Libbyland Dinners



Boy the 70's sure were great. Kids got to eat what they wanted. Too bad what they wanted actually tasted worse than school food and left you feeling dirty and ashamed.

Libbyland Dinners were one of the worst meals made for kids. But... as a kid, ya gotta try it. After all, it offers up pirate fun and who eats better than pirates? Oh yea... everyone.
Libbyland Dinners, manufactured by Libby of course, were made in the early 1970's around the time McDonalds had their McDonaldLand campagin. In a time where the HungryMan dinner reigned supreme it was a breath of fresh frozen air to see a meal designed especially for kids. Too bad it offered up some creepy food. Artificial grape flavored scalding applesauce was my favorite! Each meal came with a package of powdered Pink Strawberry Quick-esque mix. Not a meal for the Sabbath but eh... its a meal. These frozen meals featured fantastic pop-up packaging that would provide minutes of fun while you choked down the partialy edible meal. The front pop-up panel featured hidden pictures ala HIGHLIGHTS for Children. This meal distraction was perfect for kids trying to hold back tear of disgust as they chowed down the vulcanized burger or "Fried Parrot" (It was really fried chicken but damn, it was a tough ol' bird.)
Not only did these dinners entertain you while eating they provided motivation to finish the prison-type food by embossing pictures into the bottom of the TINfoil tray. "Eat it all and you'll see the monkey!" If I heard that now I'd call the police and asked to be put in a foster home. It's amazing to think that a simple drawing of an animal actually motivated children to eat. Here, now, in this future we live in, the only way a kid would eat slop is if there was a free download code at the bottom of the tray or perhaps a picture of Pete Wentz's's's wiener.



They Always Come Back:
They are gone forever but crappy food marketed to kids is big.
Libbyland Meals were the granddaddy of Kraft Lunchables. If you want to know just how bad Libbyland meals were just pick up one of these kids meals and enjoy the moment that occurs 10 minutes after you eat it, when your mouth starts stinging and you taste benzine.

14 comments:

Luke said...

If you want to simulate the scalding grape applesauce, you could always microwave a Grāpple.

...and yes, lunchables are creepy.

Ladron de Basura (a.k.a. Junk Thief) said...

Having been on safaris in Kenya and to Carnivore restaurant in Nairobi, I can tell you that a true Safari Supper would include something like zebra brains and lion tongue. Enough to make grape Jell-O look yummy.

Marko said...

LOL, it's no wonder alot of kids are fat. I think were starting to realise that though, arent we?

erik hogstrom said...

I hadn't thought of these for nearly 30 years... until I saw this post. Egads! I remember them now!

alana said...

I have spent 30 years trying to describe these to people, they all look at me like I am insane. I did love these when I was 7 though so maybe I am...

Anonymous said...

Thanks for that. I've been trying to remember the name of those meals for years. I can still remember the taste though! Strange and artificial.

Mike Puckett said...

I was thinking of these just the other day and how much I missed them!!!!

Mike Puckett said...

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/286028


Check out the comment from the guy who helped QA/QC the dinners for Libby

Matteo said...

Those things came out when I was seven. Even though I knew they were a bit..off...I thought they were da bomb.

Anonymous said...

I loved these, they tasted better than my mom's cooking!

don said...

I would have to agree with most of the posters: the Libbyland dinners WERE terrible! I enjoyed the commercial and sang the song--but when I tasted one of the dinners: ewwwww! I probably had two dinners total.

I was about 12, and it was around 1973. I don't think Libbyland lasted beyond 1974.

Anonymous said...

For some reason I thought of these this morning so I had to look them up. I remember these meals being real bad. I see other saw them as the same way

Anonymous said...

We had these growing up in Texas too but they weren't called Libbyland Dinners. The name had something to do with the Pirates.... I liked them though... they were better than the crap kids eat today!

Anonymous said...

Wow, this brings back memories! i know I ate a ton of these because I remember having two shoe-boxes full of the grape milk mix which was horrible! Ah, the joys of childhood. I wonder what permanent damage these meals did to me, but at the time I thought they were delicious!