Wednesday, July 09, 2014

Lactose Free

Back in May, Miss A became very sick. We ended up in the hospital for about a week, but the sickness lasted very close to a month. Though we never found the cause of the sickness, we do know one thing... an entire month of diarrhea and vomiting  wreaks havoc on your digestive system. It caused her to become highly lactose intolerant. Even with tiny tiny amounts of normal dairy, we're talking like three M&M's, she gets sick. So we've cut out all of it from her diet.

It's been hard, it really has. The girl loves cheese, yogurt, ice cream, and pretty much everything that she can't have. So when we eat things that she can't have (especially while dining out), I feel awful telling her she can't have it. We've had to find substitutions for lots of things, and I'm actually really surprised how much is out there. Here are some of the staples in her new diet:

Lactaid Whole Milk- Since she can't have regular milk, and is still under two, we've found this for her. We originally had her on soy milk, but I've been hearing lots of mixed things about whether or not soy is good or bad... we opted for Lactaid.

She really likes it, and is actually drinking more milk now than she was before she got sick. The only thing I don't like about it is that it only comes in half gallons from what we've found. So I usually have two in my fridge at once to avoid extra trips to the store.

Lactose Free Yoplait- We can only find one flavor at our local stores: vanilla. Luckily, she loves it. Shoot, I actually like it better than the normal vanilla Yoplait. I never knew this existed, but I'm so glad that we stumbled upon it. We use this and the Lactaid to make special smoothies that we can share with Miss A to keep her included. Even better? It's the same price as normal yoplait.

This is another yogurt we've found that she loves. In Georgia, we have only found blueberry, which is still her favorite fruit, so it works. We found strawberry and cherry in Michigan too.

I am glad that we can give her some variety, even with her limited diet. I don't buy this kind quite as often, because it is a bit pricier (over $1.00 per cup, compared to $0.60 for the Yoplait), but what's an extra few cents for some variety?
SO Delicious Soy Icecream- This stuff was pretty pricey, but Adalin does love it. I think it was about $6.00 for the tub at Kroger, which was far more than I was expecting. If I didn't love her so much, she would go without. ;) It really does taste good though. The texture is a lot more solid than other ice cream, but she can eat it just fine. The picture isn't exactly the one that we have, but this is the brand that we have. I do keep normal ice cream in the house for my husband and I so this is just hers.

Breyers Lactose Free Ice Cream- I am so proud of Breyers. This stuff is the same price as their normal ice cream, and it tastes great. I was really surprised to find it, especially at multiple stores. I've seen it at the commissary, Walmart, Meijer, and a locally owned market in Michigan.

They have vanilla chocolate, but we've only had vanilla. Since this one is not expensive ($2.49 today at the commissary, plus a $0.50 coupon too!), I don't feel so bad for eating it too. We will probably get her the chocolate next to see how she likes that.

There are a few other brands of ice cream that offer lactose free options, including Lactaid, but we haven't tried them yet. Lactaid offers quite a few different flavors, but I can only find them at one store and they're a bit more expensive than the Breyers.

Go Veggie Cheese- Miss A loves this stuff. I was kind of skeptical at first, but I tried it too, and it's great. Their website has coupons (can you tell that I'm back on that kick?) too, so it makes it even more affordable.

We've tried the American and Cheddar, and both are pretty yummy. My husband prefers normal cheese, but I don't mind this at all.

They also have shredded cheese, both just lactose free and completely dairy free. Though Adalin doesn't have a milk allergy, it's good to know that there are options out there in case it ever does develop.

Go Veggie Cream Cheese- This was a new find today. We don't have cream cheese that often, but I do make fruit pizzas quite a bit during the summer. The "sauce" for it calls for cream cheese, and Adalin loves it. I haven't made any yet this summer since I knew it'd make her sick, but this alternative is going to be perfect. I'm making one tomorrow.

Daiya Lactose Free Cheese- This was the first non-lactose cheese that we tried. It tastes really good, but it is kind of expensive. I went to a special "natural foods" store in town and found it for $5.79 for a relatively small bag. I've made it last quite a while, which makes me happy... but I plan on trying to stay with Go Veggie if we can.

Daiya does offer more flavors than Go Veggie does, from what I've found, so it is a good alternative if you can't find the flavor you want with Go Veggie.

I've cooked with this more than the Go Veggie, and it really does melt well. It doesn't get as "saucy" as normal cheese, but it works great for chicken cordon bleu, or other melts. I attempted to melt some as a sauce for Miss A's broccoli, but that failed. It just turned into a jiggly blob.

I've found quite a few recipes using coconut milk, but haven't tried them yet. I have been cooking with the Lactaid and it seems to work just fine. Butter doesn't appear to affect Miss A yet, or at least in moderation. As much of a pain as this transition has been, I really am pleased with how many options we've found.

Do you have a lactose intolerant toddler? What solutions have you found? I'd love to know about more awesome products on the market!

God Bless ♥ Victoria