Finding out your child has an intolerance to dairy can be quite worrying, especially because there is so much information out there on the importance of dairy for kids for their growth and strong bones and teeth. This is true but it is of course the importance on the mineral calcium and dairy is NOT the only source of calcium.
The body needs Vitamin D to absorb calcium so try to get out in the sun as much as you can with your little ones. You can also get vitamin D supplements specially for kids. Check in drug stores, Holland and Barratt or online. Most kids in the UK are deficient in vitamin D especially during the months of October through to March due to the lack of sunshine. So definitely supplement it during those months.
Luckily, free from ranges in supermarkets are expanding so frequently these days. There are so many alternatives that taste just as nice. Im loving the coconut collaborative yoghurt range with fruit compotes at the bottom!
Here are a few meal ideas to ensure your child is getting a good calorie intake and a wide range of nutrients. The list could be endless so I’ll only suggest a few!
Porridge - make with alternative milk - I suggest nut milk unless your child is allergic to nuts
NOTE: The NHS guidelines state that you should give your child a form of nut before the age of 3 to decrease the chance of an allergy. Obviously don't give your child a whole nut as this could cause the child to choke but maybe a small amount of peanut butter or nut milk.
However the NHS also says that “Your child has a higher risk of developing a peanut allergy if they already have an allergy (such as eczema or a diagnosed food allergy), or there's a history of allergy in their immediate family (such as asthma, eczema or hay fever).
If this is the case, talk to your GP or health visitor before you give peanuts or food containing peanuts to your child for the first time.”
You can add a tsp of coconut oil to the porrige not only does this make it a lovely smooth and silky texture but it also brings good fats to your childs diet. Good brain fuel for a day of learning and exploring.
Top with berries, sliced bananas, honey, cinnamon.
Toast with avocado and egg - your child may like it mashed up and spread on the toast or sliced on the side. Its also really nice with a drizzle of honey on but without the egg!
Toast with peanut butter, jam, almond butter, sliced bananas.
Smoothies - You can chuck pretty much anything in a smoothie but here are a few options - Dairy free ‘milk’, cacao powder (not cocoa as this is mixed with powdered milk and added sugar) honey, avocado, banana, mango, berries, leafy greens, flaxseeds, dates, nuts, apricots, chia seeds.
Banana pancakes click for the recipe!
Children love being independent and making things so let your child get involved in the kitchen. Not only is it a great way of learning they will also be more inclined to try the food as they will have made it gained a sense of pride and will have been in control (you might want to sneak in some of the funky smoothie ingredients when they aren't looking, just a thought) Also remember you are highly looked up to so if you are eating and drinking these types of foods so will they (hopefully!)
Lunch and dinner ideas:
Spaghetti or pasta with a hidden veggie sauce:
Fry 1 onion, 1 carrot, 1 pepper, 1 courgette, 1 garlic clove in olive oil for 5 mins, add 1 tsp oregano, 1 tsp tomato puree, 1 tsp maple syrup and stir. add 1-2 tins of chopped tomatoes. bring to the boil and simmer for 15 mins or until all the veggies are soft. Season with a small pinch of salt and pepper and add a handful of fresh basil. Blend all the ingredients.
Use as a pasta sauce and freeze what you dont use!
Risotto - Use olive oil instead of butter and skip the cheese out at the end. To avoid skimping on taste, use garlic, herbs and lemon juice to bring flavour!
Sausage, mash and beans - a kids favourite! For the mash potatoes use a dairy free ‘milk’ and dairy free butter - Pure.
Chocolate avocado mousse - Jamie Oliver's tried and tested dairy free mousse recipe can be found by clicking here
Meringue with coconut yoghurt and berries
Hummus and veg sticks
Garlic bread - make together by buying a pizza base, smearing with olive oil and crushed garlic and herbs. In my experience this is always a winner.
Fruit, dried fruit, fruit salads, fruit slices with nut butter
Dairy free yoghurts
Edamame beans (good source of protein)
Rice cakes with almond butter/hummus
Check out the recipes on my site there are plenty of dairy free. Including my tuna sweetcorn recipe which would go perfectly with a jacket potato!
Here is a list of calcium rich foods:
Beans and lentils
Dark leafy greens
Seafood - canned salmon, sardines
I hope you've find this post useful, if you think I have missed any great dairy alternatives, which I'm sure i will have done then please share below! Sharing is caring :)