In my last post, I wrote briefly about the common food allergies that children have. Over the next few posts, I'll go a little more in depth about each one and try to give you some helpful tips to substitute for these foods! Today, I am going to be talking about a milk allergy and an egg allergy. Please remember, always listen to your doctor and follow his instructions!
A milk allergy is one of the most common food allergies in children. Milk provides a good source of many essential nutrients for bone strength and growth. These nutrients are especially important during a child's growing periods. These nutrients include: protein, calcium, vitamin D, Vitamin A, riboflavin, and phosphorus. If your child has a milk allergy, these nutrients need to be replaced by eating other foods such as meat, chicken, fish, eggs, nuts, and legumes.
In some cases, you may be able to use milk alternatives. If your child is over one year old, you can substitute soy milk, almond milk, or even lactose-free milk. Be sure to read the labels of these substitutes to make sure that they are fortified. For example, there should be 8 grams of protein per 8 ounces of milk to match the protein you would get with regular milk.
Here are some examples of substitutes and how you could use them:
Soy Milk- Can be substituted for cow's milk in all baking needs, over cereal, for pancakes and waffles, in smoothies, or straight from the glass. The unsweetened variety works well in savory dishes. Soy milk does have a more distinct flavor, so it may not work as well in sauces.
Rice Milk- Rice milk has a natural sweetness that is perfect for desserts and baked goods. Its texture is also great in cream sauces and cream soups. It is not as tasty in savory dishes.
Oat Milk- Oat milk has been reported to be good in sweet and savory dishes. In addition to drinking it from the glass, it is recommended for smoothies, baked goods, cream soups and sauces, and mashed potatoes.
Substituting for Buttermilk- you can make your own buttermilk substitute by mixing one tablespoon vinegar plus 1 cup milk alternative (soy, rice, oat, almond milk).
Substituting for Cream (light or heavy)-
Light - canned light coconut milk, soy creamer, almond-based creamers
Heavy - canned full-fat coconut milk
Most children with egg allergy must avoid eggs in all forms unless their doctor has advised them otherwise. The part of the egg that is responsible for allergic reactions is the egg white, and it is very difficult to completely separate the white from the yolk without the yolk containing some traces of the egg white protein. Eggs are a great source of protein, but you can get enough protein from other food sources such as meat, poultry, milk and beans.
Eggs usually are either acting as a binder or a leavening agent when used in baked goods, and sometimes act as both. If a recipe calls for 3 or more eggs, egg substitutes are usually not recommended because the texture and consistency do not turn out right. When talking about egg substitutes and egg replacements, egg substitutes are made more for people who are watching their cholesterol. They are usually in the dairy section of the store and contain eggs. They are unsafe for people with an egg allergy. Egg replacements can be found in health food stores (usually marketed under the names Egg Replacer and Ener-G) and are generally safe to use if you have an egg allergy. Make sure to always read the food label on any product.
Here is substitute for using egg as a binding agent (this is for 1 egg):
1/2 of a medium banana, mashed
1/4 cup applesauce (or other pureed fruit)
3 1/2 tablespoons of gelatin mixture (mix 1 cup boiling water and 2 teaspoons unflavored gelatin and then use 3 1/2 tablespoons of that mixture
1 tablespoon of ground flax seed combined with warm water and let stand for 1 minute before using
Here is a substitute for using egg as a leavening agent:
You can try an egg replacement (as mentioned above) OR
1 1/2 tablespoons of vegetable oil mixed with 1 1/2 tablespoons of water and 1 teaspoon baking powder per egg
These are just two of a list of very common allergies among children today. Stay tuned for Part 3 of the Food Allergy Series. If you missed Part 1, you can read it here.