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Growing up, home-cooked meals were few and far between in my household. Not because my parents were incapable of cooking, but simply because the value of a meal made from scratch was completely lost on my brothers and I. Why spend hours chopping fresh veggies and baking extravagant casseroles if we were perfectly content eating frozen peas, boxed mashed potatoes and rolls that came from a can?

Redditors have recently been discussing the foods that they ate growing up but rarely or never have today, so we’ve gathered some of their “nostalgia meals" down below. From foods that only a kid’s palate would enjoy to things people ate solely because their parents made them, enjoy scrolling through these delicacies that might transport you back to childhood. And keep reading to find conversations with the person who started this thread and Madison of Inherited Recipes!

#1

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Sliced tomato sandwich. We ate them on white butter crust bread. Mayo, salt and pepper.

andmen2015 , atodaso/(not the actual photo) Report

To find out how this discussion started in the first place, we reached out to Reddit user MinkSableSeven, who posed the question, “What did you grow up eating all the time but now haven’t had in years?” She shared that her inspiration for starting the thread was realizing how mundane her diet had gotten.

"I eat the same few items over and over again, year after year. I knew I couldn’t be the only one experiencing this, so I headed to Reddit to ask," she told Bored Panda.

In her post, MinkSableSeven mentioned that her mother often prepared tripe, liver and kidneys while they were young, but we were curious if she actually enjoyed these meals. "I didn’t always appreciate these foods growing up, especially when I was old enough to learn what parts of the animals these foods came from," she admitted. "However, I notice specifically that I was rarely sick growing up. We ate very little processed foods. We frequently had fresh vegetables with meals; collard greens, cabbage, turnips, beets. Foods I rarely eat today."

#2

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Grilled cheese sandwiches, cut diagonally.

MinkSableSeven , Ben Welsh/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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We also asked MinkSableSeven how different her diet is from how her parents ate. "There’s definitely a generational aspect that plays into the foods I grew up on," she shared. "For instance, growing up I always had oxtails. Almost every other week there’d be a pot simmering on the stove and I couldn’t wait for dinnertime. Back then, oxtails were considered poor folks food. Now it’s like oxtails have become gentrified. I used to purchase 10 pounds at a time (because most of it is bone) and have leftovers. Now when I purchase them, I get maybe 5 pounds at the most. They’re $12 a pound where I live."

"Ironically, I saw a TikTok several months ago where someone was showing how she prepared them," MinkSableSeven continued. "I noticed the packaging, took a screenshot and zoomed in. They were $5.99 a pound. I messaged her to ask where she was getting them so cheap, and she told me she lived in Texas near a farm where she could get them super fresh and inexpensive. I was so jealous. Still am. If I could get them that cheap, they’d make more appearances on my dinner plates."

#3

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Fish sticks used to be a lot more common. Think it was an easy no stress way to get me to eat dinner.

emmyfro , Karl Baron/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

As far as what the OP thought of the replies to her post, she wasn't surprised that the topic resonated with so many people. "But many of the comments inspired me to start a little list of recipes I want to look for and add to my meal rotation," she noted. "Like many people mentioned casseroles. That’s a word you almost don’t hear any more."

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"The answers really are like a walk down memory lane with people sharing their affections for the days of fish sticks, Hamburger Helper (before it changed; today it doesn’t taste half as good), pot roast, Swanson’s TV dinners, meatloaf and Jell-O," MinkSableSeven says. "Some of these I don’t miss, but again, I’ve been inspired by many of the comments to refresh my collection of recipes with some new iterations of meals I loved growing up."

#4

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Meatloaf. My mom was an awful cook, and meatloaf is generally awful, but for some reason my mom's meatloaf was amazing. I can make every other dish she actually made well (there weren't many lol), but I have no idea how she made the amazing meatloaf. I should actually have another go at recreating it, I miss my mom and her meatloaf.

Missscarlettheharlot , jeffreyw/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Jan Rosier
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

finely chopped onions or challots, some chives, pepper and salt, egg, and spices of your liking... cannot go wrong.

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#5

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Baked beans with cut up hot dogs. I always looked forward to this meal as a kid, but my mom recently admitted that she only made it when she barely had any money.

strawbrimlk , Kiwanna’s Kitchen (not the actual photo) Report

To learn more about recipes that might cause a flood of nostalgia, we also got in touch with Madison of Inherited Recipes. Madison started her blog as way to work through all of the recipes her grandmother gave her, including some from her personal life and others that she prepared as a professional chef. Madison was kind enough to have a chat with Bored Panda about these delicious recipes and how they can transport some people back to the past.

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"I find many of the recipes on my blog are filled with nostalgia. Not necessarily for me, but I get many messages about how these recipes are from people's childhood!" she explained. "Which makes sense, all of the recipes I post are those that I inherited from my grandma. She had 5 sons, and cooked and baked every day."

"As for me, it is my first time making and trying a lot of these recipes, but I love that researching them and baking them myself does bring nostalgia knowing that these were recipes made many years ago by my grandma does bring me a lot of joy! And I love trying new things, so it is the best of both worlds," Madison added.

#6

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Stuffed cabbage rolls; every Eastern European country has a version of this dish.

kilroyscarnival , Amy Ross/Flickr (Not the actual photo) Report

#7

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Sloppy joes.

large_crimson_canine , Cayobo/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Marie Dahme
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Reminds me of the song Adam Sandler sang on SNL back in the day...Lunch lady land. The chorus was " sloppy Joe's, slop slop sloppy joes" with Chris Farley dancing as the school lunch lady. Lol. Ahhh. Good times.

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We were also curious which foods make Madison feel nostalgic. "I ate a lot of chocolate Pop-Tarts as a kid!" she shared. "I would eat chocolate Pop-Tarts and some apple sauce. I really don't eat them at all any more, except for when I was pregnant, and I had a mega craving for them!"

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Another recipe that reminds Madison of childhood is just a simple chocolate chip cookie. "It was one of the recipes I baked all on my own. My mom let me do it by myself, and I still use the same recipe!"

#8

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Coke float. Can of Coke in a glass, with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Northernfrog , lady__jane (not the actual photo) Report

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#9

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Frozen TV Dinners in foil: Hungry Man, Banquet etc.

For those of you born after maybe 1980, this was before microwaves. A foil tray, usually with three compartments: like Salisbury steak for the main dish, something like corn and carrots in the side, and a brownie for desert. They took like half an hour to reheat. There was a fried chicken dinner that had an apple cobbler. I can still smell it. No microwave Hungry Man dinner can match it.

They went spectacularly well on TV trays: folding trays you could set in front of you so you could eat while watching TV from a sofa or recliner. Before the VCR, you either watched Candid Camera when it aired at 9pm, or you missed it.

todlee , wendalltwolf (not the actual photo) Report

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Marie Dahme
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I remember the foil on the TV dinners back in the 70s ! That foil was heavy and thick and you could cut your little fingers on it the wrong way.

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"Another recipe that reminds me of my childhood are sour cream cut-out cookies," Madison continued. "These are the cookies we would make every year for Santa, and I just remember having the best time baking them, cutting them out, and then having to wait for what felt like so long for them to cool down so we could frost them! I would use so many sprinkles and made some wild-looking cookies, but we would always eat them. I am looking forward to making them with my daughter!"

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#10

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Chef Boyardee. I purchased some of the ravioli in a can recently. I tried it and was really surprised at how disgusting it was. I remember it fondly from childhood.

xenpiffle , Mike Mozart/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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OneWithRatsAndKefir
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Our tastebuds are constantly changing and evolving, after all. I used to love marshmallows, thought my mom was a tiny bit crazy when she said they were way too sweet for her; you all can probably guess that I agree with her now. The fun part of getting older is finding foods you didn’t like before and do like now (never thought I’d go crazy over stuffed peppers or enjoy sour cabbage).

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#11

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Shepherd's Pie. Always my favourite thing my mum made but I've never bothered to make it.

WordsUnthought , Xiaoyin (Yin) Li (not the actual photo) Report

#12

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Cereal. Breakfast almost every day was cereal. Now I can’t stand the stuff.

Also drinking milk with everything.

anglerfishtacos , Tom Ray/Flickr (Not the actual photo) Report

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SonicAlchemy
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As an adult, cereal is now a "munchie" when I'm high on cannabis. Nothing better than getting baked and smashing a bowl of Cinnamon Toast Crunch and I've always loved milk. Chocolate milk is one of my favorite things in the whole human world.

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Madison also shared recommendations of a few recipes that might fill you with nostalgia (as well as deliciousness). "One of my favorite recipes I have come across is my Great-Great-Grandmother's recipe for Chocolate Fudge Cake! She was born in 1900. My grandma's sister gave me this recipe, and she said that this cake would stay moist for 2 whole weeks!"

"The other one that I get a lot of comments on, saying things like that they used to make this, or their mom used to make it, is for Traditional Norwegian Coffee Cake! It is a very simple old recipe that was fun to find in my grandma's collection because she had a note saying 'Bruce's favorite,' who is my dad. He told me that she would make this recipe for his birthday every year, and it is one of the most popular recipes on my blog."

#13

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Fried bologna. My dad made a mean fried bologna sandwich with a slice of American cheese on wonder bread with mayo. On special occasions we also got our sandwiches with a fried egg or Lays potato chips added between the layers of bologna.

CottonHeadedElf , Edsel Little/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Upstaged75
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My dad always tells us about being poor in college and eating a lot of fried Spam. You couldn't pay me to eat that stuff!

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#14

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Jell-O with canned fruit cocktail inside to make it “healthier”.

UpNorth_123 , Willis Lam (not the actual photo) Report

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Red PANda (she/they)
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I hate that stuff, I’d eat around the fruit when it was served to me at lunch. The texture is so annoying. I don’t mind jello or fruit, but they do not go together.

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#15

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Poached eggs in buttered toast. It's been 20 years or so.

uplifting_southerner , Kai Hendry/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

"Another one of the most popular recipes is for Brown Sugar Frosting," Madison added. "It is very simple to make and was popular back in the day. People say this is what their grandma's used to use!"

"I just love how baking old recipes, and for me specifically going through the recipes from my grandma, gives a connection to the past and can help bring some nostalgia and comfort food to today!" Madison says.

If you'd like to make something that might make you or your parents incredibly nostalgic, be sure to visit Inherited Recipes!

#16

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Spaghetti and country crock. God bless my single dad, but I've got tomato sauce money now.

Straight_Positive423 , Turtleramem (not the actual photo) Report

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Marie Dahme
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Buttered noodles with some fake parmesan cheese and a dash of Italian herbs was my go to

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#17

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Taco night with all the white people fixins. Crunchy shells, ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, diced tomato, and miiiiiiiiiild salsa.

itsf*ckingpizzatime , Karl-Martin Skontorp/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

#18

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Hamburger Helper and other box meals. I bought a box of the cheeseburger one for nostalgia's sake years ago and it tasted like bland chemicals.

Ms_Emilys_Picture , Paul-Belgium (not the actual photo) Report

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Amanda Rose
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is definitely something that was a common thing in my family. I really loved the beef stroganoff. Tried it again a few years ago and it was just a massive sodium bomb. I was very disappointed.

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#19

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Lots of casseroles made with canned “cream of” soups.

I can’t do casseroles these days. As a kid, chicken and rice casserole was the best! But now, it just doesn’t hit.

Runzas_In_Wonderland , kindlythankful (not the actual photo) Report

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sbj
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1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Casseroles can be so varied and are perfect on Autumn and Winter evenings

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#20

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Kraft Dinner (What we call the blue box mac n cheese in Canada) Used to love it as a kid, now I cant stand it and just make my own mac from scratch.

Reddit4Quarantine , Papasmurf43469 (not the actual photo) Report

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Zara VP
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1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

People love to hate on Kraft mac & cheese, but I love it still! It's good every now and then.

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#21

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Anything grilled. Hot dogs, hamburgers, hobo baskets (chicken, rice, bell peppers, onion). My dad loved grilling and was very proud of the food he would make. Especially his hamburgers ❤️‍🩹 I miss him so much. I can’t wait to buy a grill one day.

Hello891011 , Gabriel Saldana/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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ZGutr
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Whenever my wife suggest the grill, I know she's not in the mood for cooking. Love to take a whiskey and stand at the grill making something. There is no grill season for me, I'm doing it all year round ...... yes, also in the (Swedish) winter.

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#22

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Ha, gluten. Coeliac disease sucks.

Snowf1ake222 , M Dreibelbi/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Two Fluffy Maine-coons
Community Member
1 month ago (edited) DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

That it does my friend that it does. Have had it since I was 8. Forget what most “normal”things taste like. Luckily gf substitutes are now more common and actually good!

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#23

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Homemade fried chicken. It was our Sunday dinner every week without fail. I make it like 1-2 times a year at most. I don’t want the grease in my kitchen.

DaisyDuckens , Harry Dona/Pexels (not the actual photo) Report

#26

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) My age can probably be determined accurately by:

* Individually wrapped Kraft cheese slices
* Cottage cheese
* Campbell's cream of X soup
* Swanson's TV dinners
* Pepperidge farm turnovers.

dirthawker0 , Mike Mozart/Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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Heather Atwood
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

OK my son and I discovered these SPECIFIC slices (pictured) and they are decidedly different than the usual American cheese-maybe a little less plastic, but honestly the best!

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#27

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) My parents are Peranakan and Teochew Chinese but immigrated to the US when I was young. I grew up eating a lot of Singaporean home cooking. Pork and peanut soup, nonya chicken curry, steamed sea bass, fishball soup, tau yu bak, achar, yong tau foo. I didn’t realize how much time some of these things take to make until I moved out. My mom did her best to pass down heritage recipes to me. I miss them a lot and have been trying to cook more Singaporean for my family.

Toastwich , pelican/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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sbj
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

You were so lucky to have had this growing up and this list of food is mouth watering

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#28

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) A dish my mom called oven stew. Basically it's ground beef, veggies and potatoes layered and baked in a casserole dish. Sort of a lazy, Americanized shepherd's pie.

It's not too difficult to make, but when I make it, it doesn't seem to come out right, so I've given it up. Every once in a while I'll have my mom make it for a birthday dinner.

snakeravencat , qhqy (not the actual photo) Report

#29

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) Ocean fish. My dad fished for the family and we ate fish 3 times a week. Now I don’t trust the majority of supermarket fish and can’t afford the specialty seafood stores near me. I am glad I spend summers in Maine near enough to get fresh.

Shilo788 , Stem/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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JoNo
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

My family had to eat fish on Fridays, so we alternated between fish fingers and smoked cod (gag).

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#30

“What Did You Grow Up Eating All The Time But Now Haven’t Had In Years?” (30 Answers) A can of Campbell's soup was 'pasta sauce' growing up.

ch0w0 , Mike Mozart/ Flickr (not the actual photo) Report

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JoNo
Community Member
1 month ago DotsCreated by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

As a child I only had canned soup: tomato, vegetable and cream of chicken of the Campbells variety. I did not like vegetable, and as an adult was surprised soup could be homemade and not out of a can. I even like vegetable soup now. I occasionally still use canned soup as the base in casseroles and slow cooker meals.

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