Wednesday, January 2, 2008

We're Officially Dairy-Free

In an attempt to help Thatcher with his ADHD we are trying several things - the most major being eliminating dairy and later gluten (protein found in wheat, rye and barley). We have also started OmegaBrite, an Omega 3 supplement found to help many children with impulsivity and focus. If you are new to my blog you can read about our journey in an older post.

It's easy to cut out the obvious dairy: milk, yogurt, butter, cheese, cream cheese, sour cream... The tricky part is finding all the hidden dairy in foods. Most hot dogs and some lunch meats have dairy proteins; canned tuna and turkey chili have it too. The whole wheat bread I've bought for years has milk in it as do many bagels, english muffins, hot dog and hamburger buns. Even products labeled dairy-free (rice cheese for example) can have casein, a milk protein. The list is almost endless of where dairy can be hidden in foods. Here is a list at the Go Dairy Free site if your interest is piqued.

For now we are sticking to simple meals and virtually no processed foods. We have found that rice milk and almond milk substitute well in most recipes where milk is used for moisture and is not a major player. We even made almond milk ice cream and it was yummy! :) Knowing that we are moving towards a complete gluten-free/casein-free diet, I've been testing out new foods in that vein as well. Thankfully I've discovered Bob's Red Mill product line of gf/cf mixes. Their chocolate chip cookies are wonderful; my boys gobbled them up without noticing anything different. We have also tried their Gluten Free Pancake Mix and Gluten Free Homemade Wonderful Bread Mix (using leftovers to make french toast tomorrow morning!). Next week I am going to try their Gluten Free Brownie Mix, too. At some point I am going to need to learn to cook gf/cf from scratch but for now these mixes are a great way ease me into learning to cook a whole new way.

I thought I would share a little about this journey since we're hoping to see major improvement in focus/impulse control which will make his (and our) life easier not to mention school so much easier! I promise to post more about actual school plans soon.


LisaWA said...

Good for you! What a great start! Do you have a Trader Joes in your area? Great place to find such goodies as you described. Our Fred Myer has a good healthy section.....but then this is probably information you already know!

Love Bob red Mills products! I use a 10 grain cereal they have for great muffins... the recipe is on the back and its sooo good!

I look forward to your posts Jennifer and maybe some new recipes to try!

Praying for Mr. Thatcher! *Ü*

Jenny in Ca said...

wow Jennefer, sounds like quite an effort! We went thru a time when my boy was very sensitive to dairy, but not so much that I didn't have to do anything beyond eliminate the obvious. Have you heard of the, forgive me if I mangle this..I think it's the Goldfine diet..something like that. It is an elimination diet and one of the things they found to affect some kids were apples and apple juice. I knew someone who had to do this thing all thru to help her boy. Sorry, I can't remember the exact name, I'm sure someone else will know...

praying for you guys!

Mom to 4 Boys said...

Thanks for this post. My 3 year old has a milk allergy and it's so hard trying to find things to feed him. I've been so surprised at the things that have milk in them! It's crazy! I never was one to read labels until I had him. Now I read everything! I hope you'll share some recipes in the future!

Life With My 3 Boybarians said...

Sounds like the adventure to better living is well under way. I hope this step brings success, peace of mind, and most of all a happier, healthier boy.


Anonymous said...

Good luck to you!
Lot´s of research to back up the effort of starting gfcf-diet here:

Anonymous said...

Hi Jennefer,

Do you have The Uncheese Cookbook? It has some great recipes in it for things like fondue, quiche, and mac & cheese. YES!! You can have gf/cf mac & cheese (using rice or lentil elbow noodles)! I don't know about your boys, but that is a staple in my boys' diet.

There are also some gf/cf hotdogs that my boys liked (maybe Tofu Pups? I don't recall).

Is corn still ok? Hopefully so, that one was harder to cut out than gluten! sigh.

I hope you and your family have a wonderful start to the new semester!

~Colleen in SEVA

LaDonnaMobile said...

Good luck! I use a lot of the dairy-free recipes at the Such Treasures blog; she homeschools, too!

Also Joel Fuhrman's recipes for treating ADD/ADHD are good, too--chech out his "Feeding Kids Right" book for more info--I loved it!

LisaWA said...

I had to post again... I love the cow picture! Grat lips! uh.. cows have lips? lol


Jean in Wisconsin said...

I've been dairy free for a number of years. Do be sure that the websites you use are updated--was it 2006 that the new laws went into effect that required food labeling to include the major allergens? It use to be that the labeling was nebulous,and if it said "spices" or "caramel coloring" it might have dairy. Today's labels must have the dairy marked more clearly.

Just thought I'd mention it in case you didn't know.

:-) Jean

Brittney said...

Hi Jennefer!
Thanks so much for the link to the Go Dairy Free. I am trying to have our family dairy/gluten free do to allergies and Celiac Disease. It's hard. I'm looking forward to reading some more about your experiences with it.
Here's to our family's health!

I appreciated your "confessions" post. I need to make A LOT of those same confessions. :o)

john_r_nyquist said...

Bob's Red Mill products are good :) We really like Ezekiel 4:9 bread and tortillas. They're not gluten free, but they are low glycemic. The company,, does have gluten free. We like Coromega fish oil that is tasty enough for even the kids

mom said...

Wishing you success in your dairy free journey as you take this first step. This was one thing we did with one of our sons and did notice a difference in his behavior. Even now, several years later, we do notice a change in his behavior when he's had some dairy.

Tammy ~@~