90s kids likely remember weekend visits to their local TCBY, maybe after a sports game, an academic achievement, or as a reward for something significant. The common conception at the time was that frozen yogurt was a healthy alternative to decadent ice cream, an indulgence parents could feel comfortable sharing with their kids.
The wonder of those retro frozen yogurt counters went beyond the hypnotic pour of the frozen yogurt from a frosty tap, it included the rapturous toppings that seemed to include everything in the pantry, from savory pretzel bits to tiny mouthfuls of decimated candy bars. As a child in the hallowed walls of a frozen yogurt shop in the mid-90s, the possibilities were infinite, the combinations astronomical, and the results almost guaranteed to be enormously memorable.
Today the assumption that frozen yogurt can be considered any form of health food has been largely debunked, but the allure remains and for good reason. A child at the counter of a frozen yogurt shop has the unique opportunity to experiment; to try new flavors, attempt unlikely combinations, and allow their imagination to influence something they get to eat themselves. It’s not quite cooking, but the concepts can be construed; let a child create something themselves to foster autonomy, creativity, and to make memories that will last a lifetime.