A resource for nursing moms who need to go on a dairy-free, soy-free diet with over 100 soy-free + dairy-free recipes, product recommendations and more.
I’m not sure if information is just becoming more prevalent or there really are just more allergies, but it feels more and more common that moms are having to eliminate dairy (and soy) while nursing! Olivia had a unique feeding experience and at one point we thought I might need to eliminate dairy due to her reflux, but ultimately didn’t have to.
My best friend (Alyssa) on the other hand has a little one (Sophie) that is dealing with severe reflux and she has had to change her diet to 100% dairy-free and soy-free to help with the reflux and weight gain. This has been coined milk soy protein intolerance (MSPI). I know many other mamas are in the same boat so I wanted to put together a guide with lots of great resources. Making big dietary changes (like eliminating dairy and soy) can feel so overwhelming, especially when you’re a new mom and have a million other things to do and worry about.
Even as a recipe developer who is well versed in making recipes for specific dietary needs, I know that reading every single food label and researching recipes can feel daunting. Especially since dairy and soy are ingredients that sneak into foods you’d never expect… like did you know that some wines contain soy or use dairy in the fining process?!
- 1 Baby Allergies and Intolerances
- 2 Where to Start?
- 3 Foods with Dairy
- 4 Foods with Soy
- 5 Dairy-Free + Soy-Free Products I Recommend
- 6 Grocery Shopping Tips
- 7 100+ Soy & Dairy-Free Recipes
- 8 More Soy-Free + Dairy-Free Resources
Baby Allergies and Intolerances
One of the first things health care professionals look at when a breastfed baby is extremely fussy or gassy is mom’s diet. Of course, babies can be fussy or gassy and not have an intolerance or allergy to something mom’s eating. Other important signs to look out for: rash, hives, eczema, sore bottom, dry skin; wheezing or asthma; congestion or cold-like symptoms; red, itchy eyes; ear infections; irritability, fussiness, colic; intestinal upsets, vomiting, constipation and/or diarrhea, or stools with mucus or blood. (Source) I should also note that sometimes the blood in the stool isn’t visible. In my friend’s case the blood was microscopic, so they wouldn’t have known if they hadn’t had a diaper tested!
If a health care provider thinks your baby is suffering from cow’s milk protein intolerance (CMPI) or cow’s milk protein allergy (CMPA), the typical recommendation is to start by cutting dairy out of the mom’s diet for a few months and seeing if that improves symptoms. Your health care provider may or may not recommend that you cut out soy at this time as well. After a few months they might recommend reintroducing again to see if the symptoms return or not. Most babies will grow out of the intolerance or allergy by the age of 3.
Proteins from what the mom eats can show up in breast milk within 3-6 hours after eating – which is why what you eat impacts your babe! (Source) It’s also important to remember that it can take 10 days to 3 weeks to eliminate cow’s milk protein from your system, so be patient and allow a full 2-3 weeks of dairy elimination before evaluating the results.
Where to Start?
I know this shift can feel super overwhelming when you’re just starting out. My top two recommendations for successfully switching your diet is to:
- Educate yourself.
- Change your mindset.
What do I mean by this? Changing your mindset is huge! Instead of thinking about everything you can’t have, start thinking about all of the easy swaps you can make. Start looking through your regular meals, recipes and ingredients and see where soy and dairy are popping up. It can also be fun to look for new products to try that excite you…. who knows, you might just find some new favorites.
In terms of foods to watch out for, I’ve included a couple lists below, but always double check packages and food labels because dairy and soy can be added to things you wouldn’t expect. It’s also important to realize that babies are reacting to the protein in cow’s milk, not the lactose. That said, lactose-free products won’t be helpful. Another thing to be aware of is that vegan means the product is free of animal products (so no dairy), but many vegan foods have soy!
Foods with Dairy
- Cow’s milk
- Traditional yogurt
- Canned soups and pastas
- Creamy pasta sauces
- Heavy cream
- Cheese flavored chips, crackers and popcorn.
- Some salad dressings
- Chocolate chips and chocolate bars
- Whey protein powder
Foods with Soy
- Soy, tamari and teriyaki sauce
- Soy milk
- Vegetable broth (not always, just check the label)
- Canned fish and meat
- Some baked goods, cereals and crackers
- Protein bars
- Some vegan protein powders
Dairy-Free + Soy-Free Products I Recommend
- Primal Kitchen No Soy Teriyaki – soy free teriyaki sauce for stir-fry.
- Primal Kitchen Avocado Oil Mayo – almost all Mayonnaise is dairy-free because eggs aren’t dairy, but many use soybean oil so check your labels.
- Coconut aminos or Braggs liquid aminos – these are both great subs for soy sauce, which is obviously made from soy.
- Sky Valley organic sriracha is soy and dairy-free.
- Simple Mills – all of the Simple Mills products are soy and dairy free. I love their crackers, banana bread mix, frosting, etc.
- Enjoy Life – all of their products are free from 14 allergens, including soy and dairy. I use their chocolate chips all the time and love them. They also have cookies, granola bars and other fun products.
- So Delicious – they offer a variety of products, many of which (like the Coco Whip) are dairy and soy-free. Just be sure to check the labels.
- Nuzest protein powder – the ingredient list for this brand of protein powder is super short and it’s both dairy and soy-free. I love the chocolate and vanilla flavors. Use the coupon code eatingbirdfood for 15% off your order.
- Dave’s Killer Bread & English Muffins – great bread products that are both dairy and soy-free.
- Earth Balance “buttery” spread – look for the soy-free variety. This is a great sub for regular butter for spreading on toast or for baking.
- Plant-based cheese – there are a ton of plant-based cheese options on the market these days. Just check the labels and be sure to try a few brands to find one you like. Here’s a guide to the best vegan cheese. Definitely check the label for soy!
- Dairy-free yogurt – just like dairy-free milk and cheese products, there are a ton of dairy-free yogurt options as well. My personal favorite is Culina. I love their plain & simple.
- Larabar – most of their bars are dairy-free and soy-free. They have lists on their website!
- RXBAR – seems like all of their bars are dairy and soy-free.
- Chomps – if you’re looking for an easy protein-based snack.
Grocery Shopping Tips
While looking for “vegan” on packaging will fulfill the dairy-free restrictions, a lot of vegan products have potential to have soy in them. Thankfully dairy-free and vegan are fairly well known food intolerances so a lot of labels will say “dairy-free” or “DF” or “vegan” on them. Start by looking for those products and then start investigating for soy. They might clearly state “soy-free” on the label but you might have to do a quick ingredient list check for any soy products.
Health food stores will be your friend! They succeed off of unique products to fit every different dietary restriction. While mainstream grocery stores have expanded their offerings, it may be easier to start shopping at a health food store for the most dairy-free and soy-free options. Once you get comfortable there and know which products to look for you, you can look for them at your regular grocery store!
I also swear by Thrive Market for pantry staples and they have a way to filter products on their site so you can find items that are dairy and soy-free. Use my link for a free 30 day trial and 25% off your first order.
100+ Soy & Dairy-Free Recipes
I have a section of my site dedicated to dairy-free recipes, but I want to make this a resource with recipes that are soy and dairy-free and also provide a few notes that might be helpful.
- Oatmeal – oatmeal is an easy pick because you can make it with water or a dairy-free milk. Oats are also a great food to incorporate into your diet because they help with milk production. Some recipes to try: Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal, Peanut Butter Banana Chia Oatmeal, Zucchini Bread Oatmeal
- Baked Oatmeal – Over 14 baked oatmeal recipes to choose from and they’re all dairy-free or can easily be made dairy-free. I love the Easy Strawberry Banana Baked Oatmeal and the Maple Pecan Baked Oatmeal
- Overnight Oats – I have lots of options and most are dairy-free. If they do have yogurt you can use dairy-free yogurt.
- Baked Oatmeal Cups – these are perfect for breakfast on the go.
- Chia Pudding – try my basic chia pudding recipe or something unique like this Banana Split Chia Pudding
- Granola – Easy Hemp Granola, 5-Ingredient Grain Free Granola
- Avocado toast – try this hummus avocado toast (be sure to use soy-free hummus)
- Dairy-Free Spinach Quiche – my friend says this is her favorite soy and dairy-free breakfast and lunch recipe. Just be sure to use a crust that soy and dairy-free like the one from Wholly Wholesome.
- Smoothies – most smoothies you’ll find here are soy and dairy-free as long as you use dairy-free milk and yogurt. Some recipes to try: Peanut Butter Green Smoothie, Health Nut Smoothie, Chocolate Lactation Smoothie and Pumpkin Pie Smoothie.
- Sautéed Breakfast Salad
- Pancakes: Coconut Flour Pancakes, Blueberry Protein Pancakes, Butternut Squash Pancakes
- Muffins: Vegan Blueberry Muffins, Healthy Oat Bran Muffins, Flourless Pumpkin Muffins
- Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls
- One Pan Roasted Chicken – everyone loves this one!
- Spaghetti Squash Pad Thai – I personally love this untraditional Pad Thai so much!
- Kung Pao Chicken – use coconut aminos and check labels on the sriracha/chili sauce.
- Apple Cider Vinegar Chicken
- Grilled Curry Chicken
- Healthy White Bean Chicken Chili
- Cilantro Lime Chicken Burgers
- Almond Butter Chicken Salad – I know this sounds strange, but trust me. It’s delicious.
- Slow Cooker Butter Chicken
- Slow Cooker Chicken Wild Rice Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Fajita Soup
- Healthy Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Healthy Curry Chicken Salad – mayo is dairy-free, just be sure the brand you buy doesn’t have soy.
- Unstuffed Cabbage Rolls
- Dairy-Free Taco Zucchini Boats
- Egg Roll in a Bowl – just be sure to use coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos.
- Popeye Turkey Meatballs
- Sausage Egg Casserole with Veggies
- Slow Cooker Sausage Kale Soup
- Healthy Sheet Pan Chicken Sausage and Roasted Veggies
- Blackened Salmon
- Garlic Shrimp and Asparagus with Zucchini Noodles
- Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas – just be sure to check the tortilla label.
- Thai Green Curry with Shrimp
- Pistachio Salmon Salad with Spicy Harissa Dressing
- Quick and Easy Balsamic Salmon
- Broccoli Avocado Tuna Bowl
- Open-Faced BBQ Hummus Tuna Sandwich – be sure to use a hummus without soybean oil (most don’t have it, but Sabra does).
- Sweet Potato Tuna Salad (No Mayo)
- Tortilla Pizzas with Hummus – be sure to use hummus without soybean oil.
- Summer Vegetable Curry
- Sweet Potato Black Bean Burger
- Cabbage Noodle Pad Thai
- Vegan Pesto Pasta Salad
- 5-Ingredient Sweet Potato Curry – I just checked and it looks like the Thai Kitchen curry pastes (red and green) are dairy and soy-free.
- Sweet Potato Chickpea Bowl – use coconut aminos
- Vegan Crab Cakes
- Quinoa Salad with Kale and Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Healthy Potato Salad (No Mayo)
- Broccoli Raisin Salad – this is made with a creamy cashew sauce instead of mayo and it’s so yummy!
- Curried Chickpea Salad
- Crackling Cauliflower Salad
- Roasted Sweet Potato Salad
- Fruit Salad with Mint
- Vegan Curried Pumpkin Soup
- Easy Black Bean Soup
- Slow Cooker Minestrone Soup
- Roasted Summer Squash and Zucchini
- Roasted Frozen Broccoli
- Cinnamon Maple Roasted Kabocha Squash
- Baked Sweet Potato Fries
- Baked Butternut Squash Fries
- Oven Roasted Okra
- Healthy Guacamole
- Healthy Sweet Potato Casserole – a great side to serve with holiday meals.
- Healthy Green Bean Casserole – just be sure to use coconut aminos or Bragg’s liquid aminos.
Snacks + Desserts
Snacks are the key to survival for new moms. Anything that’s quick, easy and able to be eaten with one hand is the best! I have tons of snack recipes and many of them are dairy-free/soy-free or can easily be made that way with a few tweaks.
- Energy Balls and Bites: Easy No Bake Protein Balls, Date Energy Balls, No Bake Energy Balls, Lactation Bites – with the protein balls just be sure to use a soy and dairy-free protein powder.
- Lactation Cookies – use Enjoy Life chocolate chips – if you need something to bring a new mom, these are the perfect helpful treat!
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Cookies – use Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- Chocolate Chip Tahini Cookies
- 4-Ingredient Samoas – use Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- No Bake Almond Cookies
- Quinoa Gingersnap Cookies
- Oatmeal Chia Cookies
- Healthy No Bake Cookies
- Coconut Flour Cookies
- The BEST Healthy Oatmeal Cookies
- Chocolate Lactation Smoothie – use a soy and dairy-free protein powder
- Coconut Flour Mug Cake
- 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Cups – use Enjoy Life chocolate chips
- Apple Samoas with Date Caramel
- Sweet Potato Chips
- Vegan Apple Bread
- Healthy Zucchini Bread
- Healthy Peanut Butter Balls
- Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana Bites
- Healthy Apple Crisp with Oatmeal Pecan Topping
- Chocolate Covered Snickers Stuffed Dates
- Chocolate Covered Banana Pops
- 3 Ingredient Icebox Cake
- Chocolate Banana Ice Cream
More Soy-Free + Dairy-Free Resources
- Dairy and other Food Sensitivities in Breastfed Babies
- 17 Dairy and Soy-Free Recipes for Breastfeeding
- How I Went Dairy-Free + Soy-Free for a Year
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