November 21, 2017

The Food Rainbow & What To Do About It (Tasty Tuesday)


When I hum, “Somewhere over the rainbow,”  the 15 million pounds of synthetic dyes in our foods definitely does not come to mind. That’s why this recent article in my local newspaper caught my eye, and I took a look around our pantry.

Lined next to the extensive amounts of whole grains and bulk beans, were orange crackers and pink gummies.

Yes, I know I am offender, yet I am trying to find a solid balance with three teen age boys men, and two girls looking for direction in their food choices. As a mom, it’s a delicate balance to model healthy living choices that are realistic for kids in today’s society, and yet not be the food police for every morsel that is put in their mouths. I grew up with that, and there are repercussions from that mentality as well .

So as brightly colored cereal, fruit drinks and candy sales are on the rise, I admit that I get sucked in from time to time as well. I shared back in February my evolution to real food, organic, junk and in between.

Here was my bottom line after I shared my story:

Some may call me a horrible mother for allowing red dye into my childrens bodies, while others call me extreme for ordering half a cow from a local farmer to ensure higher quality grain fed beef, or grinding my own grain, only to eat an Oreo as the bread rises on the counter.

It’s those daily decisions that are never going to be perfect, yet we educate ourselves and do what is right for our family. Sometimes that means making difficult decisions. Often, it means a higher grocery budget, but every once in awhile, it just means we throw caution to the wind and enjoy.

The food “rainbow” and what that means to an entire generation of children is truly a dilemma. Families need to be educated in their nutritional choices, and act on that, yet not be held hostage by guilt.

So here is an honest sampling of what my kids ate today – fruit smoothies and Ramen noodles for a late breakfast/brunch. Yes, I am admitting the Ramen noodles for breakfast. We rarely buy them, but they are one of their favorite “treats” and my hubby purchased some yesterday. They woke up anxious to make their own treat, while I tackled the smoothies.

Enough of these Neiman Marcus Chocolate Chip, Oatmeal Cookies were consumed to call it a lunch, yet along with that they begged for this new “salad” I have been making. They want it every single night, and honestly, I think it’s all in the fact that I shred everything finely and toss it with Italian that makes it so good (and so over the top healthy.)

Yes, the food rainbow was represented in our home today, and yet that rainbow also shone a lot of other God given natural colors along with the man made kind.

I’m very aware of the food rainbow and what dyes do to our bodies. I want to continue having discussions with my children about the effects it has on our bodies which will help them make educated food choices, but I am still going to buy those fruit gushers again if I have a coupon to get them for free.  (Now, not for fifty cents, mind you…just free. ;))

It’s a process It’s a journey, and I am glad that it doesn’t have to be a sprint.

Simple Rules for Tasty Tuesday Parade of Foods –  As always, please link directly to your recipe post and not your blog URL, so that everyone can find the recipe months from now.

Also, link back here so that everyone can join in the fun, it’s just common courtesy of blog carnivals. Please do not link up a recipe meme that you have started. Thanks for your understanding.


  1. fun times..thanks for hosting. I do have a linky on my site right now but I did not include info in the link name…is that ok. feel free to delete if needed, I understand. Thanks for hosting.


  2. You are a wise mother, Jen. Too little policing is a health nightmare, too much policing will backfire. I guess it all comes back to balance, like so many other areas of life. That and praying over the food we eat! 🙂

    Recipe for that salad that your family loves????


  3. Thanks a Latte’ for hosting this week. I linked up a jam recipe because I am canning up a storm for my Canning week Blog Party this week. Each day we are posting recipes and tutorials on how to can, as well as hosting a linky party. It’s our hope more bloggers will try canning for themselves as it’s a great way to enjoy your garden all year long. HOpe you can stop by and join in the fun.


  4. Thanks for hosting again! I second that request for the salad your family loves!


  5. I try hard to feed my family real food too. Truthfully, I didn’t think of artificial dyes that might be in our food until a friend’s daughter had reactions to them. Now I notice dyes in real food that doesn’t even need them. Arrrrgh!


  6. Can I third the request for the salad recipe??? I really think balance is the key. My kids love ramen noodles too and they eat them occassionally. I think the problem comes when someone eats them everyday. As my older boys are driving and able to stop and get their own snacks, drinks, etc. I find it interesting that they are usually found with an Arizona tea can instead of a Dr. Pepper can.

    I will say that I’m somewhat offended by the title of the article. If the FDA is so concerned, why did they approve the dyes in the first place? And yet, I think does someone really have to tell another adult that it isn’t healthy to eat gummies or cheetos everyday? Shouldn’t we just kind of know that? It’s a struggle that we definitely have to help our children learn balance in since they are bombarded with the idea that these type of foods are for everyday, not just as treats.


  7. Hi Jen,

    We have been off of dyes for quite awhile now.

    I thought you might be interested in posts I’ve done on using natural food coloring you can make yourself:
    and there are more too. I used parsley in ice cream to make it green! Yippee for natural!



  8. I’ve been linking up to your blog hop for awhile now, and it’s great to see we have very similar food philosphies. Like you I grind my own grain, and try to bring into the house REAL food. I buy hormone free meat, milk & eggs and as much organic produce (mainly I keep away from the dirty dozen list) as my food budget will allow.

    It is a hard balance. My husband supports me but then will also show up with ramen noodles or some other junk for the girls. It’s frustrating.

    I like how you explained the balance of it all. I do figure we are teaching them what is better for them, and how to make their own wise choices. My girls do feel the difference in their bodies when they consume massive amounts of sugar over a holiday or at some event or even when they overdo a healthy treat.

    As much as possible I keep them away from dyes, high fructose corn syrup, refined junk….but I did relent and after only drinking water all their lives, I let them get an average of 1 “natural” soda a week from Whole Foods. It’s nice that they make them without the dyes and HFCS and only cane sugar. I felt giddy making them their first root beer float.

    I’ve been on both sides of this equation: before I knew better and fed processed foods to the extreme of trying to do all organic and be the food police 24/7 and I have to say it’s really hard on either side. You are right…it is hard to be the food police 24/7 especially now that they are getting older. My girls are 12.5, 8.5 and 3.5.

    Thanks for a great post validating what I know to be true….strive for the best diet for our family, teach them what is healthy and good for them, do the best we can but not to become too extreme. You are right…it always backfires for me too. I was surprised to find out I’d never taught or made rice krispy treats with my girls before last Christmas. LOL!! 🙂 That’s just plain wrong.



  9. I’m with you…it is NOT a sprint, nor should we compare ourselves to how far along the real food journey others are. Unfortunately, my kids love ramen noodles and so, being a mom who loves my sweeties, I buy it for them; after all, I’m the one who bought it for them in the first place! They enjoy it once a week (along with a hearty slice of homemade sourdough bread spread thick with organic, grass-fed butter and organic fruit). In making changes to my family’s diet, I find that baby steps and compromise are the way to go in keeping everyone happy. And besides, I want my husband and children to embrace my love of eating more healthfully for themselves. Success will be that day when they quit asking me to buy ramen noodles or Twizzlers or __________ (fill in the blank).

    Blessings to you and thanks so much for hosting! ~Lisa


  10. My pantry is a bit of a mix too. The irony was not lost on me yesterday at the checkout line as I placed the organic milk on the conveyor next to the black and red decorator icing for my baby girl’s birthday cupcakes. I agree that we can’t over police the food they eat and mostly try to just set as good an example as possible.


  11. Balance is absolutely the key – great post! Thank you for hosting Tasty Tuesday!


  12. Alissa @SensitiveEconomist says:

    Thank you for this post. My husband and I do not eat refined sugars because of my food sensitivity, although we have embraced this way of life because it is a healthier one. Sure, the grocery bills are higher, but you just can’t put a price on feeling good and trying other little ways to be healthy.

    And thank you for hosting a very dynamic link party…this week I included peach ice cream without the refined sugars…it is sweetened with honey and tastes great. Have a wonderful week.


  13. Very informative, thanks for sharing!!


  14. Like yours, our family eats overall pretty healthy foods, with a little ramen thrown in here and there… BUT, I have a heads up I wanted to share–my daughter has horrible behavioral reactions to food colorings (FD & C yellow #5 and all that type of stuff), artificial flavorings, MSG and sadly dairy. The colorings are not possible to allergy test; when she was allergy tested, dairy didn’t even show up.

    But, if she gets any of those items, she has puffy eyes and dark circles the next day, with meltdowns and angry violent behavior within a couple hours. The results are completely and scarily consistent. We first noticed when she was little and had popsicle melted dripping down her face, staining her skin, and the volcanic behavior.

    So–watch out for food colorings in soooo many foods, incl. popsicles and cereal. Many that appear to be pretty good quality will still use coloring, so its necessary to read every label. And this type of sensitivity is something that can’t be medically tested yet, and the pediatrician is very unlikely to pick up….


  15. For a minute I thought I was seeing my salad here, 🙂 We have the same colors in our dish this week.


  16. Your blog’s name is a perfect title about this post…balancing the beauty of God’s provisions from nature with the bedlam of synthetic foods. That’s what the good life is about…finding a balance that works for your family.



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