One of the most stressful times I faced with my breastfed CMPA daughter was when it came time to introduce solid foods. Naturally that meant dairy free weaning, in the same way that I was eliminating dairy from my own diet.
And the pressure of not making mistakes – or not allowing others to make mistakes – was huge.
Prior to that milestone I’d pretty much had full control – so long as I was checking the labels of everything I ate, we were safe. Suddenly I was faced with a whole new challenge: monitoring every single thing that went into my baby’s mouth.
And you know how it is with grandparents – they get excited, and too often they or other family members perhaps, just don’t get the extreme importance of being absolutely vigilant.
Keep in mind that unless your child is anaphylactic, it should be fine to use products that show ‘may contain milk/dairy’ (or other confirmed allergen/s) below the ingredients list. These do not include that specific allergen in the ingredients, but are manufactured in a factory which handles them. Traces due to cross-contamination can therefore be a risk, but one that is acceptable for children who do not have life-threatening allergies.
How a Food Diary Can Help With Dairy Free Weaning
A food diary might help in these circumstances.
I created one specifically for breastfeeding mums, with space for both your and your baby’s daily food intake, as well as space for keeping lists of safe foods, confirmed allergens and suspected allergens. There’s also a double spread of weekly planning pages, and weekly and monthly graphs for plotting symptoms, finding patterns, and identifying potential allergens. Find out more here:
Breastfeeding & CMPA / Allergy Food Diary
A food diary can be especially reassuring for when your baby is cared for outside of the home, so that all information is recorded in one place.
The Best Dairy Free Baby Food
I’ve put together a selection of some of the best first foods and recipes for dairy free weaning, including snacks, finger foods, and meals.
Dairy Free Finger Foods for Babies
If you’re planning to use the baby led weaning approach, then the very first foods you can offer your baby are wholesome fruits and veg, cut into baby-friendly chunks – no dairy in sight. Great examples include:
- Soft cooked carrots, sweet potato, and apple
Dairy-Free Baby Snacks
When it comes to weaning snacks, you’ll need to decide whether you’re looking for home prepared foods or if you’re happy to have some easy shop bought options. All of the above can, of course, double up as snacks. If you’re looking for suggestions you can slip into your bag for emergencies, you could try some of these:
I also liked to keep raisins in my bag for this purpose, and these bars remain my daughters favourites:
Dairy Free Yogurt For Babies
Thankfully there are plenty of smoothie-style yogurts available these days which are made with coconut milk. Try these:
Dairy Free Baby Porridge
More Dairy Free Baby Breakfast Ideas
- Apple, banana, and carrot muffins (be sure to use oil not butter)
- Raspberry porridge fingers
- Two ingredient pancakes
- Fruity baked oatmeal cups
Dairy Free Recipes For Babies
It’s nice to have emergency options in the cupboard, but of course you’ll also want to be able to create your own recipes at home sometimes. Here are some I recommend:
- Trio of root veg purée
- Parsnip and pear purée
- Apple and beetroot purée
- Cauliflower, apple, and sweet potato
- Avocado and banana smash
- Chicken with sweet potato, swede, and carrots
- Aubergine and red pepper curry
- Cod and salmon quinoa balls
- Homemade haddock fish fingers
- Omelette fingers
- Peach pudding
Ella’s Kitchen Dairy Free Weaning Range
Ella’s Kitchen do an entire range of dairy free weaning meals, these are some of our favourites:
I know very well how daunting the prospect of introducing foods into your baby’s diet is, but in many ways it’s a positive step. Your little one may soon begin to outgrow their allergy, as mine did around a year of age – and when you successfully complete the milk ladder challenge, the relief and sense of achievement are enormous.
In the meantime, remain vigilant, sure. But also try to enjoy this time by teaching your child to have fun with new flavours and textures!
Wishing you the very best of luck with this exciting new adventure – you got this, Mama.