Gluten Free School Lunch Challenge – Chocolate Chip Cookies
August 8, 2013/
Over the next few weeks, kids in most of the northern hemisphere will be ending their summer breaks and heading back to school. For some, especially those with food restrictions, this means packing a lunch. The Know Gluten Kid’s Panel set out to determine which products are worth packing. This week they tested Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Cookies.
A panel of real kids was assembled to test the cookies. Not just any kids, these were true cookie experts. The group was split almost evenly between the children of a professional Cookier and a Gluten Free Food Blogger, these kids have done their fair share of honest taste testing. Then we added a kid with peanut allergies because so many gluten free kids have other food issues, and if you’re going to test cookies, you want to make sure everyone can eat them, so the cookies we tested are also peanut free. By age, the panel consists four 10 year olds, two 16 year olds and a 3 year old.
THE TASTE AND APPEARANCE TEST
The kids were given the cookies one at a time, and I told them we were doing a taste test and to be as honest as possible. They were honest. Brutally honest.
We tested the cookies as a group, so it was hard to individually poll the panel, but I recorded the results based on age groups.
The 10 year olds:
For taste, the ten year olds ranked the cookies in this order:
The Best: Kinnikinick
The Worst: Enjoy Life
Kinnikinnick was closest in taste and texture to a pre-packaged gluten filled cookie.
For appearance, they decided that the Enjoy Life cookie was the most attractive. They immediately pointed it out as the nicest looking cookie. It’s bigger than the others and has a soft homemade look (like Mama’s cookies).
The 3 year old:
Loved all three. Was delighted to be able to eat two cookies and some little cookies all at the same time.
The 16 year olds:
Kinnickinnick was the winner in taste for the 16 year olds, though one 16 year old didn’t mind the Enjoy Life.
These were the comments from the panel:
Kinnikinnick: Dry, crunchy, not really sweet
Ian’s: Okay, tasted a bit like raisins
Enjoy Life: Not a favorite. Kids didn’t care for the taste or texture, though one ten year old and one 16 year old thought they weren’t too bad.
I personally liked all three cookies. I was particularly happy that all three were made in a dedicated gluten free AND nut free facility, because one of my son’s friends has a peanut allergy and I know that I can safely give the boys any of these cookies.
A week later, the Kinnikinnick is the decided favorite, just based on the fact that the cookies have disappeared from the cupboard.
THE BACKPACK TEST
A cookie, no matter how good it tastes, is no good if it’s in crumbs by the time you need to eat it, so we did a back-pack test.
In this test, two 10 year olds put each of the cookies into zipper bags (except Ian’s which comes in it’s own single serving bag), loaded a backpack with school books and the cookies and biked around the block. The kids were informed that this was a durability test and so while they didn’t cheat, they were as brutal as possible, putting the cookies on the bottom of the bag and throwing the bag on the ground when they returned. I’m not sure what went on when they were biking, but they came home convinced that in no way could the cookies have survived. I then asked the kids to unload the backpack and take the cookies out of the zipper bags. The cookies were 10 year old boy handled at every stage.
All three cookies did surprisingly well, both the Kinnikinnick and the Ian’s were completely intact. The softer Enjoy Life cookie was slightly cracked in one place, but not all the way through.
THE VALUE TEST
Because prices in stores vary from city to city and store to store, I used Amazon.com to compare value. Everyone in the USA can potentially get the same product for the price I’ve listed here. I used the prices for the products eligible for Amazon Prime. I included the number of cookies as part of the value, because most kids aren’t weighing the ounces, they’re counting the cookies.
Number of Cookies: about 28
Number of Cookies: 14
Ian’s Cookie Buttons:
Number of Cookies: 6 pouches
Kinnikinnick is the clear winner in value with at least twice as many cookies to hand around at a much cheaper price.
Kinnikinnick was the clear winner in both the taste and value test and held together during the backpack test. In the Chocolate Chip Cookie Category, I declare Kinnikinnick Chocolate Chip Cookies the Winner of the Know Gluten School Lunch Challenge.
I'm so glad you dropped by!
I'm a wife, mom of four, homeschooler and world traveler.
I've been gluten free for almost 20 years and I share tips and recipes especially for gluten free beginners on knowgluten.me