Thursday, September 13, 2007

Welcome to the Milk Allergy Companion Blog

Hi! I'm a mom of five precious cherubs who all have one thing in common. Me. Just kidding:) Actually, 4 out of 5 have all suffered in one way or another from a milk allergy. I am writing this blog because ten years ago, when it all began, I had no clue where to go or what to do to help my oldest son. If I had known what I know now, life would have definitely been easier and we would have had fewer trips to the emergency room. I hope that by posting this blog it will in some way help someone else who suffers from the same thing.

Let me start out by saying that I am NOT a doctor. Although I've dealt with this for ten years, I cannot be responsible for the advice given, and I encourage you to go to the appropriate source to get help for you or your child. That said, I do have a few lessons learned and "not-so-funny" stories that I've gone through. As I'm new to blogging, I hope that you bear with me and enjoy reading:)

In the beginning there were two college students desperately in love and willing to take the plunge into marriage. I was nineteen and he was almost 24. One month later, I was vomiting 5-20 times per day off and on for the next five months. 4 months later our oldest son was born. All seemed well until this rash appeared on his chest. He would itch it until it bled. We went to countless doctors and specialists. None of them checked for a milk allergy. We used multiple steroid creams to no avail. When he was 8-9 months old, I tried formula (I had nursed him up until that point except for one bottle in the hospital.) He immediately vomited the formula, which I thought was odd, so I continued nursing him. The rash was still present.

A few weeks later I tried yogurt. After one bite of yogurt, he went into antiphylaxis and we rushed him to the urgent care. His eyelids swelled shut, and his entire body swelled up. It was surreal. I became prenant with our second son and was still nursing, as I didn't want to try formula again. Of course I got sick with my second pregnancy as well. My oldest son started losing weight, so naively I decided to give him a bottle of straight cow's milk. This time his eyes rolled back and he had labored breathing. Finally we found an allergist who told us that he was allergic to milk and eggs.

And so our journey began...


Silent Sentinel said...

Hello. This is Juventa's husband. The 'rash' spoken of was technically classified as eczema, a disorder of the skin. From what I read, it's actually a condition where the skin produces more skin cells than are shed naturally. Everyday we loose thousands of skin cells (which end up creating most of the dust that lies around our homes, but that's another story). See more on eczema.

I suppose in our son's case, eczema is a light reaction and the alarming swelling Juventa describes is when it's really bad. At that point we've been instructed to use an epipen so that our son would have 15 minutes to get to a hospital for professional care. Our son has only experienced severe anaphylaxis one time, and that was before our knowledge of the milk allergy and need for the epipen. Nevertheless, we have an epipen for just such an emergency.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Juventa said...


That must be so difficult for you. Nuts are especially difficult because many food items are manufactured in a facility that also manufactures nuts. I hope that the labeling in Australia is good for allergies. Here in the United States it is quite good. You can substitute applesauce in many recipes to replace eggs. I also like EnerG Egg replacer (sold in the United States). In addition to that, you can use 1T water + 1T soy flour as an egg substitute in recipes. You can also find egg-free mayonnaise, but be careful about regular mayonnaise. For dairy-free margarine, I like using Earth Balance (available in the states).

Here are a few recipes that you might enjoy (see below):) You can also check out my website at: as I often post free recipes there. Also, my book is coming out in a few weeks for sale, if you are interested. Many of the recipes have no eggs or nuts in them, however, many do, so you'll have to choose which ones to use and use egg substitutes in the others. You will be able to purchase it on in about 2 weeks. I can let you know when it's available. There is also another good book called "Go Dairy Free" available now on Amazon. 95% of the dishes are Vegan, so they wouldn't have any dairy, eggs, or meat in them.

Also look on my blog at the post for quick meal ideas and snack ideas to get started. (Again, adapt them to meet your multiple allergy needs).

Take care and try to stay out of the hospital. I find it best to cook most of your food from scratch to ensure the safety of the meals. Thanks for contacting me:)


Breakfast recipes:

Apple Rice Cereal
½ c apple juice or cider
1 T dairy-free margarine
2 c brown rice, cooked
2 T raisins
½ tsp. cinnamon
1 large apple, peeled, cored, and diced

Combine all ingredients in a saucepan. Cover and simmer for 8 – 10 minutes over low heat, stirring occasionally. Serve warm with soymilk and brown sugar, if desired. Yield: 4 servings (Photo p. 23)

Oatmeal with Flax Seed
2 c water
¼ tsp. salt
1 c old-fashioned oats
¼ tsp. cinnamon
1 T ground flax seed

Bring water and salt to a boil. Add oats and cinnamon. Simmer for 5 minutes, or until thick. Remove from heat. Stir in ground flax seed. Serve warm with soymilk, raisins (optional), and 1 T brown sugar. Yield: 4 servings

Bread Dishes:

Easy Breadsticks
By Bonnie Lewis

1 1/2 c warm water
1 T dry active yeast
4-4 1/2 c flour
1 T sugar
1/4 c dairy-free margarine
1 tsp. salt

Soften yeast in 1 1/2 cups warm water. Add remaining ingredients except dairy-free margarine and mix thoroughly. Roll out on lightly floured surface until it is 1" thick. Cut into strips. Melt half the dairy-free margarine on the cookie sheet and place bread sticks on cookie sheet. Brush rest of dairy-free margarine on breadsticks. Sprinkle with garlic salt or seasoned salt, if desired. Let rise 20 minutes to 1 hour. Bake for 15 minutes at 400° F. Yield: 1 dozen

Whole Wheat Herb Rolls
By Janell Vezzani

1 ¼ c warm water
1 T active dry yeast
1 T molasses
1 T honey
2 T dairy-free margarine
1 ½ c white flour
2 c wheat flour
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. Italian seasoning

In a medium bowl, combine water, yeast, molasses, honey, and dairy-free margarine. Set aside. In a mixing bowl, combine the rest of the ingredients. Mix together. While mixing, add water mixture. Knead together 5 minutes until sides of the bowl are clean, adding more flour if necessary. Pre-heat oven to 175º F and then turn off. Form dough into 16 dinner rolls and let rise in warm oven until almost double (20 min.). Turn oven on to 375º F, leaving rolls in, and bake for 15 – 18 minutes, or until done. Serve warm, if desired. Yield: 16 rolls

Soup Dishes:

Autumn Soup
By Bonnie Lewis

1 lb. hamburger
1 c onion, chopped
4 c water
1 c carrots, cut-up
1 c celery, diced
1 c potatoes, peeled and diced
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. browning and seasoning sauce (for color, optional)*
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 bay leaf
1/8 tsp. basil
6 tomatoes**

In large saucepan, cook and stir meat until brown. Drain off fat. Cook and stir onions with meat until onions are tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except tomatoes; heat to boiling. Reduce heat; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Add tomatoes; cover and simmer 10 minutes longer or until vegetables are tender. Yield: 6 servings (Photo p. 44)

Taco Soup
By Joan Lewis

1 onion, chopped
2 lb. ground beef
2 cans (28 oz. each) kidney beans
2 cans (28 oz. each) diced tomatoes
2 cans (8 oz. each) tomato sauce
1 can (16 oz.) corn
2 c water
1 pkg. taco seasoning mix* (Or use 2 T Taco Seasoning Mix recipe p. 83)
Corn chips*

In a large kettle, brown ground beef and onion. Drain. Add remaining ingredients, except corn chips. Do not drain vegetables. Simmer 30-45 minutes. To serve, put a handful of corn chips in a soup bowl. Ladle soup over chips and serve warm. (Photo p. 47)

Salad Dishes:

Lebanese Tabbouleh Salad
By Tara Haglund

1 ¼ c dry whole wheat couscous
5 T olive oil
1/3 c lemon juice
2 tomatoes, diced
½ green pepper, diced
½ onion, chopped
6 T fresh parsley, chopped
1 T fresh mint, chopped
Salt and pepper, lightly

In a bowl, mix 1/2 cup boiling water with 1 1/4 cup dry whole wheat couscous. Add olive oil and lemon juice. Cover and let sit for a few minutes. Fluff with fork. Add tomatoes, diced green pepper, chopped onion, parsley, and mint. Salt and pepper lightly. Refrigerate to chill, then fluff with a fork, and serve.

Serves 4 hard-core Middle Eastern eaters, serves 12 regular people who are tentative about trying something new.

TIP: We use the Trader Joe's® whole wheat couscous for this recipe. You can also use bulgar or cracked wheat--they just take a little longer. If using cracked wheat, combine boiling water, cracked wheat, olive oil, and lemon juice in a bowl and let it set for 30 minutes – 1 hr, or until the cracked wheat is cooked through and can be fluffed with a fork. Add the rest of ingredients, chill, and serve. (Photo p. 64)

Greek Pasta Salad
1 pkg. (16 oz.) penne pasta
¼ c olive oil
1 tsp. lemon juice
1 tsp. basil, dried
1 tsp. pepper
1 tsp. garlic salt
1 – 2 tomatoes, coarsely chopped
1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 onion, coarsely chopped
1 cucumber, coarsely chopped
1 c black olives, sliced

Cook pasta according to package directions. In small bowl, mix together olive oil, lemon juice, basil, pepper, and garlic salt. In large bowl, combine pasta, tomatoes, bell pepper, onion, cucumber, and olives. Add oil mixture. Stir to coat evenly. Chill before serving. For more flavor, add Italian Salad Dressing, if desired. Yield: 8 servings

Main Dishes Recipes:
Beef ‘n Broccoli Stir-Fry
By Charlotta Curtis

1 tsp. cornstarch
¼ tsp. sugar
1 T soy sauce
¼ tsp. ground ginger
1 ½ tsp. water
1 clove garlic, minced

1 lb. flank steak, thinly sliced
5 T oil
2 large heads of broccoli, chopped
1 can bamboo shoots, drained
½ c sliced mushrooms (canned or fresh)
1 ½ tsp. salt
¾ tsp. sugar
2 T water
1 tsp. cornstarch
1 T water
Steamed rice

In a small bowl, mix together the marinade ingredients. Add to flank steak and marinate overnight in fridge (or for a couple of hours). In a large wok, add 2 T oil and pour in marinated flank steak (including marinade). Stir-fry 1 min, or until beef is cooked. Remove beef and set aside. Put 3 T oil in wok. Add broccoli, bamboo shoots, and mushrooms. Stir-fry until tender crisp. (About 3 minutes). While vegetables are cooking, in a small bowl mix together salt, sugar, and 2 T water. Add sugar/salt mixture and meat to vegetables. Stir-fry 1 minute. While cooking, blend together cornstarch and 1 T water. Pour into wok. Cook until thickened. Served with steamed rice. Yield: 4 - 6 servings (Photo p. 74)

Chicken Cacciatore
By Janell Vezzani

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut in large pieces
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
½ c flour
3 T olive oil
1 lg. red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 ½ tsp. dried oregano leaves
1 ½ c chicken broth*
1 can (28 oz.) diced tomatoes
3 T drained capers, optional
¼ c fresh basil, chopped

Sprinkle chicken pieces with 1 tsp. each salt & pepper. Dredge in flour. In a large frying pan or wok, sauté in oil 5 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate. Add bell pepper, onion, garlic, and oregano to same pan and sauté until onion is tender. (About 5 minutes). Add diced tomatoes, broth, and capers. Return chicken to pan. Bring sauce to a simmer over medium heat and cook until chicken is fully cooked (about 15 – 20 minutes). Transfer chicken to a platter. Boil sauce until it thickens slightly. Spoon off fat. Spoon sauce over chicken and sprinkle with basil. Serve over rice or cooked noodles. Yield: 6-8 servings (Photo p. 79)

Taco Salad Supreme
1 lb. ground beef
2 T taco seasoning mix*
½ c water
2 cans (16 oz. each) kidney beans, drained
3 c rice, cooked
1 can (16-17 oz.) whole-kernel corn, drained
1 head lettuce, shredded
4 tomatoes, chopped
1 can (2 1/4 oz.) sliced olives, drained
1 cup salsa
2-4 cups tortilla chips, slightly crushed

Brown beef and drain fat. Add taco seasoning mix, water, and kidney beans. Cook for 15 minutes. Place rest of ingredients into separate bowls. Let each guest build their own salad in the following order: Steamed rice, meat mixture, corn, lettuce, tomatoes, olives, salsa, and tortilla chips. Yield: 6 - 8 servings

Taco Seasoning Mix
1/4 c dried minced onion flakes
4 tsp. cornstarch
3 T salt
4 T chili powder
3 tsp. cumin
1 1/2 tsp. oregano
3 tsp. dried minced garlic
3 tsp. hot crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons low sodium or sodium-free beef bouillon*

Blend all ingredients together until spices are well mixed and ground up. Store taco seasoning mix in tight container. 2 T equals one commercial package. Use as directed in recipes. To add to hamburger meat, brown one pound ground beef, add 2 T taco mix, and 1 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes.

Tyson’s Sloppy Joes
By Dave & Mary Jane Babbel

1 to 1 1/2 lb. ground turkey or ground beef
1 small onion, finely chopped
1/2 c celery
1/4 c green pepper
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 T prepared mustard
1 T vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1 c chili sauce
1 T Worcestershire sauce

Brown meat, onion, celery, green pepper together. Add remaining ingredients and simmer for 45 minutes or put in a crock pot. Serve on dairy-free bun. Yield: 4 - 6 servings

Rikke Rømer said...

Hi Alistair,
I have milk allergy as well and came across thise products:

Maybe they can provide you with the calcium that your body needs?


Lisa said...

HI, i was hoping someone could help. I am starting to think my son and I have a milk allergy, but I am not sure. My son is always constipted and he seems to catch a cold very often. I myself have noticed that after I eat alot of pizza, for example at a party or if we order pizza for the entire family, that several hours later I develop a low grade fever,about 99.4 and i get itchy and i get short of breath, even get some mucus, that is very hard to cough up. TIght in the chest. Depending on how much pizza I ate this can last for one to three days. ALso, I have had kidney stones, and I also was very constipated when I was younger. Does any of this sound familiar to anyone? I heard that there is an IGe test, but that many PPL who test negative still believe they have a milk allergy. Is there any other test available? Thanks in advance!

Juventa said...


My sister's children get extremely constipated when they have dairy products even though they tested negative for a milk allergy. When she gave them soy, they had extreme diarrhea. With rice milk, they seem to have no problems.

With two of my sons, they get severe ear infections and have extra mucus when they have dairy. They have been ear infection free since removing dairy from their diet. Whether or not this is a true allergy or an intolerance is irrelevant to me because it is worth it to me to keep them off of dairy to keep them out of the ER with ruptured ear drums (has happened multiple times in the past).

My oldest son has a true allergy and had an anaphylactic reaction when he had dairy. His eyes rolled back, his throat started closing up, and his entire body swelled up quickly. Every time we've had him tested, it has always come back positive.

If you have a tightness of chest, then it may be a true allergy. I was getting that after having soy, with a lump in my throat, and I tested positive on the IgE skin prick test just recently. It wouldn't hurt seeing an allergist just to see how severe it is. That said, there are many people who have milk intolerances which can actually be more severe than a true allergy. The best advice I can give you is to 1. See an allergist (that way if the reaction gets too bad too quick, you can have an epi pen on hand) and 2. Do an elimination diet to see if all your symptoms go away. After the elimination diet (remove all dairy from your diet), you can reintroduce dairy to see if the reaction comes back. I know that allergists can also offer a placebo test where they do an in office challenge giving you a sample of the allergen that is a blind sample, meaning that you don't know whether or not the allergen is in the sample they are giving you. There could also be something on the pizza triggering your reaction (the pepperoni, etc.). It is helpful to keep a food log for a week or two and write down any reactions you may have. If you do have a reaction, it is helpful to write down all of the ingredients that were in that meal (even the spices). That helped when I diagnosed my soy allergy. It also helped me eliminate other possible allergens.

I'm not a doctor, but I wish you the best!!!


Herrien said...

Nice post, thanks for sharing this wonderful and useful information with us.

Green Tea

Tina said...

There have been several recalls this month for milk products. Here are a few new ones, even chocolate!