Being an Italian family, lunchmeat and cheeses and pastries, oh my! Dairy, something my family and I have always eaten, probably more than we should have. Now, it was brought to our attention that the dairy had to go. My 4-year-old is severely allergic to it. He kept getting sick, fevers, stomach issues, bloating, belching, you name it. No one ever thought, maybe it’s an allergy. Being in school and around kids, it was considered normal to get sick so often. Enough was enough though, as his mother, I knew it had to be an allergy or something. Sure enough, after having allergists run tests, DAIRY was immediately taken out.
At first, I felt terrible for my little guy, like I had done something wrong or should have noticed sooner. I didn’t know what to do at first and even felt bad passing the ice cream shops, but you can’t be too hard on yourself. You just have to accept things and move forward, knowing you are making healthy changes that will benefit you child and hopefully it’s something he will grow out of.
As soon as we got the results, I cleared out the fridge and pantry. I let the school, family and friends know right away, so we could all keep the dairy away as much as possible together. My son is very aware as well, he knows not to share foods or eat anything, unless I give it to him and check the labels. Inform everyone and try to get your child to understand. If you want to go out to eat, check with the restaurants ahead of time and remind your waiter and the cook. We love to explore and travel, it is all still possible, just take precaution, prepared, and make people aware.
Also, It’s not just a milk allergy either, it is in many things, almost everything, when you have a dairy allergy, like my son does. Dairy, milk, lactose, lactic acid, butter, cheese, bread, whey protein or substitutes, most things have some sort of dairy in it, even if it is in a chemical term word and sometimes it isn’t even listed on the labels. I’ve had to call many companies ( even ones that say vegan on the package have been processed in a dairy facility) to be certain. If I am going to buy any snacks or things to keep on hand, I only go to Whole Foods and Fruitful Yield for his items and still quadruple check the labels. It’s good to know there are still foods out there kids can enjoy and not miss out on completely (chocolate, ice cream, macaroni & cheese)… Cooking from scratch is always the safest and best way, but it’s not always doable. Once you get the hang of the do’s and dont’s, and figure out what works best for you and your child, it winds up being a healthier way of life, that becomes the new normal.
Upcoming, I will be posting tips from our every day life, from websites, stores, restaurants, dairy free recipes that my kid approves of and enjoys, even how and when we travel, and back ups for the tummy aches, if dairy does ever come in contact. Also, I will include a list of brands I do purchase, for back up snacks and eats to have in the house and on hand. Thankfully, we have adjusted and it is now becoming easier, especially for our little one. It’s our new normal. So stay positive, I am personally here to help, with much more to come…
Best regards, Mamma Bear