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90s nostalgia

@nostalgicallyrachel/TikTok, @mrvaughntrainor/TikTok

It was a simpler, more life-threatening time.

Parenting has changed. A lot. So many things our parents did that were considered normal in our childhood—that is, for all us millennials and Gen Xers—would simply never fly today.

This is thanks in large part to the digital age, and the countless ways to access information. Radio, magazines, television, books, online blogs, Facebook parent groups, informational podcasts, public studies…thousands of voices helping shape family dynamics and warn of potential dangers.

If there’s ever any doubt into how far we’ve come, let technology once again remind you. A trip down memory lane via TikTok might be, as the kids say, a bit cringe, but boy can it help instill a little gratitude.

On a mission to share her childhood “one home video at a time,” a woman named Rachel has an entire TikTok account dedicated to short glimpses of her younger years.

Her content is an instant nostalgic hit for those of us who grew up in the 80s or 90s. We’re talking Rainbow Brite, roller skates, Sesame Street, backpack purses when they were cool for the first time. All the feel good stuff.

And also—maybe some of the not-so-feel-good stuff. Recently, Rachel shared a video of herself as a newborn with her mom…when viewers noticed something strange in her bottle.

@nostalgicallyrachel Replying to @B Indeed, it is. 💦 #wildtimes #wesurvived #taboo #homemovie #homevideo #nostalgia #nostalgic #80s #90s #1990s #1980s #memories #family #throwback #80sbaby #90sbaby #childhood #childhoodmemories #wholesome #oklahoma #takemeback #vlog #mylife #history #vintage #retro #90skid #80skid #80saesthetic #90saesthetic #vhs #smalltown #aesthetic #growingupinthe90s #millennial #millennialtok #1986 #response #react #water #indeed #newborn #baby #mom #breastfed ♬ Roslyn - Bon Iver & St. Vincent

“I’m sorry — IS THAT WATER,” one concerned viewer asked.

Rachel followed up with , “Indeed, it is”, writing “Sugar Water for Newborns circa 1986” in the video caption.

Once upon a time, sugar water was used as a bit of a cure-all for infants, helping fight off common colds, ease bellyaches, and everything in between.

And while some studies do show that sugar water can help ease pain, and certain hospitals do use it during painful procedures, professionals still suggest against administering it at home.

For one thing, babies don’t need water until they’re six months old. They get all the hydration they need from breastmilk or formula, according to WebMd.

Second, the Dietary Guidelines Advisory Committee says that any foods or beverages with added sugar should be avoided “during the first two years of life,” as it is likely to replace more nourishing foods and cause nutrient deficiency, and is “linked with increased risk of overweight or obesity.”

But for many parents today, this is not new news. Which made Rachel’s video so horrifying.

“As a new mom this genuinely is making me want to cry 😭 There was so much misinformation back then. Those poor babies,” one person wrote.

Of course, it could be worse. As one person shared, “My mom gave me Mountain Dew in my bottle 😳.” Yikes.

In another video, this one captioned “parenting before the internet” and shared by dad and TikTokker Vaughn Trainor, we see another bane of modern parenting—rice cereal.

Specifically, rice cereal being fed to newborns. Experts say that solid foods should not be introduced into a baby’s diet until at least four months old, when they can hold their head and sit upright on their own, start grabbing at things and show interest in food when the parents begin eating.

In this video, however, Trainor is one month old, laid back (also a big no no!) and being spoon fed by his mom, who is heard quoting the parenting magazine that suggested heavier things be eaten this way.

@mrvaughntrainor Parenting before the internet 🤣 i turned out alright 🤣🤣 #parenting #parentinghumor #90sparenting #babiesoftiktok #viral #funnyvideos ♬ original sound - Mrvaughntrainor

Over 5,000 people commented on this one, many of whom noted how this type of diet might influence common digestive issues many adults face.

And while there could be several factors contributing to this that go beyond what we were fed as babies, it is true that millennials seem to suffer the worst when it comes to gut health.

But it’s not just problematic food choices. Rachel shared yet another home video, this one titled “Nursery Tour circa 1986,” that showed her baby self lying in a crib surrounded by pillows, stuffed animals, and, for some reason, a mirror.

@nostalgicallyrachel Nursery Tour circa 1986 👶🏻 #nursery #baby #babytok #nurserytour #home #hometour #homemovie #homevideo #nostalgia #nostalgic #80s #90s #1990s #1980s #memories #family #throwback #80sbaby #90sbaby #childhood #childhoodmemories #wholesome #oklahoma #takemeback #vlog #mylife #history #vintage #retro #90skid #80skid #80saesthetic #90saesthetic #vhs #smalltown #aesthetic #growingupinthe90s #millennial #crib #cribsafety ♬ A Gentle Sunlight - James Quinn

But it’s not just problematic food choices. Rachel shared yet another home video, this one titled “Nursery Tour circa 1986,” that showed her baby self lying in a crib surrounded by pillows, stuffed animals, and, for some reason, a mirror.

…All of which can be life threatening and lead to Sudden Unexpected Infant Death (SUID), if you ask the American Academy of Pediatrics.

Which is why this comment pretty much sums up everyone’s collective feeling:

“It’s a miracle any of us survived.”

And while we can obviously make the case for “I’m still here, so it couldn't’ have been that bad,” when you look at infant mortality statistics, which is the lowest it’s ever been worldwide, it’s hard to deny that maybe, just maybe, being more savvy about childcare could have something to do with that.

So, yes, many parents today might lean towards being more anxious by comparison. But it’s only because death is literally lurking at every corner! Yay vindication!

And as mortifying as some of these parenting behaviors might seem to us now, what doesn’t seem to change is parents wanting to raise a healthy kid, to the very best of their ability. We might have gentler, more science-backed ways to go about it, but the love remains the same.

This article originally appeared on 9.27.23


Comedian's song about life in the 90s has Gen X giggling with nostalgia

Ah, the good old days, when you had to choose between the phone or the internet.

Sammy J took us on a trip down memory lane.

Those of us who remember life before the internet love nothing more than to share "back in my day" stories with today's youngsters who've never had to try to get somewhere without GPS. When we tell our kids about dial-up internet, they look at us the same bewildered way we looked at our parents when they talked about party lines. So much fun.

Nothing splits the generations like what was considered advanced technology during our formative years, and one comedian has encapsulated that divide in an ode to the 1990s.

Sammy J sang "You'll Never Know What It's Like" at the Melbourne International Comedy Festival and had the audience giggling along with recollections of life in the 90s. Driving around in the car with a big book of maps? Check. Making a collect call to tell your mom to pick you up but avoiding the collect call charges by telling her where you were instead of saying your name? Check. Agonizing over whether to take a photo because you only have 24 shots in your disposable camera? Check.

Younger generations will never know what it was like to live so primitively, it's true. But Gen X does, and this song is like taking a cold plunge into a pool of nostalgia.


People loved the musical trip to the past.

"Thank you for taking me down memory lane! It was a blast 😀" wrote one commenter.

But some couldn't agree on whether young people have it better today or had it better in the 90s.

"All true! If only our teenagers knew who good they have it!" wrote one person.

"Life was so so good in the 90’s I feel lucky it didn’t have to grow up in this era 😕," shared another.

"God I miss the 90s!" wrote another. "Both my daughters always say they wish they grew up in the 90s bc it seemed so much fun and it was!!"

Kids today really will never know what those days were like, but that's okay. They'll be singing their own "back in my day" songs someday and marvel at how much has changed since they were young.

Pop Culture

Bon appetit! Totally common kids' dinners from the 90s you haven't thought about in ages

Long before the days of flashy food trends on TikTok, we feasted on Shake n' Bake pork chops.


Burnt Tuna Helper was even better than the regular version.

The 90s aesthetic might be finding its way back into being fashionable, but certain gems from the era remain only in memories. The food, for instance, probably won’t be trending on TikTok anytime soon, as it is nowhere near as fancy as whipped coffee and watermelon pizza.

In fact, for many 90s kids, certain childhood staples might be hidden deep in the recesses of their memory, because, let’s face it, our taste buds—and our collective views on food—have advanced far beyond the comforts of yesteryear.

Still, Redditor u/kammikazzie asked 90's kids to share common dinners they had growing up that aren’t so common anymore, and it’s hard not to feel wistful about the answers. Sure, the meals were basic as hell, but there was a simple charm to it all. They were easy enough to make that any parent could provide something tasty without being Gordon Ramsey. In fact, you might find your inner child having some nostalgic cravings after reading this list.

Go ahead, sample from the memory buffet and sink your teeth into these dinners only a 90s mother could love.

"A bowl of baked beans with sliced 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 for dinner."


"Shake and bake pork chops. It was a staple in our dinner rotation."


"Tuna noodle casserole. It was a total abomination that I'm thrilled to never again have plonked down in front of me. Miss you, mom, you terrible yet beloved cook."



"Cream of mushroom soup on spaghetti. I didn’t realize until well into my 20s that this was a meal my mother fed us to make us full for three bucks."


"Pot roast made with chuck roast covered in a packet of onion soup mix. Of course, it was always accompanied by cut carrots, halved potatoes, and mushrooms on the side."


1. “Taco night with all the fixin's, featuring crunchy shells, ground beef, shredded cheddar cheese, lettuce, diced tomato, and jarred salsa."


2. "Kid Cuisine frozen dinners. Mmm, that blazing hot brownie that I burned my mouth on every single time...."


3. "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."


4. "Pizza bagels, or really any kind of pizza-on-toast if we're being honest."



5. "I had a lot of Manwich growing up in the 90s."


6. "Grilled cheese and canned tomato soup. It's the best combo ever. This would instantly revive me after riding my bike home from school in the cold weather."


7. "Fish sticks with ketchup, obviously. Plus a side of heated, limp, canned string beans. And a piece of toasted Wonder-bread, dry."


8. "Chicken breasts baked in Italian dressing with Pasta Roni. Mom's go-to."


9. "My mom used to cook lasagna with an amazing made-from-scratch meat sauce. But then she discovered Stouffer's frozen lasagna, and we never had the homemade version again."



10. "We always had this one salad with crunchy, uncooked ramen noodles and canned mandarin oranges. I remember people making it a lot for picnics and potlucks in the '90s."


11. "My mom would heat up a family sized pack of those cheap, frozen Salisbury steaks with gravy and serve them with instant mashed potatoes. I'd always make a messy sandwich out of everything. I remember being so stoked when she said that's what was cooking for dinner."


12. “Goulash. My mom kinda over killed it, but I miss how she made it.”


13. "Chili rice. It's made just the way it sounds: Prepare some rice, heat up a can of chili, and then mix together and enjoy. I usually ate it with some sliced white bread or Saltine crackers."


14. "Meatloaf. My mom was an awful cook, and meatloaf is generally awful, but for some reason my mom's meatloaf was amazing."



15. "Hamburger Helper. It was so quick and easy, and I loved it as a kid. That plus Shake and Bake Pork Chops and Stove Top stuffing. Ahh, the staples of the '90s..."


16. "We used to have chicken breaded in crushed up Ritz crackers. I actually made it a few months ago, and I still absolutely love it."


17. "Pizza Hut buffet. Mostly we could only afford Pizza Hut when I read enough books to get my free personal pizza."


The “Chili’s (Welcome To Chili’s)" singers putting it down.

Few jingles get stuck in your head as easily as the Chili's "Baby Back Ribs" song, officially known as “Chili’s (Welcome To Chili’s),” which was first broadcast in 1996. The music starts with a deep-voiced man singing, “I want my baby back, baby back, baby back,” and builds from there to a sweet and tangy crescendo of “I want my baby back ribs!”

Guy Bommarito, the songwriter who wrote the jingle, says that Chilli’s execs weren’t initially too excited by his creation. "The response was, 'Yeah, that should work.' Nobody was blown away or overly impressed," he told Delish. "But it could've been my singing."

The song was later rerecorded in 1998 by a team of studio pros who took it to the next level with their soulful professionalism. The recording session video was shared on YouTube by singer Alvin Chea, and there’s something so satisfying and nostalgic about watching these guys put it down together at the same time.

In the new version, the iconic “baby back” bassline is sung by Alvin Chea, the bass singer for Grammy-winning gospel a cappella group Take 6, who also sang on Michael Jackson’s “This is It.” Dorian Holley, in the vest and tie, sang harmonies and also worked with the King of Pop as a background singer.

Oren Waters takes the lead on the “Chili’s” line and is part of the Waters family who sang background on MJ’s “Thriller" album. Louis Price sings the “barbeque sauce” line and was the lead singer of The Temptations from 1977 to 1980.