Picture Guide to a Dairy Free Diet

I know the title says picture guide, but it would be pretty weird if I chose not to write anything, don’t you think? Bauzley was about five and a half months old when we solved the mystery of his ongoing sickness. He was suffering from serious belly pains, bloody diapers and a crazy amount of reflux. For about a month and a half we tried all sorts of things to relieve his discomfort and were unsuccessful. AfterΒ doing various tests and everything coming back inconclusive my mom (a nurse) suggested trying to cut dairy out of my diet. Β Because I am breastfeeding, in order to remove milk from Bauzley’s diet I had to remove it from my own. This decision was confirmed shortly after by his pediatrician.

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Let me tell you I was not happy. My intial reaction was to cry and shout NO, but it turns out my love for my child runs deeper than the love I have for Dairy Queen’s delicious treats (currently drooling as I write this). Being only a few months post partum, sleep deprived, a master comfort eater and also a fairly picky eater I found this news really hard to swallow. When I looked through our pantry, everything from our pasta to our crackers contained milk ingredients. I could hardly eat anything in our house!

I hopped online hopping to find not only good information but also easy information. When I typed in dairy free recipes, eating, lifestyle, etc, I found some good articles with one common factor- it was a lot of work! Keep in mind, I was sleep deprived (still am πŸ™ˆ) and seriously hangry. I just wanted some simple snack and dinner ideas, a list of brands that were safe to eat and pictures would be a nice little bonus! It didn’t take long to realize that that didn’t really exist so here I am in case any of you ever have this same thought,

HELP! MY KIDS ALLERGIC TO COW’S MILK PROTEIN AND I’M STARVING TO DEATH OVER HERE!

I remember spending 3 hours in the grocery store reading label after label trying to find safe alternatives. Bauzley was in the his carrier, rapidly loosing patience and I was getting more and more discouraged everytime I read “May contain milk”. I’m definitely not an expert on this but these are some safe every day items/brands that I buy on occassion.

Disclaimer: Always read the label you can never be too safe!

DAIYA BRAND: This is a guaranteed safe item as they are completely dairy free and it’s as close to cheese as your little taste buds are getting! There are many more flavor options than what is shown here, but this is a little glimpse of everything. This brand is often found in the organic section of grocery store freezer/refrigerated aisles.

Quick snacks: Pantry snacks are still what I find that most difficult to come up with. To be perfectly honest I’ve found myself doing bulk baking for the freezer and pulling it out as I need. Β However, it is still handy to be able to grab some crackers or chips. Beyond the obvious fruit and veggies, these are some of my go to snack items now.

A couple quick notes: Goat cheese can be a safe alternative, however the protein is very similar to cow’s milk protein (same with soy protein) so I would test in small amounts. I have also found that the majority of goat cheese is mixed with cow’s milk so be cautious when purchasing. Different flavors in some brands do contain milk ingredients, so I can’t stress enough how important it is not to become complacent, always read the label!

Sweet Treats: These are some tasty alternatives to ice cream, cookies and chocolate.

Assorted Items: Easy items and brands to keep stocked in pantry for baking, cooking and every day needs.

Making big changes to your diet can often be overwhelming and finding out you need to do it immediately can add another layer of stress. But, there is no such thing as cheating on your new diet when your child’s health is concerned. You can do it! After the initial hurdle of making all the changes, I genuinely enjoy eating dairy free. There are some exceptions of course, like ice cream and chocolate milk, but so be it! I have learned to cook outside my comfort zone and have a new appreciation for foods I wouldn’t have sought out before.

Good luck on your dairy free journey!

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