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.