Seeking Food Advice for a Toddler Who Is Allergic to Dairy, Soy and Peanuts

Updated on February 04, 2011
D.R. asks from Lake Peekskill, NY
17 answers

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

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answers from Rochester on

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.

2 moms found this helpful


answers from New York on

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.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Rochester on

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!!

1 mom found this helpful


answers from New York on

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: [email protected]

:) J.

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answers from New York on

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 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 ( 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'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 is very hard to find the soy free 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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answers from New York on

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.



answers from Jamestown on

My oldest daughter was allergic to dairy, soy and wheat. We use enriched rice milk at our house but I also like hemp milk and almond milk because they are a bit more nutrient-dense. Taking acidophilous really helped resolve my daughter's allergy symptoms. For breakfast foods you have lots of choices in the whole foods aisle at your super market. You can make pancakes, serve cereal, furit, fruit smoothies, eggs, oatmeal. Another benefit of hemp or almond milk is that they are slightly thicker than rice milk. Good luck. He'll grow out of it.



answers from New York on

My eldest son (8 years old) inherited most of his food allergies from his father and his outdoor allergies from me. I always avoided Peanuts because to his father it was deadly - and after having my son tested - they are just as deadly to him as well. With that being said, everyone (family, friends, school, camp, etc.) know all to well to not bring or even cook with Peanuts around my son. Our family's diet consists mainly of meats, vegetables, fruits and water/juices. My son prefers regular milk over rice milk, so because he is not as allergic - I am able to limit his intake to no more than once a day servicing (in cereal, ice cream or cheese). I've also found that you not only have to be aware of what your child puts in his stomach but what he washes his body and hair with, and even what types of lotion you use. Alot of shampoos, conditioners, and lotions are made from peanut oils. Please read everything and get your son involved as well, so he learns what to avoid.

Some samples of meals are:

Breakfast - Lego my eggos, apple & cinnamon cheerios, plain cheerios - all with rice milk. If he isn't allergic to eggs - then scrampled (using water instead of milk), sunny side up, fried. I use PAM spray for a lot of things - because its made of vegetable oils. Pancakes - made with wheat flour & water.

Lunch - Ham, turkey, bolonga & salami sandwiches - no cheese, but with lettuce and tomatoes. Chicken tenders, tacos, hamburgers, hot dogs.

Dinners - Chicken w/ rice & vegetables. Pork chops w/a vegetables. And any type of other meats or fish w/ vegetables.

Also, my son take weekly allergie shots (the jury is still out on whether the shots really help or not). He is also on a regime of Singular in the morning, Nasonex at night (my son has asthma as well - mainly during high allergy season) - taken once a day. And he has an Epipen - just in case.

Hopefully, this helped and didn't just scare you...but after a while you get use to it. Also, I have read studies and even my son's doctor said that it is possible (as long as you keep him away from his allergies) for him to out grow it or even reduce his reaction. Keep an eye on his symptoms too: Runny nose, itchy eyes, constant cough, trouble breathing, snoring, etc. - they are all signs of a reaction.

Stay strong and let me know if I helped or can help any further.



answers from New York on

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.



answers from New York on

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.

Jen G.



answers from New York on

Sounds like you could use to make friends with QUINOA! Pronounced "keen-wah", it is a great high protein grain that contains lots of calcium and iron too. It looks like cous cous and is as easy to prepare.

At 15 months, milk ( or rice milk) is not that essential.
If you can get him into some great green leafies and some hummus, you'll get lots of calcium and magnesium necessary for strong bones.

There are ways to do this dispite working full time, I promise. It just takes a little prior planning.
For instance, ZOJIRUSHI makes a great 3 cup rice maker with "fuzzy logic" that has a timer. load up your grain ( steel cut oats, brown rice or quinoa) the night before and program the timer. You'll have a great healthy hot cereal waiting for all of you in the morning!

Look at this as an opportunity to improve everyone's food selection for the better! Shift from food products to real food and your family will all be healthier. You can really turn lemons into lemonade with this situation.



answers from New York on

i also have a 15mth old baby girl with those allergies. mothers like ourselves need to buddy up & form support groups. who looks after your baby boy. i'm looking for childcare. email add: [email protected]



answers from Dallas on

Im so happy I've found this question!



answers from New York on

i was in the same boat as you with my son (now 7). He actually had an allergic reaction to peanuts that sent us to the hospital, but the others I ony know he was allergic to because he was tested. If I were yu I would check the severity of the soy and dairy allergies. My 5 year old daughter is allergic to dairy also, but it is not a severe allergy and she is able to have it in moderation. She is more bothered by whole milk, but does well with cheese and yogurt. Also do you know what his reaction to them is. I know my sonhad a severe reaction to peanuts, but my daughter only developes a rash from diary, but she does have to have a lot.
As far as foods that you can try. I have given my son sunflower butter. It is a lot like peanut better and it is actually very good. they also make almond ane walnut butter. Try going to a healthfood store and they will have a lot for you tochoose from. One thing I can tell you is soy is everywhere. My son has thesoy allergy and it is very har to avoid. It is in most of your salad dressings, ketchup, dips and a lot of chips and other junk foods. Thhis is another case that you would benefit to how severe his allergy is. My son is okay with foods with sooy in them as long as he only has a little. Another thing with soy in it is most of your "fake" butter products. I know I Can't Believe It's Not Butter is full of soy.
Good Luck!! Let me know if you have any other questions



answers from New York on

Ask your doctor if your toddler can have soy lecithin and soybean oil. If so, it makes your life easier (those ingredients are in a lot of items). My son has these allergies, plus eggs (he's 18 months old, discovered this at 1 year old). I like this cookbook: Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Kid Pleasing Recipes & Tips by Theresa Kingma. I know your child can have eggs, but this book helped me a lot. Her website is
Also there's a product called sunbutter which is just like peanut butter but made from sunflower seeds. (my son cannot have any nuts). You have to make sure your child is getting enough fat and calcium, which can be hard (maybe not fat since eggs are ok for him). My son loves avocados so he gets lots of fat in them. But my doctor still has us on formula (alimentum) 2 bottles a day. It's very hard in the beginning, but once you find the foods that are ok, it gets easier. Good luck!



answers from Utica on

Hi D.
I am so sorry for your son's tough diagnosis.
I have 4 children with allergies and it is tough, but it can be done. Seek advice at your local health food store. They will have cookbooks as well as products. I got a great cookbook at our local library so don't dismiss that resource.
If you want to talk email me at [email protected]
God bless you
K. married 38 years, SAHM of 4 grown children 18-37 years, so am probably old enough to be your mom, don't forget to ask yours if possible because she would be a good resource, as your other mom might be.

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