Need help with cutting out dairy!

Ashley - posted on 09/20/2012 ( 10 moms have responded )




My LO is struggling with reflux. Not severely, but the pediatrician told me to cut back on dairy. I've decided to totally eliminate dairy for two weeks to see if that helps. However, it seems like every food I pick up says it contains milk. Instant oatmeal, bread, waffles...Just curious if this stuff will irritate her reflux as well?


Lori - posted on 09/20/2012




I had to cut dairy out of both my diet and my LO's too. My LO was on solids before I figured out what was causing her tummy troubles.

I agree, that Dairy seems to be everywhere. Some babies are sensitive to the small amounts in foods like crackers, bread, sausages, etc. Mine is one of those. Others do fine on just cutting out the obvious sources like Cow Milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, etc.

I have found that natural food stores like Whole Foods, Raisin Rack, and Earth Fare have more dairy free items than the regular grocery store. My local Kroger does have a "natural foods" section where I can find milk substitutes like rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk, and goat milk (some dairy sensitive kids can tolerate goat milk - other can't. Wait until you've determined if it really is a dairy issue before you try goat milk back into the diet). There are also frozen foods in that section that are dairy free. Van's waffles are dairy free - says it on the front of the box too, Amies makes a gluten free dairy free Mac n Cheeze. Lots of gluten free foods are also made dairy free.

I've found that some saltine crackers are made with dairy, others are not. Keep checking labels until you find the ones that don't have it. Same goes for bread. Most sourdough and french breads are not made with any dairy (careful when ordering in a restaraunt, many times they add butter to the outside of the bread though.) Nickles bread (white, wheat, or multigrain) is dairy free. I can find that in the regular sliced bread section in my local Krogers.

Many things that you used to buy pre-made you may just have to make yourself. I make pancakes at home because I can use almond milk instead of cow milk, and they still taste great. But I can't order pancakes for breakfast anywhere. Also have to be very careful of eggs if you eat out. They're either cooked in butter, or mixed with milk for scrambled or omelets. Of course eating out provides it's own source of issues to watch out for. But as for shopping... just keep checking and checking labels. I've found instant oatmeal that doesn't contain any dairy. Oreo cookies are also dairy free. Many many many cereals are dairy free, and I've found I like them just fine with rice milk.

If there are any other specific foods you're looking for that you would like a brand name of a dairy free source, or more suggestions, just let me know. If I know of a good one, I'm more than happy to share what I've found.

Stefanie - posted on 10/25/2012




I had to go Dairy, Soy, Egg, Nut, Seafood, and Chocolate free for my child. There is bread that is dairy and soy free. For the next 2-3 weeks just stick with fruits, veggies, and lean protiens cooked in olive oil. Rice milk is good for cereal. If you notice a difference then keep it up and research the diet a bit more. It gets really easy the longer you do it. Try to focus on what you can eat versus what you can't. Just to be safe I would eliminate all of the things I mentioned above and then add it back in if you feel that you need to. 9 months has been the magic number for us. Our daughter can eat everything now at 10 months. Surprisingly Chocolate is an irritant which is why it is on the list. I found that out the hard way ;). Good luck.

Sally - posted on 09/21/2012




Oh yes. Very much. You can pretty much count on giving up processed food for at least that two weeks and forever if that is her problem. On the bright side, human beings really aren't designed to digest cow milk (or most of the things it's by products get put in) so giving it up can make you a lot healthier. I lost 30 lbs. and get sick a lot less often thanks to my nursling's food issues. When I stopped letting it into the house, my husband and older daughter got a lot healthier too.

Good luck


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Aleks - posted on 09/24/2012




Simple answer: YES, if she infact is dairy protein intollerant.

Both my babies were dairy protein intollerant and both would react to small amounts of dairy found in process foods one purchases in supermarket (and yes, one of them would literally vomit/reflux within a few hours of breastfeeding, if I ate the dairy containing food) . Its not easy, at first, to eliminate all dairy from one's diet - especially if you are used to buying and eating a lot of processed/supermarket bought food. However, I must admit that it is very very worth it. Especially if it will help your baby.

No all breads have dairy in them, many do not, so look for ones that don't. Make your own oats (its just as quick, but way tastier) with soy, goat, rice, or almond milk. Eat more whole foods rather than the processed stuff - IT IS SOOOOOOO MUCH HEALTHIER.

Joanna - posted on 09/22/2012




With my daughter, the first thing I did for cutting out dairy was the first week I only ate fruits, veggies, chicken, and salmon. Then I started making my own bread with soy milk (the only time I used soy, it has so many hormones it's not good in excess), and cooking with almond milk. I found a lot of great dairy-free products at Trader Joes and Whole Foods. There are 2 junk foods I found without dairy... OREOs and Pop-Tarts! So if you feel overwhelmed and missing your processed foods you can indulge in a treat with one of those. But there are also some amazing yogurts and ice creams made with almond/cocounut milks for a sweet treat also.

Angie - posted on 09/21/2012




I found with my 2 kids that I could sneak in a little here and there: chocolate ( for my sanity) pasta, cookies. I stayed 100% away from all cheese, milk, creams, yogurts and all beef. If I slipped up, I paid for several days, so did my kids. You may just have to take it slow and try things here and there. Good luck! It really wasn't much of a sacrifice after I saw a huge difference in my kids.

Angie - posted on 09/21/2012




I found with my 2 kids that I could sneak in a little here and there: chocolate ( for my sanity) pasta, cookies. I stayed 100% away from all cheese, milk, creams, yogurts and all beef. If I slipped up, I paid for several days, so did my kids. You may just have to take it slow and try things here and there. Good luck! It really wasn't much of a sacrifice after I saw a huge difference in my kids.

Timora - posted on 09/21/2012




My daughter is allergic to milk, so I've had to find ways to avoid dairy with her. Whether the amounts found in bread and in other premade foods will irritate her can only be found by experimenting. My daughter has a relatively minor allergy, so we didn't realize until we gave her yogurt that there was a problem. Now I can tell the difference if she just gets a little bit.

My grocery store has an aisle with all the gluten free stuff and all the dairy free stuff is there as well. There's a really good butter/spread substitute called Earth Balance. You can always make your own oatmeal and put whatever you want in it - less sugar that way too. Or just check all the labels - some have milk and some don't. Apple and cinnamon and maple and brown sugar ones don't usually have milk. Whole wheat bread and bagels usually don't have milk. But all the specialty breads like cinnamon raisin bread usually do. Waffles and pancakes you can make yourself easily. The Bisquick pancake mix is the only one I found that doesn't have milk in it and then I follow the recipe on the box and use soy milk (vanilla soy milk adds a nice flavor). You have to use about 50% more soy milk than what it says for milk to get the same consistency. If you want something sweet there are some regular brownie mixes that do not contain dairy - I think it's Duncan Hines Double Fudge, but check the labels. We do brownies for birthdays now instead of cake. For cereal bars the only ones I've found that don't have dairy are the Kashi ones. Another place that surprised me - anything breaded (like chicken nuggets) often uses milk as the base for the breading. Some brands do, some brands don't.

Basically just check labels carefully on everything and when you are eating out don't be afraid to ask and to ask for substitutes. I always ask for grilled chicken for my daughter in place of breaded chicken. Milk really does appear in surprising places. There are new requirements out where anything allergenic (including milk) is supposed to be listed clearly at the end of the ingredients list. Not all companies have caught up though, so be vigilant.

Leyla - posted on 09/20/2012




You know what I was advised to do? I was advised to keep drinking because the baby's system will get used to it and if we don't they will develop an allergy. It's quite controversial advice and it doesn't work for everyone, but it seems to be working for my son Aidan who spit up and was gassy after every single feed.


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