2. September 2011 | 14:40

What is a milk free diet?

Once your baby starts weaning, you will need to make sure that any foods they are given are free from cows’ milk. This will be easier at the start, as ‘first foods’ such as pureed fruit and vegetables are naturally free from cows’ milk protein.

As the range of foods eaten broadens, one of the most important things you will need to do is to read food labels on packaged and pre-prepared baby foods to check for milk and milk derived ingredients which could potentially cause an allergic reaction.

The following ingredients may be derived from cows’ milk and should be avoided on a milk free diet:

  • Buttermilk
  • Butter/butter fat/butter oil
  • Casein/caseinates/hydrolysed
  • Casein/sodium caseinate/calcim caseinate/ammonium caseinate/magnesium caseinate/potassium caseinate
  • Cheese
  • Cream/artificial cream
  • Curd
  • Ghee
  • Hydrolysed whey protein
  • Hydrolysed whey sugar
  • Lactoglobulin/Lactoalbumin
  • Lactose
  • Maragarine
  • Milk (fresh,UHT, evaoprated, condensed, dried)
  • Milk solids
  • Modified Milk
  • Non fat milk solids/milk solids/milk powder/milk protein
  • Rennet
  • Skimmed milk powder
  • Whey/whey solids/whey syrup sweetener/whey powder
  • Whitener
  • Yoghurt/fromage frais

Other tips which are useful when following a milk free diet include:

    1. Read all food ingredient labels carefully and look out for allergy information. Note that companies can change the ingredients; therefore the foods should be checked every time.

    2. Avoid foods which are sold loose such as those from a buffet, bakery or deli which will have no label/nutritional information

    3. Ask supermarkets for ‘free from’ lists on their own brand foods, or visit the ‘free from’ aisle for specialist foods

    4. Avoid labels stating ‘may contain traces of milk’ even though your child may never have reacted to the food previously

    5. Be cautious when preparing meals as milk may be transferred to other foods through handling of the use of contaminated utensils. When in a restaurant, it is a good idea to make them aware of our child’s allergy, particularly if the reaction is severe.

Please note that if a milk free diet has been recommended, it is important to discuss this with a Dietitian who will be able to monitor your child’s diet to ensure nutritional adequacy.