There’s a new milk in town and it’s just as healthy as the original option, if not healthier. Nut milks have become a popular substitute for kids who have problems with dairy. Whether catalyzed by allergies, recent studies linking dairy to health issues or just a desire to try something new, moms who are making the switch away from cow’s milk are not alone in working dairy out of their kiddos’ diet. The moms in our #Momforce by Chatbooks Facebook Group have been chatting recently about how to transition to almond, coconut, cashew, rice, oat, and even soy milk. We gathered some of their most useful tips for all of you aspiring dairy-free mamas.
Don’t let breakfast break you. Many moms were worried when it came to using a milk substitute for pancakes, waffles, french toast, and scrambled eggs. Several #Momforce moms confirmed that almond milk has served as a great substitute! One even suggested to sub water with a dash of vanilla to taste. It can be tricky navigating between sweetened and unsweetened varieties. Both are pretty delicious, though unsweetened works best for savory dishes and sweetened goes well with sweeter or carby foods (such as breakfast!).
Go nutty for “cheese.” For many of us, the hardest part is passing on the cheese. It can be difficult finding a faux cheese that measures up. Check out Kite Hill and Treeline, two companies that have created some truly delicious spreads. One mom shared that Trader Joe’s and Toffutti have created a cream cheese you can actually use for baking! Shredded cheese alternatives are still working out the kinks, so until a veggie scientist cracks this code, you might want to order cheese-free pizza with their favorite veggies. (And always be sure to double-check that pizza crust!)
Read the small print. Going dairy-free also means that you can’t bypass the ingredient list, especially if you motivation for making the switch is a lactose intolerance diagnosis. Milk isn’t the only word you’re looking for, so get your glasses on and search each and every ingredient. You’ll have to pass on anything with butter, milk, whey, or casein. The website godairyfree.com will become your new best friend as you navigate this new, nutty world. They have a super helpful list of hidden dairy ingredient words to watch out for. These sneaky ingredients are in breads, chips, cookies, and all kind of snacks. Who knew dairy hunting could become a skill?!
Even chocolate gets healthier! Don’t you fret—there are plenty of chocolates out there that are dairy-free! Hallelujah right?! In fact, Costco’s Kirkland brand of chocolate chips are dairy-free! And one #Momforce mom let us in on a secret: Oreos are dairy-free! Also, dark chocolate over 70% is most likely dairy-free, so no need to give up your guilty pleasure. Equally important is how crazy delicious dairy-free ice cream has become. Look for the So Delicious brand (their Snickerdoodle flavor is out of this world), and check out the Enjoy Life brand to find more safe treats. You can also buy your own ice cream maker and get creative with your favorite “milk!”
With so many great resources and delicious alternatives to your regular ol’ gallon of milk, the possibilities are endless when facing that ominous dairy-free diagnosis. You got this, mama!