Mothering Forums

Mothering Forums (
-   Nutrition and Good Eating (
-   -   Going dairy free - tips/tricks/suggestions? (

NorthernFamily 01-17-2013 09:35 AM

My DD (2ish) has had constipation problems for quite some time and we are going to eliminate dairy to see if that will help.  This means I will also go dairy free as she is still breastfeeding. I am almost 14 weeks pregnant too. 


Any tips/tricks/recipes/suggestions?


Thanks mommas and poppas!

neptunemama 01-17-2013 03:01 PM

My younger dd couldn't tolerate any dairy (well, me ingesting dairy since I was bf) from early on.  I figured it out when she was about 4-5 weeks old (and I was so happy it wasn't wheat-that would have been hard for me).  Since I love cereal in the morning, I substituted soy milk.  After trying different non-dairy options I found I liked soy milk the best.  If you're a cereal fan, try a few  and find one you like.  In tacos and burritos a good helping of guacamole or avocado more than makes up for the lack of cheese.  I just left the cheese off of pasta and didn't miss it after a little while.  Pizza was harder but your taste buds do adapt.  I found that cheese really gives a nice mouth feel to food.  To get that feeling, upping the olive oil content, say in a pizza sauce, made it much tastier imo.   


The hardest thing for me, honestly, was coffee.  I love half & half in my coffee and I didn't find any non-dairy substitute that tasted remotely okay. 


Be sure to check products for whey protein and casein b/c those come from milk.  I personally didn't find it to hard to be dairy free.  We like a lot of ethnic foods which typically don't contain dairy anyway.  So you might want to explore different cuisines and start cooking Indian, Thai, Chinese etc... more often.  Delicious and dairy free! 


If you're avoiding butter too try using earth balance instead.  Or just use olive oil.  Both are delicious on bread, mashed potatoes, popcorn.  


Good luck. 

meemee 01-17-2013 03:17 PM

tips tricks for you or for you and your dd?


i gave it up when dd was about one. we both did since dd is sensitive to dairy - not allergic. 


what i had to do was completely change my lifestyle. not do any kind of milk product or substitute. tried the vegan cheese. yuck.


so i gave up dry cereal. did wet cereal or a simple 'dinner' for lunch. i'd make kinda a pasta salad with veggies and olive oil and garlic and dd would eat it. 


or rice with sushi rice seasoning and steamed broccoli for bfast. 


but yeah. i had to change my life. i havent had dry cereal in almost 9 years. neither do i really want to. 


we never really went back to milk or milk substitute. i too had a hard time with milk in my tea. i missed it so. 


i tried coconut milk but didnt like it.


so i went myself on a strict regime and for 3 weeks with help from friends - stayed completely away from dairy. completely. and that really helped take the edge off my addiction. and ever since then i have not had milk in my tea. 


however sometimes i do give myself the permission to cheat. some good cheese or cream in my coffee.


but that's rare and after getting used to no dairy it tastes strange. 


its all about habit. and breaking it. 

pek64 01-17-2013 03:41 PM

As has been said, different substitutes for different things.

I like olive oil to substitute for butter. Occasionally coconut oil can be used to provide some saturated fat.

I prefer homemade milks to store bought. Oat milk is simply rolled oats with boiling water poured over them. If you use a mason jar, it can be lidded and refrigerated, once it cools. Rice milk it just some rinsed rice with at least three times the water to rice, and simmer (covered) for 2 hours. Nut milks are ground nuts with water.

Be careful using a lot of soy. If it is a dairy allergy, you can suddenly become allergic to soy if you eat soy too often.

If you have a particular dish or baked good that you want help altering, post the recipe, and I'll give it a shot. Substitutions get easier as you gain experience.

Iron supplements constipate. Use caution if taking them.

Constipation remedies :

Lots of water (always)

The following should be tried one at a time, giving 24 hours for results before trying anything else.

Barley water (make like oat milk, only rinse the barley)
Cascadian Farms O's cereals have barley and I found it works in 24 hours.
Coconut water

pek64 01-17-2013 04:03 PM

I forgot to mention that there's lots of websites giving support and recipes for dairy free and vegan. Just use caution regarding soy, and check out the other dairy free thread that going on right now. Good luck.

veganmama44 01-17-2013 06:00 PM

i use organic soymilk in coffee, on cereal and in recipes, i just prefer the flavor to some of the other subs. earth balance is delish, and great for baking too. we also eat what my DP refers to as ' poop soup' which is just vegetable an bean soup, that might help! ;p

loveandgarbage 01-17-2013 06:15 PM

I had to eliminate dairy from my own diet about a year ago, but it was a gradual change for me as I haven't been able to digest it for awhile, and naturally drifted toward non-dairy foods over 10 yrs or so. BUT if I was doing it suddenly, I would do some substitutes in the transition so that you don't feel like you're missing out. I find I like almond milk the most, but drank soy for years and liked it. Earth balance has been suggested, but let me suggest the tub of the whipped specifically! It is truly delicious on potatoes or noodles when you want that buttery flavor. If I'm craving something cheesy I make a mock cream sauce with nutritional yeast and a non-dairy milk. Avocados can also make a good sauce. So can cashews. Are there certain foods you think you'll miss or want to replace somehow? Maybe I can help with some recipes.

SweetSilver 01-17-2013 07:15 PM

Bacon fat.  And the bacon.  Delish!


I am not dairy-free, but I cook dairy-free, then add cheese.  Much of the fat I use is chicken or turkey fat skimmed from broth while cold, pork fat, bacon fat...  dd likes the earth balance on her potatoes.  Vegan cheese is gross...sorry....


You can make pizza with olive oil, roasted onions and garlic sparingly, chunky sea salt, perhaps rosemary and thyme...mmmmmm.... or with cheese-free pesto.  (Mmmm, I'm missing the nuts, dammit!)


DD also loves soymilk and has no trouble with it whatsoever, and she has severe dairy allergies, so don't be afraid to give it a try.


I agree, that in general, skip the substitute-route as much as possible.

NorthernFamily 01-18-2013 07:44 AM

Wow, what wonderful suggestions! I really appreciate your time and thought. The pizza suggestions are great!


I did buy some earth balance,  soy and coconut yogurt, coconut, almond and soy milk. I had bought some soy 'cheese' cheddar flavor yesterday as well and didn't think to read the label because who would put dairy in fake cheese, well, Trader Joe's would. Seriously?


neptunemomma - Yeah, i just tried some substitute half and half and coconut milk in my coffee, gag; made tea and mixed it with lemonade instead. 


meemee- pasta salad is a good idea. 


pek64- thanks! Her constipation isn't irregular, it's pretty constant and an elimination diet is about the only thing we haven't tried. I kinda feel led to give dairy the boot so hopefully I'm correct in that!


veganmomma44- poop soup, love it.


loveandgarbage- lovely suggestions especially with the nutritional yeast. Her favorite things were of course cheese and yogurt and cheese. I need to replace her favorite, quesadilla. We also did pizza night once a week and nachos often. (Right now she is holding onto me asking for cheese greensad.gif ) I kind of feel like that, I already miss my feta. 


SweetSilver - bacon. Yes, yes bacon. I may be able to let go of my cheese and coffee if I can use bacon more! yummy.gif

SweetSilver 01-18-2013 07:48 AM

Originally Posted by GarciaFamily View Post


I did buy some earth balance,  soy and coconut yogurt, coconut, almond and soy milk. I had bought some soy 'cheese' cheddar flavor yesterday as well and didn't think to read the label because who would put dairy in fake cheese, well, Trader Joe's would. Seriously?



I don't understand the point of putting dairy ingredients in cheese either.  Not really.  Casein gives the "cheese" the ability to melt decently, and the best flavors are also dairy-based.  Maybe they are making them for the lactose intolerant?  I have no idea, but this is a good example of why you need to be careful.

veganmama44 01-18-2013 12:35 PM

Daiya cheddar wedge would be good for quesadillas. i will add a bit to burritos sometimes, and while i am no a huge fan, myDS loves it. think Velveeta.

meemee 01-18-2013 09:10 PM


Originally Posted by GarciaFamily View Post

Her favorite things were of course cheese and yogurt and cheese. I need to replace her favorite, quesadilla. We also did pizza night once a week and nachos often. (Right now she is holding onto me asking for cheese greensad.gif ) I kind of feel like that, I already miss my feta. 

mama hang in there. i know this is hard to do but can you hold off on any substitute for 2 weeks. i tell you life changes in 14 days. it seems its our bodies natural ability to lose some of that craving in 14 days.


would she eat hummus? 


could you spend more time outside? i have found when i have to change my dd's diet - it was so much easier doing it outside. or do fun things. 


for instance eat under the table, or in the bathtub. or on the front porch. 


we had to drastically change her diet and it worked really well to try new things - as long as she wasnt too hungry or tired or antsy. 

GreenVariety 01-25-2013 04:10 PM

I keep finding the things we "like the most" are often the things that don't like us much.


My son has dairy, grain, soy and night shade intolerances. We figured it out with the help of groups like this and a yahoo group called foodlab. it took a lot of trial and error. A lot of different diet's (SCD, GAPS, WAPF, etc) but we figured it out. He has healed enough to be able to eat small amounts of sharp cheddar and a bit of butter (pastured) but that's it.


I am going to echo the soy caution. I would also like to add a caution for any store bought dairy substitute (milk's specifically). A lot of them have a lot of processed junk in them and leave even more to be desired.


Mommypotamus has a wonderful video on making your own coconut milk - easy and way more nutritious.


The Primal Parent has some really solid information on the additives and junk in boxed milk substitutes.

If there are no grain issues then pesto pizza's and things of that nature should fit the bill.


At 2 you should still be able to pull stuff and just not talk about it. If she asks just tell her "another time sweetie" and move on. This in my experience has worked wonders. That phrase is wonderful. Otherwise keep lots of other high fat stuff on the menu. Cheese and milk are often so greatly desired because they have a higher fat content which children need. Think about the proportions of breast milk.


Good luck!

GracesMomNE 01-31-2013 08:35 AM

My DD had MSPI, and I'm going dairy free before I deliver my next child in April.  Just remember that it can take 3 weeks to see improvement, and sometimes things get worse before getting better.  Visit, as she posts lots of helpful recipes and tips (there is a FB page for her too).  The hardest is the hidden dairy, so make sure you look for that.  Rotella bread (if you don't make your own) is dairy free, and Guiradelli (sp?) semi sweet chocolate chips also don't have dairy.  The other things I would recommend are soy free as well (since that's what we dealt with), so I'll let others comment on good soy based cheeses and such.  It's hard to do at first, but once we found a rhythm it wasn't too bad :).

AE+Mama 01-31-2013 10:11 AM

My daughter is allergic to dairy among many other things.   For "quesadillas" we make a homemade bean dip, spread it on the tortillas and grill like we normally do.  The bean dip is just garbanzo beans (drained and rinsed), olive oil, salt, cumin, garlic powder and water blended together.   She absolutely loves it.   If your daughter likes hummus, you can skip making your own bean dip and just spread hummus on a tortilla to make quesadillas


When we do pizza night, we just make individual sized pizzas and cook my daughters first without cheese.  Nachos would be harder, but she might be willing to sub bean dip for the cheese sauce?


Since figuring out my daughter's allergies, our meals have shifted to more basic protein plus grain plus veggies.  We also do a lot of soups in the winter. 


With you being pregnant, make sure you are taking a calcium supplement or getting a lot of calcium through your diet.   I eliminated my daughter's allergens when I was nursing her and then I eliminated those allergens for the last trimester of my next two pregnancies and the first six months of nursing my youngest two. It's so hard, but definitely worth it to see your little one feeling better.


Hope eliminating dairy helps!

dreammama 01-31-2013 12:18 PM

My babe has something called Milk Soy Protein Intolerance.  He had bloody stools because of it. Very sad.  Some of these posts were very encouraging!  I will agree that complete elimination is best.  If I let myself have a little, I can't stop.  I like almond milk the best as a substitute but oh the gas it gives me.  Not good.  I also agree that giving up cheese and cream in my coffee are the hardest.  I've adjusted to having chocolate almond milk in my coffee now and it's doable.  I'm encouraged to read that other Moms are toughing it out with no dairy.  Christmas was the hardest.  My guy probably has another year of nursing so I'm doing my best to stay dairy free!    

NorthernFamily 01-31-2013 12:39 PM

Thanks you wonderful mommas!!! You are all so sweet and wonderful! joy.gif


This is our 2 week anniversary on the no dairy. Wahoo! We did try the Daiya mozz shreds on some homemade pizza. We both ate one slice with it on and then just ate it plain. I am kind of amazed that she even ate the pizza without cheese especially since poppa had real cheese on his. Amazed and weirdly proud ;)


I did try some mashed avocado on her turkey sandwich, but that didn't really work for her. I thought it was great, though avocado on a sandwich is not unusual for me.


We haven't done no cheese nacho yet - we used shredded cheese before so I won't be able to fool her with a substitute. But seeing as how she was a trooper with the plain pizza, well, I hope to be shocked yet again.


She isn't digging any non-dairy milk unless it is chocolate flavored, which is fine with me because it's really rare she asks for it. She's always been a water girl anyway. 


I am using non-dairy milk subs in chai for myself. 


I made some mock feta from tofu and while it certainly isn't feta, it works in my salads and things just fine. DD isn't fooled so easily :) I also made some cashew cream, wow, it is delicious. I am going to try it is some tomato basil soup this weekend. 


As far as the poops go, if you are wondering, we have cut the miralax WAY down. It's at about a 1/4 of a teaspoon, maybe less, in her water. Her poop has gone from no form (due to the miralax) to clay/playdoh like. She is pooping nearly every day thus far. Skipping a day here and there. I do give her a reward for the pooping (a piece of dark chocolate) and this has been helping as well. She understands that if she goes and doesn't hold it, she gets a piece of candy. Yay! I don't expect to see any true results for about a month or so but my wonderful DD is not screaming in pain and shaking in fear of her bowel movements so we are happyhappyhappy!


Thanks again!! 

pek64 01-31-2013 05:06 PM

Be careful with calcium supplements!! They can cause a lot of other problems. Greens are best for calcium. The calcium is easily absorbed, and they have the boron and other nutrients bones need!! And it doesn't *have* to be dark greens, which some folks and children don't like. Iceberg lettuce and parsley, daily, are better than dark greens that are fed to the dog or slipped in the trash! With Iceberg lettuce, the green leaves are better than the white, and I think they're tastier, too! And parsley I throw into every soup and sauce!

Congrats on the progress you have made!!

All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:35 AM.

Powered by vBulletin® Copyright ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Resources saved on this page: MySQL 5.56%
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
User Alert System provided by Advanced User Tagging (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2017 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.