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Breakfast: Sixties Style

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So what do all these things have in common?  They were introduced (or gained popularity) in this country in the sixties. This was our "kickoff breakfast" for our Sixties unit study. Yes, we actually ate that food and called it our morning meal. 

The idea of a Sixties unit study began with Tilly who started begging for a "Beatles Party". I made her write a proposal for it, considered it, then decided to broaden the idea a bit and host a sixties party. The trouble is, I don't know all that much about the sixties…In doing some research online I found an excellent unit study. We have just started and we have learned so much already! Our study will culminate in, what else, but a Sixties Party. But for now, we're just having fun learning.

Some interesting facts:

* Tang was actually introduced in 1959, but sold very poorly…UNTIL 1965 when the Gemini astronauts took it aboard their space flights to cover up the nasty taste of their filtered water. Suddenly Tang was a household name and everyone was drinking it! {Have a Blast, Drink Tang}

* Pop-tarts originally had no frosting and promoted their "real fruit preserve filling". {Eat it now or eat it later, no need to refridgerate!}

*Pringles were advertised in their commercials as "the newfangled chip".

*And to balance out all of that nasty stuff, some homemade granola. We can thank the hippies and back-to-nature groups for this delicious breakfast mix.  While they didn't "invent" granola, they made it a household name.

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 We spent part of yesterday morning watching 60's era commercials about the products above. It was interesting to see how Tang and Pop-tarts were touted as healthy. 

Our breakfast discussions centered around topics like how much fat was actually in those Pringles. Adalia pointed out that eating one serving of Pringles used as many calories as she burns walking 1.5 miles (her new ipod has a  handy pedometer). Adalia was also disappointed to see that the Pop-tarts looked much better in the photo on the box than in real  life.

We had a great discussion about making healthy food choices and why we don't actually eat Pop-tarts or drink Tang. It has been difficult to teach my Liberian children about food choices. Where they grew up, a "healthy food choice" was eating food when it was available. And as much food as you could hold. They didn't exactly have packaged foods or frozen dinners available, so all these things here in America seem like great inventions to them.

{And no discussion about Pop-tarts would be complete without the "Pop-tart Story"…I didn't grow up eating these. I had them on occasion at friends' houses. I have purchased them exactly once before this study. It was over ten years ago. I was pregnant with Enoch and suffering terribly from morning sickness. I decided one day that a Pop-tart might just cure me…I popped it in the toaster and waited. As I took it out of the  toaster some of the fruit filling got on the palm of my hand. I yelped and tried to wipe it off, but it wouldn't come off! It had gotten so hot it melded itself to my hand. I finally peeled it off after it had sat their burning my hand for far too long. By the time the filling was off and I could run my hand under cold water, I had a second degree burn. I was in so much pain I iced it and soaked it in cool water for eight hours until Chuck came home from  work and put burn cream on it from his first aid kit (which had been in his work truck). He then bandaged the entire hand. To make matters worse, the very next night he had a company work party and of course everyone asked what happened to my hand. I had to admit I had burned it on a Pop-tart…}


  1. kris

    How fun! My Grandmother always had Tang at her house when we were growing up. Not that she touched the stuff but it was her “kid” drink when any of us were visiting. Never did like that stuff. My kids will periodically ask for pop tarts. If I buy them (usually for a long car trip or vacation because they are easily portable) I buy the fiber one brand. They taste better. Which is not saying much but in a pinch it works.

  2. Kari Stratman

    Our saturday morning breakfast was tang and white bread that we snuck quietly so as not to wake our parents. We followed up this wholesome food with 2 hours of t.v..

  3. Donna

    I never bought Pop Tarts either, till my daughter’s now fiance and his bunk mates in Iraq asked for them! Anything for the boys serving our country…so pop tarts is was…boxes and boxes of them!!!!

  4. Anna

    What is fun at my house is convincing my 80 year old Father-in-law, who was a child during the Depression and raised his children in the 60’s and 70’s, to NOT “make it do, wear it out, use it up, do without”… and things like Kool Aid and Wonderbread are NOT HEALTHY even though are fortified with vitamins. He bought a giant Costco-sized container of Kool Aid one summer “for the kids” and had a hard time letting me throw it away three years later instead of using it up…I had to tell him that if my kids needed vitamin C, they could eat fruit.

  5. joabair

    I remember the first time I had a pop tart, I was kind of disappointed also. I was 16 and my older sister picked me up for my summer job that she and I both worked at. She lived in a little apt down the road. She had 2 toasted pop tarts in a napkin and gave me one. It burned my mouth bc they get SO hot inside and I wasnt prepared, and I was disappointed about the lack of tart part. It was just sweet…She didnt like them a lot either, so switched to toaster streudel. Bad bad bad for us, but we liked those…
    I know very little about the 60s as well though my mom was a child then. I should study this.

  6. Ra

    Love poptarts on camping trips.
    Tang was used to clean the hardwater stains off a dishwasher…couldn’t drinkit after that…not that I did much previously though.

  7. Ruth Doyle

    I once watched a show on the Food Network that I think was called Heavy weights. It was about chips. They talked all about the big names like Lays. They also mentioned how when Pringles came out Lays took them to court and made it so they couldn’t call themselves a potato chip. They can only call themselves a potato chip made from dried potatoes. They didn’t like this and went with potato crisp.
    Also watched a Good Eats episode on Food Network where they did home made pop tarts. Yummy pastry with home made perserves. I haven’t tried it yet, but still want to. It wasn’t like a struddle it was very much a pop tart.

  8. Tracy

    How fun!
    You always have the greatest ideas for fun parties for your children and tie it into their learning.
    My beloved had a thing for Tang when we first married. He was a child of the 60s for sure. I’ve never really cared for it, but I used to be a sucker for Pringles.

  9. Carolynn Slocum

    I once got a 3rd degree burn on my finger from grabbing a hot pop tart out of the toaster, I did not want it to burn, and the frosting burned my finger, It really Hurt!!

  10. Verity

    Pop Tarts! I can’t believe they were around in the 60s in USA – am sure they were new in UK in the 1990s – sadly I still remember the advertising hype 🙂
    They were like the forbidden food in my house – I still remember one gleeful summer day at my Aunts house when my brother and sister discovered my Aunt had bought poptarts for her sons!! The shrieks – this Aunt did everything with wholemeal flour and fake food of any kind was banned 😉 My poor mama was appalled but we all tried them. Think that might have been the first and last time I ate them!

  11. Davene

    I can’t see Tang without thinking of my grandparents: they mixed 3/4 c. Tang with 3/4 c. sugar and 1/3 c. lemon juice-added water to make a gallon, and that was “Quick Refresher,” our favorite summertime drink. Despite the fact that it’s not terribly healthy, I still drink it sometimes…and with this most recent pregnancy, I craved it quite a bit. 🙂
    I didn’t know the history of it; thanks for sharing that!

  12. Lou

    Tang is DELICIOUS! I don’t know what pop tarts are. Not sure we have those. I have noticed when in motels in the US on trips that you guys have WAY sweeter stuff for breakfast than we do. In one place in Washington DC, there was not one savoury thing! We would never eat a cake for breakkie. Mind you, it could just be a motel thing. (I’m assuming that pink stuff is sweet!)

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