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Life with a dairy-free child

Recently, we've learned that one of our children needs to have a dairy-free life.  Not just lactose-free, but whey and casein-free.  You might think, what's the big deal?  You just take milk out of the diet.  This was my first thought, but I wish it was that simple.

Dairy-free means no milk, no butter, no ice cream, no yogurt, no cheese, no cream cheese, and no to ranch dressing - just to name a few.  It also means no to some types of potato chips - including BBQ - because they contain milk products.  It means no to baked goods including cookies, cakes, biscuits, and more.  No more processed or canned meats.  No more chewing gum or chocolate.  And, that's just the start.

I realize that living with any allergy is difficult.  Finding substitute products for nutrients isn't always easy.  Sometimes the alternatives are limited.  In the case of my child, one of the substitutes is almond milk.  It's delicious.  My child loves it.  You can find nearly any dairy item you would want in an almond milk variety.  But, we can't take any of these to a nut-free school, so we substitute what we can with a coconut milk variety.  This also means that my child is the one child who has to sit out when others bring in cupcakes or numerous types of lollipops to share on a birthday.  My child can't eat all of the Valentine's or Halloween treats passed around.  We attempt to coordinate appropriate treats with teachers, but it's not always the same and my child doesn't always understand.

But, there's good news!  Every day new products are coming out.  There is more availability of dairy-free (as well as other dietary needs) items in supermarkets now than ever before.  But, if all else fails, there are always Popsicles.


*Be sure to watch for future posts on how we're managing our dairy-free life.

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