Abigail Wald never gave much thought to what was in the foods her family ate until the day she learned that the health issues her son Arthur suffered from were caused by food sensitivities. “I thought we ate relatively well, and healthily,” Wald admits, “but when I look at it now, I was primarily concerned at that time with yummy, not so much with healthy.” Her journey to help her son thrive would lead not only to a happy, healthy boy but to the creation of the YES Bar.
It began when the Wald family rallied together to support Arthur by changing the way they ate. Reading labels, avoiding additives and other chemicals, and choosing clean, organic foods proved to be as rewarding as it was unsettling. “I was shocked by the changes we saw,” said Wald. “My son’s reflux cleared up, his digestive issues cleared up, his leg pains went away, and he experienced an overall heightened alertness level which resulted in much greater connection.”
Wald soon learned, however, that controlling everything her family ate also took a lot of work in the kitchen. And though healthier and cleaner, many of their food choices were lacking in the ‘yum’ factor. But the most difficult challenge Wald would face, was having to continually say “no” to the foods her son wanted to eat. “I wanted to find a way to make eating healthy and clean feel just as fun and easy as I felt it should.”
That ‘way’ consisted of gathering ingredients in her kitchen that were naturally free of gluten, dairy, soy, and corn and creating a YES bar that was healthy, wholesome and, equally important, yummy. “The first time I created the bars in my kitchen, they disappeared in minutes,” said Wald. “So, I kept making them.” She then began packing them as portable snacks, often sharing with friends and others during outings. “Everyone who took a bite asked me to make some for them.”
That was the summer of 2012. It soon became apparent to Wald there was a need that extended far greater than her own kitchen. “I decided quickly that I wanted to share the YES bars with the world, so that in a world of ‘no’ I could make a snack full of ‘YES’.” By the end of the year, the YES Bar would start to find its way onto the shelves of supermarkets and, soon after, become available for order online.
Certified Paleo and free of gluten, GMO’s, dairy, corn and soy, each YES Bar is made with 100% natural ingredients. Available flavors include Macadamia Chocolate, Black Sesame Sea Salt, Strawberry Coconut and Mocha Cayenne. “We have two new vegan flavors coming out very soon. Dark Chocolate Chip, and also Salted Maple Pecan.”
Wald views her family’s journey as a blessing. “I started to realize this was one of the greatest gifts that ever happened to us. And that it was a gift I could share with the world, too. Because YES is not just about food. It is a state of mind too.”
Written by: Jodi Hale
Jodi Hale serves as North Phoenix Family magazine’s editorial/advertising assistant. She is also a freelance writer and consultant for social media marketing, managing accounts for several clients around the valley. The mother of three amazing boys ages 9, 14 and 16, she volunteers as a public relations specialist for Musical Theatre of Anthem, promoting the theater’s year-round training opportunities and award-winning productions. Jodi can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.