Warning, you will likely salivate while reading this list. Have snacks handy.

By Out With the Kids

When you’re little, the world is SO big. You used to spend your days pining for a later bedtime, an older age, and a second helping of dessert. These days, as an adult, an extra minute of sleep (or just an extra minute period) is worth its weight in gold.

Back then, the stains you made on your clothes reflected adventure, fun and superhero snack time. Those grass-muddled knees in your jeans and the faint nacho cheese stain on your shirt represented a kickball victory and a concession stand celebration.

Now that you’re all grown up and on laundry duty, the only evidence of those stains you want left is the sweet, but distant memory (Cue Clorox 2® Stain Fighter & Color Booster).

Don’t worry about the stains. Out With the Kids brings you 13 Iconic Tastes of Childhood that are sure to reunite you with that long lost wild imagination of yours.

You might be surprised that kiddie classics mac-n-cheese and chicken nuggets don’t make the cut on a list of iconic tastes of childhood — but there’s no universal scene that can be painted for those two childhood staples.


The 13 foods below are iconic — not only because they are delicious, but because each comes as a package deal with the environment in which they are best enjoyed — and THAT’S what makes them the most memorable tastes of childhood.


Hot dog at a ballgame
It’s been said that there’s nothing more American than apple pie, but a strong and delicious case can be made for a wrapped-in-foil hot dog with mustard (or, if you must, with ketchup) bought from a vendor barking “hot dogs! Get your hot dog!” while walking up and down the aisles of the ballpark.


Funnel cake surrounded by the sights, smells and sounds of the amusement park
This doughy delight tastes great anywhere, and at any time, but there’s something iconic about a kid enjoying piping hot funnel cake and getting powdered sugar all over their hands and clothes while strolling around an amusement park or a local county fair. And don’t worry about the mess they’ll make, Clorox has you covered.


Ice cream cone with rainbow sprinkles eaten quickly before it melts at the beach
The smell of salt water, the fear of seagulls dive-bombing to "share" the dessert, and the hot sun threatening to melt your kid’s icy treat combine to make the taste of ice cream at the beach one of the best of childhood. Don’t forget the sprinkles (or "jimmies" as we call 'em in my part of the world!).

Orange halves at halftime of your youth soccer game
I didn’t even like oranges as a kid (still don’t) but I loved squeezing a bright orange wedge into my mouth at halftime of every single soccer match I played in. Somehow, the acidic citrus fruit made me feel like a real player and that memory makes this an iconic taste of childhood.


Banana and Nutella crepe beside the ancient carousel across the River Seine from the Eiffel Tower
This is super specific but my girls and I have had this exact culinary experience and it is every bit as grand as you’d imagine: the sound of the carousel, the sight of the famous Eiffel Tower and all that gooey Nutella and banana. Yum! In an ideal world, every childhood would include this very scene.

Peanut butter & jelly sandwich cut into triangles on the first day of kindergarten
It has to be triangles, right? That criss-cross cutting pattern makes the classic PB&J sandwich taste the best on the first day of school, or on any other day!


Ice pop after a summer day of riding bikes around the neighborhood
Kids still ride actual bikes, right? Not just virtual reality bike apps on their phones? Good, because you only get an ice pop after coming back into the house sweaty and out of breath from racing your friends around the block.


Crisp apple straight off the tree at an orchard on a cool autumn day
Apple picking in the fall is one of the greatest family outings of the year, and biting into a crisp apple fresh off a tree is one of the greatest tastes of childhood.

Big bowl of cereal while watching Saturday morning cartoons
Doesn’t matter which cartoon is your favorite (although we’ve always been Busytown Mysteries fans), nothing goes better with animated gags and whipsmart cartoon jokes than a big bowl of your favorite breakfast cereal.

Donuts with dad/muffins with mom in your homeroom at school
I’ve all but given up donuts but I make a diet cheat-day exception for donuts with dad at my daughters’ school. The look in her eyes, and I’m guessing my matching joyous pair she gets to see, when I walk into the classroom render those breakfast calories meaningless.

Pumpkin pie with a dollop of whipped cream after Thanksgiving dinner before you dose off with the sounds of football coming from the other room
You can’t fall asleep on Turkey Day before a sliver of freshly baked pumpkin pie and whipped cream! Bonus points if the pie is still a little warm.

Well-earned lollipop after shots at the doctor's office
Whether you grab a root beer, watermelon, grape, cherry or dare to go for a mystery flavor, that lollipop tastes great and was well-earned after a visit with the doctor.


First piece of Halloween candy after, as Justin Roberts sings on his classic song “Trick or Treat,” you’ve “put every piece in alphabetical order!”
They always organize their loot in alphabetical order but then my two daughters skip right on down to "K" and "R" to enjoy their first piece of Halloween candy every October 31st. I may or may not sneak an "S" and a "T" while they’re not looking!

Out With the Kids is a paid contributor to Clorox’s SpinCycle, helping you navigate the messiness of parenthood.