o you need a balanced diet that is tailored to suit your dairy allergy? Then, this guide is just for you! Here, you will find a full explanation  of what a dairy allergy is and what you should incorporate into your diet in order to manage your allergy to dairy products. First, it would be beneficial to know what a dairy allergy exactly is. So let’s get started!

A woman refusing a glass of milk
If you have a dairy allergy, you can say goodbye to ever tasting a dairy product ever again. Image courtesy of Food Revolution Network.

What is a Dairy Allergy?

A dairy allergy is one of the most common food allergies, and it is particularly widespread in young children, although 6.1 million adults in America have reported exhibiting symptoms of a dairy allergy in 2019. But what does it mean to be allergic to dairy?   

Basically, you may experience an immunological reaction, which is when your body triggers an immune response to fight off what it sees as a harmful substance, when you consume proteins in milk like casein and whey. Therefore, when your body executes this immune response, that is when you will experience the symptoms of having an allergic reaction. These symptoms can occur immediately or occur up to three days after consuming a dairy product, and can range from feeling uncomfortable and mild to feeling unbearable and violent. Some immediate allergic reactions include:

  • Rashes
  • Wheezing
  • Lip-swelling
  • Anaphylaxis

Some delayed allergic reactions, or non-IgE mediated reactions, include:

  • Skin-related related reactions, like acne and eczema
  • Respiratory-related reactions, like sinus issues and asthma
  • Pain in the joints
  • Resistance to weight loss
  • Fatigue

However, why does a dairy allergy materialize in a person?

A dairy allergy may happen in a person because that person’s immune system may think that dairy products are harmful and thereby go into overdrive if that person consumes a dairy product. 

In addition, being allergic to dairy is not the same as being lactose intolerant, because lactose intolerance is a food sensitivity, and it is not linked to your immune system.

Now that you are aware about all of the facts concerning being allergic to dairy products, it is time to plan your balanced diet.

Someone taking a spoonful of yogurt out from a glass jar
You need to keep in mind that there may not be dairy-free alternatives to every dairy product that is contained in your diet that you may need to replace once you have been diagnosed with dairy allergy. This means that you will have to think creatively when assembling your meals. Image courtesy of healthline.

Here are some swaps to make when you are trying to make your diet dairy-free

If you are unsure about how to eat some of your favorite foods without utilizing dairy products to make them, then swap dairy-containing ingredients with these simple replacements. Also, it is very easy to find dairy-free products in grocery stores today, such as spreads and dips, ice creams, cheeses, and cookies. However, you should always be vigilant about buying dairy-replacement products, by checking the labels and the Nutrition Facts panel on products, especially packaged products, to make sure that a dairy ingredient is not incorporated into the making of the product.

If you want dairy-free smoothies...

Almond Butter & Banana Protein Smoothie Recipe

...then reach for non-dairy milk replacements such as soy milk and almond milk or oat milk. Also, if you want your smoothies to be creamy, then add some sort of nut butter (keeping in mind any allergies to nuts that you may have) or avocado instead of yogurt to your smoothies. Here is a great recipe for a dairy-free smoothie:


  • One small or large frozen banana
  • One cup of unsweetened almond milk (or any other unsweetened nut milk of choice)
  • Two tablespoons of almond butter (or any other nut butter of choice) 
  • Two tablespoons of unflavored protein powder
  • One tablespoon of sweetener of your choice (optional)
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • Four to six ice cubes

Directions: Combine all of the ingredients in a blender and blend the ingredients until the mixture is smooth. Serve chilled.  

If you want dairy-free sandwiches...

Avocado, Tomato & Chicken Sandwich Recipe

...then toss the cheese (or use vegan cheeses), and also make sure that the bread that you’re using does not contain milk, milk powder, or any other dairy product. Finally, if you need some flavor or textures in your sandwich, then reach for hummus, sprinklings of spices like paprika or Italian herbs, veggie slices, or slices of avocado. Here is a superb recipe for a dairy-free sandwich


  • Two slices of multigrain (check to make sure that the bread does not contain any dairy products) bread (adjust the amount of slices needed to make the desired amount of sandwiches)
  • ¼ of a ripe avocado (adjust the amount of avocados needed to make the desired amount of sandwiches)
  • Three ounces of cooked boneless, skinless chicken breast (or thigh), sliced (adjust the amount of chicken needed to make the desired amount of sandwiches)
  • Two slices of tomatoes (adjust the amount of tomatoes needed to make the desired amount of sandwiches)
  • Any other assorted vegetables (if desired)
  • Any condiments (dairy-free only) (if desired)

Directions: Toast the desired amount of slices of bread. Then, mash the amount of avocados desired with a fork in a bowl. Then, spread the mashed avocado onto the desired pieces of toast. Then, top those pieces of toast with chicken, tomatoes, any desired vegetables, any dairy-free condiments and a plain piece of toast. Serve with any desired sides, but keep in mind your dairy allergy when choosing to consume any sides.

If you want dairy-free dips or spreads...

Vegan Queso Recipe

...then you might want to check out any store-bought or restaurant dips that do not contain dairy products like sour cream, yogurt, or dairy cheese. Also, you can make guacamole or vegan queso at home from scratch if you are feeling a bit adventurous. Here is an excellent recipe for a dairy-free dip


  • One cup of raw cashews
  • ¾ cup of water, plus more as needed
  • Two tablespoons of lime juice 
  • Two tablespoons of nutritional yeast
  • Two tablespoons of tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon of smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon of salt
  • ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper

Directions: First, place the cashews in a small bowl, cover then with ¾ cup of water, and soak them for 30 minutes. Then, after 30 minutes, drain the cashews and rinse them under cold water. Next, place the cashews, along with the lime juice, the nutritional yeast, the tomato paste, the smoked paprika, the salt and the cayenne pepper in a high-speed blender and blend the mixture on the highest setting for two to three minutes until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Stop the blender once or twice during the blending process to scrape down the sides. Thin the mixture with a little water until the desired consistency of the mixture is achieved. Serve the dip with tortilla chips or veggies. Note: if you need to have the dip ready ahead of time, make the dip one day before it is needed and refrigerate it until the next day.

If you want dairy-free ice creams...

Two-Ingredient Peanut Butter (or Any Nut Butter) Banana Ice Cream Recipe

...then look for brands at the grocery store that make ice cream with alternative milks like coconut milk and almond milk. Also, if you are not so particular about your deserts, then you can buy or make from scratch some sorbets. Finally, you can also make your own healthy "ice cream" at home from scratch using bananas. Here is a nice recipe for a dairy-free ice cream:


  • Two medium bananas, peeled, halved and frozen
  • ¼ cup of natural peanut butter (or any nut butter desired)
  • Unsweetened shredded coconut for garnish

Directions: Place the bananas and the peanut butter (or desired nut butter) in a food processor. Then, pulse and process the mixture until it is mostly smooth, stopping the pulsing in the middle of the process to scrape down the sides as needed. Then, take out the mixture and place the mixture into a freezer-safe bowl or other container and garnish the mixture with the shredded coconut. Serve immediately, or freeze the mixture and take it out within two days to eat.

Some things to keep in mind when you are trying to keep your diet dairy-free

Part of having a balanced diet is making sure you consume the proper amounts of nutrients your body needs. If you aren't consuming dairy, you may need to pay special attention to some nutrients that are commonly found in dairy products. Be sure to find alternative sources of these key nutrients.


Calcium is essential for you in order to keep your bones and teeth healthy, and most adults need around 1,000 milligrams of calcium each day, while young children and individuals over 50 years old need a little bit more. Therefore, if you cut out any sort of dairy product from your diet, you will not be intaking the required amount of calcium . However, you can still get calcium from other sources, such as vegetables like greens like broccoli and kale.

Vitamin D

You need an acceptable amount of Vitamin D in your diet because it is a fat-soluble vitamin that can help you absorb calcium, so if you are looking for dairy-free sources of Vitamin D to incorporate into your diet, then look for fortified almond milk or soy milk.


Men need 56 grams of protein per day, while women need 46 grams of protein per day, and dairy products are rich in protein. However, there is no need to worry, since there are plenty of non dairy sources of protein as well. These include eggs, fish, poultry and meat and poultry, nuts, and various dairy-free alternative milks, such as soy milk.

Finally, check the Nutrition Label on various foods and other packaged products and avoid these foods and substances if you have a dairy allergy:

  • Lactalbumin
  • Casein and caseinates
  • Lactoferrin
  • Lactose
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Nisin preparation
  • Galactose
  • Rennet
  • Cheese powder
  • Artificial cream
  • Curds
  • Margarine
  • Custard
  • Milk powder
  • Ghee
  • Whey and whey syrup
A photo of a wheel of white soft cheese with a bowl of red pepper and a butter knife nearby
Your dairy-free diet does not have to make you feel dreary. Instead, your dairy-free diet can be quite vibrant, but only if you choose to be vigilant but flexible about what you want to incorporate into your day’s menu. If you strive to do so, then you can make each of your meals feel like a feast! Image courtesy of healthline.

With this guide, you should be thoroughly prepared to live a healthy lifestyle with a balanced diet suited to accommodate for your dairy allergy.

Dec 25, 2020