Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Top 5 Ways to Have a Balanced Diet Without Dairy PLUS cooking tips


Milk often fills an important nutritional
niche. It's rich in protein, vitamins and
minerals, and many toddlers will drink milk
even when they're not enthusiastic about
solid foods. Many families worry about
staying healthy and maintaining adequate
nutrition when they remove dairy products
from the diet. Happily, though, all the
beneficial components of milk are found in a
variety of common foods. Read on to learn
how to balance your milk-free diet.

1. Protein
Adults and teens require fifty to sixty grams
of protein daily. Children's needs range from
nine to 34 grams, depending on age. People
who eat meat even infrequently are likely to
far exceed their minimum protein needs. Six
ounces of lean ground beef has over 45
grams of protein. It's not difficult for
vegetarians to get enough, either. Great
vegetarian sources of protein include:
• Tofu (ten grams per serving);
• Legumes like kidney beans,
chickpeas, or nuts (seven to nine
grams per serving);
• Eggs (six grams per egg);
• Whole grains (quinoa has thirteen
grams per serving; wheat and oats
have six each)

2. Calcium
Calcium is a vital mineral for building bone
mass, and milk is a rich source. Adult
women have the highest calcium needs, at
1,000 to 1,500 mg per day, while children
require between 500 and 1,300 mg. There
are two ways to replace dairy calcium in the
diet. The first is to eat foods that have been
supplemented with calcium or to take
supplements. The second is to eat nondairy
foods that are especially high in calcium.
Here is a list of some good sources of
Calcium (Amount needed to consume listed
first; mg of calcium received listed second):
Fortified Rice Milk - 1 c - 300 mg
Fortified Apple Juice - 1 c - 300-350 mg
Calcium-fortified soymilk - 1 c - 350 mg
Calcium-fortified orange juice - 1 c - 350 mg
Oatmeal made with alt. milk - 1 c - 300 mg
Calcium-fortified cereal - 1 oz. - 200-300 mg
Collards, cooked - 1 c - 266 mg
Spinach - 1 c - 291 mg
Blackstrap molasses - 1 Tbsp. - 172 mg
Turnip greens, cooked - ½ c - 124 mg
Cowpeas, cooked - ½ c - 106 mg
Kale, cooked - 1 c - 90 mg
Broccoli, cooked - 1 c - 71 mg
Other veggies and most fruit - 1 c -10-60 mg
(List given by Anne Gibbens’ nutritionist,

3. Vitamin D
Vitamin D is used in the body to help absorb
dietary calcium. Vitamin D deficiency can
cause serious disorders of the bones like
rickets and osteomalacia. These are very
rare disorders, however, since vitamin D can
be produced naturally by the body upon
exposure to the sun. Ten to 15 minutes per
day of direct sunlight is sufficient to prevent
vitamin D deficiency. Good nondairy
dietary sources of vitamin D include eggs,
fish, oysters, fortified cereals, and cod liver

4. Riboflavin
Riboflavin, or vitamin B2, is one of the Bcomplex
of vitamins vital for processing
carbohydrates in the body. It has recently
become popular as a treatment for migraine
headaches, as it has been clinically shown to
reduce their frequency. While riboflavin is
available in supplement form, it is not
particularly difficult to get vitamin B2 from
an otherwise well-balanced diet. The RDA
(recommended daily allowance) for
riboflavin is 0.5 mg per thousand calories
eaten on a daily basis. Leafy greens, sweet
potatoes, whole grains, and meat are good
sources. Some cereals and breads are
enriched with riboflavin as well.

5. Phosphorus
Milk is among the richest dietary sources of
phosphorus, a mineral that helps regulate
cell function in the body. It is a major
component of bones and teeth. Meat eaters
should easily get adequate phosphorus in the
diet without dairy; fatty fish, in particular,
are an efficient way to meet your phosphorus
needs. Vegetarians' best options for
phosphorus are legumes, which are high in
phosphorus but not absorbed as easily in the
body as the phosphorus found in animal
products. Another good source is bread,
especially if the bread has been leavened
with yeast.
Information taken in part from: http://

It has been so much fun adapting recipes
and creating new ones that are dairy-free.
Here are a few tips you can use in adapting
your personal favorites:
• Try substituting rice milk or soymilk for
ordinary cow’s milk or buttermilk (for 1 c
buttermilk use 1 cup soymilk + 1 tsp. lemon
• Use dairy-free margarine or olive oil in
place of butter or regular margarine (Earth
Balance® dairy-free margarine (sold at
health food stores and some grocery stores) is
BY FAR the best dairy-free margarine I've
• To substitute 1 can of cream of chicken or
mushroom soup in a recipe, take 1 T dairyfree
margarine and 1 T flour. Melt the dairyfree
margarine in a sauce pan. Add the flour
and whisk together. Slowly add 1 c soymilk
and 1 tsp. chicken bouillon (double check
label). Stir constantly over medium heat
until thick. This makes 1 can of condensed
soup. For cream of mushroom soup, add
chopped mushrooms at the end.
• To substitute a 12 oz. can of evaporated
milk, mix together 1 1/4 c water, 3/4 c + 1
T powdered soymilk and 1 1/2 tsp. dairyfree
margarine. Mix together over medium
heat until dairy-free margarine is melted and
mixture is smooth. Store in fridge. Use in
recipes calling for evaporated milk. (Note: A
lot of powdered soymilk has casein in it.
We’ve been pleased with Better Than Soy®
powdered soymilk.)
• In working with dairy-free cheeses, my
children have not liked any of the brands
we’ve tried. I’ve found it easiest to just go
without at this time. That said, I do
sometimes like using Tofutti’s Better Than
Sour Cream® and Tofutti’s Better Than Cream Cheese.

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