Sandy pink streaks coat the sky as the sun peeks over your backyard fence and shines on the peeling linoleum of your kitchen floor. The fridge murmurs and hums, oven burners wobble and pop, as you spend a quiet moment alone with a box of sugar cereal.
Let’s count down ten of the greatest:
10. Corn Pops. The delayed time release technology would allow sticky yellow chunks to remain in your molars until you needed energy for later in the day. This was handy because sometimes in the middle of math class you just gotta have your pops.
9. Trix. I always felt bad for the rabbit. Frankly, it seemed like the toddlers were jerks. “Silly rabbit,” they laughed, with their beady eyes, right in his face. “Trix are for kids.” Come on, he only wants a bowl of of cereal. I think these must be the same punks who stole Lucky’s Charms.
8. Sugar Crisp. Did anyone else think Sugar Bear was related to Chester Cheetah? Think about it — the sunglasses, the long strides, the sneakers. Both are chilled out dudes who ditched jungle living for the big bucks of Hollywood. I wouldn’t be surprised if they were roommates.
7. Cocoa pebbles, Cocoa Puffs, or Count Chocula. These bowls of chocolate were like speed for kids. You had to pour extra milk so you could guzzle down the glimmery chocolate milk for dessert.
6. Grape Nuts. Okay, this isn’t a sugar cereal, but didn’t you always have a stale box kicking around from that time Grandma visited? Nobody could explain what a Grape Nut was, either. We’d just quietly pass the box around on those dark mornings when the sugar ran dry and we all took our colo-rectal health seriously for a day with Grape Nuts, Shredded Wheat, or All Bran. Yes, Grape Nuts made us dream big dreams about tomorrow’s Froot Loops, Frosted Flakes, and Cinnamon Toast Crunch. They’re on the list because they made the next bowl taste sweeter.
5. Honeycomb. Remember the TV commercial where the angry viking biker storms the kid’s forest hideout and starts a group sing-a-long with a dancing robot? Combine that with some Smurfs episodes and you’ve got a pretty trippy Saturday morning. “Honeycomb’s big… yeah, yeah, yeah! It’s not small … no, no, no!”
4. Lucky Charms. First off, the gang at General Mills redefined marshmallow to mean rock-hard bits of dyed, packed sugar. Plus, they reinvented new shapes all the time. Do you remember pink hearts and yellow moons? These days we’re chomping on hourglasses and shooting stars while doing our best Irish accents. Of course, the good news is that Lucky Charms still turns milk magically deliciously orange.
2. Cookie Crisp. Honestly, it was just a big box of cookies. If your mom fell for this, do you think she’d let us bum some cigarettes and borrow her car, too?
1. Honey Nut Cheerios. Most kids had a good five year run with this faithful classic. Smooth corners made for easy chomping, you could toss a handful in a baggie for a take out snack, and they were healthy enough for parents to keep buying year after year. Of course, like many other cereals, Cheerios were famous for that glimmery patch of sugar powder at the bottom of the box. Remember to play it safe on that last bowl or you could end up polluting your breakfast. Now, for old time’s sake, here’s the commercial they used to run every Christmas.
Depending on how you grew up, eating some sugar cereal might have been a little bit of quiet time before the day began. While parents rushed around and the radio blared traffic reports, you read the back of box over and over, fished around for the sticker at the bottom, and read about the competitive spirit inside Tony the Tiger and the tragedy of the Trix bunny.
Sure, old school sugar cereals weren’t the healthiest thing we could have eaten, but those vitamin-fortified sugar punches made for mighty fun childhoods.