10 Tips to Survive Breastfeeding with a Food Allergy

“I’m dairy free right now” or “I’m on a strict diet due to breastfeeding!” are phrases I see and hear a lot these days. Food allergies and sensitivities are popping up left and right.

Let’s start with this: I’m no medical expert, but I’ve had to go through it too.

10 tips to surviving baby's food allergies

I do wonder if this is a new development happening with our kids because of the food or drinks we consume while pregnant that are more prevalent now than they were even a few years ago (eating out being one!). Or is this something that has been happening for ages and we are just now acknowledging it? Or is putting mom on an elimination diet something to do to make everyone feel like they’re doing something to help? I’d love to hear your thoughts … or research on the topic!

So, your breastfed baby has a food sensitivity or food allergy and your doctor just told you it’s time to cut x, y, and z from your diet. You take the news in stride, “No big deal doc, I’m a great mom. Of course, I’ll do this.” Then as you drive home, the panic sets in. I can’t have cheese! No gluten?

I like the way Whole 30 puts it: “This is not hard. Don’t you dare tell us this is hard. Beating cancer is hard. Birthing a baby is hard. Losing a parent is hard. Drinking your coffee black. Is. Not. Hard. You’ve done harder things than this…”

It’s possible. My proclaimed favorite foods are goldfish, mac & cheese, chicken strips, and pizza. Oh, and I eat oatmeal almost every day for breakfast.  I know, I’m so healthy. I went about 5 months without dairy, gluten, peanuts, and oats. Was it fun? No. Was it frustrating at times? Yes. It definitely required more meal prep and more intentional meal planning because driving through Whataburger or ordering pizza for a quick meal wasn’t an option.

For any of you mama’s out there having to go through eliminating certain foods from your diet due to food allergies, I’ll be your biggest encourager!

Fighting through food allergies
Photo by Cottonwood Road Photography

YOU CAN DO THIS! 

You already birthed that baby and struggled through the sleepless nights. The painful first weeks of breastfeeding. Possibly even a rough pregnancy. YOU CAN DO THIS. As a bonus, you’ll probably lose that baby weight.

Here is a compilation of some of my favorite allergy friendly recipes along with some helpful websites and tips.

10 Tips to Survive Breastfeeding with Food allergies:
  1. Go Dairy Free is a great website that has so many great resources! It even has a list of popular restaurants of what you can eat that is dairy free at each. I saved this page as an app on my phone. (if you need to know how to do that, click here!)
  2. Some things just aren’t worth substituting… like cashew “cheese” for real cheese. Just wait, you’ll have it again.
  3. READ ALL YOUR LABELS. Casein is a common name for dairy. Here‘s a list of more.
  4. So Delicious coconut and almond coffee creamers are pretty good if you’re hooked to your vanilla or hazelnut creamer in your coffee.
  5. Most of the common sensitivities/allergies are also not allowed in Whole 30. That means all their recipes are fair game! (Eggs are allowed in Whole 30.)
    • Follow their Instagram for recipes. They have guest posters each week that share delicious recipes and tips and tricks to make eating healthy easier.
    • Pinterest is a GREAT resource. Search “Whole 30 dinner” or “allergy friendly breakfast.”
  6. Can’t do soy but love sushi and Asian food? Sub soy sauce for coconut aminos (take it with you out to eat!).
  7. Stock up on your spices. You’ll be making a ton of things from scratch, including taco seasoning (yep, most have dairy) and rubs for your meats.
  8. Make things easy.  Prepping lunch for the week is the easiest way to do this! I often did black beans + rice + protein or salad + protein. Stock up on easy snacks & make them easy to grab. Fresh fruit, veggies, hard boiled eggs, Larabars, and smoothies are all quick and easy and can be filling!
  9. Olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper will be your new best friends. Toss all (or some) on any of your veggies and pop them in the oven for 20 minutes on each side at about 400.
  10. Remember, you’re gonna mess up, and that’s okay. Your baby will survive. Beating yourself up afterward won’t do anyone any good.
Plus, Some of my favorite allergy friendly recipes:
  • This dairy free risotto is also gluten free. It’s super simple to make and only dirties up one pan! You can also leave out the sausage to save some money for a meatless meal!
  • These bacon wrapped avocado chicken breasts are DELICIOUS. Just make sure to use a really good bacon to keep it crispy. I baked them on the baking rack over a cookie sheet to keep them crisp and let the juices fall down.
  • Sausage, green bean, potato bake. This is one of our favorite meals. You can cook it in these foil packets or throw it all in a casserole dish. Obviously, if you’re dairy free, sub the butter for ghee or olive oil! Sometimes we prefer it with ground Italian sausage instead of the andouille.
  • These dairy free, gluten free, whole 30 chicken strips made me feel like I still had the opportunity to have some “comfort food.” My husband ate them but obviously preferred the real deal. To me, after a few months of nothing of this sort, they were SO GOOD. I made them at least 2-3xs a month. Sorry hubs.
  • Crock pot ribs. Delicious. Doing a meat dish like this or pulled pork with some veggies made me feel like I was eating a normal meal, not a super manipulated, over thought out, allergy-friendly meal. Most liquid smokes are gluten-free, but check the label just in case!
  • Crock Pot Pulled Pork. YUM. This is also my favorite to bring to new moms because it is all allergen friendly and reheats SO well. I love to make this and serve with sweet potato cubes and brussel sprouts. Such a filling meal. PS – Real Food with Dana is one of my favorite food bloggers in the Whole30 recipe world.
  • Sweet potato hash. This is still one of my favorite recipes. Obviously, forgo the cheese (or give it to hubs to sprinkle on his). As a bonus, this heats up really well as leftovers and is great with a fried egg cooked into it the morning after. We often time sub ground beef for the turkey. Yum.

Let me remind you again, you got this Mama!! There are SO many resources and gluten free / dairy free options everywhere you go these days! Do you have a tip to surviving your little one’s food allergies or sensitivities?

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