Milk Allergy

What is a Milk Allergy?

A child with milk allergy will feel sick or have a rash or itch after eating milk products. It is most common in young children. Treatment of milk allergy is based upon eliminating all milk and milk products from the diet.

Who can get a Milk Allergy?

Milk allergy most often develops in small babies. Most babies outgrow milk allergy by the time they are 6 years old although some people may have milk allergy into adulthood. People can also develop milk allergy when they are older.

What are the symptoms of Milk Allergy?

  • Itchy red rash
  • Hives
  • Eczema
  • Allergic “shiners” (black eyes)
  • Swelling of the throat, face, mouth, lips, or throat
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Itchy eyes
  • Nasal congestion
  • Wheezing
  • Diarrhea
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Stomach cramps
  • Runny nose
  • Sneezing
  • Watery eyes
  • Shortness of breath
  • Coughing

What can I give my child instead of cow’s milk?

  • Infants can have breast milk or soy-based infant formula.
  • Rice milk is good to drink. And you can also cook with it.
  • You can use goat’s milk or soymilk instead of cow’s milk. But your child might be allergic to these kinds of milk too. The nutritive value of fortified commercial soymilk is almost equal to that of cow’s milk. The infant soymilk formulas are fortified with the needed vitamins, minerals and the essential fatty acids in specified amounts. Be aware that there are other soymilk preparations sold that are not fortified and, therefore, will not supply the nutrients (especially calcium) found in cow’s milk.

How much calcium does my child need?

Age Male Female
0-6 mos 200 mg 200 mg
7-12 mos 260 mg 260 mg
1-3 yrs 700 mg 700 mg
4-8 yrs 1,000 mg 1,000 mg
9-13 yrs 1,300 mg 1,300 mg
14-18 yrs 1,300 mg 1,300 mg

Your child may lose some nutrients due to eliminating milk products from his or her diet. To prevent deficiencies be sure to include:

  • Meat, poultry, fish and eggs
  • Leafy green vegetables
  • Whole-grain cereals
  • Calcium-fortified orange juice
  • Dried peas and beans
  • Dried figs
  • Blackstrap molasses
  • Other calcium-fortified foods, such as apple juice and cranberry juice

Label Reading: Terms that Indicate the Presence of Cow’s Milk Protein

    Artificial butter
    Artificial butter flavor
    Butter extract
    Butter fat
    Butter flavored oil
    Butter solids
    Dairy butter
    Natural butter
    Natural butter flavor
    Whipped butter

    Casein &

    Ammonium caseinate
    Calcium caseinate
    Magnesium caseinate
    Sodium caseinate
    Hydrolyzed casein
    Iron caseinate
    Rennet casein
    Zinc caseinate
    Cheese flavor (artificial and natural)
    Cheese food
    Cottage cheese
    Cream cheese
    Imitation cheese
    Vegetarian cheeses
    with casein




    Dairy product solids

    Fat replacement:
    Opta and Simplesse

    Caramel flavoring*
    Natural flavoring*



    Half & Half

    Casein hydrolysate
    Milk protein hydrolysate
    Protein hydrolysate
    Whey hydrolysate
    Whey protein hydrolysate

    Lactalbumin phosphate
    Lactate solids
    Lactic acid*
    Lactic yeast
    Lactitil monohydrate

    Acidophilus milk
    Buttermilk blend
    Buttermilk solids
    Cultured milk
    Condensed milk
    Dried milk
    Dry milk solids
    Evaporated milk
    Fat-free milk
    Fully cream milk
    Goats milk
    Lactaid® milk
    Lactose-free milk
    Low-fat milk
    Milk, con’t:
    Malted milk
    Milk derivative
    Milk fat
    Mon-fat dry milk
    Non-fat milk
    Non-fat milk solids
    Milk powder
    Milk protein
    Milk solids
    Milk solid pastes
    Milk sugar
    Pasteurized milk
    Powdered milk
    Sheep’s milk
    Skim milk
    Skim milk powder
    Sour milk
    Sour milk solids
    Sweet cream buttermilk powder
    Sweetened condensed milk
    Sweetened condensed
    skim milk
    Whole, 1%, 2% milk
    Anhydrous milk fat

    Nisin preparation





    Rennet, rennet casein

    Sour Cream:
    Sour cream solids
    Imitation sour cream

    Acid whey
    Cured whey
    Delactosed whey
    Demineralized whey
    High protein flour*
    Hydrolyzed whey
    Hydrolyzed whey protein
    Powdered whey
    Reduced mineral whey
    Sweet dairy whey
    Whey protein
    Whey protein concentrated
    Whey powder
    Whey solids
    Whey syrup sweetener

    Regular yogurt
    Frozen yogurt
    Yogurt powder

    Whipped cream

    *sometimes contains milk

  • Note:: Some foods may be labeled with the letter “D” or “DE” on the package. This indicates the presence of milk protein in the food or that milk protein was used in the processing of the food. Do not use food labeled with the letter “D” or “DE.”
  • Note:The word “Pareve” or “Parve” on a label indicates the product is free of all milk and dairy products.

Additional Tips:

  • Do not give your child foods that contain the words “caseinate” or “casein” on the label.
  • Do not give your child foods that contain the words “lactate,” “lactose,” “lacto-“ or “lacta-“ on the label.
  • Be aware that “nondairy” products are not necessarily milk-free. Always check ingredient labels carefully.
  • Foods that may be made with milk or milk products include many baked products, such as cakes, cookies, doughnuts, breads, frozen desserts, creamed foods and soups.
  • Avoid buying “deli” meats, because the slicers frequently are used to cut both meat and cheese products.
  • Use milk-free creamers on cereal.
  • Substitute tofu, a soy product, for cheese in pasta dishes.
  • Milk is an important source of calcium, vitamin D, the B vitamins, and protein. Calcium supplements may be needed.
  • Some “nondairy foods” which do not contain milk include:
    • Rich’s Whipped Topping, a whipped cream substitute
    • Smart Balance Light, a margarine
    • Le Sorbet, frozen dessert