When a child is born, mothers will either breastfeed their baby or rely on formula. However, once you have finished this stage, you will inevitably introduce your child to cow’s milk.
It is important to gradually introduce your child to cow’s milk – it is recommended to give your child up to 32 oz. per day of whole milk once they are 12 months of age. Eventually, you may realize that they are sensitive to cow’s milk, which means you need to limit their intake of dairy.
You may not know this, but the marketplace is flooded with products that contain milk ingredients. There are foods out there that you may not have suspected even had cow’s milk.
Should you discover your child is sensitive to cow’s milk or your general physician diagnoses your son or daughter with a cow’s milk allergy, you will need to ease their symptoms. Cow’s milk is an important component of your child’s diet, but there are many steps you can take.
Here are five tips for children with cow’s milk sensitivity:
1. Identify the Allergy, Intolerance or Sensitivity
You must lookout for symptoms of dairy or lactose intolerance or cow’s milk sensitivity.
Diarrhea, diaper rashes, upset stomach, skin condition and stomach pain are just some of the symptoms to pay attention to. If they experience at least one of these then you must see your family doctor right away.
2. The Dairy Products to Avoid
Once your child has been diagnosed with intolerance or sensitivity then it is important to avoid certain dairy products, or at least minimize their consumption of them. You will notice that these items are popular, but you have to remind yourself at the grocery store of their negative effects.
Here are just some of the dairy products to avoid:
- Cream (and sour cream)
- Milk (buttermilk, evaporated milk and powdered milk)
- Ice cream, pudding and yogurt
Indeed, it will be difficult at first to avoid these products – especially ice cream in the summer – but you and your child will eventually become accustomed to the change.
3. Find Foods Made with Milk
As soon as you start paying attention to the milk aspect of the foods you purchase, you will suddenly realize that nearly everything has some type of milk mixed inside. It’s frustrating, which is why good old fashioned home cooking is always the best remedy.
Here are foods that are generally made with milk:
- Baked goods (bread, cookies, cakes and crackers)
- Meats (particularly canned and processed)
- Salad dressings
- Candy, chewing gum, cream candy and nougat
How can children not imbibe candy? It’s impossible, but this will be up to you to enforce.
4. Ingredients That Come with Milk
You are perusing the list of ingredients on the side of the box. You are surprised to find that there are no milk ingredients used by the manufacturers. It is safe to purchase, correct? Nope.
There are numerous ingredients used in foods and beverages that contain milk.
Here are some of the most popular ingredients that have milk in them:
- Artificial butter and cheese
- Lactose, lactoglobulin, lactoferrin, lactulose
- Whey or whey products
If you are someone who buys a lot of prepared foods, you may need to modify your food regimen because many companies utilize these ingredients in their products.
5. Seek Out Alternatives for Vitamins & Minerals
Thankfully, the marketplace has produced a wide array of alternatives so you can still have a healthy intake of all of the necessary vitamins and minerals for you and your children with a sensitivity or intolerance to milk.
So, how can your son or daughter get their vitamins and minerals? Here are some alternatives:
- Get your child to drink soy, almond, rice or coconut milk.
- Add a lot of broccoli and spinach to your meals.
- Refrain from buying non-food products that have milk (whey).
- Be careful of kosher products.
- Visit a registered dietitian to develop a well-balanced meal plan.
Millions of American and Canadian kids have some type of intolerance or sensitivity to cow’s milk. This can make a child’s life a bit difficult because there is just so much milk available on the open market, particularly children’s favourites. However, with a little bit of education, precaution, personalization and acclimation, cow’s milk sensitivity won’t be a big deal.