Resources for dairy-free living

Wow!  I received a great response to my post about becoming the type of mom I never understood – a mom who has kids with allergies bad enough to change the way we live.  I was thankful for the support I received and the warm words from everyone – thank you!

This has been a struggle for me in a lot of ways.  I grew up in a household that didn’t worry too much about what we ate.  I’m sure my mom worried, but what was considered healthy food in the ’80s certainly wouldn’t be as healthy today as we thought it was then.  If nothing else, our meals were balanced and we had all the food groups, but often the entree was made from a box, a freezer bag, or with a packet of sodium-laced flavorings.

When I got married, I started eating more from scratch, both for health and frugality.  But the hardest change to make has been this recent one.

It’s been hard because we’ve had to cut dairy out of our son’s diet.  And it’s difficult because of the way food is made, packaged, and sold – not because we have hangups about eliminating dairy.  There are over 20 names for dairy and dairy products that are acceptable for use in labeling ingredients on food.  Just when you think you have it all, you realize you missed something!

So with the help of the parenting101 community on Livejournal.com, who came to my aid last month when I was trying to sort this out, as well as comments from you, my readers, and my own searches, I have compiled a list of resources for those of you trying to live dairy-free, no matter the reason:

Credit-card sized Dairy and Hidden Dairy Reminder Cards

Another Dairy-Free Reminder Card – this one is a little easier to read – thanks Care!

GoDairyFree.org – a website dedicated to people trying to live without dairy, both people with allergies and vegans.  I really like this site because it doesn’t focus on why dairy is bad (recognizing that people are coming to the website for different reasons) but provides tips for shopping, recipes, book recommendations, and up-to-date news and information about dairy allergy research.

How to go Dairy Free – an about.com article that outlines some of the substitutes that can be made for dairy products.

Milk Free Pantry – need specific food recommendations?  MilkFreePantry has up-to-date information on the dairy-free foods available at many grocery stores.  This is my favorite quote from the blog: “Every item has been personally taste-tested. Any non-dairy item that tastes like water or cardboard has been denied approval by the Milk-free Pantry. Going without milk shouldn’t mean going without great taste.”

I see the crackers I bought last night for Thing Two made the list!

AvoidingMilkProtein – an interesting read!  Lots of random and fun information from a woman living dairy- and nut-free.

There were a couple of websites that are well-known anti-milk websites that I did not include due to the fact that they read like a conspiracy theory rather than a good, reputable source of information.  I have a hard time believing that any site that carries such a chip on its shoulder about a particular diet or lifestyle will give me accurate, factual information I can use to safely and effectively change our diets.

Other resources:

Managing Your Child’s Life-Threatening Allergies – this came highly recommended to me, even though my child’s allergies are not life threatening.  If anyone has an opinion on this book before I order it, I’d love to hear it!

The Milk-Free, Egg-Free, Nut-Free Allergy Cookbook – This cookbook was recommended to me by the same person.  I tend to use the internet more than cookbooks (with the exception of my 1979 Good Housekeeping cookbook) but it looks like a good source for recipes.

As always, if you have any more resources, chime in!

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I have loved your posts on this topic. My kiddos are not only dairy free… but protein free. Now, that turns your idea of nutrition on it’s ear! They have a metabolic condition called PKU where they can’t break down an enzyme in protein. So, it builds up and can cause mental retardation, seizures & possible death. It is all controlled through diet, but we fall into the category of weird foodie parents. We supply all food & drink for our kids… ever read the Phenalkytonuriacs warning on a diet Coke or Pepsi? Welcome to the alternative eating club.

    Reply

  2. Posted by Sarah J on February 17, 2010 at 1:44 pm

    I missed the post yesterday, but I will check it out! Thanks for the resources. My son has a dairy allergy and a mild soy intolerance. It has been hard for us, especially when we visit my in-laws. They don’t understand and therefore, they have very little that my son can eat. It makes it extra difficult that they live in a super small town and the nearest decent grocery store is 45 minutes away!

    I recently found a good personal blog- sonyadye.blogspot.com/. She has some good tips, as well as a food list.

    Thanks again! 🙂

    Reply

  3. Posted by Riannasmom on February 18, 2010 at 9:53 pm

    when we had to take your darling niece off of wheat and dairy, we got a ton of recipes from http://www.ener-g.com/

    this site is good too (and a pretty good magazine) http://www.livingwithout.com/

    and here too!

    http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/recipes.html

    Reply

  4. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by weeessentials: New Blog Post: Resources for Dairy-free Living: http://bit.ly/cz3zUE Thanks for the response yesterday!…

    Reply

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