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  • Writer's pictureJoan Medlen

Gluten Free: Lunch Box Finds

It’s the beginning of the school year.

Your child needs gluten-free lunches.

You start out the school year with a bang, full of energy and fresh, cool ideas for healthy gluten-free lunches. But all your child wants is what “they” are having.  You know who “they” are. They are “everyone else.”

So really, the question becomes, “What gluten-free foods can I pack for my child that ‘they‘ will want?”

It’s a puzzle.

Or is it?

As is my habit, I stopped at our neighborhood New Seasons Market today to pick up bread crumbs for dinner. I know. I just needed bread crumbs. But there’s been this influx of interesting pre-made, gluten-free foods to try. How can I not?

Once I returned home, the afternoon activity was set. Andy, his support person, Alex, and I were holding food science class. As a side note, this is one of the things that endears Alex to me. He loves this activity. He’s an avid taster and likes to cook. He’s taken this gluten-free challenge on with vigor.

Today’s food science lab assignment was to taste  cookies from the Wow Baking Company in Kent, WA.On the docket is:

  1. Ginger Molasses,

  2. Snickerdoodle, and

  3. Oregon Oatmeal.

All of these are wheat and gluten free. They do contain milk, eggs, and may contain traces of nuts (some of their cookies have peanuts). New Seasons carries them in two handy sizes: a giant cookie size that is individually wrapped (Approximately 2 servings per cookie) and a baking tub with bite-sized cookies, which is what I purchased for the day’s tasting event.  WOW   Bakery Products are certified gluten free.    

Plate of WOW Bakery Cookies

Our Sampler Plate

And now…the tasting begins.

Oregon Oatmeal

Alex opened the Oregon Oatmeal tub.  As he selected a cookie to offer Andy, he commented on how moist they felt.

Andy readily accepted the cookie. He took a bite, and deemed it good enough to finish.

Alex’s turn:

“Wow, these are really good! What’s in here besides raisins?”

Me: “No raisins. It’s an OREGON cookie. It has cranberries and peaches in it.”

Alex: “Now that’s creative. Very good. I love the texture.”

I taste mine. Yum. Chewy, moist, and that great oatmeal texture in there. I think it’s a winner. It even looks like a good oatmeal cookie. Not like a “special” cookie.


Alex: “Hey Andy. Are you ready for the next one? It’s a snickerdoodle.”

No reply.

Alex takes a snickerdoodle over to Andy. He takes a bite, looks at it, and puts it on the table next to him.

Me: “Hmm. He doesn’t seem to like that one as much.”

Alex is in the middle of tasting his. “It’s not as moist as the other one. And, to be honest, I don’t really like snickerdoodles. My Dad would like this. It’s a good cookie, but it’s not as good as the oatmeal cookie.”

Meanwhile, Andy has finished his. So, it’s Ok, but it wasn’t as good as the first one for Andy.

I taste the snickerdoodle. They’re both right. It’s good, it’s a great flavor, but it’s more dry than the oatmeal cookie.

Ginger Molasses.

Alex walks over to Andy, who is now watching him carefully. He hands him a Ginger Molasses Cookie. These look like Gingersnaps. They are a dark brown with granulated sugar all around them.

Andy takes the cookie, notices the feeling of the sugar, looks it over, and then takes a bite. Hmm….the cookie stays in his hand. Another bite. It disappeared before Alex got back to the center island fo rhis.

Alex: “Wow. These are the best. This is a great flavor. This is my favorite. The others are good! But this one is by far, my favorite.”

I will admit that I had tried the Ginger Molasses cookie before and find them a bit addicting. So I agree with that assessment. Wow Bakery truly captured the moistness of a gingersnap with out the tough chew that often accompanies it. Perfect for people who have lower oral motor tone or a weak bite.  The texture is the same as the Molasses Cookies my Mom made…right out of the oven.

Tasting done for the afternoon, I began to make the salad for dinner. I looked up to see Andy glaring over at us. It’s a determined look that says he has something on his mind.  I follow his gaze and see that he’s staring at the cookie pile. Hmm.

“Andy, do you want another cookie?”

No reply. Continued glare.

I pick up a Ginger Molasses cookie and head over to where he is sitting.  I hold it out and am about to ask him if he wants it, but there’s no need. He spontaneously signs “want” and says “Ah.” His version of “want” and “yes.”

Andy hasn’t spontaneously asked for a food in years.

When he’s done, he glares at the cookie pile again.

Knowing I am ruining the dinner, I ask Alex to offer him another cookie – a Snickerdoodle. Alex walks over, holds out the cookie, and asks. “Andy, do you want another cookie?”

No reply.

Alex holds i tout a bit, Andy takes it from him and takes a bite. A clear yes, but not an excited one.

I guess Andy’s favorite was the Ginger Molasses Cookie too!

My suggestion?  Make that great lunch.  Add one of these cookies and “they” – the elusive they – may just be interested in what’s in  your child’s lunch, too!

(Note: I do not receive any compensation for this review, nor do I know anyone at Wow Baking Company. It’s truly what I do for fun!)

Wow Baking Company’s website lists the many retailers who carry their products as well as ingredients. The nutrition facts are not available on the site, but you can look at the label.

(Note #2: My adult son, Andy, experiences Down syndrome, autism, is nonverbal, and has celiac dissease.)

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