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Baking and Cooking With Food Allergies

How to cope with wheat allergies, milk allergies, and egg allergies in the kitchen.

Wheat Allergy Tips continued...

Substitutes for wheat in recipes:

  • For breads, rolls, muffins, brownies, etc., substitute barley flour as long as your allergy is to wheat and not gluten. It performs the best of the alternative flours because it's one of the few grains, besides wheat, that contributes some gluten, notes Lincoln. Some stores also sell gluten-free baking flour, which can be used for making everything from cakes and cookies to breads and muffins.
  • Substitute wheat-free pastas for noodles called for in recipes. Made from a variety of grains including quinoa, corn, potato, rice, and beans, wheat-free pastas are widely available in stores.
  • Eliminate the breadcrumbs in recipes like casseroles, fried chicken, eggplant parmesan, or meat loaf and use shredded parmesan, crumbled wheat-free crackers, or cornmeal (depending on the recipe).
  • For sauces and gravies, thicken the mixture with cornstarch, potato starch, or tapioca starch.
  • For sauces, gravies, or creamy dressing, thicken and blend the mixture with pureed soft or silken tofu.
  • For pancakes/waffles, use flour from other grains such as oat flour, rice flour, or barley flour.
  • Instead of beer in recipes, substitute apple juice or wine.

Baker's notes:

Lincoln warns that recipes made with the wheat-free and gluten-free flour tend to be a bit drier, not rise as much, and have a more crumbly texture. She recommends adding a little xanthan gum to these recipes to help the bread products rise and hold together better. Bob's Red Mill recommends the following amounts of xanthan gum for gluten-free baking:

  • For cookies: add 1/4 teaspoon per cup of flour
  • For cakes and pancakes: add 1/2 teaspoon per cup of flour
  • For muffins and quick breads: add 3/4 teaspoon per cup of flour
  • For breads: add 1 to 1-1/2 teaspoons per cup of flour
  • Pizza dough: add 2 teaspoons per cup of flour

Milk Allergy Tips

Having a cow's milk allergy, which includes an immune system reaction to proteins in milk, casein, and whey, is different than being lactose intolerant (an inability to digest milk sugar or lactose). The milk allergy reaction can take place a few minutes or hours after eating or drinking a milk product. Keep in mind that between 13% and 20% of children who are allergic to milk are also allergic to beef.

Check the ingredients before you use a product, especially in processed or prepared foods, because manufacturers occasionally change the ingredients.

Foods/products to avoid:

  • Milk of any type such as condensed, evaporated, dry or powdered milk, or cream. This also includes Lactaid and acidophilus milk.
  • Goat's milk and milk from other animals. (Goat's milk protein is similar to cow's milk protein and may cause a reaction.)
  • Buttermilk
  • All types of cream and half-and-half
  • Yogurt
  • Ice cream and ice milk
  • Sherbet or frozen milk made with milk or milk-based ingredients
  • Puddings and custards
  • Cream-based sauces and soups, white sauces
  • Butter, butter flavor, or non-vegan margarine, ghee, and everything made with them
  • Cheese (all types), including  cottage cheese and soy cheese
  • Au gratin or creamed or scalloped recipe items
  • All baked goods made with milk, including breads
  • Mashed potatoes or other vegetable dishes made with milk, cheese, butter, margarine, or cream
  • Casseroles or other meat entrees or side dishes made with milk, cheese, butter, margarine, or cream
  • Instant cocoa, breakfast drink mixes, and cereals containing dried milk or any milk derivative

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