Dairy Free diet ideas

Kristin - posted on 03/19/2009 ( 2 moms have responded )

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I have just had to start my 15 month old daughter on a dairy free diet. I feel overwhelmed. Anyone have any ideas for meals and age appropriate snacks, etc?

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Suzannah - posted on 04/09/2009

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A great vegan cookbook you might find useful (vegans don't eat any animal products, so no milk) is The Joy of Vegan Baking, by Colleen Patrick-Goudreau (recipes for cookies, cupcakes, sweetbreads, smoothies, etc.). You can find dairy-free margarine at Whole Foods or other vegetarian-organic-health food friendly stores (a couple brands without any dairy are Willow Run and Earth Balance). Galaxy Nutritional Foods makes a good soy cheese that is very close to regular american cheese - their "Vegan" cheese slices in the purple package (my toddler LOVES this cheese). Be sure to read ingredients on "non-dairy" dairy products - many contain traces of milk in the form of whey protein. Most Tyson frozen chicken products are dairy free. You can get french fries and tater tots at the grocery that are dairy free, and some are shaped like ABC's or smiley faces. Many graham crackers are dairy free, as are Stauffer's animal crackers. You might consider joining the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. They send out allergen-free recipes and supportive information. New food labeling laws require that milk (one of the most common allergens) be clearly labeled in ingredients, and most products will have it in bold print so you won't miss it. You can do this - the shopping and planning get easier and easier!

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My almost four year old daughter was daignosed with milk allergy at 15 months as well. Unfortunately milk is present everywhere, from McDonalds fries to many other processed foods. Luckily, if she has begun eating finger foods, you can stick with a lot of breads (calcium fortified), cooked veggies and fresh fruits, soft or slightly cooked, and pastas for snacks and meals. We eat pasta at least every other lunch or dinner, and I usually mix it with some kind of tomato based sauce, just for a little flavor and variety. I also make pizza with pastas and veggies on it. For snacks my daughter really likes soy yogurt and applesauce as well, if you have to stick to foods that are spoon fed. Graham crackers dipped in both of the those are also a good snack. And then the pringles and fruit snacks are the easy go-to snacks when you don't have time, or are running out the door. My children got their teeth very, very late, so I was dealing with soft foods for a long time. Wish you luck!

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