By Sophia Yakumithis

Everything’s better when dinosaurs are involved. 

When I was a little kid (and now, honestly), my weakness in life was Quaker Oats’ Instant Oatmeal: Dinosaur Eggs. Dino Oats, for the more sophisticated.

While my school friends came home from school to find some basic pretzel rods or Goldfish crackers thrown on a plate, I indulged in a world of archaeological findings that required a bowl, half a cup of boiling water, a packet of oats and an active imagination. 

That’s not to knock pretzel rods or Goldfish — I think both snacks are awesome. But Dino Oats are far superior and involved an interactive process that worked as an incentive that hauled my elementary school-aged self through the long, hard day of simple addition and subtraction. 

Dino Oats are a brilliant concept. If your untouched mind has not had the pleasure of experiencing this wonder, first of all, I am sorry for you. Second, run, don’t walk, to a supermarket and purchase them immediately. 

Here’s the rundown: once you have obtained the oats, water is boiled in a kettle. This is where Social Darwinism comes into play because the weak will opt for the microwave method, missing out on the process itself.

However, the qualified chef will patiently wait for the water to come to a boil and will then carefully pour it onto the “good source of Vitamin D, calcium and iron,” according to the Quaker himself. 

Amongst the fibrous oats lies the Quaker’s greatest work: dinosaur eggs. Contained in 12 grams of sugar are little egg-shaped objects. To the untrained eye, these are just accessories scattered evenly throughout the packet. 

The enlightened, though, knows that upon contact with the water, these orbs will hatch into a lab-produced tour de force of sugar, dextrose, modified corn starch and other things you can’t pronounce, culminating into dinosaur shaped candies. I can not make this up. This product exists and I want everyone to know about it. 

The joy this treat brought to my youth is remarkable; if depicted on a chart, I guarantee that both my interest in the study of paleontology and serotonin levels spiked significantly during the Dino Oats period. This occurred when I was ten-years-old, when I took tennis lessons. I remember this factoid because of a specific and, unfortunately, traumatic experience I encountered one day after school. 

As stated previously, Darwinist theory applies to the process of Dino Oats. Foolishly, I one day decided to prepare Dino Oats on my own while no one was home. I felt that I understood the craft which my mom made look so effortless, and boy, was I wrong.

After bringing my water to a boil, I poured it into the prepared bowl—without a measuring cup. As such, the glistening balls of maltodextrin and natural flavor did, indeed, hatch, but left my dinosaur candies victims to drowning in a tar pit of wet oats. 

There was no way I would eat that disgusting, soup-like mixture of oats and sugar and I also felt responsible for the dinosaur’s extinction. I decided I needed to hide the evidence before anyone came home if I wanted any chance of my mom to prepare another packet properly.

The reason I made that decision is because my mom isn’t exactly the type to grant mercy and reward me with a correct version of the treat which I so carelessly mishandled. She would see it as a waste of an oatmeal packet, tell me that it’s my fault and to suck it up and eat dinosaur soup. 

There were two problems with my plan of terminating the failed excavation. First, I was worried that she would see my mistake if I threw it away in the trash bin. Second, I couldn’t reach the switch for the garbage disposal. 

My only option was to bury my mistake in the backyard, essentially playing reverse paleontologist. So that’s what I did, after picking out all the pieces of candy and eating them, of course. Like a weirdo, I found a shovel and hosted a private dinosaur funeral in the backyard. 

I shamefully played famished when my mom came home. I pulled the “math class was really hard today and I have tennis later so I need a snack but I’m too tired to make it” card. And it worked. My mom unknowingly prepared my second packet of oats for the day and I studied her every move cautiously, learning how not to make the same, grave technical mistake ever again. 

Within minutes, before my hungry eyes was the perfect bowl of Dino Oats. All was well.

This ordeal led to such a humorous association with such a cute childhood treat. I invite everyone to channel their inner child and partake in a heaping bowl of Dino Oats at some point or another. Just make sure you measure out your water first.