Baby can't eat yogurt. Now what?
May 14, 2010 10:42 AM   Subscribe

What things can I feed a toddler while (temporarily) excluding dairy?

My daughter's almost 2, and has really squishy poo all the time. In an attempt to figure out why (poop studies all came back normal), I'm supposed to exclude dairy for 2 weeks to see if she's developed a problem with cow milk.

Unfortunately, her favorite food in the whole wide world is plain yogurt. Like, she will eat a pint at a time. And her second favorite food is cheese.

So what do I feed her while no dairy? Goat milk yogurt is really expensive...and while she adores fruit, I'm worried about too much fruit also leading to squishy poo.

She's not super big on lots of texture, and is a little picky, but not bad.
posted by leahwrenn to Food & Drink (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
There are some really delicious soy yogurts - and if you're not fond of the idea of soy, you can get coconut yogurt.
posted by jardinier at 10:45 AM on May 14, 2010

According to my mother (who should know) as a baby I had trouble digesting dairy products and was therefore fed bananas instead, which seemed to have worked.
posted by grizzled at 10:57 AM on May 14, 2010

Our 18-month old with a severe dairy allergy eats a lot of hummus and rice (his favorite is a combo of jasmine and sticky).
posted by These Premises Are Alarmed at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2010

You can substitute nut milks in a number of things. Almond milk is delicious!

Carrots with maple syrup is a surprisingly yummy snack. Also carrots with balsamic sauce. Raw or cooked per preference.

Pasta is a good staple, either with tomato sauce or olive oil. Toast. Potatos in a variety of forms --- baked, homefried, etc.

If fish is okay, boneless salmon, trout, and tuna are big with our toddler. Eggs, too.

If you opt for the almond milk, you could freeze a banana and then mix it in a blender with some of the almond milk and tsp or so of chocolate sauce for a delicious smoothie. You could add some other things to that to make it yummy, too.

I think there are endless possibilities even with the no-dairy restriction.
posted by zizzle at 10:59 AM on May 14, 2010

Bananas will usually make poop un-squishy. My 19 month old can crush loads of tomatoes, peas, strawberries, and ham.
posted by jasondigitized at 11:01 AM on May 14, 2010

Maybe some cubed baked tofu to replace the cheese? Taste it first--I find that some brands need to be rinsed first because they're really salty. (Or marinate and bake your own.)

Many of the toddlers I know love the following:

PB&J sandwiches
cooked vegetables
posted by corey flood at 11:03 AM on May 14, 2010

corey flood has a good list. Our toddler also likes hash brown patties from Trader Joes, fresh baked bread, and grapes (cut into slivers to avoid choking).
posted by procrastination at 11:17 AM on May 14, 2010

Souffle made with soy milk? Nice and creamy... Rice pudding made with coconut milk? Guacamole? Dairyless toddler favourites here are pasta with pesto, and saucy rice and beans made with a 'sofrito.'

(Why is squishy poo problematic? Confused. Infant poo is a runny mess and it seems normal to me to have a long transition phase to adult poo?)
posted by kmennie at 11:17 AM on May 14, 2010

kmennie, by two years old, a child's bowel movement should be very similar to an adult's, in texture if not size. If the kiddo is having squishy poo exclusively, that indicates a potential diet issue.
posted by cooker girl at 11:42 AM on May 14, 2010

Not precisely what you're looking for, but I made this silken tofu chocolate pudding for the first time a couple of days ago and it has a fairly yogurt-like consistency. The cinnamon was a bit too much though.

I'll also say that I'm not a super-dogmatic food person and this was quite tasty.
posted by sciencegeek at 12:07 PM on May 14, 2010

Soy yogurts would work (they taste kind of but not exactly like regular yogurt, but I'd buy just one the first go-round to be sure); check the natural foods section of Fred Meyer, which is pretty universally not terrible option for alternative foods in Alaska...they carry them in Anchorage, at least. Freddy's also has soy cheeses, which vary in quality from disgusting to sort of okay. The sort of okay ones have a tiny bit of casein added (this is a dairy product- what makes cheese melt so nicely). Almond/soy/rice milks are widely available (rice milk is the wateriest/least strong-tasting of those three).

One brand to look for while you're browsing is Tofutti- they do lots with soy, even fairly decent "ice cream" sandwiches.
posted by charmedimsure at 12:17 PM on May 14, 2010

I came in to recommend the So Delicious coconut milk yogurts, but jardinier beat me to it. They are so good that I now buy them in preference to regular yogurt, and I have no dairy intolerances. There are various flavours, plus the plan non-flavoured version in giant tubs. I get it at a local Whole Foods.
posted by Joh at 12:18 PM on May 14, 2010

Also, if the plan is to see what cutting out dairy does, you probably shouldn't drastically alter the non-dairy parts of her diet too, in case you throw off the results. For example, feeding her bananas (can constipate) every day for 2 weeks if she usually doesn't eat them at all. Just IMHO :)
posted by Joh at 12:20 PM on May 14, 2010 [2 favorites]

Scrambled eggs (with an extra yolk - good for her brain, and will make it extra creamy). I liked plain, raw tofu around that age. One of the kids I used to babysit LOVED mini bagels (plain).

Trader Joe's has goat milk yogurt that isn't too expensive, if you have one nearby.
posted by insectosaurus at 12:27 PM on May 14, 2010

Is there a specific reason that your doctor suspects dairy other than your daughter eats a lot of it?

For that creamy, yogurty texture I'd suggest wheat cereal. However, if she allergic to wheat or gluten then here poop quality will probably not improve. As a kid I had to do the elimination diet and we had to do it with one of our girls. It's a pain in the butt, but replacing dairy with other common allergens (soy, wheat) may just confuse the results.

Did your doctor give you the list of low allergen foods? If not, you may want to ask for it.
posted by 26.2 at 1:07 PM on May 14, 2010

Coconut-milk based rice pudding (google "vegan rice pudding")
posted by LobsterMitten at 3:17 PM on May 14, 2010

Seconding Joh's point about bananas. They are constipating, so if you load up on them and the poop solidifies some, you won't know what to attribute it to (i.e., is the lack of dairy working?).

Please google foods that can cause constipation and make sure to moderate or eliminate those as well as the dairy in order to truly narrow this down.

I can definitely empathize. My toddler is at the other end of the spectrum with a constipation issue. We have to put Benefiber in her juice and feed her high fiber stuff.
posted by wwartorff at 3:32 PM on May 14, 2010

Response by poster: Is there a specific reason that your doctor suspects dairy other than your daughter eats a lot of it?

We don't really have a good sense of what's going on. We moved to Alaska last August. Around the same time, Matilda started having overly squishy poo. Around the same time, we introduced cow milk. Around the same time, she started daycare.

I talked to her pediatrician, 'cause always squishy poo didn't seem right---and she had had more normal poo when she was younger, as in, sometimes it would form a cohesive mass (hey, you are reading a thread involving a toddler and poop). They did a lab test for some sort of clostridium (?maybe?) spore. Negative. Still squishy poo. Recently, say about 6 months later, we did another round of lab tests, to make sure she didn't have some sort of parasite. Nope, everything's fine.

A few months ago, there seemed like there might be a vague correlation between milk and squishier poo. Hard telling. But one way to figure it out is to eliminate dairy for a while and see if anything changes.

No one in the family has issues with milk, or really, much in the way of food intolerances. But it's something to try---we've got to get a handle on this, and I'm not sure what else to try. Bananas don't seem to really work as binders; maybe they'll make the poop a little less squishy after she's had 3 in 24 hours, but not particularly noticeably so.

posted by leahwrenn at 7:49 PM on May 14, 2010

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