Addressing the Autoimmune Epidemic, One Child and One Meal at a Time.
We create meals for children who have autoimmune illnesses and on special diets - reducing inflammation and helping digestion.
I confirm that I am fully aware of the eligibility criteria, and based on its description, I am eligible to apply to the CSV Prize 2017.
Caleb's Cooking Company
Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)
Annual budget in 2017 (USD)
Number of beneficiaries impacted so far
Headquarters location: Country
Headquarters location: City
Location(s) of impact
United States: selling nationally online
This is a story recently aired by ABC TV 2 News on Caleb's Cooking Company and the work we are doing to support children with autoimmune illnesses.
Meet 3 children with an autoimmune illness (Crohn's) and learn more about their struggles on a special diet and why having access to our food makes a big difference in their lives.
Caleb's Club is an exclusive online club just for kids with chronic illnesses. Kids have joined from all over the world. Caleb runs it and children upload funny images, share recipes or just hang out and discover they are not alone in their disease or their diet.
Go into the kitchen, meet Caleb and and chefs and learn how we make chicken nuggets, without any grains or gluten.
Meet our team in the kitchen. Our chef Janalee also has dietary restrictions due to an autoimmune illness. She is grain, gluten, sugar and preservative free as well. Together, we work to ensure our food is whole, healthy and healing.
Caleb's blog is written by a team of parents, children, doctors and chefs - all sharing stories and information about the role that diet and nutrition has in the healing process of disease.
Caleb is in the inspiration behind the company. Caleb was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when he was 10 years old. I quickly discovered that not only were there so few foods on the market to buy that he could eat (on his diet), but that he was struggling social & psychologically. Children with autoimmune illnesses, have to deal with not only their physical illness, but the social implications of having to navigate a world of bake sales, pizza parties & sleepovers where they can't eat the food.
Our pizza is made from three different kinds of cheeses, but all aged (no mozzarella here). Aged cheeses are easier to digest. We also make our crust out of yellow split pea flour (no grains). We soak the peas for 24 hours, then bake them and grind them into a flour for the crust.
Our Pork and bean enchiladas are one of our top sellers. Rather than use grains to make our tortillas, they are made with red lentils. We soak the lentils for 24 hours (to help make them easier to digest), then make a batter out of them to make the tortillas.
Our Chicken Nuggets - made 100% without gluten, grains or complex carbohydrates (rice, potatoes etc - which are difficult for the body to break down, which then in turn causes inflammation). We also don't add any sugar to our products and certainly no preservatives or toxins.
Problem: What problem is this initiative trying to address?
Autoimmune illnesses are exploding around the world and are one of the top 10 causes of death for kids aged 1-14 in the US. Rates of IBD have doubled, pediatric diabetes skyrocketing, severe allergies have grown by 50% etc. The good news is that parents & the medical community are recognizing the role that diet and nutrition play in disease and the healing process. It's critical that children with autoimmune diseases eat foods that are easy to digest & don't increase inflammation. That's where we come in to play.
Solution Summary: What is the proposed solution? What do you see as its most promising aspects for creating shared value?
Our food addresses inflammation in the gut that causes autoimmune disease. Our food works to not only calm inflammation in the gut and in the body, but also aid in digestion. We use only ingredients without gluten, grains, complex carbohydrates (starches like potatoes, rice and corn), added sugars and preservatives. As a result, children with increased inflammation and often on special diets, can enjoy our food, without suffering symptoms. In addition, many children with dietary restrictions (Celiac, Diabetics, Crohn's, nut allergies etc.) struggle social and psychologically. Every day, they are faced with bake sales, sleep overs & pizza parties, which they can't eat. Our food is not only healthy, but packaged and marketed specifically for kids. We also help support and educate parents/kids with our blog and Caleb's Club (club for kids with chronic illnesses which Caleb runs). https://calebscookingcompany.com/blog/
Impact: What is the impact of the work to date? Specify both the social and the environmental impact of your work
Every day, I get messages from parents thanking me for helping their child "feel like a regular kid again". If you're a child with an autoimmune illness and are on a special diet, being able to hang with your friends and eat chicken nuggets or a pizza can make all the difference in the world. These are sick kids who struggle not only physically, but also socially. To date, we have sold over 1500 products online and are now moving into the wholesale market. But just as importantly, we are providing hope for parents and kids who didn't have hope before.
China has 10 million people with Autism. They recently sent a doctor over to the US to find out the most effective way to treat Autism and discovered the SCD diet (the diet that our food is based on). They are flying me to China (end of Oct) to speak at a large SCD conference and to discuss ways of creating SCD food in China to help Autistic children. Our food has a worldwide appeal to help children everywhere.
Financial sustainability plan: How is this initiative financially supported? How will you ensure its financial sustainability long-term?
1. We received a grant from WeWork Creator Awards for $36k - a global competition for social entrepreneurs.
2. We raised $100k in angel investor capital
3. Founder investment - $25k
4. Earned Income - growing steadily - online sales contribute 5% of income
5. We intend to raise a larger round of venture capital in the coming months
Unique value proposition: What makes your initiative innovative? How does your project differ from other organizations working in the same field?
There are plenty of gluten free products, but they are filled with sugars, preservatives & complex carbohydrates (rice and potato flour for example). There are also plenty of organic products on the market, but they tend to be filled with grains. There are no organizations manufacturing packaged meals for children that are gluten & grain free. We are talking to Ashoka fellow Kristin Groos Richmond and her company Revolution Foods about working together to deliver our food into schools.
Founding story: Share a story about the "Aha!" moment that sparked the beginning of this initiative.
It all happened in slow motion.
We had been sitting in the waiting room at Children’s Hospital for what seemed like days. Then, we finally saw our name on the board, indicating that our son’s procedure was complete and we could go meet the doctor.
From that moment, everything became fuzzy and time seemed to be stop. To be honest, I have a hard time remembering the details. All I recall is being told that Caleb had come through the procedure fine, but that he had Crohn’s disease.
For the last 10 years, I had woken up every day with the goal of doing everything in my power to keep my son safe, to keep him healthy, and ensure he was happy and secure. Now, in a matter of a flash, it was all gone. An autoimmune illness had taken over and control.
I was scared to death.
My son Caleb is the inspiration behind Caleb's Cooking Company. Read his story here http://bit.ly/2lcoda
Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?
Upon recommendation from others