Restaurateur and caterer Levana Kirschenbaum, renowned for her healthy and delicious meal offerings, found herself at a loss when her husband Maurice was in treatment for cancer. His appetite was depressed, and the gourmand was unable to eat. When his physician suggested a commercial meal supplement, Levana looked at the ingredients and felt sick herself. She entered her kitchen and got busy.
The result was Levana™ Meal Replacement, plant-based whole meals that can be mixed with milk, milk substitutes or water and/or added into recipes or foods. Each of the five flavors (three sweet, two savory) provides about 350 calories worth of protein, carbohydrate and healthy fats. Each is a complete meal as well as a supplement.
Levana conceived of the product as a natural alternative to commercial supplements. As she immersed herself in the development of the product, she realized it could be a boon for pediatric patients, who will often refuse to eat anything that doesn’t taste good regardless of how good it is for them. In addition, Levana wanted to introduce a charitable element into the company formed to market Levana™ Meal Replacement, and decided to give a percentage of sales to Chai Lifeline.
“There was a natural synergy,” Mrs. Kirschenbaum explained.
Chai Lifeline’s staff immediately saw that Levana™ Meal Replacement might be of interest to Chai Lifeline’s entire population, which includes both children with cancer and those living with serious chronic conditions.
“There are some illnesses that necessitate feeding a child with a gastric tube. Parents in this situation often have to rely on supplements or develop their own, as Levana has done,” said Rivkah Reichmann, LCSW, the associate director of Camp Simcha Special.
Parents are equally enthusiastic. Moms at Chai Lifeline West Coast’s annual Marilyn Sohacheski Spa Day were invited to sample Levana’s™ Meal Replacement baked into cookies and received free samples. “They were very excited about the product and the possibilities,” stated Randi Grossman, the region’s director.
Levana™ Meal Replacement is available in packages of 10 meals each online at www.levanamealreplacement.com. Chai Lifeline clients receive a discount: use code CHAI at checkout.