I never expected to have a child with dairy allergies. No one in my family is allergic to dairy, so it never even crossed my mind.
We discovered that Zoë was sensitive to dairy when I tried to wean her at 9 months. We tried a few different types of formula and they all made her sick – regular formula, lactose free formula, soy formula and hypoallergenic formula.
Luckily I was gradually trying to wean her, so my milk supply was still okay when we discovered her allergies (to both dairy and soy). We never had her tested, but we occasionally try to give her some sort of dairy, like cheese or ice cream, to see if she has outgrown it and she hasn’t.
So, it’s a daily challenge to deal with her dairy allergy. I love cheese and ice cream, so it’s heartbreaking to tell her, “No baby, you can’t have that,” especially because she loves it so much too. So we try not to eat ice cream or cheese around her.
We’ve recently discovered that she does fine with goat cheese, so that has made things a little easier for all of us. She wants cheese on everything now that there is a type she can actually have.
Everyone always asks me, “If she doesn’t drink milk, then what do you give her?” Well, she mostly drinks water, sometimes with an ounce or two of apple juice added.
But, as a milk replacement, we give her almond milk with a liquid multi-vitamin added. It’s super easy to make and tastes great. I was buying it at the store, but there are a bunch of additives in it that I’d prefer she didn’t get.
You can try making almond milk at home:
- 4 cups water
- 1 cup raw almonds
- 2 tablespoons real maple syrup (optional)
- ½ teaspoon vanilla (optional)
- Soak the almonds in water for at least one hour
- Rinse the almonds under cold water
- Put the almonds, maple syrup, vanilla and water in a blender
- Blend until the pieces of almonds are very fine
- Strain through a cheesecloth
- Store almond milk in an airtight container
Tips and Modifications
- Almond milk will last for about 4 days in the refrigerator
- Left over almond grounds are a great topping for fresh fruit or yogurt
We’re hoping she’ll eventually outgrow the allergy. I had always heard that most kids with a dairy allergy outgrow it by the time they’re three. But, more recent research shows that isn’t true anymore.
A study done at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center was published in Science Daily in December 2007 showing milk and egg allergies appear to be more persistent and harder to outgrow now. The study showed that, “not only do more kids have allergies, but fewer of them outgrow their allergies, and those who do, do so later than before.”
Hopefully Zoë will be one of the lucky ones to outgrow the dairy allergy.
If you or your child have a dairy sensitivity or allergy, what do you do to help deal with it?