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Milk Allergy Diet

General Guidelines for Food Allergies

An allergy free diet avoids all food you are allergic to. The food you are allergic to is called an allergen. Even tiny amounts of allergens can be life threatening.

The Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) is a law that requires food makers to list common food allergens on food labels in simple terms. Food allergens that must be listed are: milk, egg, peanut, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, wheat, and soy. All food must be labeled. The law does not have rules for labeling foods that may contain or may have touched an allergen. This can make it hard to know if the food is safe. If you do not know what is in the food, do not give it to your child. It can be helpful to call the company that makes the food. Ask them how they prepare their product and ask if there is a chance it may contain or have come in contact with the food your child is allergic to.

Try to prepare baked goods, sauces, soups, and casseroles “from scratch” yourself as often as you can. The Food Allergy Network (1-800-929-4040/ has many good and easy to make allergy free recipes that will give your child many safe food choices. They also will let you know if the food company has changed their products or if they have things that are not listed on their labels. Always read the label on each food each time you buy it. Call the company that makes the food if you are not sure what is in their product.


A milk allergy is most common among infants and young children. It is an immunological reaction and may be caused by one of the many proteins found in milk.

Recommended Dietary Allowances

The milk allergy diet meets all the daily requirements for carbohydrates, protein, and fat. It does not meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances for riboflavin, vitamin D, and calcium. A vitamin-mineral supplement can be taken to meet the Recommended Dietary Allowances.

Special Notes

  1. All milk and foods containing milk products should be eliminated. Soybean milk can be used in place of cow’s milk. Soy milk is an excellent source of nutrients; however, it is lower in both calcium and phosphorous compared to whole cow’s milk. Therefore, it may be an inadequate source of these nutrients for some children.
  2. Goat’s milk is very similar to a cow’s milk. It can cause a reaction in milk allergic individuals.
  3. Occasionally, a person sensitive to milk is also sensitive to beef. Beef should be restricted if a person displays such sensitivity.
  4. When allowed, deli/luncheon meats should be sliced to order. Be sure the meat slicer has been cleaned so that there are no remnants of cheese or cheese products.
  5. The words “non-dairy” on a product label indicates it does not contain butter, cream or milk. However, this does not necessarily indicate it does not have other milk containing ingredients.
  6. The Kosher food labeled “pareve” or “parve” almost always indicates food is free of milk and milk products. A “D” on a product label next to the circled K or U indicates the presence of milk protein. These products should be avoided.
  7. Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages, some canned tuna, and luncheon meats, frequently contain milk or are processed on milk containing lines. Please call companies to obtain this information.
Foods Allowed Not Allowed
  • Carbonated beverages
  • Coffee
  • Tea
  • Soy substitute-milk formulas, water
  • Fruit drinks
  • All milks (whole, lowfat, skim, buttermilk, evaporated, goat, condensed, powdered, hot cocoa)
  • Yogurt, eggnog, milkshakes, malts
  • All beverages made with milk or milk products
Breads Milk free breads:
  • French bread
  • Wheat, white, rye, corn, graham, gluten, and soy breads made without milk or milk products. 
  • Graham cracker or rice wafers.
  • Wheat, white, or rye breads
  • Biscuits, donuts, muffins, pancakes, waffles, zwieback, crackers, saltines, rusk
  • Most commercially prepared breads and rolls contain milk or milk products.
  • French toast made with milk
  • Any cereal to which no milk or milk products have been added
  • High protein cereals
  • Prepared and precooked cereals with milk solids, casein or other milk products added
  • Meringue, gelatin, popsicle, fruit ice, fruit whip, angel food cake
  • Cakes, cookies and pie crusts made without milk or milk products
  • Cake, cookies, custard, pudding, cream desserts, or sherbet containing milk products
  • Ice cream, cream pie
  • Pastries brushed with milk, junket, popover
  • All prepared without milk
  • Scrambled with milk, creamed eggs, egg substitutes
  • Vegetable oil, meat fat, lard, bacon, shortening, milk free gravy
  • Peanut butter (made without milk solids)
  • Margarine without milk solids
  • Cocoa butter
  • Kosher margarine
  • Butter, cream, margarine
  • Salad dressing or mayonnaise containing milk, milk solids or milk products
  • Some butter substitutes and non-dairy creamers
  • All fresh, frozen or canned fruits and juices
  • Any served with milk, butter, or cream
Foods Allowed Not Allowed
Meats, Fish, Poultry, and Cheese
  • Baked, broiled, boiled, roasted or fried: beef, veal, pork, chicken, turkey, lamb, fish, organ meats, or tofu (prepared without milk or milk products)
  • Sausage, deli/luncheon meats or ham if made without milk products
  • All cheese, cottage cheese, cream cheese
  • Some sausage products, bologna, frankfurters
  • Breaded meats, meatloaf, croquettes, casseroles, hamburgers (unless made without milk)
  • Commercial entrees made with milk or milk solids
Potatoes and Substitutes
  • Macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, rice
  • White or sweet potatoes
  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, scalloped potato or substitutes
  • Macaroni and cheese
  • Mashed potatoes containing milk or butter
  • Frozen french fries sprayed with lactose
  • Bouillon, broth, consommé or soups with broth base plain or with all allowed foods
  • Bisques, chowders, creamed soups
  • All soups made with milk or milk products
  • Corn syrup, honey, jam, jelly
  • Hard candy, candy made without milk or milk products
  • Granulated, brown or powdered sugar
  • Candy made with milk such as chocolate, fudge, caramels, nougat
  • All fresh, frozen, or canned vegetables without milk or milk products added
  • All vegetable juices
  • Au gratin, buttered, creamed, or escalloped vegetables
  • Batter and dipped vegetables
  • Vegetable souffles
  • Catsup, olives, pickles, nuts, herbs, chili powder, salt, spices, condiments
  • Any foods that are milk/ cheese/butter free or that do not contain powdered milk or whey
  • All items containing milk, cheese, butter, whey casein, caseinates, hydrolysates, lactose, lactalbumin, lactoglobulin or milk solids, artificial butter flavor
  • Non-dairy substitutes containing caseinate

How to read a label for a milk free diet

AVOID foods that contain any of these ingredients:

  • artificial butter flavor
  • butter, butter fat
  • casein
  • caseinates (ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium)
  • cheese, cottage cheese, curds

AVOID foods that contain any of these ingredients:

  • cream
  • custard, pudding
  • ghee
  • Half and Half®
  • hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein)
  • lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
  • lactoglobulin
  • lactose
  • milk (derivative, protein, solids, malted, condensed, evaporated, dry, whole, lowfat, nonfat, skim)
  • nougat
  • rennet casein
  • sour cream
  • sour milk solids
  • sour cream solids
  • whey (delactosed, deminderalixed, protein concentrate)
  • yogurt

Ingredients that MAY indicate the presence of milk protein:

  • brown sugar flavoring
  • caramel flavoring
  • chocolate
  • high protein flour
  • margarine
  • natural flavoring
  • Simplesse®

For an updated list or further information, call the Food Allergy Network at 1-800-929-4040 or visit their website at

Disclaimer: This information is not intended to substitute or replace the professional medical advice you receive from your child's physician. The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only, and was not designed to diagnose or treat a health problem or disease. Please consult your child's physician with any questions or concerns you may have regarding a medical condition.

Reviewed: 11/06