24 answers

Milk and Dairy Allergy

My Daughter is 21 months old and we just got told she has a milk and dairy allergy. I have no experience on this type of allergy and would like to know actual things that she can eat. Everything I seen in the store had at least one of the ingredients in it that she is not allowed to have. So I am very confused on knowing what she can actually eat without getting sick. Any help would be appreciated.

What can I do next?

Featured Answers

Hi G.,
I am now a grandma, but my youngest daughter couldn't digest milk after I weaned her from the breast at 15 months. We tried every kind of soy, etc. and found the only thing that agreed with her was goat's milk. It is not cheap, but it worked. Good luck to you.


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More Answers

Dear G.,

All the moms are giving great advice. I just wanted to chime in and reassure you that your daughter's allergy may actually be a very good omen for her FUTURE health. There's a wealth of evidence that long-term consumption of dairy products can be a contributing factor to most of the major chronic diseases to which the Western world is prone: cancer, heart disease, arthritis, and so much more. This information gets suppressed because the economic lobbies of the dairy industry are so powerful. Read "The China Study" by T. Colin Campbell Ph.D. for all the details.

All the best to you and your family,

S. Ihrig, L.Ac.
Lotus Wellspring Healthcare
456 E. Mission Road, Suite 100
San Marcos, CA 92069

2 moms found this helpful

My kids are both allergic to milk/dairy prod. I have soooo been where you are right now! We use soy products to replace dairy - WESTSOY soymilk is a good healthy brand. Make sure you get the one fortified w/ calcium. (This is on the shelf - not in the fridge section. They have it at Safeway) There are also soy yogurt, soy cheese, etc. Make sure you check ingredients carefully, the words "whey", "cassein" and "sodium casseinate" indicate dairy protein. Many breads/cereals contain milk product so you have to search around to find the one that works and then stick with it. Here is a book I got when I first found out my kids had food allergies : "The Parent's Guide to Food Allergies", by Marianne S. Barber. Lots of helpful info in there! Depending on HOW allergic your daughter is - she may be able to tolerate small amounts of milk ingredient (such as in crackers, etc)? You will have to talk to your allergist about this. I'm sure they told you to use liquid Benadryl in the event of a reaction, right? It does help clear them up right away! Always have that with you. Did the Dr test for other allergies as well? Not to make it sound worse, but often food allergic kids will have more than one type of food allergy so you'd want to know that now instead of learning it later "the hard way". That's all I could think of right now. Please feel free to contact me if you have questions or just want to vent about this! You DO need support in the beginning when you feel like "How am I going to handle this?" Like I said I have soooo been there! I wish you all the best - it'll get easier once you have it figured out! :-)J

1 mom found this helpful

My son had that allergy.
No milk, cheese, ice cream, cottage cheese, yogurt.
Thank goodness for soy milk. Any package with milk as the first ingredient is a no. However, any package with milk at a low amount may be ok, check with your doctor.

Have you tried hemp milk? It has a lot of protein. You could also try almond or rice milk. I'm not a huge fan of too much soy, so I like these other milks more. I would also talk to your pediatrician. -www.weelicious.com

Hey Gina,
You have gotten lots of great suggestions so I will only add that goat's milk would be wonderful, tastes great, and no problems. Also vegenaise instead of mayo is WONDERFUL and much better for you,(tastes better too) and can be ordered on line or is at henry's or whole foods.
I'm glad that you have friends that care for you and support you, you are blessed. It will all be OK. :)
blessings to you and your family,

Most grocery and restaurants, including fast food restaurants, have lists on line that you can access that will tell you which foods that are dairy-free or what allergens are in each food. If they don't, you can probably ask for the list the next time you go into the store or restaurant.

Now, I imagine you have already done the research or your doctor already provided you information about the subject and dairy allergies and have a list of the ingredients "buzz words" that indicate that a product has dairy in it. If not, you can do a Google search and pull up very informative articles about the subject from the webmd or wikipedia websites. Products that I know are dairy-free and my son has enjoyed are:

So Delicious soy or coconut yogurt (some soy yogurts do have casien in them so watch out)

Toffuti sour cream and cheese products

There's a coconut ice cream that is on the market now days that is absolutely awesome.

Almond, Soy, Rice or Hemp Milk

Applegate Farms lunchmeats are casein-free and so are Boarshead but if they are sliced on the same slicer as the cheese, then you have cross-contamination issues.

There's many other products that are dairy-free but I just can't think of them right now. If you e-mail me off-line and tell me what dairy-free foods you need to find, I will give you whatever information that I have. Also, I'm sure that yahoo has some kind of dairy-free or dairy allergy group that you may want to join. It's a good way of information about what is and isn't dairy free and what does and doesn't taste good.

Good luck.

THere is a large variety of non fairy cheeses and maybe talk to your ped. about soy milk and products. Thre is soy ice cream, soy milk flavors(regular, chocolate, and vanilla). aIf she cannot have soy milk, there is almond milk(I do not care for the taste of almond milk,but very healthy). If she has to do soy milk, introduce her to the regular flavor first, because then she may not reject it. The vanilla and chocolate is pretty yummy! Good luck!

Hi G.,

First of all, make sure you and your doctor have the terminology down. Allergies are strictly defined as IgE-mediated reactions to proteins (and some glycoproteins, that is sugar protein complexes). Sensitivity to milk sugar is lactose intolerance. The foods you will need to avoid will depend on which of these your daughter is sensitive to. Some foods with milk sugar added will NOT contain milk protein (i.e. casein) and could be safe to eat if she is allergic, while some foods will have casein but not lactose and can be eaten if she's lactose intolerant.

In general, here's an easy trick: look for foods marked pareve or parve. These are designations for people who keep kosher and indicate that there are no dairy products (protein or sugars) at all in a product. These can be hard to find in a regular supermarket, but can be found in abundance at a kosher supermarket. Sadly, it looks like the only kosher supermarket in Honolulu just closed in October, but they still appear to be running some kind of mail order service (see oahukosher.com). Most health- and natural food stores are also likely to carry a greater amount of nondairy products as they tend to be more allergen-conscious.

Otherwise, stick to fresh fruits and veges and unprocessed foods as much as possible. You may have to resort to doing a lot of your own baking. Margarine can be substituted for butter. Soy milk, rice milk, and Mocha Mix (the only REAL nondairy creamer with no dairy) can be substituted for milk. Mocha Mix gives the best results in things like puddings because it is higher in fat.

As for goat's milk -- be careful with this. Many children who are allergic to cow's milk will cross react with goat's milk. If your daughter is not subject to strong reactions (no hives, edema, vomiting or danger of anaphylaxis) then you can probably safely try out goat's milk on your own. Otherwise, I wouldn't risk it, unless at the doctor's office or within proximity of an ER and an epipen.

As for oral challenge as the gold standard for food allergy (known as DBPCFC or double blind placebo controlled food challenge), that is changing. Food challenges are expensive and can be dangerous, and several studies by key researchers in the allergy field have shown that blood tests for specific IgE have equivalent diagnostic accuracy to food challenges and skin prick testing. See especially those published by Hugh Sampson in the US, (Sampson HA. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001; 107(5):891-6), Sampson HA. Allergy. 2005;60(suppl. 79):19-24), Christina Cobbaert in the Netherlands(Cobbaert CM, et al. Clin Chem Lab Med. 2005;43(7):772-81), Marcus Ollert in Germany Ollert M, et al. Clin Chem. 2005 Jul;51(7):1241-9), and Sara Prates in Portugal (Prates S, et al. In vitro methods for specific IgE detection in cow's milk allergy. Allergol Immunopathol (Madr). 2006 Jan-Feb;34(1):27-31). You can download free abstracts of these from pubmed.com, but will otherwise have to pay for the full articles. I helped to write/edit that last three articles, so I might be able to dig up pdf reprints someplace (I might have Hugh's papers, too). I can email these to you if you like, and also a couple of easier to understand review articles I've coauthored.

Adoption of blood tests by US docs is finally gaining greater acceptance (Europe is way ahead of us on this, as they are for adoption of most medical advances), so sadly many kids are still subjected to the 100 yr-old practice of skin prick testing (a great revenue source for allergists, not fun for the kiddies or their parents).

BTW, the good news is that most children diagnosed with a food allergy before the age of 5 are likely to grow out of the allergy. The bad news is that food allergies can mark the beginning of the allergy march, which can progress to inhalant allergies (think molds and seasonal rhinitis) with an endpoint of asthma. However, strict avoidance of diagnosed allergens can short circuit the allergy march and prevent these endpoints.

Oh yes, and stay away from NAET. I'm sure someone has recommended it. It's pure bull-hooey and is based on no scientific methodology or physiological reality. It "diagnoses" "allergy" at a rate that is up to 60 times higher than it's actual prevalence, and then, no surprise "cures" what isn't there in the first place. I've seen some of the studies posted in clinicaltrials.gov. They do not meet CONSORT standards for quality evidence-based medicine methods of research and none has ever been published in an actual peer-reviewed journal. All have been self published, only, with no oversight or opportunity for critique by recognized experts in the field. The reputable journal publication process tries to ensure that studies are well founded and properly interpreted. I'd say that anyone who bypasses this process has something fishy goin on.

Go to aaaai.org for a good source of allergy information.

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