Friday, April 16, 2010

No Milk for Me

I have a temporary dairy allergy. Well, my 9 month old daughter is allergic to dairy and because I am still nursing her and will be until she is one so I have an allergy too. My son had the same issue, which I was told is common, and grew out of it by his first birthday. I am hoping my daughter will too because I want her to be able to enjoy all of the yumminess that is made from dairy products. If not I do know that she will still be able to eat a healthy and varied diet.
I remember when I was told my son had a dairy allergy (he had blood in his stool; so did my daughter) I thought it was the end of the world. When I got the store and read food labels I thought I would starve to death. You know what though- I learned how to eat healthier. I learned that processed foods were not something I should be eating all of the time and that the less ingredients the better. These were things that I didn't learn growing up. I have always been very skinny and up until my early twenties was able to eat anything I wanted, including fast food, and not gain a pound.
I started cooking most food from scratch and stopped buying processed food for the most part (good-bye Hamburger Helper- how I did miss you). Because of my son's brief allergy I gained a vast amount of knowledge on how children should eat- I think without that wake up call I would have fed him junk thinking it wasn't a big deal.
Fast forward to today. When I was told my daughter had a dairy allergy it was no biggie to me. I already knew the foods I could eat and the substitution I could make when cooking and baking. My family is not perfect when it comes to nutrition. I am comfortable with how we eat and I live by the motto "everything in moderation". I still cook most food from scratch. I bake a lot but I see no issue with my son having baked goods that I make because I know what is in them and there are no preservatives are artificial flavors.
I am very grateful for my temporary dairy allergies because they opened up my eyes to all of the crap that I used to eat- plus if I am going to eat crap it is going to be crap that is cooked from scratch (and believe me- some of the stuff I make really does turn out tasting like crap)

Some substitutions that I make for dairy products are:

vegetable shortening for butter- I love oatmeal cookies and they still taste great with no butter. I also substitute some of the regular flour for wheat flour and can't tell the difference.

rice milk for cow milk- You can use soy milk too. The reason I listed rice milk is because at one point we thought my daughter had a soy allergy so I stocked up on rice milk. I make blueberry muffins with this and they are very good. I think even once I can have milk again I will continue to use the rice milk because it is healthier. When I open the milk carton I only need a cup of the rice milk so I freeze the rest in one cup increments.

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