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Health

Milk Allergy Diet

General guidelines for milk allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid foods or products containing the food to which you are allergic. The items that you are allergic to are called allergens. Milk allergy is most common among infants and young children. Obvious forms of milk are cream, cheese, butter, ice cream, and yogurt. Milk and milk products may also be used as ingredients in many other foods. To avoid foods that contain milk and milk products, it is necessary to read food labels.

Important information about avoiding milk and milk products

  • The word nondairy on a product label means it does not contain butter, cream, or milk. However, the food may have other milk-containing ingredients.

  • Kosher foods are labeled with a circled K or U. These foods may also have the word pareve or parve. This means the food is free of milk and milk products. A D for dairy on a product label next to the K or U means the product contains milk or milk products. These products should be avoided.

  • Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon or deli meats, often contain milk. Carefully read all food labels.

Foods Allowed Not allowed
Beverages
  • Water
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soy or almond substitute-milk formulas
  • Fruit drinks
  • All milk and milk products (whole, low-fat, skim, buttermilk, evaporated, condensed, powdered, hot cocoa)
  • Yogurt, eggnog, milkshakes, malts
Breads
  • Milk-free breads
  • French bread
  • Wheat, white, rye, corn, graham, gluten, and soy breads without milk or milk products
  • Graham cracker or rice wafers
  • Wheat, white, or rye breads
  • Biscuits, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, zwieback, crackers, saltines, rusk
  • Most commercially prepared breads and rolls contain milk or milk products
  • French toast made with milk
Cereals
  • Any cereal without milk or milk products
  • High-protein cereals
  • Prepared and precooked cereals with milk solids, casein, or other milk products
Desserts
  • Meringue, gelatin, popsicles, fruit ice, fruit whip, angel food cake
  • Cakes, cookies, and pie crusts made without milk or milk products
  • Cake, cookies, custard, pudding, cream desserts, or sherbet containing milk products
  • Ice cream, cream pie
  • Pastries brushed with milk
Eggs
  • All prepared without milk
  • Eggs scrambled with milk, creamed eggs, egg substitutes
Fats
  • Vegetable oil, meat fat, lard, bacon, shortening, milk-free gravy
  • Peanut butter (made without milk solids)
  • Margarine without milk solids
  • Kosher margarine
  • Butter, cream, margarine
  • Salad dressing or mayonnaise containing milk, milk solids, or milk products
  • Some butter substitutes and nondairy creamers
Fruits
  • All fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices
  • Fruit served with milk, butter, or cream
Meats, fish, poultry, and cheese
  • Baked, broiled, boiled, roasted or fried: beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, organ meats, or tofu (prepared without milk or milk products)
  • Sausage, deli/luncheon meats, or ham if made without milk products
  • Note: A small number of people with cow's milk allergy may develop a reaction to beef. Thus, those with cow's milk allergy should be careful when eating beef or foods containing beef. 
  • All cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese
  • Some sausage products, bologna, frankfurters, or hotdogs
  • Breaded meats, meatloaf, croquettes, casseroles, or hamburgers (made with milk)
  • Commercial dinners made with milk or milk solids
Potatoes
  • Macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, rice
  • White or sweet potatoes prepared without milk, butter, cream, or margarine with mild solids
  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, scalloped potato
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes containing milk or butter
  • Frozen french fries with lactose
Soups
  • Bouillon, broth, consommé or soups without milk 
  • Bisques, chowders, or creamed soups
  • All soups made with milk or milk products
Sweets
  • Corn syrup, honey, jam, jelly
  • Hard candy, candy made without milk or milk products
  • Granulated, brown or powdered sugar
  • Candy made with milk, such as chocolate, fudge, caramels, nougat
Vegetables
  • All fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without milk or milk products
  • All vegetable juices
  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, or escalloped vegetables
  • Batter and dipped vegetables
  • Vegetable soufflés
Miscellaneous
  • Catsup, olives, pickles, nuts, herbs, chili powder, salt, spices, condiments
  • Any foods that are milk-,  cheese-, or butter-free, or that do not contain powdered milk or whey
  • All items containing milk, cheese, butter, whey casein, caseinates, hydrolysates, lactose, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin or milk solids, artificial butter flavor
  • Nondairy substitutes containing caseinate

How to read a label for a milk-free diet

Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Artificial butter flavor

  • Butter, butter fat, butter oil

  • Casein, casein hydrolysates 

  • Caseinates (ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium)

  • Cheese, cottage cheese

  • Cream

  • Custard, pudding

  • Ghee

  • Half and Half

  • Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein)

  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate

  • Lactoglobulin, lactoferrin 

  • Lactose, lactulose 

  • Milk

    • Derivative, protein, solids, malted, condensed, evaporated, or dry

    • Whole, low-fat, nonfat, skim

    • Goat's milk and milk from other animals

  • Nisin

  • Nougat

  • Recaldent

  • Rennet casein

  • Sour cream or sour cream solids

  • Whey (delactosed, demineralized, protein concentrate)

  • Yogurt

Other possible sources of milk or milk products

Other sources of milk or milk products include:

  • Brown sugar flavoring

  • Caramel flavoring

  • Chocolate

  • Flavorings (natural and artificial) 

  • High protein flour

  • Lactose

  • Luncheon meats, hot dogs, sausages 

  • Margarine

  • Simplesse

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