Milk Allergy Diet

General guidelines for milk allergy

The key to an allergy-free diet is to avoid giving your child the foods or products containing the food to which he or she is allergic. The items that your child is allergic to are called allergens.

A milk allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in cow's milk. Milk allergy is most common among infants and young children. Milk and milk products are found in many foods. Obvious forms of milk are cream, cheese, butter, ice cream, and yogurt. Milk and milk products may also be hidden sources in commonly eaten foods. In order to avoid foods that contain milk products, it is necessary to read food labels.

Important information about avoiding milk and milk products

  • The words nondairy on a product label indicate it does not contain butter, cream, or milk. However, this does not necessarily indicate it does not have other milk-containing ingredients.

  • The Kosher food labeled pareve or parve almost always indicates food is free of milk and milk products. A D on a product label next to the circled K or U indicates the presence of milk protein. These products should be avoided.

  • Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, and luncheon meats, frequently contain milk or are processed on milk-containing lines. Carefully read all food labels.

Foods - what's allowed and what's not allowed



  • Carbonated beverages
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soy substitute-milk formulas, water
  • Fruit drinks

Not allowed:

  • All milks (whole, low-fat, skim, buttermilk, evaporated, condensed, powdered, hot cocoa)
  • Yogurt, eggnog, milkshakes, malts
  • All beverages made with milk or milk products



  • Milk-free breads
  • French bread
  • Wheat, white, rye, corn, graham, gluten, and soy breads made without milk or milk products
  • Graham cracker or rice wafers

Not allowed:

  • Wheat, white, or rye breads
  • Biscuits, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, zwieback, crackers, saltines, rusk
  • Most commercially prepared breads and rolls contain milk or milk products
  • French toast made with milk



  • Any cereal to which no milk or milk products have been added

Not allowed:

  • High protein cereals
  • Prepared and precooked cereals with milk solids, casein, or other milk products added



  • Meringue, gelatin, popsicles, fruit ice, fruit whip, angel food cake
  • Cakes, cookies, and pie crusts made without milk or milk products

Not allowed:

  • Cake, cookies, custard, pudding, cream desserts, or sherbet containing milk products
  • Ice cream, cream pie
  • Pastries brushed with milk, junket, popover



  • Prepared without milk

Not allowed:

  • Scrambled with milk, creamed eggs, egg substitutes



  • Vegetable oil, meat fat, lard, bacon, shortening, milk free gravy
  • Peanut butter (made without milk solids)
  • Margarine without milk solids
  • Kosher margarine

Not allowed:

  • Butter, cream, margarine
  • Salad dressing or mayonnaise containing milk, milk solids, or milk products
  • Some butter substitutes and nondairy creamers



  • Fresh, frozen, or canned fruits and juices

Not allowed:

  • Any served with milk, butter, or cream

Meats, fish, poultry and cheese

  • Baked, broiled, boiled, roasted or fried: beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, organ meats, or tofu (prepared without milk or milk products)
  • Sausage, deli/luncheon meats, or ham if made without milk products

Note: A small number of people with cow's milk allergy may develop a reaction to beef. Thus, those with cow's milk allergy should be careful when consuming beef or foods containing beef.       

Not allowed:

  • All cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese
  • Some sausage products, bologna, frankfurters
  • Breaded meats, meatloaf, croquettes, casseroles, hamburgers (unless made without milk)
  • Commercial entrees made with milk or milk solids

Potatoes and substitutes


  • Macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, rice
  • White or sweet potatoes prepared without milk, butter, cream, or allowed margarine

Not allowed:

  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, scalloped potato or substitutes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes containing milk or butter
  • Frozen French fries sprayed with lactose



  • Bouillon, broth, consommé or soups with broth base plain or with all allowed foods

Not allowed:

  • Bisques, chowders, creamed soups
  • All soups made with milk or milk products



  • Corn syrup, honey, jam, jelly
  • Hard candy, candy made without milk or milk products
  • Granulated, brown or powdered sugar

Not allowed:

  • Candy made with milk, such as chocolate, fudge, caramels, nougat



  • All fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without milk or milk products added
  • All vegetable juices

Not allowed:

  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, or escalloped vegetables
  • Batter and dipped vegetables
  • Vegetable souffles



  • Catsup, olives, pickles, nuts, herbs, chili powder, salt, spices, condiments
  • Any foods that are milk-, cheese-, or butter-free, or that do not contain powdered milk or whey

Not allowed:    

  • All items containing milk, cheese, butter, whey casein, caseinates, hydrolysates, lactose, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin or milk solids, artificial butter flavor
  • Nondairy substitutes containing caseinate

How to read a label for a milk-free diet

Be sure to avoid foods that contain any of the following ingredients:

  • Artificial butter flavor

  • Butter, butter fat

  • Buttermilk

  • Casein

  • Caseinates (ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium)

  • Cheese, cottage cheese, curds

  • Cream

  • Custard, pudding

  • Ghee

  • Half and Half

  • Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein)

  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate

  • Lactoglobulin

  • Lactose

  • Milk (derivative, protein, solids, malted, condensed, evaporated, dry, whole, low-fat, nonfat, skim)

  • Nougat

  • Pudding

  • Rennet casein

  • Sour cream

  • Sour cream solids

  • Whey (delactosed, demineralized, protein concentrate)

  • Yogurt

Other possible sources of milk or milk products

  • Brown sugar flavoring

  • Caramel candies

  • Caramel flavoring

  • Chocolate

  • High protein flour

  • Luncheon meats, hot dogs, sausages 

  • Margarine

  • Natural flavoring

  • Simplesse


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