06 Apr 7 Foods That Hide Dairy
“Eat your vegetables” and” and “drink your milk” were mealtime commandments in our house growing up. It was the motto of childhood and health. Milk, yogurt, cheese, sour cream, ice cream….these were all staples of most families. Even processed cheese companies advertised that one slice of their cheese was the equivalent of a full glass of milk. This further pushed the longstanding belief that in order to be healthy and strong, you had to consume dairy products. While there is no denying that dairy is a great source of calcium, protein and vitamins, it ignores the fact that for many, dairy can cause pain, bloating and is even life threatening for a percentage of the population.
I have met children at my kids schools that have been so allergic to dairy, that touching dairy is enough to trigger an anaphylactic shock. Although cases this extreme are certainly not the norm, the rising awareness of problems caused by dairy for some people, makes it necessary to take this issue seriously. No parent with a child who deals with a dairy intolerance or allergy, wants to push the limits of this issue. It is best to play it completely safe. And yes, it can be done. You can live a healthy, normal life without dairy, it just takes some initial work. Like any adjustment to a lifestyle, you need to understand and identify. Then you can avoid and replace.
The most common food allergy in young children is cow’s milk. According to the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), 2-3% of children under the age of 3 are allergic to milk. Likewise, lactose intolerance, or the inability to tolerate dairy products, is on the rise in adults. Common symptoms are bloating, diarrhea, acne, gas and general discomfort after ingesting dairy products.
Avoiding dairy can be a little tricky at first. Ingredients don’t usually list “milk” or “dairy” although labeling requirements are starting to require listing milk as a possible allergen under the ingredient list. Aside from the “obvious” culprits of milk, cream etc…, there are many foods contain dairy that aren’t so obvious. For example, many vegetable based margarines contain milk proteins which can provoke a milk allergy. One of the best resources I have found for any information on food allergies is www.kidswithfoodallergies.org. This site is fabulous and has a wonderful printable list of various foods to avoid that contain dairy.
That being said, let’s look at 8 foods that hide dairy:
- SPAGHETTI SAUCE – Many spaghetti sauces contain Romano and/or Parmesan cheese in their traditional sauces.
2. CHIPS AND CRACKERS – Many flavors contain dairy such as sour cream and onion and even barbeque.
For a list of safe chips for dairy and gluten allergies, check out this website:
3. PROCESSED MEATS I.E. HOT DOGS – read ingredients carefully as man brands contain milk products.
4. BABY FORMULA – Many contain milk powder.
7. ALCOHOL – While most alcohols don’t contain dairy, several do such as Butterscotch Schnapps and Baileys.
Removing dairy from your life is definitely an adjustment but the payoff is that you and/or your child will feel so much better. There are so many substitutions out there to replace common items like milk, sour cream, ice cream, pudding etc..that the transition shouldn’t be too hard once you set your mind to it!