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Food Substitutes for Milk Allergy

For everyday use -- and especially for baking -- there are lots of good substitutes for milk. If your child has a milk allergy, you do need to make sure he gets the calories and nutrients he needs. Ask your pediatrician or a pediatric dietitian for advice on replacing milk in your child’s diet. Look for substitutes that provide the same nutritional value as milk. For example, make sure if you choose soy milk that it's fortified with calcium and vitamin D.

  • Rice milk
  • Soy milk
  • Oat milk
  • Almond milk

It's very important to check the labels to make sure the substitute doesn't include milk-based ingredients. Some products may have milk in them even though they don’t appear to. Look for words like casein, whey, lactoferrin, lactoglobulin, lactalbumin.

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Milk that comes from an animal other than a cow, like goat’s milk, may also trigger an allergic reaction.

Substitutes for Other Dairy

  • Cheese. Consider vegan or soy cheeses. Some are not completely milk-free. You may want to contact the manufacturer to make sure. One word to the wise: Anyone’s who’s cooked with vegan cheese knows it doesn’t melt like dairy cheese.
  • Yogurt, sour cream, and cream cheese. Look for soy-based or vegan products. In recipes, pureed tofu can work too.
  • Butter. Try vegan margarines.
  • Buttermilk. Add a tablespoon of vinegar to one cup of soy or rice milk.
  • Baby formula. Babies with milk allergies may be able to have formulas that have casein, a milk protein broken down so much that it’s not as likely to cause a reaction. Soy-based formulas may also be an option. Talk with your pediatrician.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Luqman Seidu, MD on October 25, 2012

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