Monday, February 13, 2012

Dairy Free: A Call for HELP!

Not again!
We thought my son had grown out of his dairy allergy, but last week, at his 2 year well check-up, the pediatrician recommended we put him on a dairy free diet again. He is super skinny (13th% for weight), and she is afraid that he is still allergic to dairy, which is inhibiting him from digesting other foods properly.

He no longer breaks out like this after eating dairy, thank goodness.

Last night I made smoothies with almond milk, and they were tasty.
Tonight I'm making lasagna with coconut milk and soy cheese (hmmm...)

But I'm running out of ideas!
I'm covered on breakfast and lunch, but making dinners-- one dinner-- that the whole family can eat is hard! I'll do whatever it takes, but I'm in a rut and don't have hours of time to scour the internet for ideas.

To help, I've started a dairy free Pinterest board.
I'm nervous slash excited slash dubious about making my own coconut milk yogurt.

Does anyone have dairy issues?
I would LOVE your advice, meals you make for the whole family, internet resources (blogs, recipe websites, etc).

Thank you thank you thank you!


  1. My son has been lactose intolerant from the get go. He can't have soy either, so I've had to get creative with foods that don't require a substitute for milk. Usually when I make something that has cheese on it (like a casserole or "one pot" dish), I'll leave a section without it for him. That alone opened up a lot of possibilities for my family. We also love spaghetti, soups, chicken dishes, etc., most of which are dairy free or can be made without it.
    I'm realy excited about a dairy free pinboard because it is difficult to find new recipes on your own sometimes! Good luck and sorry to hear he's still having problems. It's hard when you think you're in the clear and problems show up again.

  2. Check out - it's a website for vegans but since they don't eat dairy it should be helpful hopefully. They have a ton of recipes. I also like

  3. My daughter recently went vegan so I've been learning a lot about dairy free products too. If I'm making something that has cheese in it, I will keep her portion out-she's not crazy about the dairy free cheeses--or serve the cheese on the side. I've been subbing out almond milk for cow's milk and Earth Balance margarine for butter. Both are very good substitutes. I've started posting vegan recipes on my blog too if you want to check them out.

  4. I had to be off of dairy for a month in high school and lost 10 lbs! The trouble is those silly dairy proteins. Lentil and veggie soup is good and filling as well as beef stew thicken with flour. Cuban food can be made with no dairy (mojo chicken, black beans, rice). Asian food doesn't typically have a lot of dairy either. Hope this helps!

  5. me me me! Haven't been able to eat dairy for 2 years now - pregnancy brought on major allergic reactions.
    You may want to avoid soy as well though - the protiens in it are very similar to dairy. I use daiya cheese which is dairy, soy and casin (the dreaded protien) free and melted it tastes pretty good. also coconut bliss ice cream is AMAZING - better than real stuff!

    while I still don't eat out - unless it is a vegan place (vegan means no dairy! or egg!) I can cook most foods at home as per the recipe by subbing in almond milk, eartch balance "butter", and the coconut bliss ice cream is to die for! diaya cheese is good when cooked - looks a bit different - as in not so melty but I like the cooked tatse of it.
    I made crepes for breaky this morning, plan on having leftover roast chicken with stuffing and rice for lunch and probably will make pizza for supper tonight or tomorrow (chicken and pineapple - I don't like ham). Last week I made flour tortillas and a chicken and mushroom stir fry and then melted cheese on for a really yummy wrap. I think that is pretty normal eating... convient - not always - but I try and make more than 1 meals worth at a time so I cook one day and then the next I can use leftovers or make something new with the leftovers. ... in fact maybe I'll do a roast chicken hot sandwhich for lunch with some "cheese" melted on it... mmm.

    It was a LOT of work at first - since the hidden dairy made me sick as well - so major label reading. but now it is not so bad as you can see.
    Also ther are a fw cereals that are dairy free as well. Here s a link to my pinterest board - have some sites on there just for there dairy free easy foods lists as well

    If you want to talk more about it - feel free to send me an email! I also don't eat egg so some of my foods are a bit more restrictive but I'm slowly figuring things out :) oh and here is a good start out list of dairy and soy free

  6. Afton did the same thing for a couple months at about 6 months. Now it's only yogurt that makes her break out. Weird. Good luck!

  7. Good luck. My 2 year old seems to have mostly outgrown it but he is SUPER picky eater so it's hard that way now.

  8. I have recently gone dairy, soy, gluten free d/t a suspected food allergy. My suggestions for meals would be:

    Spaghetti- the people who can have cheese can add their own parmesan.

    Red Beans and rice.

    Burritos without cheese. (refried beans, lettuce, salsa, avacadoes)

    Pure fruit smoothie (use all fruits and add orange juice for liquid).

    Chicken Breast with veggies on the side. (or pork chops, or steak)

    When I told my husband I was eliminating dairy, soy and gluten he said I would have to cook more than one meal- so far I haven't! Just make things that you can add cheese to later (soups, chili, lentil soup).

  9. I have a good friend who is vegan and I know she follows some vegan cooking blogs that might be worth looking for (I'm sorry I don't know them off hand..) You can probably stick with your usual recipes and just substitute soy milk and cheeses! (And I actually like soy yogurt better anyway!) Good luck!!

  10. Rachel, my sister is a total pro at this. Her little guys has a bunch of allergy issues. You can email her for her fav dinner recipes. I will fb message you her email.

  11. My son was born with food allergies. We ended up feeding him rice milk and supplementing with pre-digested food products. He was borderline failure to thrive some of the time. The Drs had us Power Pack his foods and we also went to Dysfashia(sp) Clinic which is a clinic for toddlers with feeding problems. I wanted you to know that he is now a healthy 16 yr old that is almost 6ft tall. Your son will be ok and catch up, mine did. I would be willing to share what ever info that is helpful. Jodi

  12. I've been Vegan for almost a year and have learned a few things. What are some of your favorite recipes? If they have milk in them use soy or rice or hemp or almond (make sure you don't use sweetened or flavored if you are going for a savory dish). Cheese. Daiya has the best. Butter substitute is Earth Balance or Coconut oil. Flax eggs are the best egg replacement. 1 TBSP ground flax w/ 3 TBSP water and let sit til it gels. I've got some recipes on my blog but they are going to be meat free as well. If you like Asian we all love our Vegan version of Broccoli Beef and Cashew No Chicken. You can use meat or meat broths. No dairy in either. I just followed you on Pinterest, you can get those recipes there, too.

  13. Ugh. I have been dairy free for almost ten years, not by choice. I do a lot of substitutions with rice milk and earth balance and some tofu based products. I agree with what others say, I mostly make main dishes and then let other spinkle cheese on side. I do lots of soups. And tons of asian inspired dishes don't have dairy. There is some good soy cheese at trader joes that I make homemade pita pizza's and lasagna's with. They also have delicious veggie frozen burritos which aren't too bad healthy wise, and no dairy. Just be careful with labels, a lot of stuff that you wouldn't think has whey protein in it, and that is problematic. Like some potato chips, or canned chicken soup. So be on the lookout for that.

  14. We have dairy issues in my family. My husband is completely allergic to it and thinking my 11 month old is as well. I have learned that simplicity is best. If a recipe calls for cheese I simply leave it out (or put it on half for those who can have it). Pizza, for instance, is a Friday night tradition and we simply leave the cheese off and pile it high with lots of veggies and other toppings. We really don't even miss the cheese, and substitutions like almond milk are great. Hint--I don't use it in mashed potatoes...when making those I use chicken broth and a buttery spread made with olive oil (I think it's called Earth's Best or something). We like to keep it simple and soy cheese, milk, etc can get pricey. Hope that helps! :)

  15. Hi I just found your blog, and I' not a nutritionist, but I have heard some issues with giving children soy. My son had issues when he was a baby, and we gave him soy formula (@12 years ago,) and now I hear negative things relating to soy. Check out "food renegade" or "nature moms' blogs for more info! Just wanted to pass it along. all the best! Vicki

  16. I have a gluten intolerance and some of the best advice I have ever received is to forget about trying to make food without and instead focus on all the things that are naturally gluten free. Substitute dairy in your case.

    I have also been following a e-magazine/blog called serious eats for a while and for the past month one of the columnists has been doing a vegan experience and every day or two he posts a new recipe that he has developed in the process. I know you only need dairy free recipes but most of the recipes are simple and easy to tweak and since vegan naturally dairy free. Here is a link

    Coconut milk is excellent for creamy soups and you can make your own cream of ______ (mushroom, chicken) Soup at home really simply-- I don't have the recipe written down because I am a cook out of my head person but if you need a recipe or instructions toss me an email and I will write some out for you

    Leave the cheese off of casseroles and allow those who eat dairy to add their own.

  17. Try This lady has an awesome website. She is Vegan and therfore all of her recipes are dairy free and really good. I bought her first cookbook and it has things in there for the whole family.

  18. My daughter is allergic to milk too. Augh. It is challenging to say the least but we've definitely learned how to get by without so many cheese and milk recipes. Have you learned to make your own cream of...soup yet? 1 cup of milk alternative (we prefer soy), 1 tbsp. flour, and then a little flavor of whatever you are trying to make (chicken, broccoli, mushrooms, etc.). Zap it in the microwave stirring every 30 seconds until thick. Someone taught me this trick and it works. I have several other recipes on my blog too, may dairy free. Hope that helps! I'm pinning up to your board now for more ideas too. Thanks!

  19. My son was milk/soy protein intolerant for 18 months, and I found a lot of recipes for the whole family here:

  20. Rach-

    We've been casein, soy, and gluten-free for two years. It gets easier.

    Is he intolerant to just casein? Then ghee may be an option. We are only casein-free. And ghee is dairy, minus the protein...

    I agree with the other commenter above regarding soy.

    Try taking soy out as well. Most pediatricians don't know that the soy protein and casein are VERY similar. My son is high to both.

    Coconut oil will be a godsend for you in cooking. Try to think more in terms of ethnic dishes. We do a lot of Mexican, and meat & potatoes style dishes...

    It's critical that you pump up his good fats: namely saturated via coconut oil. His brain needs it for development.

    I had tons of recipes on my site.

    If you need anything, let me know...

  21. I have no experience with milk allergies. However, check out:

    All of her kids have allergies and she posts some recipes from time to time.

    Good luck!

  22. Not sure if you have looked into some of the Vegan cheeses there are. You could make bean and "cheese" burritos ,tacos and the like. Check out some Vegan recipe sites.

  23. I understand that you already got a lot of tips and ideas but I just wanted to add one more possibility.

    I love your blog and visit it frequently although I am a religious Jew. As such, we are not allowed to mix milk with meat which means we have an abundance of dairy free dishes (that in opposite to the vegan options still contain some meat). "The encyclopaedia of Jewish Food" is a book full of amazing ways to make food we usually buy in store at home. Also, on the homepage you find that the sections "meat" and "parev" are full of awesome recipes that are wholesome and completely dairy free.

    Sending you and your family some interfaith love,

    keep up the awesome posts!

  24. My husband has been allergic to milk for about 15 years and we have found some really great products at our local health food stores that actually taste really good. Tofutti brand soy products make really good sour cream, cream cheese, and Ice cream products. I have tasted all and they really do taste the most similar to the real things. It's the only brand I use.We have a lot of recipes that we can make now.


Thanks for your comment. Have a great day!
♥Rach H