‘Your son has a severe allergy to dairy….’
When I received Max’s diagnosis of a dairy allergy, to say I was shocked is an understatement. How could a four-month-old be allergic to dairy I wondered? Especially one that had a top-up of dairy formula when born. The doctor who diagnosed Max, threw some leaflets my way and pointed me towards some helpful websites, but leaving that doctor’s surgery, I felt more responsible for my son’s health and wellbeing than I did when I walked in. My role as Max’s Mum just got that little bit more complicated but it was a challenge I embraced. I promised Max from that moment on, that I would do my absolute best to learn everything I could reasonably know about a dairy allergy and that he wouldn’t miss out on anything.
Ever since, I’ve been on an exciting journey of food discovery and learnt more about ingredients and cooking than I could have ever thought possible.
Whenever Max was sleeping, I spent hours reading blogs, recipes and other people’s experiences of caring for a dairy-free child, but mostly I loved adapting healthy organic conventional recipes for dairy-free alternatives and along the way coming up with my own concoctions! This process really helped me decide how I would wean Max as many traditional recipes featured cow’s milk. It may sound mean to most people, but Max’s first food was pureed liver! Definitely no dairy there!
It was during my many hours of research that I became more passionate not only about ensuring Max had access to wonderful food but that he ate and drank from organic tableware and that he was dressed in organic clothing and playing with toxin-free toys.
I now love seeing Max’s favourite dairy-free snacks and meals served in our eco rascals™ organic bamboo baby bowls and toddler section plates. He also made a fantastic product tester for us when we were designing the plates and ensuring our silicone suction bases really stuck to the tables!
Top five tips from a dairy free Mum
- Always keep your dairy items at the top of the fridge, I didn’t think my son would be able to open the fridge at 18 months, but he could!
- Batch cook dairy free treats and freeze them. That way you will always have something available for last minute gatherings and nursery birthdays.
- Don’t put your yogurt pots or milk cartons at the top of your recycling bin. The bin is the most fascinating thing to a toddler apparently!
- Spread the word and educate family members and friends about the allergy. You’d be surprised at how many people think Max cannot have eggs or think that he is lactose intolerant instead of allergic to dairy.
- Teach your child to check if something is OK for them to eat. So many kind-hearted people offer children snacks in the park without knowing the potential dangers for children with food-allergies.
Check out our recipes section where we will continually provide lots of delicious recipes – you’ll see dairy-free recipes and alternatives.