18 things we ate as kids
(that we’d probably still eat now, given the chance)
Our weekly trip down memory lane looks at what we ate and drank in the 70s and 80s… crispy pancake, Smash and Bisto tea, anyone?
A favourite with chips for a quick midweek dinner for the kids. They still are – though Cap’n Birdseye has undergone a few regenerations since…
Bachelors Vesta curry
A revelation in the 70s – Vesta boil-in-the-bag meals were a testament to our growing passion for Indian food, and are still available today – without the boiling bit.
Bird’s Dream Topping
As popular as their homemade custard powder – Dream Topping was always handy to have in the cupboard.
Just add milk and whip! We loved the strawberry and butterscotch flavours – a children’s party favourite.
St Ivel Five Pints
Mum would have it on standby in case of an emergency – it was an acquired taste and you needed to get the mixture just right to avoid any porridge-like disasters.
Smash Instant Potato
For mash get Smash! No need for the potato masher – our busy mums welcomed this quick potato-tasting accompaniment to the evening meal.
Perfect when served with the above – it made instant meaty-tasty gravy in seconds!
Batchelors Pack-a-Pie fillings
You could bake a lovely pie in minutes using a pre-prepared jar of fruit, varieties included apple and lemon meringue.
Heinz Alphabetti Spaghetti
We liked to try and spell our names before enjoying with hot, buttered toast – our kids still love them today.
The first UK restaurant opened in 1974 in Woolwich, south-east London. There are 1,200 spread across the UK and Northern Ireland – we’re lovin it.
Cinzano vermouths were popular aperitifs – remember the hilarious TV adverts featuring a suave Leonard Rossiter and a beautiful, sophisticated young Joan Collins?
I’ll have a Babycham – the light sparkling perry was popular on its own or as a mixer, a brandy and Babycham being the ultimate Christmas beverage in the 70s and 80s.
Courage Tavern Keg Bitter
It always made an appearance at house parties – it’s still a top ten ale in the UK today.
Sprite & 7Up
I Like the Sprite in You was their first long-running slogan, and the tangy lemon and lime drink is still popular today.
Findus Crispy Pancakes
Adored by kids everywhere, the crispy pancake was a stiff, breadcrumbed slipper containing boiling hot chicken and mushroom or ‘minced beef’, and was only ever served with oven chips. Maybe a tin of Green Giant sweetcorn, too, for your one a day…
The 80s pudding of choice for sophisticates everywhere. Once we’d been introduced to this dinner-party classic, with its rippled chocolate inside an ice cream brick. Walls Neopolitan didn’t seem quite so glamorous. Best served with Ice Magic, a sauce that froze solid when you poured it on ice cream…
Robinsons Barley Water
Due to the brand’s long running sponsorship of Wimbledon, the famous strap line was anything else just isn’t tennis.