February 04, 2011,
D.R. asks from Lake Peekskill, NY on July 14, 2008
Seeking Food Advice for a Toddler Who Is Allergic to Dairy, Soy and Peanuts
I was informed recently by my Pediatrician that my son is allergic to Soy, Dairy products and Peanuts. I am seeking advice from any one who has gone through the same thing with their toddler and can give me some ideas on what I can feed him. Currently he is drinking Rice Milk and his entire diet has been changed. I am finding it difficult to find any products for breakfast that do not contain any of the ingredients that he is allergic to. Your advice would be greatly appreciated
L.M. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
R.R. answers from Rochester on July 14, 2008
Try goat's milk... it's much less allergenic than cow's milk. Rice milk is rather processed so if he already tends towards food allergies I wouldn't give him too many things that come in a package and look a lot different than how they started. This would include almost all cereals except for porridges (steel cut oats with maple syrup and chopped almonds or pecans, with dried apples or fresh apples according to what's in season, for example. Omit the milk and just use water- if butter is tolerated add that.). The grains in most cereals have been extruded- subjected to very high heat - very processed. Anyone with food allergies needs to be given things in as close to their original form as possible so as not to create more problems with an already delicate digestive/immune system.
Is he allergic to dairy, or to lactose? For instance, butter contains no lactose because the lactose is in the whey which is separated out of butter. Also, the healthy bacterias that are in high quality yogurts and cheeses diminish the lactose to minimal amounts, meaning many people who can't drink cow's milk can do certain cheeses or yogurts.
You still have lots of options. Almond butter is way tastier than peanut butter, less acidic, and higher in calcium. My kids love vanilla goat milk yogurt, and for breakfast we do sprouted grain toast with scrambled eggs a lot- or eggs & potatoes. If you boil the potato the night before, you can just pop them in a skillet and make quick home fries with olive oil if butter is an issue. Fresh lentils (as opposed to canned- and always soak overnight even if your recipe doesn't call for it) can blend easily into nutritious soups with a handheld blender, or google recipes for lentil and brown rice "patties" or "burgers" that you can make in batches for the week.
My best advice is not to buy all those "alternative" products- like cheese made from rice or margarine over butter- because, similarly, these are highly processed. Give your son fresh natural things- and don't worry if your son doesn't have milk- many cultures (notably Eskimo and Asain ones) don't traditionally contain milk and produced generations of healthy offspring- and likewise, many cultures don't use soy. And anthropology notes that even those cultures who enjoy soy did not often eat tons of tofu or soy milk- but small amounts of fermented soy as in soy sauce or miso or tempeh- and often grew it in their gardens in large part as a soil amendment as it enriches the dirt for future crops.
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B.S. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
As someone who has severe food allergies, I know how tough this is. But the good thing is there are so many resources out there now that weren't there when I was a child.
You've gotten some great advice and I'd like to point you towards the Food Allergy And Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN) for help. They are a great resource for anyone with food allergies.
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G.C. answers from Rochester on July 15, 2008
How severe is his allergy? My son(3) also has a dairy allergy. He's horrible with things like milk, sour cream, and really anything to do with cream. But he does tolerate goat's milk, yogurt, butter and some organic cheeses(all in moderation) very well. Otherwise, he really enjoys freshly made nut(almond) milks and also vanilla hemp milk(which is much higher in protien and calcium than rice milk). Instead of peanut butter, try almond butter for sandwiches. Smoothies are a good idea for breakfast, too. I even add raw spinach in ours, along with banana, fresh berries(any fresh fruit) and vanilla hempmilk. Then add a few pieces of frozen berries/peaches for the ice.And sometimes I add a scoop of spirulina or greener grasses for extra nutrients. But as long as you add the fruit, you can't taste the greens. We call them "monster smoothies" in our house because it does make the green color more appealing-haha. We also use Ezekial
Sprouted Breads. There are all differ varieties and they taste great. You can find them at any Wegman's natural food section. The Cinnamon Raisin is great with a smear of raw honey. Or raw honey and almond butter. Or almond butter and mashed banana. There is so much you can do with oatmeal. My son loves to add in thinly sliced banana, pecans, cinnamon, nutmeg, and a drizzle of pure maple syrup while it's cooking. Then top it off with a little almond/hemp milk. For another simple breakfast we love to take fresh(all differ kinds) berries, sliced banana, in a bowl and top it with fresh almond/hemp milk(eat it like cereal). We also do it with fresh peaches/rasberries alot. With sprouted bread you can make french toast, just substitute with a differ milk and drizzle with pure maple syrup or pureed fruit. One thing I also didn't think about, until he reacted to it, is milk chocolate. Be careful with that. When we make cookies or anything, we only use a high quality dark chocolate. But read the ingredients because sometimes they still sneak milk/soy products into some dark chocolates. And I'm not sure if you know any local farmers personally, but I hear that many children can handle raw dairy much easier than pasteurized dairy. But you need to make sure it comes from a good source. We always have a fantastic raw cheddar cheese in my house, which doesn't seem to affect him at all. He loves it and we can use it in any recipe that calls for cheese. Taking a good probiotic may also help him a little. You really can still make just about anything and everything, you just need to change your recipes around a little bit and maybe substitute some things here and there. Making everything at home with fresh ingredients is the easiest way to stay out of trouble. If you're a busy woman, just make huge portions so there are leftovers for hectic nights. Make large batches of muffins with fresh fruit in the them, then freeze individually so they're easy to defrost at night for the next morning and so on. Google dairy-free/soy-free/peanut-free recipes. And save a collection of them in a folder so you have them. Also, many recipe sites allow you to put specific things you don't/do want in the search recipes section. So it'll make your search easier. I'm constantly searching for recipes online, then the ones I really want to try, I print them, punch-hole them and stick them in a 3-ring binder. Easy/cheap way to make your own cookbooks full of recipes you really want to try:)Hope this helps!!
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E.L. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
my daughter doesn't eat soy or dairy either, but b/c I am allergic and we are waiting to be sure she doesn't become allergic.
I know it seems like a lot more work, but trying to stick with whole foods is really going to make it much more simple for you....like buying regular oatmeal, instead of the instant, and sticking to cold cereals that are very basic, like crisped rice or millet. It can be a whole lot cheaper too! The simpler the food, the less ingredients you have to wonder about. You can make oatmeal ahead and just heat up a little each morning, add a little honey or brown sugar, etc.
Of course you are losing a lot of protein to soy and dairy. Can he eat eggs? My daughter eats a scrambled egg about every 2-3 days and loves it. I usually throw in some finely chopped zucchini or other veggie to add some fiber and nutrients.
Would he drink a "milkshake"? When I was prego I found it hard to get enough protein and fiber, until I found this hemp shake mix at Whole Foods (http://nutivahempshake.com/). The chocolate is so yummy if you blend it with a frozen banana, a cube or so of ice, and rice milk. Sometimes I even added hazelnut butter for a few more calories. you can make it with just milk too if he deson't like frozen. Hempmilk is a great alternative also, it is very rich and full of the protein you miss out with rice milk.
Be willing ot let him try things you may not like...you'd be surprised the things they will eat.
What about grits, or some people call it polenta? Ground corn that is so easy and quick to make...there is even instant which I am pretty sure is safe for allergies. It's a nice savory alternative to sweet cereals. OH and cream of wheat too!
There is SO SO SO much out there for allergies now. Once you get into a new routine of the new foods it will be much easier.
One more note: at Whole Foods, or wherever, there is this butter called "Ghee". It is clarified butter, which means the allergy causing protein is taken out in the process. Once your little man is off of his allergens for a while, and you'd like to try it, give him a tiny bit on some toast with jam, and then wait a few days. If he has no reaction, you'll be able to use this in place of normal butter so you can share meals!
Seriously one more thing: watch out for breads...it is very hard to find the soy free breads...in most packaged foods for that matter. Okay I am rambling. LEt me know if you have any more questions...I've got lots of answers!
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J.R. answers from New York on July 19, 2008
I'm responding kind of late..
My daughter (Twenty months) is allergic to peanuts, eggs, milk, soy and tomatoes.
It isn't easy in the beginning.. and it can be quite scary.. but it gets a lot better. You will get used to it.
I was a little concerned to see that others were suggesting that you give your son tree nuts or almond milk.. Sixty percent of children allergic to peanuts are also allergic to tree nuts.. Also, most tree nuts are processed with peanuts. You should really avoid tree nuts as well.. Unless of course your doctor has given you the "ok".
"Van's" makes safe waffles. They do contain soy lechtin.. which is safe for someone with a mild soy allergy. Again, check with your doctor. We top them with light olive oil.
"Enjoy Life" makes a variety of foods that are free of the top eight allergens.
And "Cherrybrook Kitchens" makes cake and cookie mixes. Some of them contain soy, but some do not.. Also with the mixes that require butter or margarine (there are no soy or milk free ones) you can use a light olive oil.
The Whole foods cookbook is also very helpful.
You will find a lot he can have. It just takes time.
Feel free to email me: ____@____.com
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D.C. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
Hello D., you should try shopping at an organic food supermarket. They have alot of food that will not include those ingredients. Some of the popular supermarkets will have some products but not much to choose from. If you have something like a Whole Foods or Trader Joe in your area that would be the best place to start.
J.G. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
Try gluten free/casein free foods. I've found waffles in a variety of flavors, cold cereal, bagels, English muffins and cereal bars that do the trick. I found them in my regular grocery but stores like Trader Joe's, Mrs. Green's or health food stores should carry them as well. Also, goat milk yogurt or the old stand by of fresh fruit should help you out.
C.F. answers from New York on July 15, 2008
You can make your own almond milk or try a vitamin fortified one, such as Blue Diamond. Going with the unsweetened is better, whether rice/almond, the others are loaded with sugar. The milk from a young coconut is another option although not as easily accessiable. You can email me directly and can I can go over some recipes for you.