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The only known treatment for someone with food allergies or protein intolerance is to avoid foods that contain the allergen. Allergy to cow’s milk is more common in young children than adults. A milk “allergy” can happen very fast. Reactions come on quickly. The symptoms include fussiness, vomiting, wheezing, swelling, hives, itchy skin rashes, and blood in the stool. If the child has milk protein intolerance, the reactions are slower. The infant may be irritable, have reflux, stooling issues (may contain blood), vomiting, gagging, eczema and may refuse food.
If your child has milk protein allergy or protein intolerance, he or she may also have soy protein allergy or intolerance. Most children outgrow milk protein intolerance by 1-2 years old and a milk allergy by age 5. For some, it may last longer. For breastfed infants and children, the mother must watch her own intake as well as her child’s.
Foods now list common allergens, such as milk and soy. You still need to review food labels. Many products may have byproducts of milk or soy. This handout will list foods and ingredients that have milk or soy protein.
Milk or Soy Protein
Butter or butter solids (milk)
Butter fat (milk)
Butter flavor (milk)
Cottage cheese (milk)
Half & half (milk)
Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (soy)
Kinnoko flour (soy)
Kyodofu, freeze-dried tofu (soy)
Lactalbumin phosphate (milk)
Malted milk (milk)
Milk protein, all (milk)
Okara, soy pulp (soy)
Sour cream (milk)
Soy concentrate (soy)
Soy curds (soy)
Soy flour (soy)
Soy granules (soy)
Soy grits (soy)
Soy nuts (soy)
Soy milk (soy)
Soy sauce (soy)
Shoyu sauce (soy)
Soy sprouts (soy)
Soy yogurt/cheese (soy)
Teriyaki sauce (soy)
Textured soy protein (soy)
Textured vegetable protein, TVP(soy)
Whey, any form (milk)
Most people who are allergic to soy can safely eat highly processed soybean oil and soy lecithin. These are common ingredients in processed foods. Soy will be clearly labeled in the ingredient list or just below the list in a “contains statement.” Be sure to ask your doctor or dietitian if you have questions.
Drinks You Can Eat
Fruit and vegetable juices
Rice milk, almond milk, hemp milk, oat milk, flax milk
Drinks to Avoid
Coffee substitutes, drink mixes, non-dairy creamers, soymilk
Milk or soy-based formulas, cow’s milk
Cream, dairy creamers, cocoa with milk
Malted milk, chocolate or cocoa drink mixes, powdered drink mixes with milk or milk-based ingredients.
“Non-dairy” creamers or whipped toppings that contain casein, sodium caseinate or other milk protein
Breads You Can Eat
Breads, crackers, rolls, waffles, and pancakes that do not contain milk or soy flours or milk or soy products
Breads to Avoid
Store bought baked goods that contain soybean flour or soy nuts
Cereals You Can Eat
Enriched and whole grain cereals (cooked or dry) that are prepared and served without milk or soy protein, such as such unflavored oatmeal or cream of wheat.
Store bought cereals that do not contain milk or soy protein
Cereals to Avoid
Processed breakfast cereals that contain milk or soy protein or are served with milk, soy, or cream
Desserts You Can Eat
Desserts made without milk or soy products such as: angel food cake, cookies, frostings, fruit pies, gelatin
Italian ices, pastries, ice or juice-based popsicles, sauces, sorbet, sponge cakes, fruit-based tapioca puddings, and toppings
Carob or plain cocoa powder
Desserts to Avoid
Any dessert made with milk or soy products: milk chocolate, custard, pudding, junket, milk-based tapioca puddings
Whipped creams, toppings
Sherbet, ice cream, cakes and cookies
Prepared flour mixes, baking mixes
Coffee cakes, cream-filled pastries, cream pies, crumb mixtures, doughnuts, pancakes made with milk or butter, pie crusts made with butter
Popovers, sweet rolls, breads and pastries glazed with butter
Fats, Oils, and Dressings You Can Eat
All vegetable oils, most vegetable sprays, milk and soy-free salad dressings
Fats, Oils, and Dressings to Avoid
Butter, margarine that contains milk
Store bought salad dressings that contain soy, fats that contain soy protein
Fruits You Can Eat
Fresh, cooked, canned, or dried fruits served without milk, cream, sour cream, yogurt or whipped cream
Fruits to Avoid
Fruits in fritter, cobblers, and dumplings that contain milk or soy
Fruits in sauces with milk or soy
Meat/Substitutes You Can Eat
Plain meats, poultry, fish and eggs
All plain nuts and seeds except for soy nuts
Meat/Substitutes to Avoid
Textured vegetable protein, meat/burger extenders
Store bought frozen meat patties
Lunchmeats, sausage, meat loaf and all cheeses, yogurt, cottage cheese
Soybeans/edamame, soy cheese, soy yogurt
Meats prepared in white sauce, Mornay, Bearnaise, Hollandaise sauce
Quiches, soufflés, fondues
Potatoes, Rice, Grains You Can Eat
Potatoes, rice, milk and soy free noodles and pastas
Potatoes, Rice, Grains to Avoid
Potatoes that contain milk and soy
Instant potatoes, macaroni, noodles, spaghetti, lasagna or other pasta; store bought pasta in sauces
Sauces and Seasonings You Can Eat
Pure spices and herbs
Gravy made with water or broth
Sauces and Seasonings to Avoid
Mixed spices that have milk, soy, soy sauce
Gravy made with milk
White sauces, béchamel, Florentine sauce, Mornay or Bearnaise sauce, Hungarian sauce
Soups You Can Eat
Homemade broth soups made without butter or margarine
Noodle soups made without milk and soy free noodles
Soups to Avoid
Many store-bought soups, canned and dry mixes: bouillabaisse, chowders
Cream soups made with butter, cream, milk or margarine that contains milk
All canned cream soups and noodle soups
Miso soup, soups that contain tofu
Sweeteners You Can Eat
All sugars, honey, jam, jelly and syrups
Sweeteners to Avoid
Vegetables You Can Eat
Fresh, frozen or canned vegetables prepared without milk or soy
Vegetables to Avoid
Store bought prepared vegetables that are breaded or contain soy sauce
Canned or frozen Asian style vegetables
Canned and frozen vegetables in any kind of sauce that contains milk or soy
Infant Formulas or Milk Substitutes
Protein hydrolysate formulas, such as Alimentum®, Nutramigen®, may be okay to use if your child has a cow’s milk protein intolerance
Amino acid-based formulas, such as Alfamino Infant®, Neocate® Infant and Elecare® Infant, are often used for milk allergies.
Tips and Substitutions
Avoid buying “deli” meats. The slicers often are used to cut both meat and cheese. Often, they can clean it for you if you ask.
Ask how foods are prepared at restaurants. Food may be cooked in a pan or on a surface that had butter on it. Ask for a clean pan.
Orange juice with added calcium has about the same amount of calcium as milk, but not the same nutrients.
Make sure milk substitutes (almond, oat, or coconut milks) are enriched with calcium and vitamin D.
Read the ingredient lists on food labels even if you had the product before. Ingredients may change.
When you travel, bring along some of your own foods.
Infants may need special formulas. Talk to your doctor or dietician about formula options. Do not assume "hypoallergenic" products are safe.
Contact food companies if you are unsure of any ingredient on the label.
If you breast feed, you likely will need to avoid milk and soy in your diet until your doctor says it’s okay to add back in. Talk to your doctor.
For soy flour, use wheat, rice, oat, barley, or potato flour.
For soymilk, use rice or potato milk or any formula that does not contain milk or soy.
For soy miso, use barley, plum or rice miso.
For soy sauce, use pure concentrated beef or chicken broth or flavored salts.
For More Tips
Food Allergy Association of Wisconsin:
Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network: www.foodallergy.org
Kids with Food Allergies: www.kidswithfoodallergies.org
Allergic Child: www.allergicchild.com
Who to Call
If you are a UW Health patient and have more questions, please contact UW Health at one of the phone numbers listed below. You can also visit our website at www.uwhealth.org/nutrition
Nutrition clinics for UW Hospital and Clinics (UWHC) and American Family Children’s Hospital (AFCH) can be reached at: (608) 890-5500.
Nutrition clinics for UW Medical Foundation (UWMF) can be reached at: (608) 287-2770.
If you are a patient receiving care at UnityPoint – Meriter, Swedish American or a health system outside of UW Health, please use the phone numbers provided in your discharge instructions for any questions or concerns.