Kids need to eat healthy foods for their growing bodies, and to maintain their energy levels at peak performance for learning at school and beyond. When your child is lactose intolerant, it’s harder to trust store bought, pre-packaged foods because you don’t know if it contains dairy or other milk products.
Keep these five tips in mind when preparing some healthy dairy free snacks for your kids.
1. You don’t have to ban cheese entirely from your kids’ snacks. There are many dairy-free products out there. Look on the labels for vegan or dairy-free.
Be careful when the label says non-dairy or lactose-free because it may still have dairy products in it.
Pizza rolls or mini pizzas or cheese-less pizza
Tortilla chips with dairy-free cheese or salsa
Roasted chickpeas with cheese
2. Use substitutes for milk products such as dairy-free milk powder, coconut milk, almond milk, rice milk, and soy yogurt. Look for other dairy-free items like sour cream and soy mayonnaise.
Stay away from these types of milk products – evaporated milk, condensed milk, dry milk solids, non-fat milk, any type of whey and hydrolysate, and malted milk…any ingredient with the word milk in it.
Avoid labels that say artificial butter, artificial butter flavor, butter extract, butter solids, dairy butter, and butter flavored oil.
Avoid these ingredients as well: ammonium caseinate, calcium caseinate, magnesium caseinate, potassium caseinate, sodium caseinate, hydrolyzed casein, iron caseinate, zinc caseinate.
3. You can incorporate more nuts or seeds in your baking — cereal bars, brownies, cookies, granola bars, etc.
4. Sprinkle crushed flax seeds on hot oatmeal, on top of smoothies, or in desserts.
5. Make a trail mix with different types of calcium-rich nuts such as Brazil nuts, almonds, walnuts, and sesame seeds.
Other lactose free snack foods your kids can enjoy:
- A variety of seasonal fruits; fresh or homemade dried fruits
- Dried apple chips
- Baked pears with yogurt
- Flavored or plain dairy-free yogurt with fresh fruits
- Popcorn with spices or seasoning
- Sweet yam fries or sweet potato fries
- Deviled eggs made with dairy-free sour cream
- Breaded fish sticks or chicken nuggets with homemade crushed potato chips
- Homemade potato chips
- Calcium-rich veggies
- Chicken kebabs
- Whole wheat pita filled with cucumber, grated carrots, hummus or bean dip
- Breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, avocado slices, and salsa
- Almond milk, honey, yogurt, and your choice of fruit milkshake
- Vegan muffins
- Tacos with refried beans, shredded lettuce, tomato, guacamole, and salsa
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