Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Dairy-Free Update

We are doing very well on our dairy-free journey.  I can definitely see a major improvement in Grace’s eczema, which is the biggest benefit.  Another area of change is in her general energy level.  She seems to be more active and happy.  And she is sleeping less.  For most people that’s not a benefit, but for Grace it is.

For years people have told me how wonderful it is to have a child that sleeps so well.  Grace LOVES bedtime, naptime, and anytime that she gets to go to bed.  She has always slept more than the recommended amount for her age…I’ve even asked our pediatrician about it, and she’s told me it was fine.  At four years old, she is still taking a LONG nap every afternoon, waking up only when I tell her she must get up.

Her naptimes have been shorter in the past couple of weeks, and we’ve let her stay up later because she’s been so energetic.  I hadn’t connected this to our dairy-free journey until I read on a website that elimination of dairy (or any food that is deemed intolerant) will result in an overall increase of energy and mood. 

Without thinking, I let her eat a piece of pizza last Saturday (with lots of cheese).  On Sunday night I was trying to figure out why her eczema flared up again, and I realized that she had eaten cheese!  Duh!  (Way to go, mom…).  At least it reinforced to me that we are on the right path.

As far as replacing the dairy products, she is enjoying soy milk and soy yogurt.  (I’ll admit that I’m not crazy about soy products…they have a slight chalky aftertaste, but Grace hasn’t noticed at all.)  The best-tasting milk replacement (to me) so far has been almond milk. 

almond breeze

This stuff is FABULOUS.  Even if you don’t need to go dairy-free, it is a delicious treat.  It really does taste nutty, and it has less calories than fat-free cow’s milk.  Lot’s of nutrients and vitamins, too.  It’s quite expensive in the regular grocery store, but I have found that my Whole Foods market does frequent sales on this product. 

We are still considering allergy testing, just to reinforce that we are doing the right thing…and to see if there are any other allergies we might have missed.  We’ll discuss it with Grace’s pediatrician on our next visit and go from there.


Kim H. said...

I'd venture to say that since you're seeing some positive improvements for your daughter... it's the right thing. :-) Always good to check into other possibilities though. I might have to check the Almond milk out - it sounds yummy!

Joe and Martha said...

Did you see my comment on your Good Friday post? Dad, Suzanne and Bobby(excema too) were always super allergic to milk. Different reactions but intolerable all the same. They all three drink it now with some exception. I think you are right to take her off of it. She may be able to recover and drink it as an adult. Dad still cannot drink pasteurized milk.

Joanna J. said...

It's amazing to see how many people are intolerant of milk. Thankfully, there are a lot of great dairy replacements, so it's not too difficult to manage. Thanks for the advice!

Parsley said...

We like the 'Silk' brand soymilk in Very Vanilla. Chocolate is good too.