Milk Allergies in Children

Milk allergies is human immune system’s response to milk protein, which it mistakenly perceives as dangerous. The allergy can occur at any age but is mostly found in infants.

Children can alarm you with persistent symptoms like

  • fussiness or irritability
  • gas, bloating, abdominal pain with cramps, vomiting, or diarrhea
  • spots or streaks of blood or mucus in stools
  • eczema, skin rash, swelling of mouth
  • recurrent wheezing, cough, stuffy or runny nose, colds, or sinusitis
  • poor weight gain and growth
  • even anaphylactic shock

While the pediatrician should rule out other conditions, you must remember a common infant ailment -milk allergy.

Milk allergies is human immune system’s response to milk protein, which it mistakenly perceives as dangerous. 80 percent children grow out of milk allergy by the age of four years. Rarely, the condition can persist into adulthood.

Way out

The only way to avoid food allergy is to avoid milk and milk products. If you or your child suffer from milk allergy, it will also be prudent to learn to read food labels as milk protein is also hidden in products like processed meat including sausages and salami!

Casein is the protein that forms 80 percent of milk protein and is the most common food allergen.

Some ingredients that may contain milk protein are: butter, cheese, cream, curds, flavoring, lactalbumin, iron caseinate, magnesium caseinate, whey. You must remember that even non-dairy products can have milk protein.

Dietary requirements

Milk is a basic dietary requirement for young children and milk allergy can make it difficult to feed them the recommended allowance.

Thankfully, there are substitutes available which are almost as nutritious as milk and its products. In fact, depending on the use of milk, you can choose from various substitutes.

  • For baking and thickening you can use rice milk, which also substitutes milk for drinking and on cereals.
  • In some recipes you can replace milk with juice.
  • Soy milk is a great option for milk allergic children.
  • Goat’s milk can also be used but most people allergic to cow’s milk are also allergic to goat’s milk.

Apart from protein, calcium inadequacy becomes a major concern for children with milk allergy. This can be met with other food stuff like green vegetables like broccoli, fish with soft edible bones and seafood. For vitamin D, which is required to absorb calcium, patients can depend on liver, egg, and sunlight.

However, all milk allergic persons should consult a dietician for a diet that will meet the nutritional requirements of a milk free diet.