Ditching Dairy

I mentioned a while back that I was going to try eliminating dairy from my diet to see if it would help Charlotte’s gas issues. Catch was annoyed with me, insisting that babies just have gas and I was overreacting. While it’s true that babies have gas, our baby was straining and arching her back and she went from happy and easy going to fussy, screamy and difficult. Something had to give. I was not prepared to just accept this as our reality.  

At the same time, I not-so-secretly hoped eliminating dairy wouldn’t make a difference. I love cheese. And butter. And pizza. Almost all of my favorite foods use some form of dairy. 

Fortunately and unfortunately, ditching dairy has made a big difference. We have our easygoing baby back. She still burps and farts and fusses over gas sometimes, but it’s on a normal, manageable level. 

I’m still getting the hang of being dairy-free. It’s really a pain in the ass sometimes. Especially since EVERY SINGLE meal my SIL made and froze for us when she was here has cheese in it. I’m getting used to checking labels and menus for allergy information–fortunately, most labels will call out whether a product contains dairy for allergy purposes.

I’m honestly blown away by the things that contain dairy. Even my favorite granola bars contain whey protein. So frustrating! And gone are the days of going out for pancakes on the weekend. Now I have no choice but to make them at home. Boo. 

It’s worth it to have a happy baby, but man I miss pizza. (I actually ordered pizza with no cheese the other night. It’s as disappointing as it sounds.)

And seriously… Isn’t there ANYTHING about breastfeeding that can just be easy for me? I feel like I’m constantly being punished for trying to provide food for my baby that doesn’t have corn syrup as its first ingredient (formula). 

Anyway, I’m looking for some good (easy) dairy-free recipes. If you have anything worth sharing in your recipe arsenal (or any dairy-free tips in general), let me know! I will pay you in cute baby pictures. 

   
    
    
    
 

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30 thoughts on “Ditching Dairy

  1. You may find that you can phase certain items back in small quantities. I’m dairy sensitive but I’ll eat pizza every once in a while. One slice of Cheese on a burger won’t bother me, but I’m done if I have a glass of milk. It sorta becomes a balancing act to see what works for you and what doesn’t.

    • In a few months I’m going to start re-introducing some things to see whether her tummy has matured enough to handle it. I’m so hopeful that I won’t have to do this for the entire time I’m giving her breast milk.

  2. I’m 100% MSG free and have been for almost 20 years. For me migraines were enough of a reason to cut it out of my diet, so I can absolutely understand how feeding your beautiful little girl is motivation to cut our dairy!
    From my experience i can say it’s not always fun being on a restricted diet, but honestly, once you get the hang of it, it’s not that bad. Right now you have to read everything but eventually you will only have to read new things.

      • When I was about 14 years old and again in my 20s I cut out every single possible trigger food and began introducing things one week at a time. Today I know that MSG, aspartame (all fake sugars really), cheap red wine and high doses of caffeine are going to give me troubles. And what I miss most still to this day is ketchup chip.

      • Funny–high doses of caffeine are the only way I get through the day! I hope your future baby is a better sleeper than mine is!

        Also, cheap red wine does a number on me, too! Those are the worst hangovers!

        I used to get migraines a lot as a kid, but there never seemed to be any logic to them. Fortunately they’re pretty rare now that I’m older, but if I knew I could do something to avoid them, I would sure as heck do it!

      • Ya, I’ve never been too sure if the cheap red wine actually causes a migraine or if it just results in a hangover! Either way, I just try to avoid it now because neither are fun. 🙂
        The only migraine trigger I cannot avoid is stress – usually it’s actually a day or two after the stress passes.

      • Huh, me, too – I can’t eat MSG, more than a tea’s worth of caffeine, or any wine at all. I first started having problems with MSG in my early teens – major headaches, until I finally got serious about eliminating it. I miss dim sum the most – so hard to find MSG-free dim sum!

  3. Whoaa! Charlotte is growing like a string bean. I can’t believe how big she already looks. I think you will get the hang of the change. My first son is lactose intolerant, cutting it out for a child was difficult when we discovered it. This could just be temporary for her as well. Infants have such sensitive little bellies. Good thing you caught on, some babies get colic due to this. It would have been much more miserable to have been oblivious and missed it all together. She’s sooo beautiful!!! Always add pictures to your posts, it’s so fun watching all these rainbow babies grow up:)

    • She is seriously getting huge! It’s nuts. She’s 2 mos now, and the other day one of my coworkers told me she’s the size of her 6 mo old. I feel like I’m adding clothes to the “too small” pile daily!

  4. As you know, I also had to cut dairy from my diet. IT SUCKS. It sucks soooo much. The things we do for our children, eh?!

    She is beautiful, and just keeps getting cuter! ❤

  5. I forget when, exactly, I was able to easy dairy again, but it was definitely before 6 months. Hope the same works for you. Favorite easy dairy -free recipe that actually helps with the dairy craving for me was pasta bake. We mixed cooked pasta (blanking on the name…round, hollow, about 2-3 inches long…) with a hat of sauce and a bag of daiya mozzarella (this is the only way I eat this ‘cheese’ now). Bake and eat. So good and satisfying.

  6. I have a bunch of food restrictions (I’m a pescatarian, and can’t eat MSG, gluten, or dairy). I find dairy the hardest to avoid, and it’s the only one I occasionally cheat with. I make a lot of food from food cultures that don’t use much dairy, and I find that that is easier than adapting recipes to be dairy-free because then I don’t feel like they are lacking an essential ingredient. Coconut milk based recipes are some of our favourites – especially thai red curry and shitake laksa. We’re big fans of one-pot meals, especially with a newborn!

    Great that eliminating dairy is helping with the gas! Di is thinking of trying that as well, as Junie is pretty gassy, too. We just started using biogaia probiotic drops and it has made a huge difference, but she still gets some serious bouts of gas. It’s hard because Di’s a vegetarian and dairy is a major protein source for her (she often adds dairy to my dairy-free cooking), but if it helps, it’d definitely be worth it.

    Also – Charlotte is ridiculously cute!

  7. The things we do for the people we love eh? I sprinkle nutritional yeast on my food sometimes, because it has a cheesy flavour.. And for you, it can also help boost supply like Brewers Yeast does. I was dairy free for most of my 20’s, and you just get used to it eventually and stop craving it. Good luck!

  8. Ugh… I feel this. Chick is also not so pleased with dairy, and I’ve cut out cow’s milk entirely.

    Remember- you can have dairy from other animals. (Something about the cow milk protein in particular is hard on baby stomachs.) sooooo…. You can have goat and sheep cheeses. I’m obsessed with a goat feta that is lovely on salads. And I’ve found a sheep based ricotta, which I’m itching to use on pizza.

    Not that I want to throw more on to your plate, but have you tried soy elimination? Apparently soy and cow milk proteins are similar, so an intolerance to both isn’t uncommon. Something to think about in case her gas and such doesn’t clear up.

  9. My bestie had to do the same. No dairy, no garlic, no spicy spices and there was something else but I am forgetting…. I thought that might mean all those allergies would carry over but no, Little A is not allergic to anything and my friend, like you, felt that a little deprivation in terms of variety was worth it for a short period of time.

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