It has been almost a month now since we decided to eliminate dairy from Simon’s diet, due to some allergy symptoms. During that time, his face rash has gone away completely. There were a couple of times that he had dairy when he was with other people, and the rash came back, which reaffirmed our suspicions. We are still feeling it out. We could be wrong. (I still hope we are.) But this is where we are at right now.
Learning to live without dairy, as I suspected, has been tricky. Weeks into this and I am still getting a feel for it. But I am glad to say we have made progress learning how to fulfill nutritional needs even better than we were before.
Here are a few of the things I have made for Simon over the past few weeks:
There has been a lot of trial and error going on, and we have tried some things and liked them, and other things we have thought were not good:
~’Earth Balance’ butter- This is easy to use, has a buttery taste, and can be swapped out in recipes for butter. I have been buying the one that is also soy-free.
~’Amande’ brand cultured almond milk yogurt-I think this yogurt is yummy and like it even better than dairy yogurt! The only trick is that is needs a lot of stirring when you first open the container.
~’Follow Your Heart’ brand mozzarella (or as we have been calling it: “faux-zarella”) is what we have used on pizzas. This was recommended by a vegan friend, and I think it is a decent substitute. It has a good taste, though not as strong as mozzarella, and it melts but doesn’t have that gooey, cheesy, stretchiness that is so lovely about cheese.
~’Daiya’ cheddar shreds. We didn’t like these. They melted to the consistency of velveeta when we put some in a quiche, and was quite oily. I tried making Simon pasta with it (see above) and he only had a few bites because he didn’t like it either.
~’Rice Vegan’ american cheese slices. We didn’t like these either. Simon called it “the yucky cheese” and peeled it off of his sandwich. I think it tastes like rice, not cheese.
Some of the items I was buying before, I had to seek out new versions of, such as rice cakes (who would have thought those would have dairy in them!?). Also, I have had to find non-dairy versions of occasional treats, such as the animal cookies we had at his birthday party. I have spent a lot of time searching for recipes that have good reviews, and asking friends who also eat non-dairy for advice. I am getting a little bit more comfortable now, and want to focus on expanding Simon’s palate, and getting us all to eat more fruits and veggies and less processed foods. I find it difficult to break lifelong habits, but it will be worth it for the well-being of our family.