Ten kid beverages you should totally still drink

Back when you were young, only taste mattered in terms of drink selection. Well, that and availability -- i.e. what your Mom allowed you to have. But mainly it was taste -- you weren't thinking about caloric content, or artificial sweeteners, or the effects of too much caffeine on your sleep that night, or too much alcohol on your workday the next morning.

You were thinking about what was yummy.

But as the years pass, so do your tastes. More to the point, they become complicated by other factors, and the central question -- do I like this? -- becomes only one point of contention to your internal beverage debate.

But really, just because you know you shouldn't consume something doesn't mean that you never consume it again. (Thus, the continued existence of Little Debbie.) So it raises the question: what kids drinks are still worth drinking? Here are ten good candidates.

10. Hi-C

Hi-C always had a leg up on Kool-Aid, probably because it came ready-to-drink instead of in a packet that you mixed with water (usually less water than it claimed to need, just so the resulting Kool-Aid would taste better). So Hi-C probably had a bunch of stuff going for it that Kool-Aid couldn't reproduce in powder form, at least as effectively. That bunch of stuff is most assuredly bad for you, but still--deliciously bad.

9. Yoo Hoo Chocolate Soldiers had a cooler name, but weren't nearly as chocolately as Yoo Hoos. Yoo Hoos were less watery, and had a consistency that was a lot closer to chocolate milk. Which leads directly to asking why someone wouldn't just drink chocolate milk instead...which is a pretty darn good question. Sooo... 8. Chocolate Milk Yes, a darn good question. When this became a choice in the lunch lines at your elementary school, didn't you a) wonder why in the world some kids would still choose white milk, and b) predict then and there the obesity epidemic of the 2000s? 7. Orange Drink This was the McDonald's staple before they switched to Hi-C. It wasn't much of anything but dyed sugar water. It wasn't juice, certainly, or anything that can legally be called juice. But it was syrupy, non-carbonated, icy-cold, and orange, dammit, orange. And probably awesome mixed with vodka.

6. Sunny Delight

It's actually pretty good stuff; just do the world a favor, and don't call it "Sunny D". Between that nickname, and people continuing to call McDonald's "Mickey-D's", what in the hell was up with the 80s and the letter D? It's not hip, though maybe it is appropriate, since it's perilously close to a failing grade.

5. Nestle's Quik Chocolate is an easy pick here, but the real winner among the Quik family of drinkable products? Strawberry. This stuff is still crazy delicious, so long as you don't mind that it tastes more like liquid Frankenberry cereal rather than anything actually approaching strawberries.

4. Hawaiian Punch

Watching squat mutants in weird hats committing acts of violence for the sheer joy of it? Makes me thirsty.

3. Ovaltine "So what's up with Ovaltine? The mug is round. The jar is round. Why not call it Roundtine?" Because it's not gold, Jerry. It's not gold. But Ovaltine is nonetheless pretty good, and the malt flavor is pretty specific to this brand of warm chocolate deliciousness. Another Seinfeld-related runner up: Bosco (George's ATM code). One wonders why Swiss Miss never got a mention, especially considering the genius of the mini-marshmallow. 2. Roy Rogers/Shirley Temple They're both grenadine and garnished with the cherry--the difference is that the boys get cola as a base, and the girls get something lemon-lime. But they're both kiddie cocktails that are actually pretty tasty--and a decent party or bar ruse, if you're not wanting alcohol but want to look like you do. Sure, you could just have a Coke, but you'd miss the cherries.

1. Tang

Seriously, it will never stop being cool that this was invented for astronauts to drink in space. Astronauts, dude!

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen