Recently we discovered that my daughter is lactose intolerant. She had been dealing with stomach issues for at least a year. We had several tests run to rule out various other allergies such as wheat/gluten. As for lactose, the doctor just suggested not using it for a couple of weeks and seeing what happens. We did try to be careful but did not fully cut lactose out of her diet at that time as her symptoms seemed to subside.
A few months ago, my daughter got really sick. She was sick to her stomach and kept throwing up. After we ruled out the stomach flu or food poisoning, we narrowed it down to the crazy cheese fondue fest we had one evening. Since then we have really endeavored to change her, and our, eating habits. This has proved more difficult that we originally thought. We have friends that are allergic to all kinds of things (lactose, soy milk, corn, wheat, etc.) and knew how to adjust the meal when they came to visit. Finding lactose-free food for every single day, 3-4 times a day has really been a challenge. Milk is in EVERY thing!
For example, one night she asked for a snack…
- Cookies: Milk
- Quesadilla: Cheese
- Chocolate: Milk
- Pretzels: Butter
- Grilled Cheese Sandwich: Cheese
Discouraged, I whip out a new package of cookies and say, “Hey, there’s no chocolate in these!” No, they were just loaded with butter. That was a sad, sad night for her and for me as I felt her pain. When deciding what to cook for dinner I discovered how much more was cut out. Almost all Italian has some kind of cheese. Mexican requires sour cream and cheese. I can cook some Chinese but only a few dishes. Dinner was horrible for a few evenings there.
So we drove over to Whole Foods and look for items that might be consumable for her. We picked up a four-pack of chocolate muffins that were lactose-free, gluten-free, etc. There was no price but I figured it cost the same as the pumpkin bread I picked up. After getting a few more vegan cookies, we checked out. The muffins alone were $9!!!! Nine dollars for four mini, individually packed muffins. My daughter said they were good and I told her to enjoy them because she wasn’t going to get anymore!
Trader Joe’s carried some lactose-free cheese and cream cheese so we got some of that. They also have Earth Balance (a vegan margarine) for a reasonable price so I can substitute it for butter in most things. As for the cheeses, my daughter really tried hard but they tasted like plastic. At nine-years-old was my daughter doomed to a life of no milk?
With my husband being Dutch and us always have a drawer-full of cheese in the refrigerator (including three kinds of Gouda) we had to figure out something. We had been reading the labels on everything and desperately I checked the back of our Kraft Shredded Cheese.
“CONTAINS 0G OF LACTOSE PER SERVING”
Could my eyes be seeing right? I call my husband over to have him look at the package. Yes, it has ZERO grams of lactose. Not all was lost after all.
Since then we have found how to reasonably manage my daughter’s intolerance. For snacks we stock up on fruit, nuts, dark chocolate, and yesterday we found out she can have Nutter Butters. We use Kraft Shredded Cheese almost daily (yes, we like cheese in our family) and we now substitute any milk with Lactaid. If we do eat something that can not be altered, such as pizza or bagels/cream cheese, she can take a lactase supplement. Both of these just boost her ability to break down the lactose.
So ‘thank you’ Kraft for helping to put a smile on my daughter’s face again!
Disclosure: I was NOT compensated/sponsored for this post, which contains 100% my honest opinion.