I’m compiling a list of resources here for anyone who needs to drop milk products from their diet. I run into this question a lot from breastfeeding moms with fussy babies and want to have a starting point for them. I will definitely be adding to this list over time, but I wanted to get it published right away for a mama in need.
Eliminating dairy is one of the first things I suggest for infants with digestive issues or excessive fussiness. Dairy elimination is also a great first step in reducing ear infections in kids.
When removing dairy from your diet, don’t automatically replace everything with soy substitutes. Many babies with milk intolerance are also sensitive to soy (the proteins are very similar). Plus, soy isn’t all that great for us anyway - at least not in the massive, highly-processed quantities available in the US.
Dr. Jay Gordon’s excellent Milk: Does it really do a body good? pretty much sums up anything I would say on the dairy issue.
Here is a great rundown of the definitions of the varying degrees of allergy/intolerance.
Kellymom is my favorite breastfeeding resource, and her page on Dairy and other food sensitivities in babies is comprehensive.
MilkIntolerance.org is a great all-around information resource.
Ask questions or just browse the forum at DairyFree.tribe.net.
What can I eat?!
It can be really overwhelming to have to eliminate a food from your diet - particularly one as pervasive as dairy or soy. Try to think of the process in terms of “What can I eat?” instead of focusing on all the restrictions. There are actually a lot of naturally dairy-free foods you probably already eat. Plus, nowadays, with awareness of food allergies and sensitivities more widespread, most grocery stores have at least a small selection of allergy-friendly specialty foods.
Trader Joe’s Vegan shopping guide. Check labels for soy if you are also eliminating.
MSPI Kids has a great list of milk and soy free grocery items as well as the menus for a lot of chain restaurants. Also has a list of Foods with Hidden Dairy and Soy, to refer to when you’re checking labels. And they have a great, kid-friendly milk and soy free recipe site.
MSPI Mama has a great family friendly recipe site. (MSPI stands for “milk/soy protein intolerance.)
It hasn’t been updated lately, but Reflux Rebels Recipe Box is chock full of MSPI friendly recipes.
FoodAllergy.org has a database of recipes that is sortable by various food allergies.
I haven’t vetted all the information here, but Nursing Mom Recipes looks like a good source for some food ideas.
Earth Balance makes a margarine that is both dairy and soy free.