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14 Cereals that Defined Our Childhood

I was recently inspired to have a little fun with a Super Bowl dessert, so I bought a box of Cocoa Krispies and made Cocoa Krispies treats that I molded into little footballs. When you combine butter, marshmallows, and cereal, it's bound to be a hit. The shape of the footballs for the big game (and the icing for the "laces") was just a bonus. My young kids could barely believe how scrumptious this simple treat was.

That's when it occurred to me: They had never tasted Cocoa Krispies. In fact, I probably hadn't even eaten them myself in decades. My mind started to spiral as I thought back to my childhood and all the sugary, wonderful cereal we ate to start off our day. I realized that my kids won't have these memories since we keep things (relatively) healthy for them. Does this mean I'm depriving them of happy, sugar-fueled mornings, staring at fun characters on the fronts of boxes while shoveling marshmallows and crunchy shapes into their faces, leaving behind brown or rainbow-colored milk in the bowl? They'll hardly have that memory with the oatmeal or yogurt and fruit that they eat now.

I scrounged up an impressive list of cereals that practically defined my childhood — as well as the childhoods of most people I know. We all turned out just fine, right?

14. Cinnamon Toast Crunch


The little cinnamon and sugar squares are simply delightful in a bowl of cold milk. And unlike some other cereals, they don't get gross when they become mushy. We can convince ourselves that these have some health benefit because they're made of whole grain, but mostly we just can't resist the combination of cinnamon and sugar. It's a winner every time. (Hello, walk by a Cinnabon lately??)

13. Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries


The original Cap'n Crunch doesn't hold a candle to Crunch Berries. Remember when your parents would accidentally come home with plain old Cap'n Crunch? How could anyone eat such a thing, when those perfectly fruity and tart berries were just begging to be eaten? Things got a little weird when Quaker Oats made the berries different colors. I was happy with red, but I tend to be a purist.

12. Apple Jacks


Yet another cereal that's somehow supposed to make us think we're eating some kind of fruit. You probably can't find real fruit within a mile of a box of Apple Jacks, but that doesn't make them any less delicious. The hint of cinnamon totally makes this cereal a hit. And the milk that's left behind is particularly yummy, right?

11. Fruity Pebbles