When Life Dumps Red Dye Sprinkles on your Organic Cheerios

Published on February 12, 2015 By Lauren

Today was a crazy morning, my three oldest children woke up before me and fed themselves breakfast.  That sounds like music to any moms ears right?  Well – not this morning. This mornings breakfast was served by my son, and it included Organic Cheerios from Aldi topped with red sprinkles.

Not any red sprinkles – but the kind that you only use on Christmas to decorate cookies. The kind that is made up of 100% red food dye.

And since there was no shaker top on these sprinkles, the portions that Andrew provided to himself and his sisters we very generous – to the point where their Organic Cheerios were swimming in milk that had turned a bright shade of pink. I think it’s safe to say that he “un-organified” those Cheerios (yes, I made that word up).



It got me thinking about the organic mom vs. the non organic mom.  There are moms out there that preach that if you don’t feed your kids organic food you are poisoning them. There are moms out there that simply cannot afford it.

I am one of those moms who cannot afford to feed my entire family of 6 all organic food. We do try to eat as organic as possible by buying our beef from a local farm and eating organic food at Aldi. We do pretty well I think, but there is always this nagging voice in my head that hears those moms that preach 100% organic saying “You are poisoning your kids.”

Maybe I am the only mom who feels this way –  but when talks of genetically modified crops, beaver butt powder, and pesticides are thrown around, I can’t help but get nervous. But is there any middle ground? What if you cannot afford Organic food? Should you feel like you are poisoning your kids?

Yesterday I read a blog post titled ‘Dear Mom who cannot afford Organic Food‘ and it struck a nerve with me.  For the past seven years we have had a tight grocery budget. Four of those seven years, our budget was under $75.00 per week. I’ve done almost everything to stay within that budget – here are some of the creative ways that I have fed our family for less.

1.) In order to get protein into our diet, I would buy canned chicken and sauté it with spices. Then make a homemade pizza dough, use some bbq sauce I had in my stockpile, top with cheese I got on sale, to make a BBQ chicken pizza.  That would cost me under $5.00, and with a family of three it would feed us for two meals.

2.) Pasta and Spaghetti Sauce was on the menu at least once per week. We would serve it with a side of frozen garlic bread that I got on sale.

3.) I would make an inexpensive lasagna with the sausage links found in the freezer aisle.  I would break it apart, sauté it and make a sausage lasagna.

4.) Grilled Cheese sandwiches and boxed macaroni and cheese were our best friends.

So this leaves me with this question – what do you do when you cannot afford to buy organic food?

You have 2 options: (1) Not care, or (2) Care and feel really guilty.

To all those moms out there they cannot afford to eat organic – you are doing enough!  You are providing for your family and you are feeding them, you are not poisoning them! I have to remind myself of this, especially this morning when I saw them eating bowls full of sugar and Red Dye #40.

To the moms who are able to feed their kids all organic foods – please do not make other moms feel bad when they pull out a Go-gurt or Cheetos from their lunch bags. You may not know how hard that mom worked to provide those snacks.


I found it ironic that my kids ate organic cheerios with red-dyed sugar on top – it made me realize how the two worlds of organic vs. non-organic moms really need to set their differences aside and continue to be friends and respectful of each others parenting styles and food choices.

We are all moms that want the best for our kids. If there is something healthier, or easier, or faster, or better – we want our kids to have THAT instead.  I get it – I am right there with you too!

Life may have just dumped those red sprinkles on your plans to feed your family all organic – but that doesn’t mean that you have to feed your kids unhealthy foods. There are so any ways to still feed them healthy and save money at the same time!