Home FoodDairy-Free Lactose Intolerance, A Sad Realization And An Ode to Kraft

Lactose Intolerance, A Sad Realization And An Ode to Kraft

by TerriAnn

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.


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.

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G Bailey January 26, 2011 - 2:36 pm

Sorry for your daughter’s intolerance. My mom was somewhat lactose intolerant but seems to have grown out of it. I would have never guessed that good old Kraft cheese had no lactose.

Cookies & Clogs January 26, 2011 - 11:22 pm

The sad thing is that she’s the only one – my husband and I can have all things dairy w/ no problem. Poor baby 🙁 She even carries Lactiad pills in her little purse!

Dennis May 10, 2019 - 10:39 am

Kraft has been a savior!!

TerriAnn June 4, 2019 - 7:35 pm

Good to know! I haven’t used this for years since my body started to reject even lactose-free dairy items. Maybe I’ll have to try this again one day though!

Mike April 1, 2011 - 6:49 pm

I have the same problem too.
As for pizza I have my favorite pizzaria just not put cheeze on it. Its not bad when you have it with all the other toppings you might like. Also you can take your Kraft cheeze to your pizzaria and they will make your pizza with it. Lactos Milk is very good and I think they make a lactos cheese but I have not found it in any of my local markets. Stater Brothers Market used to have a cheese by the name of Smart Cheese. It was in sliced sandwich style and they had it in shreded form but no longer. It was not bad, better than no cheese at all…Anyway I am going to check out that Kraft Cheese, Thanks for that Info.

Chimacintosh June 3, 2011 - 6:28 pm

I used to be lactose intolerant and allergic to milk. I fixed it by using NMT.


Jenna September 24, 2011 - 8:34 pm

Keep in mind that hot dogs contain lactose as well. That one has gotten me a couple times.
Also, when eating out in restaurants many people do not realize that butter is a dairy. For example, the scrambled eggs may not contain milk but may have been fried in butter. I recommend attempting hard cheese once in a while. Hard cheese can sometimes be worked back into a diet once your system heals and becomes less hyper sensitive.

Steve July 9, 2014 - 10:10 pm

Kraft cheese contains lactose. Don’t be fooled by the marketing. If it had no lactose, it would say “Lactose-Free.” Saying it has 0g of lactose per serving just means it has less than 500mg per serving, since food manufacturers round down. If your daughter is lactose intolerant, Kraft cheese should not be eaten.

TerriAnn van Gosliga July 10, 2014 - 9:37 am

Thank you. I’ll research this some more then 🙂

Joe October 26, 2014 - 4:02 pm

Joe is incorrect. When Kraft says 0 they mean zero. 0g, 0mg. Their natural aged hard cheeses (cheddar, mozzarella, etc.) are aged long enough that ALL the lactose has broken down. Some other kraft nutrition labels will list milligrams of ingredients so if they meant it had 499 milligrams, it would be labeled 499mg or 0.499g, not 0

I am extremely sensitive to lactose. I even react to products that list Lactic Acid as the last ingredient on the label. Cabot and Kraft Natural block and shredded cheeses labeled as containing 0 Grams of lactose per serving (and lactaid brand cottage cheese) let me put cheese recipes back into my diet.

Caren Ross April 20, 2016 - 6:08 pm

I just came across this and wanted to say thank you! We recently discovered that out 9 year old daughter is lactose intolerant too. One of her favorite foods is cheese. However, our biggest problem is sour cream. I have found several recipes that call for cashews but cashews are SO EXPENSIVE!

TerriAnn van Gosliga April 21, 2016 - 9:35 am

You’re welcome 🙂 Fortunately, there are many substitutes for those with food allergies. Sour cream is a toughie though since non-dairy ones taste kind of nasty. We’ve just had to adjust much of our menu so that it naturally omits the allergen or we can use a sub. Stores like Trader Joes, Whole Foods, and even Target or Safeway carry a good selection. We just read the label on EVERYTHING. In fact, I would make sure to double check the shredded Kraft cheese before giving it to your daughter since ingredients/processes do change occassionally. FYI, we found out that my DD does not have lactose intolerance but my hubs was diagnosed with celiac/gluten-allergy so we deal with the struggles daily. It does get easier 🙂 Also, many restaurants do great at accommodating food allergies. Those at Disney parks are the best though!

Beth August 18, 2016 - 5:19 pm

If you have a Market Basket in your area they carry a line of Green Valley products which includes lactose free sour cream and cream cheese. http://greenvalleylactosefree.com/product/lactose-free-sour-cream

TerriAnn August 19, 2016 - 12:31 pm

Ooh, how do they taste? The dairy-free ones we tried before were nasty!

Eileen February 5, 2018 - 5:28 pm

They taste great because they are real not phony imitations. Lactase enzyme is added to break down the lactose. This is what our bodies produce to handle dairy, but some like your daughter and I don’t make enough. It is tasteless and the Green Valley cream cheese is better than philly.

TerriAnn February 5, 2018 - 10:23 pm

I need to try the Green Valley. Haven’t found a good cream cheese sub yet.

Eileen Tischler February 5, 2018 - 4:46 pm

They are real with the enzyme lactase added to beam down the lactose. They are sooooo good. My friends and husband love them. Why can’t everyone just put lactase in the dairy food instead of reinventing the wheel. Fake dairy tastes awful.

Eileen Tischler February 5, 2018 - 4:47 pm

That is supposed to be “break” down the lactose.

Jessica T March 23, 2018 - 8:03 pm

I’ve recently found out that I am lactose intolerance. Not only that, but at the same time I also had issues with my gallbladder and had to have that removed. Needless to say, my diet has changed completely!!

Reading this, I teared up!!!!!! I’m not going to lie. I’m so happy to hear it can be done, getting past the unexpected. I’ve always imagined lactose intolerance was something you were born with, not something that can come on with age, or with me medical issues. I’ve had to remove dairy from my diet almost completely unless I take supplements, and cut most of the fat and grease out as well, due to no gallbladder. It’s been hard.

TerriAnn March 27, 2018 - 9:01 am

Thank you for sharing your experience and I’m sorry to hear about new food allergy. I developed some major ones (dairy, soy, gluten, corn) last year and it has been rough learning to cope with them. But, yes, it is possible to work w/ these restrictions and there’s hope that symptoms may one day lessen or disappear. Good news if you are only allergic to lactose and not dairy in general — there are a TON of alternatives that actually taste good! Let me know if you need suggestions for lactose-free or even dairy-free items. I’m not sure about restrictions with having no gallbladder but, hopefully, you’ll be able to find foods you like and can still eat. 🙂

Carrie August 21, 2018 - 9:32 am

I called Kraft and it does have some lactose in it but less than other cheese products.

TerriAnn August 21, 2018 - 10:19 am

Really?! I wonder if they changed the labeling on their packaging then. It used to say NO lactose. Thanks for letting me know. I’ll have to add a note in the article.

Stephanie June 3, 2019 - 9:23 pm

I’ve been very lactose intolerant for about two and a half years now. Before that, cheese was a regular part of my diet. I had begun to realize my allergy after ice cream made me nearly throw up for a whole night. It was terrible. I stopped eating it and switched to Almond Milk instead of 2%. Eventually even cheese and certain other things made me feel sick. I get nausea, cramping, and the runs every single time. I pushed dairy and lactose out of my life after that. (I don’t count eggs as dairy.) As of right now, the only dairy products I consume semi-regularly are butter, chocolate, and ranch dressing, along with a few products that contain very small amounts of dairy. I am extremely afraid to bring dairy products back into my life, but I keep craving cheese and I don’t know what to do or which products to trust. I’d love some feedback/advice/etc.

TerriAnn June 4, 2019 - 7:28 pm

This was originally written in relation to my daughter who grew out of it. I’ve been off dairy for about 2-1/2 years myself since I’ve been having digestive problems and, man, do I miss it!!! Lately, the craving been especially bad and I even cheated with some ranch dressing the other day. No advice on adding it back in since I’m not a pro in that area. But, I have been on the hunt for non-dairy cheese and milk products and found a few I like. I REALLY need to do an updated post but, in the meantime, here are some products that I actually think taste decent:
– Silk Protein Almond & Cashew (thicker than almond but not as “earthy” as cashew; only 2 g sugar; good for all cooking/baking substitute, hot chocolate, and cereal; also a chocolate milk variety)
– Earth Balance (I prefer the soy free one since it cooks, bakes, spreads, and broils well)
– Kite Hill Cream Cheese (chive and everything varieties are good but the plain one is boring)
– So Delicious Dairy-Free shreds (tried the cheddar jack recently and actually like it; it does melt but needs more heat than reg. cheese)
– So Delicious Dairy-Free Coconut Ice Cream (the mint chocolate taste clean and smooth)
– Breyers Non-Dairy Ice Cream (LOVE the Oreo cookies & cream)
– Enlightened Dairy Free Bars (the Mint Chip is my fave and it’s only 90 calories)
– King Arthur Gluten-Free Brownies (you may not be GF but these are dairy free too and delish)
– OCHO coconut candy (like Mounds but dairy-free and super yum)
– Reddi Wip non-dairy almond whipped cream (the aerosol/spray kind by a brand we already use)
– Brianna’s salad dressing (the Poppy Seed and Creamy Balsalmic are tasty enough to not miss ranch on salads but give the texture of creaminess)
The one thing I CANNOT find a replacement for is sour cream. Still working on it and trying other stuff – it’s all just so expensive to try and toss though! On a side note, I do not like Daiya stuff at all and, though others rave about it, I’m not a fan of Miyoko’s (weird sour flavor) or Follow My Heart (the parmesan shouldn’t even be allowed on shelves). Let me know if you find good stuff too!

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