yeast for some cheesy flavor, because as a child, I ate a RIDICULOUS amount of cheese and wouldn’t eat anything unless if it had cheese on it. Now I don’t even like vegan cheese that much and prefer nutritional yeast. Funny how things change!
- CALORIES: 1,297
DESSERT: Uh, National Donut Day? How can I NOT celebrate that?! I visited my old favorite Bliss Cafe and purchased a vegan and gluten free chai donut and a snickerdoodle. I normally didn’t like coffee-flavored treats as a child, but I did like donuts and sugar cookies! But both of these were absolutely incredible. Equally fulfilling and delicious!
- CALORIES: 590
AFTERNOON SNACK: Teddy Grahams were always a fave of mine, so these chocolate and blueberry vanilla “heroes” cookies from My Super Foods could not have been more perfect! Made with whole grains like oats and brown rice as well as chia seeds, these cookies indeed have superfoods—but they taste even better!
- CALORIES: 480
POTLUCK EATS: enjoyed some oatmeal coconut cookies and vegan apple pie! I also loved these foods growing up. Didn’t eat too much at the potluck because I had my banquet before and I would have been too full for my dinner if I ate more!
- CALORIES: approximately 300
DINNER: went to a senior banquet for my Thai Vietnamese club where I was served a healthy platter of quinoa and steamed broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots! This was the ONLY meal that my childhood self didn’t eat. My kid self barely ate vegetables, let alone quinoa. Instead, I used to be more of a fried rice gal. Funny how things change—eating plain steamed vegetables with quinoa instead of high-salt vegetable fried rice! As you have seen before, I wasn’t the healthiest eater growing up!
- CALORIES: 294
Reliving the days where I’d go out with a large group of friends on the regular…
…same with dressing up on the regular…
…and being a total goofball!
MIDNIGHT SNACK: was I the only kid that would literally stuff my face with bread from a bread basket at restaurants? Yes? Meh, who cares—I LOVED appetizer bread as a kid and I still love it now. My homemade whole wheat baguettes were such a great way to end the day. My boyfriend and I split the last of our baguettes, so he hacd two and I had two. Not gonna lie, I almost wanted to have all four. ALMOST.
- CALORIES: 567
GRAND TOTAL: 4,430 calories (and if you’re wondering…I had 188 grams of sugar.)
Truth be told, I cannot say that I am surprised by how ridiculous the calorie count and sugar quantity was of this day. I am remarkably shocked that I never felt overly full or sick during this day because of all the sugar I consumed; I think it’s because I don’t deprive myself enough of these foods to feel so uncomfortable, which is a positive since you should never restrict yourself from anything!
But anyways, I do find these measurements quite concerning. Is this really the kind of diet that children here in the Western culture should be consuming on a regular basis? Feeding young kids a surplus of refined sugar and inadequate amounts of fresh produce? Imagine if I didn’t have the sweet potatoes, black bean tofu, quinoa, or steamed vegetables, and decided to replace those with conventional fast food French fries, vegan chicken nuggets, and fried rice. My sodium content would have sky-rocketed and my fiber content would have plummeted! In addition, I would have felt awful and would have needed a long nap (hey, that’s what childhood is for). Given this little experiment, I recognize that if I were to have kids or babysit for others’ children, I would not feed them this diet on a regular basis whatsoever. However, I definitely would feed them the fortified coconut milk, sweet potatoes, black bean tofu, MySuperFoods cookies, quinoa, and vegetables, all while ensuring that their nutrient requirements are met with mostly unrefined, wholesome, and minimally to non-processed food.
With that being said, I did have heaps of fun eating these meals and trying out all kinds of products! I really want to make more themed-food day posts and videos where I center around a certain element—maybe a peanut butter and chocolate theme, a focus on vitamin A or magnesium, a whole day of Asian cuisine, you name it! I hope you enjoyed reading this post as much as I enjoyed completing it. Let me know if you want more posts like this where I share my daily recipes as well as your childhood favorite foods, and maybe even an estimate of how much sugar you ate as a kid! Hey, not every single child in the universe eats nearly half a pound of sugar every single day.
What were your childhood favorite meals? If you have or plan on having any kids, what would you feed them?