Sunday, September 27, 2009

I don't think I ever posted to say that we figured out the whole colic/reflux/oversupply thing! Oversupply was an issue, but easily remedied. It wasn't colic or reflux. Becca has a sensitivity to milk protein (casein). Not the lactose, but the casein. The more people I tell, the more I discover that it is not an uncommon thing. And I am encouraged because everyone I've talked to says their kids outgrew it.

When Becca was somewhere between 6-8 weeks I cut dairy from my diet. Completely. I even read the labels...

I have done a few trial runs and she still has issues with it. But I am SO glad to have found the cause of the crying and discomfort! Once the dairy was out of my milk (and we sleep-trained again), it was like having a completely different baby!

Going without dairy hasn't been as hard as I thought it would be. The times it is MOST trying are when we go out to eat or when I want desserts.

Here's what I've learned about going without dairy - a reference for me and for anyone else who may benefit from it.

  • The vast majority of recipes that call for milk or butter can be substituted with non-dairy milk (soy, rice, etc. I use rice milk. Soy gives me gas...yes, I realize you didn't want to know that. But if you run into this problem with YOUR babies, be glad you know. Monitor your soy intake or you make find your family wants to put you in isolation.)
  • not all margarines are dairy free. Read the ingredients. Fleischman's ($3) has one that it and one that isn't. Can't remember which is which. Blue Bonnet is usually cheaper. But it has to be Blue Bonnet LIGHT, which only comes in the tubs (usually $1.99 but I found it on sale this week for $1.35). The other has dairy. Nucoa margarine is also dairy free a little bit cheaper ($2.49) than Fleischman's.
  • If a recipe's dairy ingredients really can't be left out, look for non-dairy substitutes. I have used Toffuti's "Better than Sour Cream" and "Better than Cream Cheese". They're not better, but if it's for a recipe, they're worth it! If it's something like baked potatoes, just go without the sour cream and you'll be surprised at all the other flavors that come alive! I eat mine with bacon (not bits), pineapple, tomatoes, green onions, and margarine. It's really yummy.
  • Try pizza without the cheese. Go crazy with the other toppings. It's not the same, but it'll do in a pinch. It tastes best if you use chewy hoagie rolls and put a little olive on them first. When I do it that way, I don't even mind the lack of cheese. (And if I really want pizza, the other way still takes care of the craving and satisfies me!)
  • It is REALLY worth it to make your own bread when you have a dairy free diet. SO much bread has dairy in it.
  • I love Purely Decadent's Peanut Butter Zig Zag. I will eat this for the rest of my life. And it wins in the calories game if you put it up against Ben & Jerry's and yet it tastes SO good. Ben & Jerry's is, what, 500 calories for a 1/2 cup serving? Peanut butter zig zag is 180 calories for a 1/2 cup serving (don't quote me might be 200. But still a far cry from Ben & Jerry's).
  • Become friends with dark chocolate. But make sure it's really dairy free. Lindt dark chocolate is dairy free. Nestle & Hershey's dark chocolates are NOT. Ghirardelli's are NOT. Wal-mart's generic semi-sweet chocolate chip brand is dairy free (I think I'm remembering that right...but I'm not going back there to check. Someone else will have to let me know if I'm wrong!). Ghirardelli's semi-sweet chocolate chips are dairy free.
  • If something calls for a cream of "something" recipe, it's really easy to make cream of "whatever" on your own (just use a non-dairy milk and margarine in this recipe). Don't let it stop you from your favorite recipes. The taste will be slightly different, but it's still better than going without!
If it's marked with an "*" I have made it.

*Corn Casserole & Corn Muffin Mix that goes in the casserole because for SOME REASON, the storebought version has WHEY or MILK do so many other things....

Peanut Butter Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

*Dairy Free Rich Chocolate Cake - I made this for my birthday and used a vegan ganache. It was delicious. I liked it more with every slice.

*Chocolate Chip Cake (substituted milk & butter for rice milk & margarine. Most cakes that call for milk & margarine can be done this way.)

*Dairy Free Chocolate Chip Cookies - These are TRULY dairy free. No egg. Just use a non-dairy milk to bind the dough. No more guilt over eating the dough too!! And a great recipe if you want dough to make and use with vanilla ice cream. (This link has an annoying video that tells you how to make the recipe. Just pause it and scroll down for the text of the recipe...)

Dairy Free Frostings

Dairy Free Cream Cheese Frosting

Happy cooking guys! And if you're dairy-free or have been, let me know what resources YOU have found helpful.


  1. Heidi said...
    I'm sorry you had to go dairy free but happy you found out the solution. My boys reacted to dairy in my diet more than the girls (except Bennett, he didn't react but I think he didn't have enough of a digestive track/immune system to voice an objection.)

    The kids tolerated butter in my diet before anything else and I could do yogurt and cheese, sour cream & cream cheese by the time they were a year. But not straight milk, I'm wondering if it's something about the heating process of the other dairy products denatures the protein or something? Not sure... and after a year they could tolerate those things in their own diets but NOT milk, it still makes Emy and Christopher sick if they drink milk straight.

    I heard Wal-mart brand semi-sweet chocolate chips were vegan but I've not checked. I'm not happy with Walmart these days either. :) Newman's dark chocolate orange bar is vegan, and so yummy. I have Ghiradelli chocolate chips from Sams and they do have dairy even though they're the 60% dark something... let me know if you find other vegan chocolate chips, I want to stock up! Oh, and I read one of the Newman's Own oreo type cookies are vegan, I just bought mint ones and I think they are.
    jjstringham said...
    Both my girls had the same problem. Only I didn't know there was some casein thing, I just thought it was weird that they were only better with soy formula and not even good with the lactose-free stuff. I didn't try regular milk-based formula with Emily after we figured it out, but when she turned a year we tried out the regular whole milk with no problems.

    I don't have too many recipes to share with you since I obviously don't have to change my diet, but if you're in need of some I'm sure I can get some from my sister-in-law. . . her baby was allergic (not just intolerant, but allergic) to all dairy products as well as soy. It's hard to find products that don't have milk and soy! So just let me know if you want some help and I'll hit her up for some information.
    Joseph said...
    I'm a huge believer in raw milk - raw means unpasteurized, basically straight from the cow. I grew up on it - we owned a cow that my brothers milked and my mom made everything from our own whipping cream to butter with it. I credit raw milk, along with an otherwise relatively healthy diet growing up, with the health my kids enjoy now. Milk in its best form is really good for you - and growing kids especially. I have done a lot of research on it and there are reports that even those who are lactose intolerant can handle raw milk because it has all the enzymes and vitamins still in full force. Raw milk contains the enzyme lactase that helps digest the lactose sugar in the milk. Lactase is killed in pasteurization, which seems to be linked to the rise in lactose intolerant people. People have varying amounts of lactase in their systems already, depending on their history of milk consumption. Those that don't have enough lactase in their system from birth are the ones who become intolerant, but raw milk comes with the lactase so they often tolerate it much better. If you are concerned about the safety of raw milk, you shouldn't be. It is more highly regulated than pasteurized (in the states you can get it - it is illegal to sell in some states), and thus cleaner. The bacteria count allowed in pasteurized milk before pasteurization is much much higher than is allowed in raw milk because they count on the pasteurization to kill the bacteria (yummy thought - dead bacteria floating in your pasteurized milk). There was actually a test done with raw and pasteurized milk where they infected both with salmonella. After 24 hours the amount of salmonella in the raw milk was reduced, where the amount in the pasteurized had increased. The claim is that raw milk is self-monitoring with its myriad of enzymes. There's a ton more, but I won't go on... Anyway, I'm just all about eating food as close to their natural state because I believe the Lord made them they way He did for a reason... because He created our bodies and knows what they need. That said, I give my family whole (no fat remeoved) pasteurized milk because raw milk isn't available in Nevada. I have to smuggle :) it across the border from UT whenever I visit my parents - and I do that every opportunity I can.

    Haylee (I'm signed in as Joe)
    Abby Hanson said...
    Heidi, like you said, the Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips have dairy but the semi-sweet DO NOT. Weird huh?

    Jamie, any tips your sister has would be awesome!

    Haylee, I remember you mentioning raw milk once before on your blog. I'm really curious about it. Maybe she would tolerate that. I'll have to see if there's a place around here where I can get some.
    Abby Hanson said...
    Oh, and IKEA's dark chocolate is ALSO dairy free...
    Heidi said...
    I forgot - also I've heard from several people that their children can tolerate goats' milk even if sensitive to milk protein or completely allergic to dairy. We tried that with Joseph and he didn't consume much (he prefers Momma, always) but didn't get sick from it so I'm optimistic that's an option.

    And IKEA is dairy free?? I use my debit card there and get the bonus back credit to stock up on chocolate bars, I'm going to try using those for vegan chocolate chip cookies. :)

    Raw milk around here is $8/gallon and a 45 minute drive one way. I've not tried it yet but we may for making yogurt and our soft cheeses. I'm less concerned about it being raw (though I read there are many benefits) and more concerned with finding a dairy that's kind to their animals. After reading 'The Face on Your Plate' I'm concerned - maybe it's all these years of nursing that makes me feel sympathy for those momma cows. :)
    Abby Hanson said...
    So I wonder if goat's cheese would also be less of a problem...especially if it's going the the breastmilk and she's not the one eating it. Hmmm...maybe next time I want to do a test run, I should have some goat cheese. I have a really yummy chicken salad with honey mustard dressing that uses goat cheese in it. I like goat cheese better than feta any day.

    Just make sure with IKEA that you get the DARK chocolate. The others have dairy. But that is a GREAT idea to use it in cooking! Didn't even think of that. At $2.50/3 bars it's a great deal too. And if you use the debit card coupons, even better. We always use our debit card there too. Better than the limited chocolate options I have at the grocery store. Those are all pretty expensive (Lindt, Ghirardelli...of course the non-dairy ones have to be the most expensive ones...).

    Your raw milk prices are only a little more than doing organic really. $6/gallon. Not TOO bad, but still so expensive. It could be worse...
    Qait said...
    Thanks, Abby! You're so full of information.
    Sometimes I think I eat to much dairy...who knows, maybe I just have a dumb stomach (IBS, blehhhh). But I'd like to cut back in a few ways when I start cooking for us again.

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