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.

Photo of Cindy Frei
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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.

  • Yes, I'm eligible

Preferred language

  • English

Organization name

Caleb's Cooking Company

Year founded


Initiative stage

  • Growth (the pilot has already launched and is starting to expand)

Annual budget in 2017 (USD)

  • $100k - $250k

Number of beneficiaries impacted so far

  • 100 - 250

Organization type

  • Social enterprise

Secondary Focus Area

  • Nutrition

Headquarters location: Country

  • United States of America

Headquarters location: City

Washington DC

Location(s) of impact

United States: selling nationally online


Facebook URL

Twitter URL

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).

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

Where did you hear about the Nestlé Creating Shared Value Prize?

  • Upon recommendation from others
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Attachments (4)

Blog Samples.docx

We have a team of dedicated parents, children, doctors and chefs who contribute to our blog each week, providing great tips, tricks, recipes, education on nutrition, diet, autoimmune diseases and more.

Press One Pager.docx

We have been fortunate to have received a bunch of wonderful press.


Here are just a couple testimonials from our happy parents and kids!


Here is a free cookbook we created with "50 Great Recipes for Kids on the SCD and Paleo Diet". Every recipe in the cookbook has no grains, gluten, added sugars or preservatives. We used this cookbook to help in marketing and to create thought leadership. We recently partnered with the Celiac Disease Foundation and are creating a second cookbook with them.


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