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Wednesday, March 21, 2012

"Got Milk?" NO!

Dairy-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
About a month ago we finally took Annalisse to a pediatric gastroenterologist for different issues she has been having - no need to go into it here at the risk of embarrassing a 16-year old...let's just say her condition caused awkward social situations and intestinal discomfort. After a couple of years of trying different ways to resolve her "issues" by using OTC medications and eliminating trigger foods from her diets, the specialist concluded that she is classically lactose intolerant.

While we had half-heartedly limited dairy from her diet, it was time to get serious and really eliminate dairy from her diet. While not as difficult a condition to manage as, say, gluten intolerance, it's still a tricky one. Of course there are the obvious culprits: milk, cheese, butter. But lactose hides in a lot of stuff you wouldn't expect like bread, jarred spaghetti sauce, and salad dressing. So now I am becoming vigilant about reading labels and adapting recipes that call for milk by using Lactaid, a "milk" substitute. That, and a combination of Lactaid tablets before every meal seems to be making a difference. It's funny: now when she has issues we can usually point to a specific treat she allowed herself, or maybe it was "that piece of pizza from last night."

While you know I don't like to cook, I've been having fun with recipes that are her faves like crepes, chocolate chip cookies (with dairy-free and gluten-free chocolate chips - and they taste great!), and muffins. We are very fortunate to live in a time (and to have a store like Wegmans) where there are a lot of non-dairy products that actually taste great. Lactaid milk has been a great help in cooking, and the soy margarine, tofu cream cheese and tofu sour cream has worked well as spreads and toppings.

With relief from her symptoms comes great relief to her. She's so happy to be feeling better, and eating healthier as a result of her diagnosis!

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