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HomeFree mini chocolate chip cookies. Courtesy photo.




HomeFree 

Available at Shaw’s, T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s restaurants and Whole Foods stores, plus local markets and grocery stores. Visit homefreetreats.com and click on the store locator to find local retailers. 




If you give a kid a cookie...
… it might as well be healthy and delicious

09/18/14



 In today’s average classroom, if your kid doesn’t have a food allergy or sensitivity, chances are, the kid sitting next to him does — making it difficult to find a healthy, picky-eater-worthy snack to pack for school. 

HomeFree cookies are the answer to combatting lunch box boredom as well as allergy concerns, says Jill Robbins, president of the Windham business.
HomeFree’s mini cookies are sold nationwide and have appeared on the Today Show, not as a special dietary cookie, but as a healthy back-to-school snack that kids will love. The cookies have received accolades from Good Housekeeping and won awards like the product innovation award and best snack award from Shape magazine. 
“Our best seller has to be our chocolate chip minis, [and] our double chocolate chip mini cookies,” Robbins said. “We’ve been told by lots of people that they taste like Chips Ahoy, but better. … It is gluten-free, but it’s not a gluten-free cookie. It’s a good cookie, it’s a healthy cookie, and by the way, it’s a cookie that essentially everybody can eat right along with everybody else.”
Robbins’ son has food allergies, and before there was HomeFree, she would bake special treats for her son and his classmates, too. Robbins recognized a need for kids to have a safe snack, and many of the offerings on store shelves (if there were even any) weren’t as satisfying as the other kids’ snacks. 
“Watching, as a parent, your child on the outside of the laughter and the fun going on at occasions and without yummy treats, it’s really hard. … One in 13 kids in this country have food allergies … yet, there’s been no peanut-free section, no allergen-free section,” Robbins said. “For me, what I’ve really appreciated is ... there’s been an increased awareness of food allergens to start paralleling the awareness and response of the needs of gluten-free. … It is absolutely improving [but] there’s still a ways to go.”
HomeFree is getting a lot of local recognition, too. You can find the cookies on grocery store shelves like A Market, A Simply Wholesome Life in Windham, Shaw’s, Whole Foods and others, as well as a dessert option at T-Bones and Cactus Jack’s restaurants.
“They are real supporters for providing high-quality, locally sourced products,” Robbins said. “Most restaurants, my son can’t get dessert. If we go to a restaurant where he can, then we’re all going to get dessert. … If [it’s] something that tastes good, that kids wanted to eat, then kids and families wouldn’t have to struggle.”
All told, HomeFree cookies are non-GMO project verified, certified organic 70-percent, all natural, certified gluten-free, kosher parve and vegan. The eight most common food allergens, which cause 90 percent of allergic reactions, are peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, wheat, soy, fish, shellfish, and a close ninth is sesame, Robbins said. Even a trace of these food allergens (like if a company packages a product with any of the above ingredients) can be life-threatening. 
“It wasn’t about having a business, it certainly wasn’t about gluten-free — that wasn’t even on my radar,” Robbins said. “It’s really always been about inclusion.”
 
 As seen in the September 18, 2014 issue of the Hippo.





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