When we found out that Jack was lactose intolerant, it was the beginning of a new lifestyle. Dairy was such a huge part of our diet, and at first, it was hard to eliminate it. While we aren’t perfect, and still have dairy on occasion, I’ve discovered a lot of different tips and tricks to living a mostly-dairy free life. Lucky for us, Jack doesn’t have a milk protein allergy, just a lactose intolerance, which means some dairy products are okay (as long as they are lactose-free!) Along the way, as I eliminated dairy from my diet for the most part, I was able to see a little resolution to some of the health problems I’d been having, and so we’ve unofficially decided I have a little bit of a lactose intolerance as well!
Over the next few weeks, I plan to highlight some different aspects of a lactose-free life, including some alternatives we’ve found, some delicious, dairy free recipes, as well as information on babies with lactose or milk protein intolerances! Before you say to yourself, “Hey, I’m not lactose intolerant, I don’t need to know this,” hear me out. I think this information can be informative for anyone, because chances are, you know someone with a lactose or milk protein allergy. Did you know that 33% of American adults are lactose intolerant, and in addition to that, 75% of adults have a decrease in lactase activity and only 40% of people maintain the ability to digest lactose after childhood? (source) Many of these people don’t even realize they have a lactose intolerance! Even if you don’t have any of these issues, you never know when you might have to take dinner to someone who does.
Today, I want to share some information about milk alternatives. There’s a lot of other options out there, and sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to figure out which route you should go! Especially if you are a trying to find an alternative for your child, because of their unique dietary needs, and the necessity for the nutrients that whole milk offers. There is a lot of debate about whether or not we actually need cow’s milk…but I won’t go into that (if you want to read some interesting things, check out this infographic. Blew my mind!) But here is a chart I created, with information I found at EatingWell.com. If you choose to use one of these alternatives for your child, make sure to make up for missing nutrients with other foods. As always, consult a doctor about what’s best for you or your child, but hopefully you might be able to find this information helpful! This chart is based on 1 cup of the respective milk. The difference in calories depends on the variety of milk (for instance, the lowest calories on cow’s milk is for 1% milk, and the highest is for whole milk.)
Tune in next week for my review of the best (and the not-so-best) dairy-free options!