Saturday, August 3, 2013

Breastfeeding on a Dairy-Free Diet: Our Journey and Our Tips

World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center
Welcome to the World Breastfeeding 2013 Blog Carnival cohosted by NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center!
This post was written for inclusion in the WBW 2013 Blog Carnival. Our participants will be writing and sharing their stories about community support and normalizing breastfeeding all week long. Find more participating sites in the list at the bottom of this post or at the main carnival page.
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Over the past year and a half, I posted quite a bit about my breastfeeding journey with Baby George; it was a challenging and rewarding journey for me because it required dietary sacrifices (namely dairy and soy) on my part. Since the time that Georgie has weaned and has begun tolerating these foods well, I have had a few friends who have embarked upon their own dairy-free breastfeeding journeys and have come to me for advice, encouragement, and tips. Since the first week of August is World Breastfeeding Week, it seemed appropriate to me to prepare a post that summarizes our journey, the benefits that George and I both derived from the decision I made, and ways that we can potentially help other moms that are going through similar situations.

From the beginning, my husband and I knew that something just wasn't right with George. Even from his very first night he was incredibly stuffed with mucus, so much so that we worried about him sleeping at night and slid textbooks under one end of his crib mattress to elevate his head. This was accompanied by difficulty sleeping and eventually followed by fussiness and diaper rash. Within just a few short weeks, our Georgie was nearly constantly covered in a hideous-looking rash. We worked closely with the pediatrician on skin-protection regimens and he was administered topical steroids several times; each time the cream would clear him up, but as soon as we stopped administering it that nasty old rash would rear its ugly head again.

When George was two months old, a friend of mine who is a lactation consultant suggested that his problem might be a food allergy. I honestly hadn't even considered this possibility! She suggested that I cut out dairy and continue to nurse George. I began wondering if perhaps her suggestion was plausible, and over the next ten days I watched George's skin closely as I ate different types of foods; I noticed no patterns, but, then again, the rash was consistent and terrible. I began doing internet research on dairy allergies and found that, sure enough, George's profile seemed to be consistent with some frequently-reported symptoms (facial and body rashes, diaper rash, excessive spitting up, and other gastro-intestinal issues). Finally, I woke up one morning when he was about ten weeks old and said, "Enough is enough." I knew that day was the day that I would begin cutting dairy out of my diet to see if it made a difference for him. Little did I know that this was only the beginning...

Like most people that go dairy-free for a period of time, I made a ton of rookie mistakes in that first week! I knew I would be giving up obvious cow-milk foods such as butter, cheese, sour cream, and ice cream. Bye bye pizza. However, I had absolutely no clue that milk is in so many food items! I had naively assumed that if I went to Chick Fil A and ordered a grilled chicken sandwich with no cheese and specifically requested no butter on the bun, I would be in the clear. EEEH! WRONG! To use Chick Fil A as an example, there is milk as an ingredient in the bun itself, the chicken (both the grilled and fried varieties) undergoes a milk wash, and the fries are also NOT dairy-free! Okay then, big mess-up. A closer look at the ingredient labels led me to realize that so many food items, from spaghetti sauces to dinner rolls to many breakfast cereals to Doritos to Toaster Strudels all contain either milk, milkfat, whey, casein, sodium caseinate, lactoglobulins, or other various no-nos. I began spending a couple of hours a day researching the exact limitations of a dairy-free diet, finding restaurants that offered options for me to eat, and brainstorming dairy-free meal ideas for our home. I had the complete support of my husband, who also ate dairy-free meals with me (he was allowed to eat pizza and cheeseburgers at work, as long as he didn't tell me about it!), and I can't tell you how crucial it was for me to have a partner who knew my goals and worked to support my endeavors. Within five days, George's skin was absolutely flawless and his congestion was absent. We knew that we had found our answer. A little tweaking with my ingredient intake led us to the conclusion that George also struggled with soy, so I eliminated soy from my diet as well. *A word on this in a moment!


All in all, I remained on a strict dairy- and soy-free diet with George for nearly eight months. When he was just over ten months old, our pediatrician told me to reintroduce the allergens in a tiny amount to see how George would respond, as many babies begin outgrowing their allergies at around nine months old. Lucky for me, George responded very well to my long-awaited chips and queso! Hooray! Along the journey, there were days when eating no dairy was very easy for me and I hardly had to think twice about it; near the end, however, I feel like I almost became obsessed with thinking about the foods I couldn't have. During those months I found myself missing cheese quite a bit, with pizza being the penultimate dream, followed shortly by one of the newly-introduced Doritos Locos tacos from Taco Bell. I can't help but smile wryly as I think about those cravings and how funny our stubborn taste-buds can be!

When people ask me if the dairy-free diet was worth it, I answer with a resounding YES. Yes, yes, yes, it was worth it! There were so many reasons why I needed to do what I did even though it was hard, and I will always be glad for that decision! Here are some of the top reasons why I have encouraged breastfeeding friends whose babies have potential food allergies to give this sacrifice a try:

1. The obvious first reason is how much better your baby will feel if it really is a dairy allergy, and you successfully remove all traces of the allergen from your diet (and therefore your baby's system). George was happier and seemed better in every way within just a short time, and this sustained my motivation over eight long months.

2. You'll probably lose all of your pregnancy weight...plus some! I couldn't keep the weight on, really and truly. The pounds just seemed to melt off, even though I let myself eat as much as I wanted and whatever I wanted that was dairy- and soy-free. Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate morsels? Yeah, I threw them back by the handful several times a day (they're the only delicious dairy-free chocolate morsel that I ever found, by the way). I ate two whole bags a week! Second and third helpings at dinner? Bring it! Between George's birth and the day I went dairy-free I lost 30 pounds; after I went dairy-free I lost 35 more and ended up 25 pounds below my pre-pregnancy weight. Cutting out all of those dairy-filled processed foods, plus engaging in some low-key jogging, had its benefits!

3. The bonding with my baby was intense. It's probably in part due to some psychological defense mechanism ("I tell myself this is worth it because it's hard"), but my feelings for George intensified many times over during that first year. I felt as though it was him and me against the world, dairy-free buddies taking it by storm! He and I were a team, and a darn good one at that! I loved him all the more for the sacrifices that I made.

4. If your baby cannot tolerate dairy or soy, then choosing to cut the allergens out of your own diet will be far cheaper than relying upon alimentum formula, which typically runs about $30 for a 16-ounce can. Welcome savings!

5. And finally, my fifth motivating factor was ultimately the one factor why many people say it isn't worth the sacrifice in the first place: I just love dairy so much. I love ice cream and cheese and pizza and Mexican food; I love it all so much, in fact, that I can't imagine not eating this food with my children. I knew from my pediatrician that if I gave up my son's allergens and breastfed him rather than put him on alimentum formula, his chances of overcoming this allergy would be better and sooner; I SO wanted this for George. I craved the very idea of eating pizza and ice cream cake with him at his birthday parties and watching his face light up as he eats delicious foods that I love. I craved the idea so much that I gave up the food itself, so that my daydream had a better chance of becoming a reality.

Please learn from my mistakes along the way! I made months' worth of dairy-free recipes, researched milk substitutes (because I love to cook and bake), and learned the in's and out's of what I could eat when I was out on the road. Some restaurants were extremely accommodating to my needs (one kind server even let me scour ingredients on labels back in the kitchen with her!) and others were not (nasty stare from food-prep gentleman as I timidly pointed out the shredded cheese that was strewn all about the salsa I wanted on my burrito at a build-your-own burrito chain).  These are some important things I found along the way:

1. Know your dairy ingredient names so you can find them easily on food labels!  This website was particularly helpful for me in memorizing these: http://www.godairyfree.org/dairy-free-grocery-shopping-guide/dairy-ingredient-list-2

2. Find out what you CAN eat from grocery stores and focus on using those ingredients as building blocks. Try to see it in terms of what you are allowed to eat, rather than what you are not. This website helped me with this:http://www.beanmom.com/nomilk.html

3. Yes, eating out is going to be hard, but with some education and some creativity, you can do it! For instance, nope, you can't eat the buns at Five Guys Burgers...but you CAN get your delicious hamburger wrapped in lettuce with all of the fixings minus cheese, plus their french fries are dairy-free (most french fries at places aren't)!  Here is a guide that we used for choosing restaurants: http://www.godairyfree.org/eating-out, and here is their fast-food guide: http://www.godairyfree.org/eating-out/fast-food-dairy-free-listings. A word of caution: unless you can become intimately acquainted with the menu of local, one-of-a-kind restaurants, they are generally hard to eat at because they largely do not provide allergen menus. This will stick you with a lot of chains, because the larger chains are the ones who are more willing to provide their ingredient lists, in my experience. YOU TYPICALLY CANNOT TRUST YOUR SERVER TO KNOW IF SOMETHING HAS DAIRY IN IT. I cannot stress this enough; as well-meaning as your server may be, he or she typically does not have the knowledge of milk-protein allergies and will simply make the assumption that something does not contain dairy if there is no obvious cheese or butter in it. You will be responsible for hunting down this information on your own before you consume the meal!

4. You can find ways to have your delicious treats!
Oh, yes, these chocolate chip cookies are dairy-free and delicious! I made them in my own kitchen by substituting Crisco for butter and using Ghiradelli semi-sweet morsels (they must be the semi-sweet kind; the milk chocolate and bittersweet renditions both have milkfat). Here is a separate post with this cookie recipe. In the fall I made a delicious pumpkin pie that was dairy- and soy- free (okay, many times I made this pumpkin pie because I'm a pumpkin pie fiend), and friends and family swore they couldn't tell the difference! The pie is the creation of Alisa Fleming, who ingeniously thought to be substitute Silk coconut milk for the traditionally called-for evaporated milk. After hours of drumming my fingers and running out of options for my favorite dessert of all, Alisa came to the rescue! http://www.godairyfree.org/ask-alisa/ask-alisa-do-you-have-a-good-pumpkin-pie-recipe-that-is-milk-free-and-soy-free
I also found that you can make a delicious cup of hot chocolate using 4 tablespoons of Ghiradelli semi-sweet chocolate chips mixed with three-quarters of a cup of soy or almond milk. Just put them together in a mug, microwave for 90 seconds, and stir vigorously for a minute or so. Yum! My husband and I both think this creation is delicious.


5. Sweets aren't the only foods to get creative with! We tweaked existing recipes and developed a running inventory of dairy- and soy-free meals that we could reliably prepare and love. Take for instance "Mexican Mashup:" cook some brown rice (I cook it in chicken stock instead of water for extra flavor) and smother it with a heated mixture of drained canned black beans and a salsa of your choosing. Then add chunks of avocado and shredded cabbage (I use bagged cole-slaw starter which can be found by the mixed greens in the grocery store) and scarf it up with tortilla chips. All of these foods are perfectly safe! You can create your own meals or you can contact me for more ideas....I have several.

6. Soy-free diet does not mean you have to give up ALL soy! I began crying when I realized that I needed to give up soy and saw that it is basically an ingredient in everything--that is, until I researched it more thoroughly and came to understand that soy lecithin and refined soybean oil are considered safe enough that manufacturers aren't even required to put it on their labels. Best I understood, these two ingredients, which comprise the soy in many foods, are safe to eat by nearly everyone, with the exception of perhaps people who are allergic enough that they could die if they consume soy. This rules back in a ton of foods, including basics like peanut butter.

I know that this has been a lot of information and it isn't applicable to most people who read this blog. I just wanted to have this information out there and in one place for those who need it. Think you can't do it? Think again, my friend. You are powerful, and stronger than you might think. Build yourself up by leaning on a positive support system, and surround yourself with images of strength (for example, one of my favorite posts here about female grit!). I welcome woman-to-woman encouragement, as I believe that building each other up is essential. We are stronger, more skilled, and happier as we connect with one another and rely on others for support. Good luck to all of you moms out there, and to your little nurslings too!


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World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center Visit NursingFreedom.org and The San Diego Breastfeeding Center for more breastfeeding resources and WBW Carnival details!
Please take time to read the submissions by the other carnival participants. Below are a list of links for today's participants; you can find a complete list of links (updated throughout the week) at our main carnival page:
(This list will be updated by afternoon August 3 with all the carnival links.)
  • Breastfeeding and NIP: A Primer — Rachel Rainbolt of Sage Parenting, featured today at NursingFreedom.org, uses her informative and candid voice to share with you everything you need to know to breastfeed successfully in public, from the practical how-to's to handling the social stigma.
  • Lactivist Ryan Gosling — Breastfeeding mamas, the time is long overdue for a Lactivist Ryan Gosling. Fortunately, Dionna of Code Name: Mama has created some for your viewing pleasure.
  • In Defense of Formula — Amy of Mom2Mom KMC, guest blogging for Breastfeeding in Combat Boots, asserts that formula is a medical tool rather than a food. She examines how this perspective supports breastfeeding as normal and eliminates the negative tensions between breastfeeding and non-breastfeeding mothers.
  • World Breastfeeding Week 2013 Blog Carnival - Breastfeeding Tips & Tricks — Throughout her breastfeeding journey (since March 2009), Jenny at I'm a full-time mummy has shared countless tips and tricks on the topic of breastfeeding.
  • Nursing in the Wild — Meredith at Thank You Ma'am posts about how seeing other moms nurse can make all of us more comfortable with nursing in public.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding — Sara Stepford of The Stepford Sisters confronts the social stigma vs. the reality of breastfeeding and opens up about the steps she takes to make herself and others more comfortable with the process.
  • Breastfeeding Alrik at two years old — This is where Lauren at Hobo Mama and her second-born are at in their nursing relationship, two years in.
  • Perfectly Normal — Stephanie from Urban Hippie writes about the way she and her family have done their part to try and normalize breastfeeding in a society that doesn't get to see breastfeeding as often as they should.
  • Diagnosis: Excess Lipase — Learn about excess lipase and how to test if your expressed milk has it. That Mama Gretchen shares her own experience.
  • Redefining Normal — Diana at Munchkin's Mommy reflects on how we can normalize breastfeeding in our society.
  • Nursing Openly and Honestly — Amy W. at Me, Mothering, and Making it All Work feels that the most socially responsible thing she can do as a mother is to nurse and nurture her children openly, honestly, and with pride.
  • Wet-nursing, Cross-nursing and Milk-sharing: Outdated? — Jamie Grumet of I Am Not the Babysitter shares a response to the Wendy Williams quote about milk sharing being akin to slavery, by giving a brief history of the wet nurse.
  • Tackling Mastitis with an Older Nursling — Much of the advice available for supporting recovery from mastitis seems to be aimed at mamas with younger nurslings. Juliet of Twisting Vines, posting at Natural Parents Network shares tips for dealing with mastitis while breastfeeding a toddler.
  • Milk in the eye — Gena from Nutrition Basics discusses how breastmilk cured her 3 year old's case of pink eye.
  • Boobie Biter — Rachel Rainbolt at Sage Parenting offers guidance on how to survive and thrive a boobie biter with your breastfeeding relationship intact.
  • My take on breastfeeding advice — Diana at Munchkin's Mommy shares her insights on nursing for both new moms and new dads.
  • My Top Five Breastfeeding Tips for Delivery Day: Think "A-B-C-D-E"Mothernova shares how her continued success at breastfeeding with her second child rests on a foundation of five key things she did to prepare for baby's arrival, along with things she did when she and baby first met. Easily enough, these tips can be categorized as "A-B-C-D-E": Access to lactation consultant, Baby-friendly hospital, Communicate your plan to breastfeed exclusively, Demand, and Expect to room in.
  • Breastfeeding Buddies: Twin Brothers Nurse while Living in the NICU — Twintrospectives at How Do You Do It? shares her 5 tips for learning to breastfeed multiples while in the NICU.
  • Breastfeeding on a Dairy-Free Diet: Our Journey and Our Tips — Finding herself nursing a baby with food allergies, Jenny at Spinning Jenny embarked upon a dairy-free journey with her son for eight months. Here she relates her reasons for making the decision to give up dairy in her diet, why it was worth it, and tips for moms on the same path.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding in my Home — Shannah at The Touch of Life shares how she plans to help keep breastfeeding normal for her own children, even when her breastfeeding years are over.
  • A Year With My Nursling — The more you see and hear, the more normal it becomes, so That Mama Gretchen is sharing her heart on the last year of breastfeeding - the ups and downs, but mostly the joy of her priceless relationship with her son.
  • From Covered to Confident — Krystyna at Sweet Pea Births shares her personal NIP evolution: she started by covering up from neck to ankle while nursing in public. Eight years later, she has gained confidence and the ability to nurse without stressing about flashing a little skin. She shares her views on normalizing breastfeeding - what influenced her and how she hopes to help others.
  • Normalizing Breastfeeding for Older Kids — Sadia at How Do You Do It? hopes that openly discussing breastfeeding with her (now weaned) daughters will help her children feel comfortable with breastfeeding and their bodies in general as they grow.
  • Nursing in Public — Listen up, mammas. Those other people around . . . they don’t matter. It’s not about them. It’s about you and that beautiful baby. Nurse on, says The Swaddled Sprout!
  • How to Nurse a Teenager — Sarah at The Touch of Life declares: the purpose is to help normalize breastfeeding a toddler.

89 comments:

  1. This is some great perspective and practical advice for mamas in a tough situation. I know I LOVE my dairy but I love breastfeeding my son more so if I were in this situation, I would grateful for this article to help me through it!

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    1. Good sharing, MyNutriBaby is an online community education programme and led by Nutrition Society Malaysia (NSM) and supported by Philips Avent Malaysia, is running a campaign that focuses on the importance of supporting breastfeeding mothers at their workplaces. For detail visit:
      http://kidbuxblog.com/mynutribaby-is-a-workplace-for-working-mothers-who-are-still-breastfeeding/





      Best Regards,
      Split Queen Box Springs or split queen box spring

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  2. I was allergic to dairy as a child, but was breastfed to age 2. I wonder how much less eczema and asthma I would have had to contend with were Scottish doctors aware of allergens being passed on in breast milk? I educated myself about this issue when I became pregnant, but am happy to report that my kids are so far (7 years old) allergy-free. I'll be bookmarking this post, though, for the next friend who has to make the food sacrifices you've made.

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  3. What a helpful and inspiring post! We went through the same thing with our son and breastfed for 23 months. It is challenging but doable, and so rewarding, as you said! Thank you for sharing your story and offering great ideas and resources for other moms breastfeeding with food allergies. Best wishes, mama!

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  4. Another dairy-free mama here -- but I was vegan to start with which made it easier :) (we worked out L's intolerance when I had accidental dairy and he had a DREADFUL night, around 2 weeks; and tested it again a couple of days later to be sure). He seems to be outgrowing it now he's been on solid food for a while.

    So another good tip if you're going dairy-free is to seek out vegans and vegan resources!

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    1. Thank you, Juliet! That's a great tip. I always knew when I was shopping in the store that if the label said "Vegan" I was safe!

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  5. I just want to say I can't thank you enough for this post!3days into my 100%dairy free journey and where I've thought I did good lately I haven't.I'm feeling a little down that all these signs were there from the start and it's been almost 6 months and we just now figured out to try this completely. I went to Chick Fila for lunch today & told myself I can have a sandwhich with no cheese and butter. But chose chicken nuggets instead to make it easier on the employees.I was excited to read their chick fila sauce and see I could have it.I'm addicted to that stuff & thought I chose well for dinner.Now I see I messed up again.Yesterday I went to my favorite Italian place.Only ate fried Calamari and bread sticks.I today realize both of those were a nono. :( It's a tough journey starting out. I find myself reading more and more and begging for information.Thank you for providing recipes and breaking it down to what it is specifically i have to watch for on labels. My son has been congested since birth.doctors said it was normal,he has had eczema, a rash that comes and goes (this one hasn't happened in a while) is starting to have a diaper rash that comes and goes,he literally tears scratches into his skin ankles back of knee ears and top of his head mainly.Spits up a lot after every feeding and all day in between.(some days he doesnt at all though).
    I just can't express my gratitude enough that you've shared this for everyone.You may have just saved me a little. & helped me with ways to feel better about my transitioning.
    I don't like avacado coconut and almond and since they're my new best friend I've got some work to do!

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    1. Allicia, hang in there and try not to feel down or disappointed! It's a learning process for everyone, and I promise that it won't take long to become a pro if your motivation level stays high. I'm certainly available to talk with you more if you need any support or further help! You can email me at breastfeeding.jrp@xoxy.net.

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  6. Can you share your chocolate chip recipe?

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    1. Yes, I just wrote a separate post that contains the recipe. I also amended this post just now and added the link.

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  7. Thank you for this information. My little guy is allergic to soy and dairy, and like you, I loooove cheese, ice cream, and Mexican food! The transition to a S+D free diet has been a challenge for me and I have made so many mistakes along the way. We're now doing great at 4 months- no more crazy rashes and I can finally put down the spit up cloth!

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    1. Congratulations on your achievement, Susanna! I know it isn't easy! Thanks for your comment.

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  8. I am dealing with this with my 4 week old right now and while googling about breastfeeding dairy free moms i came across this! Thank you so much. I would love more information it it and any dinner recipes if you have any! i need help big time. lol. Time to buckle down on all my research today!

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    1. Hey Anna! Give me your email address and I'll be glad to help!

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    2. I'd love recipes as well if you are sharing! Thanks! nymagana@gmail.com

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    3. Thank you for sharing your story. I have been stugging with a dairy free diet for awhile now. My son is 6 months and improving when I don't make a mistake. I'd live some recipes if you b are willing to share. Thank you rjalbaugh@gmail.com

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    4. Would you be so kind as to send me some recipes? This desperate momma is on day two of dairy free diet. Thank you so much! Hodge19@att.net

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  9. Thanks for the great post. I am just starting soy and dairy free for my 5 week old daughter. She spits up all day long and seems very uncomfortable if she isn't upright. We have tried reflux meds, homeopathic remedies, and probiotics without any luck. I am wondering how long before I should expect to see some improvement?

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    1. Becky, I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's troubles. I sure hope she gets more comfortable soon. As far as removing dairy from your diet and seeing results, I think it all depends on the person. It will take some time for the dairy to be out of your system, and then it will take a little longer for it to get out of hers as well. I was lucky and noticed results VERY quickly. By day 4 I was starting to think that George looked more cleared up, and by day 5 we were certain. His skin was nearly flawless, which was a huge change (I'm sure you saw the picture in the post). So with me it only took five days, but I have heard it can take up to a couple of weeks for some people. Good luck, and let me know if I can help anymore!

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  10. Jenny, this is a great post, thank you SO much! I'm guessing that my daughter may be sensitive to dairy. I'm going to try going without and see if it helps things. Could you add me to your dinner recipe list? :) all4glacier@gmail.com Thanks again!

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  11. Thank so much! I'm also trying to navigate this foreign world of dairy and soy free for my little one. I would really love and appreciate any recipes you have for soy and dairy free and any foods. Reading labels with a 2 month old and 2 yr old is extremely difficult :) Aiello.dawn@gmail.com

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  12. Thank you so much! My daughter has the same symptoms! I have just started a dairy and soy free diet. I stay away from tomatoes as well. I would love any recipes you are willing to share! My email is khebda@yahoo.com. Thanks so much!

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  13. Thank you for this post!!! We are going through the same with our 11 week old son! Just starting a dairy and soy free diet and am super overwhelmed!! Are there any easy recipes and ideas that you could share with me, pretty please??! My email is mdsturdivan@hotmail.com! Thank you so much!!!!

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  14. awful piece of information, I had come to know about your blog from my friend vimal, mumbai,i have read atleast 13 posts of yours by now, and let me tell you, your blog gives the best and the most interesting information. This is just the kind of information that i had been looking for, i'm already your rss reader now and i would regularly watch out for the new posts, once again hats off to you! Thanks a million once again, Regards, upma recipe

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  15. Thank you so much for sharing your story. My daughter just turned 7 weeks and has blood in her stool, which her pediatrician says could be due to dairy and soy. Just started restricting yesterday. She also has some congestion which I didn't think about being related to milk until you mentioned it. Hoping that dairy and soy are the culprits.
    Nice to hear someone being so realistic about food, too and that there can be success with this issue for mom and most importantly baby! Can you please add me to your recipe list shawnbetzing@yahoo.com
    Thanks again!

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    1. Shawn, absolutely! Email coming shortly. I'm starting to think that I should just create a second post that has all of our ideas on it!

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  16. I also just started dairy and soy free for my little man, 4 weeks old. I would really appreciate your recipe list: elisipiece@gmail.com. I have noticed an imporovent, but we've had a recent backslide and I suspect I slipped up when out to dinner this week. How long did you find it took to clear out of your system and have symptoms resolve if you unknowingly consumed dairy?

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    1. Elise, my doctor said that any mistakes stay in my system for 2-3 days but in my daughter's for about a week.

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    2. Sure thing about the recipes, ladies. Emails have been sent! As far as clearing up mistakes, my biggest mistake was early on and set George back about 5-7 days, I think.

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  17. Great blog post! I don’t understand how long it will require me to obtain through all of them! CNA Practice Test

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  18. Just found out this morning I have to go dairy and soy free...glad I found your post (especially the part about soy lecithin!!). Luckily my 12 week old only had a little blood in his stool and mild eczema, so I'm hoping this new diet will clear things up. Can't wait to try some of your recipes!

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    1. Kristina, good luck! I know you can do it. Feel free to shoot me your email and I will send you more ideas!

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  19. Thank you for this info and for sharing your experience. I just started my dairy free diet with my 9 week old. It's crazy how many packaged products contain soy and milk ingredients. Also, I can't believe there is no law that denies food companies to list "natural flavors" as an ingredient. "natural flavors" sounds just as ambiguous as "colic"! It's going to be a long journey but I think it will get easier as time goes on. Thanks again I really appreciate it and have been motivated to stay on track even after I slip up.

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  20. Would love some of your recipes - especially quick and easy ones for dinner. Just starting the s & d free diet today for my 3 month old. Thanks for the great article and inspiration. kmorris17@gmail.com

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    1. Sure thing! I will send it along tonight after I get the kiddos in bed!

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  21. Just started the dairy and soy free journey this week and am hoping it will be the answer for my two month old daughter. I am so happy to have discovered your blog; I really appreciate your words of advice and encouragement. I would love to get your recipes as well. Thanks so much! elainebohr@gmail.com

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  22. Hi, I don't see eggs listed as a dairy item? Are they generally not considered dairy? About to embark on a diary-free diet for my 4 month old who has displayed these symptoms since birth, i'm hoping dairy is the culprit!! Thanks~!

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    1. Hi Amber! Eggs are not dairy, so you can rest assured that they are safe. Although they are often sold alongside dairy items, they are not from cows or any other mammal's milk supply!! =) Good luck and let me know if you have any questions!

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  23. Super encouraging to read! I just started my dairy free diet with my one month old that has had very similar symptoms. I have a two year old at home, so all the researching seems overwhelming. Any way you could send me a few recipes and a quick product list. Thank you so much. Ali.rexilius@gmail.com.

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  24. I would love to be added as well if you have recipes you share! I'm just starting to research dairy free. A nurse recommended I look into it as we're in the hospital for our 11 week old who keeps choking and having so much mucus that shes not able to breathe. She actually turned blue yesterday. This post helps me feel not so overwhelmed but I would love all the help I can get! Majones2436@yahoo.com

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  25. i'm so happy and relieved i came across your blog!
    my little has been having some symptoms an i went crazy trying to figure out what was wrong with him.
    till i came across dairy+soy intolerance/allergy.
    now i'm going crazy trying to figure out what to eat for breakfast, lunch, and dinner! haha!
    sharing your recipes/snack ideas will be appreciated! d-cerda@hotmail.com

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  26. I was pinning away for such type of blogs, thanks for posting this for us.

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  27. Like so many of these other mammas I am so relieved to have come across your blog. I found out today that I will need to be going dairy free for my 2 week old. Would you mind sending me some of your recipe ideas? When I am nursing I am SO hungry all the time and almost all of the things I've been grabbing and snacking on have diary in them. So I really need some ideas and fast! After my baby's appointment today I picked up my other two kids and headed to chick fil a, thinking it was the safest option. Ha ha. I have a lot of learning to do. My email is nattapatta4@gmail.com.

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  28. I think I need to try going dairy free for my little guy. It's going to be a hard journey! Thank you for this post. If you could send me any recipes, I would really appreciate it! Ekelly24@hotmail.com

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  29. I'm one week into dairy/soy free for my sweet 2 month old son and this has been the most helpful resource I have come across in the last week. I have returned to it many times already. I would love any of your recipes you could send as well! heather.anderson.nc@gmail.com Also, the ghiradelli semi sweet are safe for soy free diet?

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    1. Thank you, Heather. What kind and encouraging words! I wrote this post hoping to help other moms, and it's so nice to hear that it has helped you! I just replied with our recipes. And yes, the Ghiradelli semi-sweet morsels are considered safe territory for us because they only contain soy lecithin. (More in the post about that.)

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  30. Thank you for this post! It helped me so much because at 4 weeks my daughter broke out with a terrible rash and would spit up after every feeding... Wasn't sure what to do..until I come across this and seen the picture of your sons rash and it looked just like my daughters... Now on week 3 of no dairy or soy and her skin is perfect again and she is such a happy baby, barely spits up anymore!! I would like to have supper and chocolate chip recipes..thank you email is fdriep10@gmail.com

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  31. Just wanted to second everyone here and say THANK YOU! I'm thankful that I found this post so early. Our girl is only 3 weeks, but I knew something wasn't right when she was inconsolable for 5+ hours after eating. A call to the pediatrician wasn't helpful--the nurse just acted like that was normal and gave me tips for calming her down :-/ I'd heard other friends talk about eliminating dairy, and on a quick internet search I found your page. I didn't realize the allergy could cause diaper rash, and that was the latest development with our girl. Your blog post is extremely encouraging, and as soon as I cut out dairy, she's been the perfect baby! Both she and I have been getting sleep, and we're so much happier. I appreciate all the links you included so I can continue my regimen with a ton of great resources from the start.

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    1. Thank you so much for your kind words. It's always nice to know that people are benefiting! Good luck, and let me know if you have any questions! You can do it!

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  32. I'm very much impressed with your post. Your blog is extremely brilliant.
    Carry on, Since now I will follow your blog.

    pure cambogia slim

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  33. Thank you for the detailed post! I'm about to try dairy free again. I just found blood in my 6week old sons diaper and this is exactly how things started with my 2.5y old daughter. I didn't do such a great job sticking with it with her but hope to do better this time.

    Craziest thing. Your sons rash looks EXACTLY like my daughters did (and I mean exactly). The pediatricians were stumped. I just noticed my son getting a mild version over the last several days. Now you've made the connection for me!

    (Also I'm glad to hear about the chocolate chips because I've been inexplicably addicted to chocolate since giving birth.... And sad to read about chick Fil a)

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  34. Awesome post. I've been dealing with dairy free and soy free for a few weeks now. There's been no change in my poor kiddo's symptoms. This week we went back to the MD and they put him on formula just for a week to determine if it's really something with me or him. By that evening, he was already much less fussy. By 3 days, his nasty mucousy green diapers were gone. I'm now adding wheat free to the mix (since that was the overwhelming ingredient in my food diary--having it at every meal, sometimes each part of my meal had wheat). I'm hoping it'll be gluten or something limited in wheat and I'll be able to resume soy and dairy. If eliminating wheat still doesn't change things, I'll have to do the complete elimination diet (which be basically started to adapt to already..aside from my one cup of coffee/sugar in the AM then glass of wine at night!) Life without dairy, soy AND wheat? Oye. But I'm still not ready to throw in the towel and go to formula. My heart (and wallet!) just aren't ready!

    Having said all that, if you have any recipes without wheat as well, would love them! 9931ashley@gmail.com

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    1. Ashley, I'm sorry for the delay! I've been ridiculously ill! I'll send you an email shortly!

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  35. Hello! I stumbled upon your wonderful blog after a very frustrating first attempt of ordering a dairy free meal at a local chain restaurant - yup, the words "this isn't really a great place for people with dairy allergies" were said to my face. Whomp. While I do not have a dairy allergy, I am nursing my 3 month old son and his doctor just suggested that I go dairy free to help with his rashes and eczema. Your story is a great, great encouragement to me and I too hope that I can one day eat pizza and ice cream with my son! If you are still willing to share recipes, I would love to try some out! My email is schung730 at gmail dot com. Thank you!!

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    1. Hi! Thanks for the kind feedback! I'm loving that this post is making a difference for people! I'll send an email shortly!

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  36. Thanks so much for this post!!! My son just turned a month old yesterday and I got the "horrible" news last week that he is allergic to dairy. I breastfed my first 2 boys with no issues at all, and if you could imagine the stress I have been under while researching all that I can and coming up with a new grocery list and new meal plans. I look forward to seeing my sons rashes on both his cheeks and bottom clear up. I have been dairy free for 2 days, so say a pray (or wish me luck) please. Thanks again, I enjoyed reading this and knowing someone who has been through exactly what I am going through.

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  37. I would love to hear some meal ideas or even safe foods to have. I'm going out and buying those choc chips right now!!! Thank you. Bailey_297@hotmail.com

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  38. I would also like to know some meal idea's. It would help me out a ton. What was your favorite dairy free meals?

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    1. Leave your email here in the comments, and I will send you an email with the specifics!

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    2. May I also have some dairy free meal ideas? Thanks! (brittany.a.harden@gmail.com)

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  39. Hi love this post very helpful, I was wondering if anyone else was put off more then dairy and soy? My lil guy has reflux and is has dairy and soy intolerance. His dr put me off dairy, soy, beef, caffiene, chololate, anything acidic and anything with vinegar. Has anyone else been put off this much stuff. thanks

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    1. I know you sent this awhile ago, and I'm sorry to just now be responding. I know women who have had to go on serious elimination diets in the past, in order to figure out what it was their little ones were allergic to. I had one friend down to bananas and rice for several days, before she would add one food, such as avocado, at a time for two or three days and then adding another, or taking away if there was a reaction. It's some serious commitment. Luckily, we didn't have anything that serious with George. I wish you luck!

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  40. This is great information! My little one isn't super bad with his reaction, just gets extra gassy and cranky if I eat dairy or soy so I try really hard to stay away from it. I didn't realize certain soy ingredients were ok. Your tips will definitely help me keep my dairy and soy consumption in check for my little boy. Thank you!

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  41. I am so glad and also relieved I came across this post. I found out last week that my son has cows milk protein allergy colitis. I am still skeptical that is what it is, and they told me since there was blood in his stool that means he has it, but aren't there other things that can cause that?? Anal fissures constipation etc etc. He has had 'colic' since he was a couple weeks old and now he is 4 months old and was just diagnosed with the cow milk allergy. I feel so bad because he has suffered for so long .I have taken him to his pediatrician for the colic episodes and mentioned how his stool is jelly-like sometimes and she said nothing to worry about. He has never had the rash that many people speak of and he only gets congested when he has a cold. His stool has been mucousy too but he's teething and also just getting over a cold. So the only real symptom was the little bit of blood I saw on two of his poopy diapers and I called the pediatrician and she referred him to the gastro. The gastro explained I would be on a strict diet and I al last fell out of my chair, as if any breastfeeding mother isn't already on a strict diet, or at least I thought so. I looked over the pamphlet he gave me of what i could and couldn't eat and I felt it was not realistic. I have a 3 year old as well and I am a stay at home mom so turkey sandwhiches with mayonnaise are a quick lunch for me, and after going through all of the foods in my fridge and cabinets and reading the ingredients I felt defeated, I have worked so hard to breastfeed, and my situation has been more challenging than most. I exclusively pump, which means yes I am washing pump parts ALL day long. I had breast fever and complications from my c section that didn't allow me to walk or stand for over a month after having my son, so I would literally crawl to my kitchen and have to wash bottles with one of my legs propped on a stool, and yet again I'm faced with another challenge . I am so determined on breast feeding that I haven't let anything stop me from giving my baby the best I can possibly give him, breastmilk. But again I felt defeated so I calle the doctor and asked about the formula,and they give me samples. The first bottle I offered my son he gave me this look like he had tasted the most disgusting thing ever and they hv him on a strict feeding schedule of no more than 5 oz at a time every 3 to 4 hours, he was eating 6-7 oz of breastmilk every 4. So after he drinks the formula he is still hungry and cries. He also cries free eating like he is in pin. My heart breaks into pieces and after almost 3 days of this nightmare I decided to do research and o came across your post and I feel like I can venture into this world of dairy soy free foods with theproper knowledge. Thank you thank you thank you! If you could provide me with some recipes I would appreciate it valpin_kb@yahoo.com.

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  42. Thank you so much for writing this! I'm going through having to eliminate things from my diet for my little one as well, so it's very encouraging to hear I'm not alone. Thanks again!

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  43. Just starting the dairy and soy free diet for another baby - this time in advance of the birth. This is my fifth child and of the other 4, 50% have had a CMP allergy, so I'm hedging my bets and hoping getting a jumpstart on the diet will help us all! I'd love your recipes when you have a minute Lesleylarson at gmail. Thank you!

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  44. Thank you thank you thank you! I had no idea about #6! I've been avoiding anything that has dairy or soy ingredients...which would include my Trident gum :( But if I CAN eat soy lecithin, then I CAN chew my gum!! I might be a gumaholic. It's so hard, but so worth it.

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  45. This is such a helpful post! I just found out that my 3 week old likely has a milk protein allergy so I'm off dairy and soy. I'd love any lists or tips that you can provide!

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    1. Sure thing! Just give me your email in a comment and I will send it.

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  46. Oops! Yes, it's aprilstein19@gmail.com. Thank you so much!!

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  47. Hi Jenny, hope you've fully recovered after being ill at the end of last year. Thank you for such a rational and reasonable account of your journey, it really does make a daunting process seem reachable. I too would love the recipes you have used please. My email is skyemox@yahoo.com.au

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  48. This is my first blog I have read on my 'haven't even started yet' journey to becoming soy and dairy free! Like you, Jenny and all moms out there just wanting to do the best for your child while making hard sacrifices ourselves... you should all be incredibly proud!! I would love love love your tips, recipes and support throughout my journey that I start Monday (as I still have to gather some more information considering I just started my research today!). I must say an incredibly huge hug for figuring out Ghiradelli chocolates to eat!!!!!!
    Jlhubrich@gmail.com
    Xo.

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    1. You got it. =) I'm sending the info now!

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  49. Jenny, I found this post because I'm having a really hard time coming to terms with this diet. My first son had the milk protein allergy and I did the elimination diet for a few months until he outgrew the allergy. However it was very difficult. Now I have a five month old boy and he is allergic to dairy and soy. We have begun to introduce the hypoallergenic formula as a supplement, but I'm seriously considering giving up bfing all together. I now have to prepare meals for my husband and two older kids who are picky. Most days I have to prepare something separate for myself. I watch them eating ice cream and tacos with cheese and sour cream. For me, if I can't have cheese and sour cream on my taco then I may as well not have tacos at all. Today, I really feel like I can't do this but some days it's ok. I feel like if I stop breastfeeding then I will be a failure as a mother and like its the same as me saying that I love dairy more than I love my son. But I cry every time I do my meal planning for my family and when my husband says hey let's have tacos tonight I burst into tears. I don't know what to do.

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    1. Yikes! I'm not sure what to tell you, although it sounds like you have already made up your mind. If you want to shoot me your email, we could discuss it more privately. Fortunately, I had a partner that was supportive of the dairy-free diet and he took it on for himself as well for the most part. He might occasionally have sprinkled cheese on to his meal, but it was rare, and he was always sensitive to the fact that there was no moderation for me. Plus, he and I have the kind of relationship that I would have laughed if he had asked me to fix him tacos that I couldn't eat. Ha! There was no two-meals a night at our house because they ate what I served, and I tried to be as sensitive to what everyone wanted as possible. Just remember: you are not a failure if you choose to give up the diet. No one in this world would think that you love dairy more than you love your son. It's a difficult venture, and many women never even try it at all. Props to you for hanging in there for so long. I suspect that if you had the support at home that I had, you wouldn't be so conflicted.

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  50. Hi Jenny, I wanted to thank you for sharing your journey and including so many helpful tips. It is so encouraging. It took us 2 months before we figured out our daughter had food allergies and/or intolerances (she was uncomfortable and screamed 10-14 hours straight every day until I went on an elimination diet). After undergoing a strict elimination diet, she is much happier. It appears she's allergic to milk/cow protein, soy, eggs and peanuts and ??? Even though I'm very careful with what I eat, she still has constant diarrhea, some congestion and lots of spit up. We've consulted many specialists (lactation nurses, GI, ENT, I've been on a strict diet and exclusively breastfed until two weeks ago. I finally tried allementum formula for a few days and saw no difference. I then tried another prescribed formula called PurAmino, and her symptoms improved. The GI suspects she might also be allergic to lactose (which is very rare). I'm just not ready throw in the towel. At nearly six months old, my daughter is stil happy despite something in my milk not agreeing with her.
    I apologize for the long-winded comment. I truly appreciated reading your story and would love any further tips or recipes.
    Thanks,
    Morgan
    morgangage@gmail.com

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  51. My son was diagnosed with a dairy/soy allergy in August 2013 at 2-1/2 months old. It sounds like you and I were going through this journey at the same time. I ended up cutting dairy and soy from my diet until he was 13 months old. Then we switched him to soy milk, after finding out that he had outgrown that allergy. At 19 months I was brave enough to give him a dairy challenge and he had outgrown it his dairy allergy as well! I completely agree, breastfeeding is the best for your baby. If a mother is truly dedicated to it, she can continue to breastfeed by just altering her diet. Kudos to you for your willingness to go above and beyond for your baby!

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  52. I didn't check the other comments, as there are a lot, but I wanted to point out that Chick Fil A's fries are indeed dairy free! So are the grilled nuggets. I just ate there on Tuesday and it helped curve my need to have something easy and quick for dinner that wasn't a salad! I'm guessing this has changed since 2013, but their website is very good at listing the allergy information for all the foods. :)

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    1. Great! Thanks, Trisha! I will definitely check out their website and update my blog post. It seems it has changed since 2013. I actually did the dairy-free journey in 2012, and at the time, the ONLY dairy-free item on the entire Chick Fil-A menu was the fruit cup. I asked the manager why there had to be dairy in the chicken, and he told me that every piece of it went through a milk bath, even the grilled. I am glad that this place has changed their recipe because it makes it easier on those with allergies!

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  53. Hi Jenny! So happy to find this blog, as going dairy free is seriously daunting. Would you mind sending me that email of recipes and snacks and ingredients? It's hard to even know where to start! I'm at lizard828 at gmail dot com.

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    1. Sure thing! And yes, it's daunting!

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  54. Are you planning to cut that extra fat from your tummy? Now would be a good time to do it as summer is just around the corner, which means less clothes and more body exposure which means you can’t hide that little tummy hanging in front of you under a coat or a sweater anymore.
    Tummy Trimmer in Pakistan

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  55. Wow!!! This is amaging tips for losing weigth.
    It is as good as the previous site which i follow
    to lose my weight. Anyone can follow it.
    Howtoiloseweight.com

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  56. I know a lot of people have asked but I would be so appreciative if you could email me your recipes I have a 3 month old and a two year old and I'm dieing to eat something good but I'm too scared I'm going to make the wrong decision I've only had granola,fruit,salad and some bland meat in the last few days and I'm starving lol please and thank you. halfpint102291@gmail.com

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  57. Would you be willing to share any dairy/soy free recipes that you have? I would really appreciate it. My email is laurenbethanywalker@gmail.com

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  58. Just stumbled upon your blog. We've recently discovered my son is sensitive to dairy (not allergic though the symptoms are very similar). The problem I'm facing is he seems to be part of that 20% of children who is also sensitive to soy! I'm finding it so easy to cut dairy out even though I really do miss cheese. Soy on the other hand? Super difficult! It's hidden in so many products, especially products promoted as "dairy free". I'm totally up for cheese free pizza except most crusts contain soy :-(

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