Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Froose Change

Philadelphia-area parents and their school-age children soon will be preparing for another school year. Because many local districts don’t offer gluten-free options in their schools’ cafeterias, parents of children with celiac disease often have to pack lunches, drinks and snacks for their kids every day. A healthier alternative to boxed juices, many of which contain high-fructose corn syrup sweeteners, is Froose, a gluten-free drink made with organic whole-grain rice and fruit.

I first heard about Froose at last year’s Appetite for Awareness event but didn’t learn until recently that the company behind the product is based locally in Media, Pennsylvania. Froose comes in three flavors – Playful Peach, Perfect Pear and Cheerful Cherry – and is sweetened with organic brown rice syrup and fruit juice concentrates. Given our family's familiarity with ordinary "squeeze" juice boxes, we expected a drink similar to those types of juices. However, Froose has a fuller, thicker consistency - much different than the watery boxed juices. While it’s shelf-stable, my kids liked Froose better when chilled. (Their favorite was the pear flavor.)

A 4.2-fluid-ounce box of Froose contains 80 calories and 3 grams of fiber. The product is sold in packages of four boxes at local Acme Markets, Whole Foods Markets and through the Froose website.

Froose will soon be debuting another product: vegan gummy bears made with gluten-free whole grains. These soft chews also will contain 3 grams of fiber per serving and will be sweetened with organic brown rice syrup. They’re expected to be on store shelves this fall.
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