I’m thankful to have Diana from Saving by Making guest posting today about going dairy-free while nursing. This topic is especially timely for me as my baby is battling a yeast diaper rash and I’m considering cutting out dairy, except for yogurt, to help clear it up. Read on for Diana’s great suggestions!
I’d heard of people who ate that way and was very thankful that I was not allergic to milk.
I [mostly] followed the Brewer diet during pregnancy, which means I was eating the equivalent of a quart of milk or so a day–drinking it and eating cheese, cottage cheese, yogurt, sour cream, whipped cream, cream cheese, and hot chocolate made with milk. Butter was also in high demand. Yum.
Enter our sweet little blessing. 🙂
To make a long story short, we have definitely noticed a correlation between dairy (even small amounts like a buttered sandwich) and extra spitting up. Like all babies, he spits up occasionally, but if I’ve had dairy, it’s more prolific and the nasty, stinky, yellow kind. If I have dairy regularly, he also gets very fussy. Fabulous, right?!
Being a nursing mom while staying dairy-free is tough. You’re hungry all the time already, and you feel like you’ve cut out all the easy snacks (cheese and crackers, yogurt, and ice cream). But there are some things you can stock or easily make that will keep you going when you’re hungry again.
Items to keep on hand:
- peanut butter
- coconut oil
- popcorn (preferably not the microwave kind)
- various nuts
- sunflower seeds
- a few crackers (for emergencies!)
- fresh fruit
Popcorn popped in coconut oil is one of my favorite afternoon snacks. Add a tablespoon or two of coconut oil to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat. When you can feel heat coming off of the pan, add 1/4 cup popcorn kernels. Cover. When it starts popping, shake the pan back and forth to prevent burning (use a potholder to keep the lid on).
When the popping slows, pour into a bowl and salt liberally. The coconut oil doesn’t taste nearly as much like coconut since it’s been heated, and there is almost a buttery taste to the popcorn. Delicious!
A bowl of oatmeal alongside some eggs makes a filling breakfast (the combination of protein and carbs helps fill you up and keep you full). Add coconut oil, maple syrup, raisins, and cinnamon for an oatmeal-cookie-flavored treat.
Peanut Butter and Jelly
Make up several sandwiches and freeze them (thanks, MoneySavingMom!) for quick snacks. Defrost on the counter for 30 minutes or in the microwave for 15 seconds (give or take a few).
Make a big batch of granola, and you’ll have easy snacks for the next few days. Substitute coconut oil for the butter and the granola will still be delicious.
Hard-boiled eggs are great to keep in the fridge for a quick protein boost. Add them to a lettuce salad, make egg salad for lunch, mix them into tuna or chicken salad, or eat them plain.
Need a sweet treat? Try unsweetened applesauce, especially if you canned or froze it yourself last fall. Add some granola for crunch and a little more sticking-power.
Peanut butter crackers
Crackers are frequently a compromise food (unless you make your own), but a few here and there with some peanut butter on top might help you keep your sanity. The peanut butter will keep you from eating the entire sleeve of crackers in one sitting. Add some raisins to each cracker, and you’ll quickly be satisfied.
Toast a slice of bread and add peanut butter and jelly. This is a nice way to use up slightly-dry homemade bread (that you’ll probably be making because many store-bought versions include milk).
Chocolate-peanut butter slices
This is a creation I came up with when I was desperate for chocolate. It uses unsweetened baking chocolate (which is dairy-free), peanut butter, powdered sugar, and a drop of corn syrup. (Yes, compromise again with the powdered sugar and corn syrup. But without dairy, you’re compromising in so many fewer places — no ice cream, no buttery desserts, no frosting — that you might be able to appease your conscience. Besides, it’s not high fructose corn syrup. 😉 )
You can make these with raisins or dates, nuts, and oats. They are delicious and filling (and I don’t even like store-bought Larabars). Try to eat just one.
Without dairy, you’ll likely need to find other ways to get calcium. Greens are a great way to do that, but you’ll probably need to have homemade dressings on hand–most commercial dressings contain milk. I love Emeril Lagasse’s balsamic vinaigrette, and I’ve also experimented with Greek dressing and homemade Italian. So far the balsamic (after it sits for a day) is my favorite. And trust me, it’s been hard for this previously ranch-only girl to adjust. If I can do it, you can too!
If you’re in the midst of dealing with dairy elimination, I hope this has been helpful! It may be difficult, but it’s not impossible, and it’s only for a season. You’ll get cheese and yogurt back soon!
If you have any suggestions or recipes to add, I would *love* to hear them!
Diana is a stay-at-home mom of a cute 5-month old who won’t let her eat ice cream. She loves anything creative–cooking, sewing, crafting, and making sure the folded clothes are neatly stacked (even if they do stay in the laundry basket for awhile!). Read more of her adventures at Saving by Making, where the goal is to help you save time and money by making things at home.
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