Thursday, 15 March 2018

Going Dairy Free

A good friend's daughter is embarking on a medically advised dairy free diet for her son and my friend asked me for some substitution tips. It occurred to me that recent posts have focussed more on those on very restricted diets, and whilst that is our reality there are many out there catering for single excursion diets - which can be just as daunting and stressful at the outset!

I wrote some suggestions down and decided it would be a good idea to publish them on the Recipe Resource!

First of all, the usual disclaimer! Children have complex nutritional needs and dairy products fulfilling many essential requirements. The vast majority of children outgrow dairy allergy, and those who are dairy intolerant are usually only temporarily so. Whilst nothing can stop an adult imposing restrictions on their own diet, you must take advice before taking such steps in a child's diet. Calcium, Vitamin D and other minerals - plus essential fats and low sugar make cow's milk a perfect food and drink for most children. 



Getting started

I have a "Basic Substitutions" page here with some information, but this article focusses on purely Dairy Free diets. 
First, try not to substitute all dairy with soya products. Soya is high in oestrogens, and also highly allergenic in itself. It's not uncommon to develop an allergy to soya protein, and you increase that risk in an allergic child by substituting wholesale with soya. That said, if you are allowed soya it should mean you can more easily achieve a balanced diet without dairy products, without some of the sugar that is put in all free from foods.
When you take out food proteins, you remove flavour, so manufacturers replace it with sugar…. a concern which I have written about before. Most free from biscuits and cakes are full of cheap fillers and “non-foods” so I always bake myself wherever possible.
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