Dairy Free Diets
About the Allergen
- Dairy allergy is the most common allergy among children five years and younger.
- An allergy to dairy products can result in mild symptoms such as eczema or more severe reactions such as anaphylaxis. A past reaction does not predict future allergic reactions, which may be more severe.
- Those with a dairy allergy must avoid all dairy products including sheep and goat milk, as these contain similar proteins to cow milk, and are not a suitable replacement.
- The World Allergy Organization recommends that children under two years of age with a dairy allergy, who are not breast fed, use an extensively hydrolyzed or amino acid based formula to ensure optimal nutritional intake and growth. Dairy-free beverages such as almond and coconut milk, among others, are not suitable replacements for whole milk which is recommended from one to two years of age.
When replacing a food allergen, you will need to focus on incorporating a variety of whole foods in your diet that contain the nutrients you’re missing due to eliminating the problem food.
- Dairy products are rich in protein, calcium, vitamin D, vitamin B12, riboflavin and phosphorus. If eliminating dairy from your diet, use a variety of these foods as alternatives:
- Protein: Meat, poultry, fish, dairy products, beans & legumes, nuts, seeds
- Calcium: Sesame seeds, tofu prepared with calcium sulfate, sardines, almonds, salmon, dark leafy greens, beans, legumes, fortified foods (orange juice, non-dairy beverages)
- Vitamin D: Fish, fortified foods (non-dairy beverages, ready to eat cereals, orange juice)
- Vitamin B12: Meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy, fortified processed foods (granola bars, cereals)
- Riboflavin: Lamb, spirulina, beef, turkey, pork, chicken, almonds, soybeans
- Phosphorus: Meat, poultry, fish, beans, legumes, seeds, egg, whole grains
- Some common foods and ingredients to avoid are butter, casein, cheese, cottage cheese, cream, custard, ghee, half and half, lactose, milk in all forms, pudding, sour cream, whey, and yogurt.
- Dairy can be found in baked goods, chocolate, lunch meat, margarine, and nougat. This list is not all inclusive.
Alternatives and Suggested Products
- Use any dairy-free beverages or water as a replacement for cow milk in recipes.
- Suggested products include:
- Ripple, pea based dairy-free beverage
- Orgain vegan shakes
- Enjoy Life snack foods
- Daiya, Follow Your Heart and Go Veggie, cheese & spread substitutes
NOTE: Always double check the allergy statement on any products you purchase. Food manufacturers may change their ingredients at any time.