When my son was 2 months old he was diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy. He is breastfed and the dairy in my diet had been passing on to him through my milk which was making him sick.
From this point I have cut out all dairy products and it has made such a difference. If I have ever consumed any dairy by mistake I can definitely tell as the day after my little boy will be sick so I am ever so careful now with what I eat.
I haven’t actually found it too challenging and I don’t actually miss things too much – except for the odd bit of milk chocolate!
There are so many alternative products out there that actually make the transition quite easy. I buy plain soya yoghurt which I really enjoy, the flavoured ones are good too but high in sugars so I tend to avoid those.
My main milk alternative is soya milk but I also buy, oat and almond and recently discovered hazelnut milk which makes an excellent hot chocolate!
I haven’t really tried many cheese alternatives, but I don’t miss cheese too much and actually quite like a homemade pizza without it! The soft cheese alternatives are quite nice – I did use some to make a pasta sauce mixed with vegan pesto. It is also a great sandwich filler.
The dairy free spreads are versatile too, I use it on toast and also for all of my baking.
At home I have found it really easy to adapt and now my son is on solids too it is easier that we are following the same diet. He too enjoys the soya yogurt, soft cheese alternative and various milks in his cereals etc.
I find going out can be more tricky and find myself choosing the vegan options as I know it is safe then. I quite enjoy vegan food and I don’t consume a large amount of meat anyway. I have found a few cafes that make soya milk hot chocolates – so I can still get my chocolate fix when I need it!
I am also quite happy to be dairy free as I know it is better for the planet. Whilst I wouldn’t take the steps to become fully vegan I am aware of the impact of eating more plant based foods and eating better for the planet. I have been cooking more plant based vegan meals recently and I have really enjoyed them. Examples of some meals I have cooked are vegan moussaka which was made with red lentils and mushrooms, shepherdless pie which was a mixture of green lentils, carrots, peas and sweetcorn and vegan chilli using soya mince.
My daughter’s birthday cake was also a vegan cake, it was an eggless sponge and I used dairy free spread and dark chocolate to make the frosting.