Growing up, we didn't eat a lot of processed foods, but two that my mom did get were Kraft Macaroni and Cheese and Spaghettios. We didn't eat them very often, but I remember them and I remember liking them a lot. I had to find a substitute for Kraft's Mac and Cheese since it has artificial colors and such. So, we've gone with Annie's--it's pretty affordable at Trader Joe's (their version) and at BJ's. Spaghettios has been a little different. It has high fructose corn syrup--one of the other things that I try to avoid.
So, my solution has been tomato soup from Trader Joe's with alphabet letter noodles. Shoprite and Giant both carry the noodles in their store brand. I smile knowing that this is one of my kids favorites.
My memories from when I was a kid seem to give me comfort, a sense of security, and a sense of history when I can't go see the places anymore and when it is long spans of people between when I get to see my family. And as silly as it might seem, the foods from my childhood remind me of the things I liked and enjoyed when I was a kid. They make me smile. And it makes me smile to get to share these things, and new ones, with my kids. We're making our own traditions. I hope some day that they will share these things with their children--the things they loved as children.