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Making it affordable to feed a Lactose intolerant family member

By Edited Feb 8, 2014 2 2

My person experience with Dairy intolerance

My son is only 14 months old, and we first notice he had an issue whilst he was on baby formula. The usual formula left him with griping pains and horrible diapers that could be mistaken as colic. The difference between the diaper contents of a dairy intolerant baby and one with colic is the smell, my son stank like a mix of battery acid and vinegar, disgusting I know, but if someone is reading this wondering if their child has a dairy intolerance, that will be one of the first give a ways to the issue.

What to do if you think you have a child that is lactose or Dairy intolerant.

First and utmost, do not even think of diagnosing it yourself. By all means change the type of milk that they are having and do not pump them with dairy, but do not just change their diet and go on for the rest of their life telling them they have a milk allergy or dairy intolerance.

There are a couple of people who can help you, but your main one would be your General Practitioner. Just come straight out with the fact you think their is a food intolerance and that you want your child to see the Pediatritian. If you are in the UK, you will get a referral in around 4-6 weeks.

Don't take peoples advice about introducing dairy in small amounts as what you are doing, as advised to me by my dietician, is you are halting the repairal of the gut lining, that gets damaged by the bacteria from the dairy. Prolonging and increasing the damage.

Once you see the Pediatritian, he can advise you further.

Shopping and cooking to make feeding a lactose intolerant or Dairy intolerant person, affordably and as easily as possible.

Firstly, it is so easy to get scared when you hear that you have to cater to special dietary requirements. How expensive is a dairy free diet going to be, or what ingredients do I need to search for on the label?

Well, this will depend on whether you have to avoid only lactose ( milk sugar) or the whole caboodle. Here is a list of the base ingredients you need to look for if you need to avoid the proteins in Dairy, as well as the lactose.


Hydrolysed Caesin.


Casein (curds).

Hydrolysed whey sugar.

Hydrolysed whey protein.

Whey, whey protein.






Modified Milk.

Mild solids.

Non fat milk solids.

Skimmed milk powder.



Artificial cream.



When people first see this list they panic. How can a person cook with out all of these things, there will be nothing left to use! Wrong, you just need to shift your mindset and think out side of what you have been use to for years.

Things have changed over the last few decades and people no longer struggle, spending hours searching labels. My article is hopefully going to give you a few ideas also. Every bit helps.

Do some research. Even if you do not do internet grocery shopping, look up your local supermarket. You can look at the products and the listed ingredients from the comfort of your own home.

A few tips are, cook from scratch as much as you can, that way you know what is going in to the food. Anything you do need to buy made up, make sure the supermarket has marked up as "free from" " Dairy free", "lactose free". It is also worth looking in the "Gluten free" section, as even though Dairy intolerant people can have gluten, gluten intolerant people can rarely stomach some products related to Dairy, you will widen your range immensely.

Potatoes, Pasta, vegetables, fruit, are all normal foods that Dairy intolerant people can eat. There is no reason why a well rounded traditional cooked dinner can not be made with meat and two veg. This is where there is a little bit of work. If you cream your potatoes, then you must cream them with dairy replacement. Myself, I use vitalite instead of butter, and soy milk instead of cow's milk. You can easily use other substitutes.

The gravy is the issue. If you make proper gravy, with oxo cubes you will be safe. If you use granules then you will need to check the back for ingredients. Some granules are fine and use Soy and others are unusable and use milk.

Bake your own buns and cakes and replace the butter in the recipe with something like Vegetable oil spread, such as Vitalite or Pure. Same for the icing. This way, it is cheaper than having to buy specialist prepacked food, when there is only a very cheap replacement in the recipe.

You could also check cheap biscuits in your supermarket. To make them cheaply, the manufacturers tend to use vegetable oils instead of dairy products, so no need to buy expensive biscuits.

The only things that you really have to buy specialised is the chocolate and cheese. I also buy special "dairy free" fish fingers and sausages" just to have variation for my son.

See, I bet you did not think sausage and fishfingers would have milk in them? They use the milk as a binding agent. So there for they are not "dairy free". That does not mean that it has to be expensive or a mind field.

Another luxury item that can be quite expensive but does not have to be is custard. You are fine to use custard powder, sugar and soy milk to make custard. A lot cheaper than a 500ml carton of Alpro soya custard or the likes.

The thing that makes life easier is time and not money. You need to have a little bit more forethought and perhaps batch bake. Pastry can be made dairy free and can be used for savory and sweet food. Then you know what is in your freezer.

Treats are a big issue for small children as they can not have everything their peers have. That is easily fixed with dairy free chocolate, and sweets such as jellied sweets.

 A little thinking outside the box will make like more easy to manage with a special dietary need such as dairy intolerance.

If you need any more information. Allergy UK is a fantastic website to get an abundance of information and help.



Dec 7, 2011 12:27am
Your article was great. I have a few friends that can't eat dairy and I will admit that it was hard at first. However, if you do your research it isn't as hard to accomodate as you think.
Dec 7, 2011 3:55am
Thank you Aurora. I have had a few faux pas cooking incidents with replacements since writing this article. My yorkshire pudding just went flat and stodgy, so needs looking into.
Apart from that I am surviving.x
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