Cow’s Milk and Soya Free Diet for Children
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What is a cow’s milk/soya intolerance?
• Cow’s milk/soya intolerance is when a baby or small child has a reaction to the protein in cow’s milk and soya.
• In babies and small children, they may have had a reaction from when they first started cow’s milk. They may have been sick after every bottle, had diarrhoea or a boated tummy, or skin reactions such as eczema, hives (urticaria) or a puffy face or eyes (angioedema). They would have a similar reaction to soya milk, although it may have taken a couple of weeks to develop.
• Most children will grow out of their reactions.
• Babies will need to use special milk such as Similac Alimentum, Nutramigen 2 plus Lgg or Neocate LCP. These can be prescribed by your G.P.
• Older children may not like the taste of these milks and we may suggest oat, almond, coconut, hazelnut or hemp milk instead*.
• They will also need to avoid milk and soya milk in their food.
*Rice milk is not advised for children under 5 years old
Foods and Ingredients to Avoid
EU law states that all foods containing milk or soya, even in the smallest quantities, must have this clearly emphasised on its labelled ingredients list but manufacturers may choose how they do this. This includes all foods that are pre-packed, sold loose or served when you are eating outside of the home. It is important to remember to check the ingredients label of all the foods you buy because many processed and prepackaged foods unexpectedly contain cow’s milk or soya.
If a food is labelled “contains milk” or “contains soya”, do not give it to your child.
If a food is labelled “may contain milk” or “made on a line that handles milk”, or similar, there is a risk it may have had contact with soya or milk in the manufacturing process.
It is safer to avoid these foods.
How will I know if my child has grown out of their milk and soya allergy?
• If your child has gone for a year without a reaction to milk or soya, they may have grown out of their milk or soya allergy.
• Discuss this with your dietitian or doctor. We may be able to test to check if this is the case.
• Do not try cow’s milk or soya at home unless your dietitian or doctor has agreed this beforehand.