Food and the food of love
November 5, 2005 12:52 PM   Subscribe

Help me help the parents of a one-month old.

Friends of mine just found out that their baby is allergic to dairy and soy. Since the mother is breast-feeding, that means she can't eat any dairy or soy, either. I would like to make a dinner for them next week that freezes well and doesn't contain either of those items. It's my understanding that while breastfeeding, spicy foods and highly acidic foods are out, too. Any suggestions for recipes?

Along with dinner, I want to give them a cd of songs for the baby on it. I've got a few songs, but would appreciate suggestions for more. They don't necessarily have to be songs especially for babies, just something pleasant-sounding and soothing. My only caveat is that the lyrics shouldn't be at all sad (nothing like Emitt Rhodes's lullaby, for example).

I personally love most of the suggestions in this thread, but I think the new parents' tastes are a little more mainstream than that.

posted by amarynth to Food & Drink (11 answers total)
Dinner: split pea soup? Stew of some kind? Are they vegetarians? Soy isn't normally too hard to avoid if you're not, is it? (I'm vegetarian and allergic to soy, myself).
posted by dilettante at 1:20 PM on November 5, 2005

I didn't have a thorough look at the thread you linked to, but I'm probably seconding/thirding some of the comments over there when I suggest Kings of Convenience for the baby CD. You can't get much more soothing and pleasant-sounding than that, and I wouldn't consider them off-mainstream.
posted by mumble at 1:27 PM on November 5, 2005

I've always found the prohibition against spicy food to be a bit odd... do nursing moms in India subsist on nothing but nan and plain rice? My partner certainly doesn't stay away from spicy food, and as a result our son has no problem tackling food that some would considered too spicy. Best bet is to go by your friend's tastes.
posted by magwich at 1:35 PM on November 5, 2005

Highly spiced foods are probably not a good idea, but mild chili or spaghetti are probably fine for Mom (unless the spring-off has already shown to dislike them). Try something like minestrone or beef stew. Or chicken soup :) . (FWIW, both of my kids were allergic to standard formula (which is dairy based) but had no trouble when I ate dairy products.)

The Chenille Sisters "Russian Lullaby" (found on 1-2-3 Kids)" was a favorite of both my kids (my 13 yo has been trying to learn the words and the parts). Vienna Teng's Lullaby for a Stormy Night is nice, too. It's not listed in the discography, but there's a Taiwanese Lullaby on "Warm Strangers" that my kids would have loved, too.
posted by jlkr at 1:42 PM on November 5, 2005

baby is allergic to dairy and soy. Since the mother is breast-feeding, that means she can't eat any dairy or soy, either

Begging the question -- does it?

Is this scientifically sound? I don't have any evidence to the contrary, but, I'd like someone who knows this kind of thing to confirm it.
posted by AmbroseChapel at 2:28 PM on November 5, 2005

no milk today by herman's hermits would be a great opener for the cd
posted by ouke at 2:44 PM on November 5, 2005

As far as the soy and dairy problem, if you are near a Trader Joe's, they have pamphlets that list every product in the store that is dairy free, and they also have a soy pamphlet. I work for the company, and they are very helpful in assisting people with allergies and special requests. If you're not sure if there is one near you, you can check out
good luck.
posted by harrigton at 3:33 PM on November 5, 2005

Do you have access to Sundays at Moosewood Restaurant? Their Fall River Vegetable Stew (onions, tomatoes, red wine, potatoes, green beans, mushrooms) is at the top of my entertaining list. It's wonderful with fresh bread. If you're interested, I can email you the recipe.

Songwise, I've had luck with Chet Baker, especially when he's singing. Also, it's a lullaby, but the first song on this lullaby collection, Chi Mi Na Morbheanna, is the most beautiful lullaby I've heard.

However, considering I just posted this question, I might not be the best person to ask about sleepy songs.
posted by bibliowench at 4:09 PM on November 5, 2005

How do they know the baby is allergic to dairy and soy? Is this because they tried introducing formula or because the baby reacted to the mother's diet? I understand that, when the mother's diet is involved, it has to do with specific proteins and not the intake of lactose. Kellymom, an evidence-based site, has information on babies' sensitivities to their mothers' intakes of milk proteins. However, I'm sure you'll find it appropriate to leave the diet decisions up to the baby's mother -- I just wanted to pass along the excellent information on the Kellymom site, as the mom needs all the calcium she can get.

Kellymom and La Leche League tend to agree that spicy foods should not cause problems.

Since the mom needs to keep up her calcium intake, maybe you could make a salmon casserole. Cook some wholewheat macaroni, mix with low sodium cream of mushroom soup, frozen peas, mashed canned salmon, and mix.

How about a chili of calcium-rich white beans, black turtle beans, baked beans and the usual fixings?

Make a soup using a mix of beans. Again, high in calcium. You can usually find a pre-mix of dried bean soup in your grocery store or bulk foods.

Figs are high in calcium, too. No recipe to pass along here, but perhaps someone else has one.
posted by acoutu at 4:16 PM on November 5, 2005

I should add that I have never experienced a spicy food reaction with my breastfed son. I ate Indian, Thai, Chinese, Italian, Mexican -- you name it -- while pregnant and while breastfeeding. So, while this is anecdotal, I just wanted to say I have personal experience with the advice of Kellymom and LLL.
posted by acoutu at 4:18 PM on November 5, 2005

For what it's worth, my experiences are that food eaten by a nursing mother does have effects on the baby, and I don't believe this is seriously debated by others. I have no personal experience with dairy allergies (though I know they're a fairly common thing to have to cut out of mom's diet). I have not seen spicy foods cause too many problems. Caffeine generally is a problem--it dries up the milk supply too. Gassy foods really have a big effect, too.

As for the recipe, I'd just barbecue. But I like to grill, and I'm no expert. :) Even a simple grilled steak with vegetables and potato (no sour cream, fake butter) would be fine.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 10:37 PM on November 5, 2005

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