My 5 Year Old Is Being Tested for Lactose Intollerance - Need Some

Updated on December 08, 2009
L.F. asks from Lancaster, OH
14 answers

So I have to go 7 straight days without any milk products for my 5 yr old son. I bought the lactate milk so he would have something to drink and I'm reading my lables but wow this is difficult. I was wondering if any moms of kids that are lactose intollerant had some advice as for food options, especially for breakfast and snacks. After the 7 days are over the Dr. told me to give him the milk products back to see if his stomach aches come back but I can already tell it must the be problem because we've only gone 2 days without any milk and he hasn't had a single stomach ache. My only hope is that we won't have to be 100% no milk. For now I just needs some ideas. He loves waffles and instant oatmeal but they all contain milk. I've noticed that most of the cereal he likes has milk as well. We've been eating eggs with just jelly on the toast and pretzels with some honey to dip in. Not so bad now but if this is a long term thing I'm going to need other options. Thanks in advance! L.

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answers from Indianapolis on

my 9 yr old daughter is lactose intolerant. she takes an over the counter med "Digestive Advantage Lacotse Intolerance" for kids and is able to get buy with a little dairy. She cannot go without her chocolate milk and ice cream every once in a while!

Good Luck

More Answers


answers from Columbus on

Hi L.,
I can introduce you to a few people that I've met through my company who have children (or they themselves) who have lactose intolerance and are doing really well, as long as they are taking our nutrition.
Most allergies are an imbalance in our systems, and our own body can heal and repair itself when given the proper balanced fuel to do so. This is the same for other allergy and food allergy issues. So message me and we can schedule a time to get you some information.
Even if it turns out that it's not the milk causing him issues, there has to be something going on with his little belly!



answers from Cleveland on

Soy milk, rice milk, I even heard of someone making oat milk.

Go heavy on the fresh fruits and veggies, they are good for you anyway.

Use non-instant oatmeal, it really doesn't take that much longer if you use the microwave. Try other hot cereals (Maypo, cream of wheat, polenta, Ralston) for variety. There are 5-grain and 7-grain cereal mixes out there, they will take longer, but you can put them in the crockpot the night before and wake up to an already-made breakfast. Corn-meal mush is good too, some people like it with syrup, others with margarine (in your case dairy-free of course), salt and pepper.

Snacks--many crackers should be dairy-free (check those labels!!); peanut butter and other nut butters can go on toast, on crackers, or be spread on fruits and veggies. Fruit leather. Applesauce. Baked potato with salsa, or olive oil plus herbs, or non-dairy margarine, or pesto, or...I'm sure you'll think of more! Baked sweet potato. PB&J sandwich.

Check rice cakes to see if they have dairy, there are so many flavors you'll have to check each type (yep, a real pain--but you may find something).

Hummus--middle eastern food made of pureed garbanzo beans, olive oil and garlic. Dip veggies in it or spread on crackers or pita bread or toast, yummy! You can buy it already made or make your own.

Just thought of this--you could puree other types of beans (black, pinto, etc) for a slightly different spread.

Honey on toast is good too, or peanut butter and honey.

Watch your breads and store-bought soups, seems like a lot of them have dairy slipped in.

Some chocolate chips may be dairy free--Aldi's used to be but now they have something called "butteroil" which they say has milk :-(. With dairy-free chocolate chips you could make trail mix by adding raisins and nuts. Or do trail mixes without chocolate.

You may be able to tweak recipes calling for melted chocolate by substituting cocoa powder plus some fat. Most cookbooks should have this in the "Substitutions" section, if you don't find it email me and I will hunt it up for you.

Also, substitute crisco or your dairy-free margarine for recipes needing butter/margarine.

In my opinion, anything you eat for a meal you can eat for a snack, in smaller quantity (e.g. a cup of soup, leftover pasta). The opposite is also true--make a bunch of snacks into a meal.

If you have a health-food store nearby, visit them and see what they have.

Easy Peanut Butter Cooky Recipe:

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
splash of vanilla and/or dash of cinnamon if you want

Mix all. form into balls, put on greased cooky sheet or baking stone (ungreased). Criss-cross with fork if desired. BAke at 350 for 10 minutes? or until done. If you find dairy-free chocolate, you can put a chunk on top of cooky while baking, or right after you take cookies out of oven. This recipe is also gluten-free.

Sorry to run on. Hope this helps--a friend went dairy free and feels MUCH better, so it is worth it!

K. Z.



answers from Indianapolis on

Try Silk, it's delicious!



answers from Cleveland on

My children are actually allergic to dairy, so we have a lot of experience finding products without milk. Not all instant oatmeals have milk in them. Quaker Apple Cinnamon and Mapel/Brown Sugar does not have milk in it (neither does Giant Eagle brand of that.) Quaker's Breakfast Oatmeal Squares - Apple Cinnamon and Brown Sugar do not have any dairy - my son loves those. Bisquick pancake/waffle/biscuit mix does not have milk in it. I just substitute Apple Juice or White Grape Peach for the milk, and they turn out great. Sometimes I make a big batch of pancakes or waffles on the weekend and then freeze some, for easy weekday breakfasts.

Lots of cereals don't have dairy: Cheerios, Lucky Charms, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, Trix, Froot Loops, Cookie Crisp, Rice Crispies to name a few.

There is soy-based ice cream - you can find it in the health food section, and also Sorbets (Pierre's makes them) do not have dairy (Sherbert does).

Fleischman's unsalted stick margarine is dairy free, as is their Light spreadable margerine.

Now, since your son is probably only lactose interolerant, it is likely that he will be able to tolerate foods with small amounts of dairy (like cereal's). My oldest daughter is no longer completely allergic to dairy, but we suspect she is lactose intolerant as she doesn't tolerate cheese, yogurt, or actual milk. She can tolerate ice cream though (although that may be because she doesn't eat it all that often), and she definitely tolerates foods with dairy in them - like chef boyardee and spaghettios.

Also, tip on making dairy free mashed-potatoes - just use water isntead of milk, and add a bunch of the dairy free soft margerine. We also add garlic salt into ours for extra flavor, the kids love it, and they whip up just as nice as when you use the milk (although, maybe don't taste quite as creamy - my kids don't know the difference though).

The go-dairy-free website someone mentioned is very helpful. We've used it to identify things our children can eat when we go out to eat. Would you believe, Mcdonald's french fries have dairy in them? Your son can probably tolerate it though - both my girls can. My youngest cannot yet.

Good luck.

Mother of 2 girls, and one boy (7, 4 & 20 months).



answers from Cincinnati on

My daughter is lactose intolerant as well, and we haven't had to make too many adjustments. She drinks lactose-free milk, but has no problem with yogurt or hard cheeses. There are many many foods that have milk in them, but remember that lactose intolerance is not a milk allergy. Milk in processed food like cereal is not usually the problem, at least for my daughter. For a while we also used soy cheese or veggie slices as well, until we discovered that she tolerated regular hard cheeses like cheddar without a problem. It's mainly plain milk (which we've eliminated) or too much ice cream that causes the stomach aches and gas.
Good luck!



answers from Indianapolis on

Lots of kids have trouble with unprocessed dairy (milk, ice cream) but not processed (yogurt, cheese), so there might be a light at the end of the tunnel. But, it doesn't have to be hard. Is it really a big deal to not use butter? There's dairy-free margerine, all sorts of non-dairy nut butters and other spreads. There are dairy-free cheeses, he can drink rice, almond, soy, and probably goat milk.
I'm a little confused about your pretzel remark, do you usually dip them in something? Maybe you need to reevaluate your eating habits. If plain pretzels aren't enough, what about salsa, at least there isn't a bunch of added sugar like with honey!
Make your own waffles and pancakes, it's easy and much more healthy than Eggos, and you don't have to use milk in them, water or juice are good substitutes. Instant oatmeal is horrible for you anyhow. It's loaded with sugar and sodium. Get a canister of plain quick oats, make it with water, and let him use some maple sugar and fruit to sweeten it.
Stay away from processed food and start making things from scratch. They are better for him (and you) anyhow. There are lots of books and websites to help you. Just type in "lactose-free recipes" and go from there.
It sounds like this might really help your family become more healthy! Have fun learning new recipes and how to cater to his needs. Good Luck!



answers from Fort Wayne on

There are multiple things in milk that can cause allergic reactions:
Caseins: milk protein (there are other proteins as well)
Whey: milk protein
Lactose: sugar found in cow's milk

There are multiple replacements on the market for milk and dairy products. Some have the lactose removed. There are multiple replacement products from soy, rice, almonds, coconut, etc. for milk products. I just bought a coconut milk to replace cow's milk. It tastes similar to skim milk and just a teensy bit sweeter. I like soy milk by Silk, SunSoy and 8th Continent. I would try the vanilla flavor first. You can use it as a milk substitute in cereal and baking breads, cake, etc. It doesn't taste right in things like scrambled eggs or items that do not have a bit of sugar in them. For those, I suggest buying the "original" flavor without the extra sweetened taste of vanilla.

There are cheese and yogurt replacements. Some have the lactose or proteins removed. Others are made of soy or some other vegetable product. It's kind of a testing process to find exactly what suits your taste buds. I haven't found many good tasting cheeses in the regular grocery store, but that might be because I do not live in a major city like NYC, Indy or LA. I have better luck at smaller chains or health food stores (since they tend to carry mainly specialty items).

There are egg substitutes that come in a carton... kind of look like the milk cartons kids drink out of at school. Horizon is one brand that is very common everywhere. Some have the proteins/lactose removed while others are purely from some other source...can't remember what off hand...

Don't let people scare you into thinking your child will suffer from not having enough vitamin D or calcium. There are tons of other sources, plus, most of us probably need a daily vitamin to actually receive the suggested FDA vitamin requirements anyways. I haven't eaten perfect by any means the last year or two, and I was just tested for my vitamin ratios. I was only lacking in vitamin D surprisingly enough... and I don't eat veggies and fruit everyday. I have noticed that many orange juice brands, cereals, wheat/bread products and other foods are fortified with calcium, vitamin D, and the daily recommended vitamins, etc.



answers from Bloomington on

You could try soymilk, my son loves it, especially the Very Vanilla by Silk SoyMilk!



answers from Dayton on

My son is allergic to dairy, so I know where you are coming from. A lot of processed foods have milk in them, so I've had to go back to making things homemade. You can use the lactate milk in place of milk in recipes (we use soy or coconut milk). I have found a dairy free butter (Earth Balance in the natural section of the grocery store). The one thing I have had trouble replacing is cheese since a lot of the soy cheeses still contain milk. In some ways, it's been easy for my son since we discovered his allergy at one year old and he's never tasted milk product (after the huge outbreak of hives with his first drink of whole milk).

Some breakfast food ideas are homemade pancakes, waffles, french toast, english muffins and homemade muffins. As far as snacks go, you can't go wrong with fruits or veggies, graham crackers, and natural fruit sticks.

A great resource for us has been this website:

Even though it's been difficult, our family is eating healthier because of his allergy :-)



answers from Cleveland on

My 5 yr old is lactose intolerant as well - we have known about his issues since he was about 1 - he can eat cheese and yogurt in small amounts, and we buy lactaid milk for him (giant eagle usually puts it on sale about every other month or so) - it takes some adjustment, but once you get used to it, it isn't a big deal :)

good luck!




answers from Indianapolis on

You'll get really accustomed to it after a little time. At first it will be hard, but there are many things you'll be able to do. My nephew is lactose intolerant (just like my brother-in-law).
He drinks soy milk, eats lactose free yogurt. Most hard cheeses (parmesan, etc) are low in lactose. I'm sure a search on google will yield some good results.
They do a lot of sorbet for treats since it's juice-based.

Can you try non-instant oatmeal instead? Get the quick oats and prepare with water? One recipe we saw recently said to add applesauce to oatmeal (pancake, waffle mix, etc) - it was phenomenal.

Load-up on fresh fruits, veggies. You'll be able to determine quickly which foods are irritants and which are not.




answers from Indianapolis on

Try soy milk.
That is what my grand children have and they are doing well with it.



answers from Columbus on

My son is dairy and soy intollerant. We have been off of dairy and soy for 2 years now. It gets easier. And reading labels is hard at first, but boy do you learn a lot! We have gone with Rice Dream (rice milk) for some of his calcium needs, but it isn't the best source. We supplement and he can have almonds and other foods that are good sources of calcium.

With three boys, I can't imagine you have a lot of time. If you do, you can make some of those foods (waffles and oatmeal) from scratch. You might also ask for a tour at Whole Foods. They have a lot of different options, and they are incredibly helpful.

It is doable. If he is only lactose intollerant, you won't have a lot of severe restrictions.

Good luck and God bless.

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