(Formerly Life with a Dairy-Free Toddler)
A mother's focus on feeding a child with multiple food allergies -- currently peanut and tree nuts, and formerly dairy and egg.
Please read, before reading
I am saddened by the comments on this blog that often take a judgmental turn. The information is intended to be just that -- information. You need to make your own decisions for your life and be accountable for your actions. I debated closing the blog, but feel there are many valuable items listed for families struggling with food allergies, especially early on.
If you need further information please contact a doctor. If you need to verify a product's ingredients, please look at current labels and contact the company yourself. Note many posts are several years old. Use your best judgment and do not make up comments to scare people.
Finding good soups or a taco soup that is dairy free is a big challenge.
Here's a soup that my daughter really likes.
Tortilla Soup (or Taco Soup as my daughter calls it)
(I found this in Everyday Food by Martha Stewart)
1 Tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves
1 tsp chili powder
2 cans diced tomatoes
2 cans black beans
1 can chicken broth (boullion would work, too)
10 oz package frozen corn
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup crushed tortilla chips (I used some leftover taco shells)
1 Tbsp fresh lime juice.
1. In large saucepan, heat oil medium. Cook garlic and chili powder until fragrant about 1 minute.
2. Add tomatoes with juice, beans, broth, corn and 1 cup water. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Bring soup to boil, reduce to simmer. Add tortilla chips and cook until softened about 2 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice. Serve with extra tortilla chips.
**I froze this soup and it freezes really well. The tortilla chips get a little soft, but you could always freeze a portion before adding the tortilla chip. And then add tortilla chips after unthawing.**
Keeping a meal balanced is key when feeding kids (any yourself). I try my best to offer something from every food group at each mea save the dairy of course. I may skip a fruit for lunch or dinner if we eat a lot of fruit for snacks. I do not like pre-packaged food for my daughter. Mostly because I learned that most contain milk, but also because of all the preservatives. With a dairy allergy she misses out on some of those staple "kid" foods. Here's my variation on Spaghetti O's without meat.
Alphabet Spaghetti (that's what we call it)
1 can tomato sauce -- use only about 6 oz at a time (I freeze the rest in baby food jars)
1/4 cup alphabet pasta -- Earth's Best makes a great pasta with lots of nutrients.
1. Boil pasta.
2. Add tomato sauce.
3. Serve with vegetable and fruit. Today she had peas and applesauce.
This is a favorite of my daughter's and favorite of mine. You can pack in so many veggies and using barley gets that extra protein and fiber in them. To make the soup less messy, I crush saltine crackers to soak up the broth right before I serve it. I also save the little bit of roast that doesn't get eaten and sometimes make it Beef Vegetable Soup.
We were really hopeful with our test last week with our daughter that she might have outgrown her milk allergy. We gave her Cool Whip and she had no reaction. Yesterday, I mixed up an icing with milk in -- much more concentrated with milk than the Cool Whip. We drizzled it on graham cracker and raisins. Just as we were discussing what it would mean if she had no reaction, my husband said "look at her chin." We looked and sure enough hives. She normally reacts almost exactly five minutes after the first bite. She was right on cue again. I had a small dose of Benadryl on hand to give her and then we went on with our day. So, we stick with the milk-free diet for now.
We tested our daughter this morning with Cool Whip, which has casein in it. She DID NOT break out into hives. We were really happy about that. Next weekend we're going to try ice cream again and see what happens!
Snacks at times have been really easy to find and at times a big challenge. Mostly because my daughter gets bored eating the same thing. The "nutritional" rule with snacks is that there are at least two food groups included. That limits us a little when you take out the dairy and you normally don't eat meat at snack. Also veggies need to be cooked at softened at this age. Our snacks are typically fruit and grain. My daughter only drinks water or soy milk for snack.
Here are some simple snack suggestions:
Cheerios and dried fruit, such as raisins, craisins, apricots
I initially was challenged by trying to figure out how to make food that didn't contain milk, whey, cheese or any other milk-based product and still give my daughter a balanced diet. I eventually figured it out and feel very good about the meals we eat.
My biggest challenge now is explaining to other people that she can't have milk and all the food that has milk in them along with watching my daughter interact with other people and the anxiety I get hoping they don't have milk on their fingers. Or worse she picks up a toy that has milk on it. Okay, that sounds like three biggest challenges, but they all go hand-in-hand. It is really hard to explain what she can and can't eat to other people. I still won't order food at a restaurant for her. I just don't trust that a knife to cut one thing might not have been used to cut butter or cheese. I understand people who don't experience an allergy really don't know what the reaction is like or could lead to. I also understand that unless you are forced to read labels, you really don't realize that everything has milk in it. I would say more than 60 percent of the meals I make have a milk product in them. So people give me recipes, I say, oh, my daughter can't have that. They are usually shocked and I have to explain again what the allergy is all about. She also has an egg allergy, so that adds to my anxiety. I sure do hope she outgrows it soon. They say 90 percent of kids outgrow the milk allergy. Until then we do our best.