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Is your SN child dairy-free?

post #1 of 19
Thread Starter 
Our new doctor thinks my son has dairy allergies. He has some physical symptoms of an allergy (eczema and allergy shiners, for example). Most of the stuff he eats, I can find alternatives to. I guess that is one benefit of a picky eater -- there's not much to replace. However, the kid LOVES chocolate milk. He is addicted to it. I think he drinks 1/2 gallon a day. Its hard because he has SPD with oral aversions -- so trying a new "milk" is difficult for him. We tried chocolate almond milk this morning but he was not impressed. Does anyone have other suggestions on what I can try? Or have your kids grown accustomed after time?

The doctor seems to think that we will behavioral improvements in addition to the physical ones. Who knows. My husband is excited about the prospect of dairy-free helping reduce DS's anxiety and ADHD symptoms.
post #2 of 19
Ds1 has been dairy free since before he remembers due to a once severe dairy allergy(it is not a mild allergy). He's just uses rice milk so I am no help there.

We suspect that ds2 is allergic to either chocolate or dairy due to his excema. Yogurt and cheese are the only healthy foods he will eat(outside of cereal or an occasional apple bite). We will be eliminating the chocolate first to see but I am really scared it is a dairy allergy.
post #3 of 19
Chocolate Silk soymilk is good. Chocolate hempmilk is good. Try different ones until you find one he likes. Another thing to keep in mind is that many people w/ food allergies get addicted to the reaction they have when they eat that food. Just cutting it out of his diet for several weeks will help him stop craving it.

How old is he? If he is under 3, you will have to make sure he gets enough fat and protein from other things (including the substitute--it may not have enough.) They need a lot of fat for brain growth.

Have you already cut out artificial food coloring and preservatives? Those are VERY important to cut out as well when you have a child w/ behavioral reactions to food. If he eats anything w/ Red #40 more than once ina great while, I think you will be surprised the HUGE difference it makes when you cut it out. Actually, I think a lot of chocolate cow's milks have red 40 in them. I wouldn't be surprised if that is also a huge part of the issue.
post #4 of 19
Thread Starter 
He is almost 6.

I am trying to think of what he eats on a daily basis that has red dye -- thanks for the heads up! We are heading to Whole Foods in a bit to look for some more substitutes.
post #5 of 19
Mine hates the soy milk but LOVEs the Ricemilk and we get chocolate ricemilk on occasion as well for a special treat.
post #6 of 19
We've always been dairy free for DD so no help here
post #7 of 19
If the dairy is causing a lot of the problems he may be "addicted" to it in a way. After he goes off it for a bit you may find he really doesn't need a replacement.

My son was drinking close to a gallon a day, he was bad. I thought it was going to be so rough but after the first 24 hours he stopped whining at the fridge for it and by the next day he seemed ok. His behavior continued to improve and he started to sleep better etc. He has never taken to any of the milk replacements. We just make sure he gets calcium in his diet and it's fine.
post #8 of 19
Red dyes are the All of them, really.

D has always reacted to red dyes, though. I also suspect a dairy sensitivity, but he weaned himself off milk a couple of weeks ago.
post #9 of 19
You might also try coconut milk. My sons love how it is even creamier/richer than dairy milk, and has a delicious aroma/flavor. We even add it to pasta to substitute for Mac and Cheese. Also you might try some really good cocoa. I buy Ghirardelli's unsweetened cocoa and mix it with rice milk or whole made nut milks. The chocolate is so good they like it no matter what I mix it with. I usually sweeten it with maple syrup, which also adds to the creamy texture. But we use it as a treat, not a daily drink. I recommend trying to help him get used to a rice, nut, or coconut milk substitute, NOT soy, because soy is a really potent allergen and can have very negative effects on behavior.

I would also suggest homemade smoothies as a healthy alternative beverage. You can all sorts of fruits, supplements, and veggies thereby getting your DS more nutrition. When nutrition improves, cravings will decrease, and behavior will improve. What you DO eat is just as important as what you DONT eat.
post #10 of 19
Oh, yes to coconut milk. That plus vanilla rice milk makes the bestest ever hot chocolate.
post #11 of 19
Thread Starter 
Both he and my DH hate coconut and the smell of it. But that sounds YUMMY to me so I might have to try it. I found some organic non-dairy chocolate syrup that I am going to try adding to the almond milk. DH thinks the almond flavor is too potent.

His eating repertoire is so small and the things he eats are fairly easy to get around. I have found replacements for mostly all of it. That's good to know about the soy - I will return what I got. I need to try the smoothies too.
post #12 of 19
We don't have an official dx for DD yet but we started going dairy free since the beginning of the year. She was drinking a lot of cow's milk and I cringe now when I think about it. She's not a picky eater so she readily took to the rice milk and almond milk. I've given her hemp milk too. She drinks them all without any fuss. Her favorite would be the chocolate rice milk. I don't know if this is coincidence or what but since she started going dairy-free, she has started to say "no" along with a shake of her head which prior to that she didn't do in response to a question.
post #13 of 19
Maybe you could try a slow transition - mixing rice/nut milk and cows milk and slowly decreasing the amount of cows milk in it until he's off it completely.
post #14 of 19
DD has been dairy free since she was 2 (She is 4 1/2 now). She took right to rice milk and then to almond milk. She wasn't big on Soy. She mostly drinks Pacific brand original rice milk.
She still has eczema and shiners..we have no idea what from.
post #15 of 19
Thread Starter 
Well the syrup in the almond milk was a hit! The hardest part this week will be Friday -- his school serves pizza. I am going to try and go in to eat with him. He doesn't like cheese so I could just pick it off for him.
post #16 of 19
Yes, we saw a huge improvement when we took out dairy. We have since found we can use a little parmesan cheese to flavor things and we love Blue Diamond Almond Milk -- not sure if that was the type you tried.
post #17 of 19
Our smoothie recipe is Pacific vanilla almond milk, 5 strawberries (I buy the huge bag of frozen from costco) a banana and hemp powder. The kids just suck it down like there is no tomorrow.
post #18 of 19
Thread Starter 
J is weird about fruit. Tonight he didn't want to eat an apple. He used to love apples. I think this non-dairy diet is throwing him off and making him anxious (no the diet itself, just his knowledge that something is changing).
post #19 of 19
Just thought I'd post this link about allergies and soy in particular, since many milk alternatives, even rice and nut milks have soy and/or canola oil. In fact soy is everywhere! After reading this I will not allow my family to consume non-organic soy, corn, or canola any more. Basically these are all genetically-engineered with foreign proteins designed to cause gut paralysis in pests, and are being banned in other countries.

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