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Kids with chronic autoimmune diseases have special diets. Following these diets can take so many easy food options off the table. Having to steer away from all the go-to recipes and restaurants they know, parents can have a really hard time finding healthy food their kids like.
The first challenge is obtaining the food, and the next is to cook it in a way that’s enticing to kids. It’s definitely not an ideal situation for busy, working parents who are just trying to feed their hungry, energetic children.
Most grocery stores and restaurants are filled with food options that can make a kid with chronic illness even sicker. Some places might have just one small section within an aisle with foods following special restrictions. If you can find these items, they are often much more expensive than regular options.
Having to spend the time to look carefully through package inserts and ingredient lists can get time-consuming. Moreover, many of these parents are constantly trying to find new ways to make these ingredients yummy for their kids to eat. Sifting through thousands of pages of available recipes on the internet quickly gets exhausting.
A young boy with Crohn’s struggles to find food that he can eat
Cindy Frei knows this struggle too well. Four years ago, her son Caleb was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The doctors advised her that her son would need to follow the Specific Carbohydrate Diet, which cuts out all grains, gluten, sugar, and preservatives. Caleb couldn’t eat any foods with these ingredients inside because they could increase inflammation and make him worse.
As any loving mom would do, Frei began to read everything she could about Crohn’s and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet. She and Caleb struggled to find new foods that he could eat.
It wasn’t easy. Most food retailers and restaurants simply don’t carry all too many options. Frei spent hours and hours reading about the diet and pouring through various recipes to try and find better ways to make food for Caleb to eat. Not only was it difficult to find diet-friendly ingredients for Caleb’s meals, but it was also a challenge for this busy, working mom to find new and unique ways to prepare them.
On top of that, all these restrictions were making Caleb depressed. He started to feel different from the rest of the kids at school because he couldn’t eat the foods that they liked. Caleb felt more alone than ever because of the special diet he had to follow.
Caleb’s business-savvy mom decides to take action
Frei read more about Crohn’s and realized that there are 50 million Americans with autoimmune diseases. She knew that there must be other moms and dads out there who had the same frustrations.
That’s when she decided to take matters into her own hands. With an extensive marketing and business background, Frei had just the right skills to make a difference. She started Caleb’s Cooking Company to bring tasty, diet-friendly, food to kids with chronic diseases. She had a passion to not only help her own son but also other kids going through similar challenges.
A company that makes food for kids with chronic diseases
Caleb’s Cooking Company is a new food production company that makes fun and tasty meals that can be made quickly by any busy parent. The nutritious and healthy meal options all follow Caleb’s strict diet. Ingredients are natural and organic, and the recipes are entirely free of grain, gluten, sugar, and preservative free. Frei boasts that their food is “Fast food that’s not junk food”, making it easier than ever for parents of children who need special diets to feed their kids and keep them healthy.
Based in D.C., the company has partnered with Union Kitchen, which is a larger scale food production platform that provides space and resources to over 100 food businesses. They not only provide kitchen space and wholesale groceries, but they help their businesses market their products to big-name retailers like Whole Foods and Trader Joe’s. They are a great kick-start for any new company, helping with marketing tactics, branding, and even packaging of the products.
The company will not only produce diet-friendly foods but will also educate families about diet management in autoimmune disease. Frei also has a community-feel to her business tactics. She not only keeps an active blog on the company website, but she also created a social media community for her son, Caleb.
Caleb’s Club is a page on the company website managed by Caleb himself. Here, he and other kids with chronic diseases can hang out online and share stories with each other. Swapping funny videos and pictures, the kids feel like they're not alone. Right now, Caleb has a 9-year-old friend in England who also has Crohn’s and shares the same diet. It lifts Caleb’s spirits being able to talk to other kids going through the same thing as him.
How this mom made it all happen
Frei has a background in marketing, with success in the tech world having fundraised over 10 million dollars for a software company. With her business savvy, she’s excited to be putting in her talents toward a passion for helping others. Her company is a product of her love for her family.
Though she is a single mom and obviously needs to make some money, this company is more about helping kids who have gone through the same things she helped her son overcome. It hasn’t been easy either. Frei has had to quit her full-time job to put in over 100 hours a week towards making this all possible. When she’s not raising her two children, both of whom have autoimmune diseases, she is researching and fundraising to promote the company. She’s feeling the financial burden and is getting ready to sell her own home for the sake of financing the business.
Frei is determined to follow her heart and her vision to make the company a success.
Bold and persistent, Frei has made huge leaps for her young company. She was able to secure funds of $100, 000 from two big investors. She plans to soon hire a chef and start making the actual food that they plan to sell. Frei knows that she has a unique edge as a business-woman – she is her own customer. She is the parent of a child with autoimmune disease who requires special diets. She knows exactly what her customers’ struggles are because she shares them.
The future looks bright for Caleb’s Cooking Company
She’s done it. Frei has created easy-to-make specialized meals that are tasty, healthy, and even organic. Her new company has enough solid funding now to start producing actual food to sell to the community. The very first meal samples have already been shipped out and tasted by several lucky first customers!
On top of that, she has also created a support community for her son. Now, kids with chronic illness from all over the world can connect with each other and take better care of their own bodies.
Caleb’s Cooking Company has already launched some of its first products, which includes crispy, golden chicken nuggets that you can make in the microwave and an organic sausage-tomato pizza. Several reviews from happy customers have already begun to stream, sharing nothing but delight with their experience.
You can check out some of Caleb’s Cooking Company and their food products at https://calebscookingcompany.com/