Review of Enjoy Life Foods – Gingerbread Cookies

Review of Enjoy Life Foods – Gingerbread Cookies


This is the third of five reviews for Enjoy Life Foods Cookies.  For this review, we tried the Gingerbread Cookies (affiliate link).  Unlike the other cookies we tried this cookie was not well received at all by the kids.

My son simply said, “I don’t like this.  What else do you have”?  My daughter made a face and did not say much.  I think their biggest problem with the cookie was the fact that it was gingerbread and they did not like the sharp taste of the ginger.  For me, it was the highlight of the cookie.

The cookie has a good ginger taste.  The ginger taste is nice and crisp.  My problem with the cookie is the texture.  According to the box, these were soft-baked cookies.  I was a expecting a soft moist cookie but the texture was dry and gritty which is a shame.  The poor texture overwhelms the wonderful ginger component.

Needless to say this was not our favorite cookie from Enjoy Life.   The top of this post has a link to the Gingerbread Cookies for your reference.  My recommendation is to try something else from Enjoy Life Foods.  Have you tried this cookie?  What did you think?

Quick disclaimer, Enjoy Life Foods did not provide me with any product or other compensation for these reviews.  I purchased these items at our local Publix Grocery Store.

Review of Enjoy Life Foods – Snickerdoodle Cookies

In this, our second of five reviews for Enjoy Life Foods Cookies, we sampled the Snickerdoodle Cookies (affiliate link).  When my son (6 yrs old) saw the box, he asked me what was that word.  I told him it was Snickerdoodle.  He asked, “What is a snickerdoodle?”  I fumbled over a definition.  A better definition comes from Wikipedia,

“A snickerdoodle is a type of sugar cookie made with cream of tartar and rolled in cinnamon sugar.  It is characterized by a cracked surface and can be crisp or soft depending on preference”.

I knew about the cinnamon.  I had no idea it was made with cream of tartar.  A quick review of the ingredient list on Enjoy Life Foods website did not show any cream of tartar.  I though the absence might be because it contains one of the common allergens that Enjoy Life Foods avoids.  However, a little research indicated that Cream of Tartar is actually the common name for potassium hydrogen tartrate.  It is obtained by half neutralizing tartaric acid with potassium hydroxide.  Apparently, grapes are the main source of tartaric acid and is obtained from sediment in the wine making process.  Chemistry is fun!  Long story short, I’m not sure why it is not included in the Enjoy Life Foods Snickerdoodles.

My son took his first bite and exclaimed, “Mmmm, Cinnamonny!”.  My daughter (9 yrs old) stated, “Yeah, it has Cinnamon.  I like the Double Chocolate Brownies better.”  My son agreed.  Their statements were not meant as a dislike for the Snickerdoodles but simply a declaration of preference.  I thought the cookies were excellent.  They contain just the right amount of cinnamon and sugar and the texture is nice.

According to the Enjoy Life Foods website, Snickerdoodles are their most popular cookie flavor.  One of our readers, Elizabeth from likes them as well.  This is another Enjoy Life Foods Cookie to add our snack food/dessert/road trip food rotation.  Which Enjoy Life Foods product is your favorite?

Quick disclaimer, Enjoy Life Foods did not provide me with any product or other compensation for these reviews.  I purchased these items at our local Publix Grocery Store.

Review of Enjoy Life Foods – Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies

As mentioned in our one-month anniversary post, product reviews will become a new addition to Peanut Free Life.  Our first review is also a first in a series of reviews of products from Enjoy Life Foods.

Quick disclaimer, Enjoy Life Foods did not provide me with any product or other compensation for these reviews.  I purchased these items at our local Publix Grocery Store.

Our family thinks it is important to support, when we can, local companies and restaurants, as well as those that support causes important to us, food allergies for one.  Enjoy Life Foods is one such company.  Their dedication to creating a product that is safe for those with food allergies is admirable and one that we as a family and food allergy community should support.

I brought home several boxes of the different varieties of Enjoy Life Foods Cookies for lunch today.  My son (6 years old) immediately asked,  “What are those for?”  I told him that we were going to try some of these and I wanted him and his sister to tell me what the though of them.  I asked both my son and daughter (9 years old) which one they wanted to try first.  They both immediately agreed on the Double Chocolate Brownie Cookies (affiliate link).

I opened the box and gave one to each kid.  My daughter’s first comment was, “It’s kind of dark, in a chocolate way.”  She was right.  The cookies do have a dark chocolate overtone I think is great.  I think she was surprised by the taste and meant it in a negative way.  Nevertheless, she ate the whole thing and was eying another one.  My son simply said, “This is yummy, can we try another one?” and “I can barely eat this in one bite.”  My wife Cindy came in and tried one and said, “This is good; we need to get more of these.”

The texture for the cookie was surprisingly good for a cookie that is wheat free and egg free and you could see and taste the chocolate chips in the brownie.  In addition, the brownie fully satisfied my current craving for sweets.  As a result of the family’s semi-unanimous approval, this snack is now a new addition to our snack food/dessert/road trip food rotation.  If you have tried these, what do you think of them?

One Month Anniversary

Today marks the one-month anniversary of  Thank you to everyone that has visited the site, everyone kind enough to leave comments and to everyone who has subscribed.  The support has been amazing.

We started the blog as a resource to help parents and friends find peanut and tree nut free foods.  This past month we posted three Safe Food Lists: Cereals, Candy and Ice Cream Novelties.  The number of downloads for these lists from our site inspire us to keep the lists coming.  The next list we plan on posting is for Crackers, Chips and Cookies.

One thing I did not expect to find was the large network of food allergy parents on Twitter and Facebook.  These communities are supportive, helpful and encouraging.  To see for yourself, go to Twitter and search for tweets with the #foodallergy topic.  Read through the tweets and click on some of the links included the tweets.   I encourage you to follow these users on twitter, subscribe to their blog, and comment on their blog posts.  You can even follow us (Twitter name: peanutfreelife) and check us out on Facebook (Facebook page: peanutfreelife).

What does the next month hold for  The main priority is spending time with our kids during their summer break.  On the website, we will certainly post more Safe Food Lists.  We will also expand our post topics to include more product specific reviews and more posts dedicated to commentary on news stories related to peanut and tree allergies.  We are very excited about month number two!

Again, thank you for your continued support!

Sacrifice and SunButter

I just read the recent article in The Washington Post by Petula Dvorak entitled “Until peanut allergy cure is found, it’s not unreasonable to mind our PB&J’s”.  I recommend that you read it as well.  The writer begins the article in the typical don’t infringe on my right to eat peanut butter stance but the author, to her credit, visits with some families in a new peanut free area at a Washington Senators baseball game to see the other side of the story.  What she came away with was a new perspective on how taking precautions and accommodating those with food allergies can make a big difference in their quality of life.  She even equates it to some other precautions people often take,

“We take precautions every day to minimize risks, however remote, to ourselves and our children. Isn’t that why we have the kids in car seats, bike helmets and crosswalks? Why we take aspirin to help our hearts and avoid the golf course during a lightning storm?

Until a real cure is found, maybe it’s not so unreasonable to ask us to ditch our PB&Js.”

As always, the comment sections of news articles on food allergies are where two classes of people really shine: the uneducated and the uncaring.  I’m always amazed at the comments claiming that food allergies are psychosomatic.  This means my just-over one-year-old daughter (at the time of her first allergic reaction) had the mental capacity to have a psychosomatic reaction.  I find that hard to believe.  Next thing you know, they will suggest that she eat some dirt and suck on some pennies.  Oh wait, they did suggest that.

Regarding the uncaring comments, I always enjoy reading the ones that spew statements about restricting their right to eat what they want, when they want.  You know what, they’re right.  At times, I do want them to make a concession that trades their right to eat a specific food if doing so might protect my child’s life.  The way I see it.  If Christ was willing to sacrifice his life and die for someone as sinful and undeserving as me, shouldn’t I be willing to sacrifice something as minor as what food I am eating if it means that it could protect someone else, especially a child?  Independent of religion, sacrificing things for others in order to protect them is a way for us to show that we care about them.  If a person isn’t willing to make a sacrifice that might protect the life and health of someone else, what does it say about that person?

On a side note, kudos to SunButter (Twitter @sunbutter4life) for mentioning this article on Twitter even though the author states she hates sunflower butter.  SunButter is a great product that too often is cast as a substitute for peanut butter when it should just stand on its own as great tasting product.

Mayfield Dairy – Ice Cream Novelties

The summer camp that our daughter is attending this year Camp Riverview for Girls called us to ask about ice cream novelties.  Mayfield Dairy manufactures all of the ice cream novelty products that they purchase.  So the camp called Cindy, my wife, to see if Mayfield Dairy products were peanut and tree nut free.  It was great that they called and Cindy immediately jumped into research mode.

Mayfield is a regional dairy that produces milk and other dairy products for sale in most of the Southeastern United States.  Unfortunately, their website is extremely lacking in information regarding product ingredients or allergens.  In fact, they have no nutritional information on their website at all.  This is an area where they certainly need to improve.  The good news is that they were extremely helpful when Cindy called them.

Here is the slightly edited text of the email that Cindy sent to the Camp Director.

“Mayfield Push Pops are safe!  I spent the last hour on the phone with the two plant quality assurance coordinators of the two plants where Mayfield’s novelty products are made.  It gets a little tricky as in Birmingham they make some products that are safe.  However, if they are low on inventory, they will have their Toledo plant (Frost Bites) produce some products and in some cases those are not made on a dedicated line.  This is what I learned:

In the Birmingham plant the following products are made on a dedicated line where no peanut/nut is ever run:

Jr Bars -These are the one stick novelties as opposed to the two-stick novelties which they call a paddle bar.  These Jr. Bars are as follows:

Brown Cow Jrs. – which is chocolate covered ice cream bars,

Fudge Bar Jrs.

Pop Stix Jrs. – Orange, Cherry and Grape, Sour Pop Jrs.

(NOTE – large two stick “paddle bars” in these same flavors are NOT safe)

Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches – NOT the Regular size

(NOTE that while the Birmingham plant makes a safe regular size ice cream sandwich, in the event they are low on inventory, the Toledo plant takes up the slack and they do not produce these on a dedicated line.  So they cannot guarantee that it is made on a dedicated line.)

Any 3 oz. ice cream cup (not 6 oz.) — They make light  (3% butterfat) in vanilla, chocolate, strawberry and orange sherbet.  Also, safe are the No Sugar Added 3 oz cups.

In the Toledo plant, the following products are made on a dedicated line where no peanut/nut is ever run:

Regular sized Neopolitan Ice Cream Sandwiches are made on a dedicated line (he said the regular sized vanilla is made on a line with Moose Tracks – peanuts/nuts and a butter pecan)

Push Pops Orange Sherbet Pops.

Thanks for calling me.”

If you live in an area where Mayfield products are sold, I hope this will help.  As always, please read the label of everything you buy every time you shop.  The goal is provide you some additional food items to consider.  I hope to update our Safe Food List – Ice Cream Novelties sometime this weekend to incorporate these items.

Do you have any ice cream or ice cream novelties that are peanut and tree nut safe that you enjoy?

Compassionate Kids

I was reading a blog post today on VickiesIckies (a great blog by the way) about how some parents bring cupcakes to school for birthday celebrations which the kids with food allergies cannot eat leaving them excluded from the celebration.  Sometimes the treat is brought at the last minute or without being the teacher’s prior knowledge leaving the parent of the allergic child little or no time to bring a substitute treat.   The school’s answer was, “the allergic child needs to learn to deal with it”.   I starting thinking about how amazing it has been in our experience (and perhaps in yours too) that kids are often much more compassionate than adults about another child’s food allergy.

For example, my daughter has a friend who became upset with her father (a good friend by the way who shared this story with us) for eating peanuts in the car because she was worried that our daughter might accidentally be exposed to the peanuts during a carpool sometime in the future.  The 8-year old girl became so insistent that her father eventually pulled over and threw away his peanuts.  When our child was much younger her preschool teacher once told me that from time to time, parents would send in peanut butter into their nut free classroom and the children would immediately take the “offending item” directly from their lunchboxes to the teacher saying, “I can’t have this here”.  These children were three!  We have heard parents tell us that their kids did not want a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for lunch because they would be playing with our kids later in the day.  Maybe we are just fortunate that we have sweet friends, but I think there is something more to it than that.

I think kids are generally concerned about their food allergic friends because they love them and don’t want them to be hurt.  Avoiding a particular food around their food allergic friend is their way of showing them that they love them.  Parents sometimes, myself included, often look for the most convenient course of action. I will say, we are very blessed to have many adult friends that frequently bend over backwards and go far beyond the call of duty to accommodate our kids’ food allergies at their parties, for soccer snacks, etc.  But, we are wondering if you have had the same experience with kids showing great compassion as it relates to your child’s food allergy?

Desserts at Restaurants

Next time you eat out at a restaurant consider dessert.  I know what you’re thinking, “Are you crazy? Everything either has nuts or is cross-contaminated with nuts.”  For years we though the same thing, until we asked about it.  Most restaurants now are used to customers asking allergy specific questions.  Many of these have a book that lists every menu item and what common allergens the food contains or may contain.

Our kids are so used to not being able to eat some foods because they contain or may contain peanuts or tree nuts so when we find something that they can have a restaurant, it is an extra special treat for them.  If the restaurant doesn’t, we shrug and say, “Oh well, we tried.  We’ll just eat dessert at home.”  Next time you go out to eat, ask the server or manager.  You might find out you have more options than you realize.  Some restaurants we’ve been to that have allergen books are: Chili’s, Red Robin and Panera Bread.  Do you know of any other restaurants that have an allergen book or list?  Share it with us in the comments!

Duncan Hines and Food Allergies

In our Birthday Parties and Allergies posting, a reader left a comment stating that they make a quick cake using Duncan Hines, Coke and a microwave.  I thought it was a great alternative to a traditional cake.  Still want to try it though.  Nevertheless, I posted this on twitter and the feedback was quick and enlightening.

Several of our twitter followers stated that they do not consider Duncan Hines safe.  Calls from these followers to Duncan Hines regarding cross contamination were met with resistance and a general unhelpful attitude.  One even has a blog post about it.

I relayed this story to my wife and she said to me, “Why do you think we only buy Betty Crocker?”  Obviously, she has had the same experience.  That being said, I think the idea of cake mix (Betty Crocker please), coke and a microwave is worth a try.

Safe Food List – Candy

Our newest list, Candy, is now posted on our Safe Food List Page.  When we compiled this list for Camp Riverview for Girls.  I was really surprised at the variety of options available and it is a great list to give to friends and family for Halloween candy ideas.

We posted a link on Twitter to the Tootsie Company’s allergy statement where they state all of their products are peanut, tree nut and gluten free.  What a great thing to remember when buying candy and their products extend beyond Tootsie Rolls and Tootsie Pops.

Remember this list is only a guide and that you must read the labels of everything you buy.  Our hope is that the list gives you some additional options to consider.  Did you find anything on the list that surprised you?  Are there any we missed?