Many will say the best part of camp was lunchtime (just me?). After morning hours spent playing spud (rules here, in case you forget them), sitting was a true treat. And the lunch itself was pretty exciting, because I had a Lunchable sitting in front of me.

BEFORE they put nutritional information on the packaging.

Instead of a plain brown bagged lunch that was sweating outside in the summer heat, I opened my Mac-n-Cheese colored box and popped the pointy side of the straw into my Capri Sun™.

I asked my mother if her memory of my love of Lunchables rang true: She told stories of my "addiction" to Lunchables and how me and my brothers "refused to eat anything else for camp lunch." She also reminded me of how expensive they were, especially the ones with a dessert and Capri Sun. Nonetheless, my brothers and I spent our trips to the grocery store begging my mom to buy us tens of Lunchables. She caved, and I can't blame her.

You refused to eat anything else for camp lunch.
My Mother

So for Summer Camp Week, the editors asked me to DIY the Lunchables of yesteryear. My research led me to find out that Oscar Mayer now offers "Pizza Kaboobles" and "Beef Walking Tacos" Lunchables. What are these things? Instead of following their new trends, I wanted to truly create the lunchables that I remember.

Photo by Bobbi Lin

Ham and American Cracker Stacks:

Good-quality ham + an aged cheddar + semolina crackers + homemade peanut butter cups + homemade Capri Sun!!

Pepperoni Pizza:

Make little pizzas from store-bought or homemade dough + jarred or homemade tomato sauce + pepperoni + mozzarella

*Alternative: If pizza bagels were your thing, this recipe will do the trick.

All Star: Burgers:

Veggie burgers (which keeps better than meat out of the fridge), made mini + baby burger buns + [homemade Oreos] + homemade soda

To Pack It All Up!

Disclaimer: Without knowledge that I was writing this piece, my brother ate a Turkey and Cheddar Lunchable last week. He claims they still taste like the originals.

See what other Food52 readers are saying.

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    Connor Bower
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    Olivia Bloom
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Connor B. July 27, 2016
I was only allowed to eat Lunchables for day camp/field trips, so I feel your Lunchable love.
Megan L. July 27, 2016
Same! Lunchables were a "special occasion treat" (sad, in retrospect). It made me love them that much more.
Olivia B. July 27, 2016
+1 It was a one-time-a-year thing. Never mind that the crackers tasted like cardboard. It made you an instant cool kid.