For some time, dairy was a part of many kids’ lives, so the idea of offering dairy-free alternatives can seem complicated. Well, the following list will show you it’s easier than you think.
1. Mac N Cheese
Kids love mac n cheese for obvious reasons. It’s delicious, cheesy, and the perfect little meal, yet it does have a lot of dairy. But if you’re dairy-free, there are plenty of alternatives out there. The folks over at Forks Over Knives show you how to make a plant-based mac and cheese in this video, and the nice thing about this recipe is that it’s 100% healthy and made from whole foods, unlike many commercial, highly-processed vegan cheese alternatives.
2. Chocolate Milk
Chocolate milk is a popular drink among kids. It has sugar and chocolate that kids love. It would be a shame if you couldn’t offer chocolate milk to your kids because you want to stay dairy-free. The good thing is you can still give your kids a more health-minded, dairy-free chocolate milk. One option you have is substituting regular milk with almond milk or oat milk. It’s just as delicious. You’ll also want to check the ingredients on the chocolate that you’re using because a lot of mainstream chocolate has dairy in it. You can find dairy-free alternatives in many natural grocery stores.
3. Milky Oatmeal
Oatmeal is a quick meal that kids love, but it usually contains some dairy. The good thing is your kids can still have all the oatmeal they want if you use a substitute, and there are many options for you. As with chocolate milk, try almond, oat, or even cashew milk. Try them all and see which one works best for your kids. If you’re worried about whether your oatmeal will taste as good without butter, try cooking it with slices of banana and a handful of raisins. Bonus points if you add cinnamon and frozen berries into your oatmeal. You can top it with a drizzle of maple syrup, and your kids will love it.
4. Baby Formula
Baby formula has always been thought of as a good replacement for regular mother’s milk. Traditionally, most commercial products have been dairy-based, but that doesn’t have to be the case anymore since you can find good alternatives like soy formula and other plant-based formulas in the growing marketplace. If you’re ready to switch to formula and weren’t sure if you had a dairy-free option, now you know that you do.
5. Butter Spread
It’s great to be able to give your kids something quick and delicious. This is one reason a little toast with butter has always been a winner with kids. Butter makes that toast sing, and you can give your children that experience with an alternative. There are a few options, but one of the most delicious options is quite simple: banana butter. Spread thin slices of banana on a warm slice of toast, and it will melt onto the bread–and in your mouth.
Yogurt is great, but it’s still dairy. If you want your kids to continue to enjoy the creaminess yogurt offers, you can still do that. You’ll have to turn to oat yogurt or maybe coconut yogurt. Both options are just as creamy as regular yogurt and quite delicious. They go well with all the additions your kids may like.
7. Onion Dip
Onion dips are delicious, but they usually contain some dairy products. The alternatives come from many different sources like cashews, coconut, and soy, just to name a few options. Each has a distinct flavor, but you’ll be reminded of sour cream. Of course, you can always add a little more sourness if you want with apple cider vinegar or lemon juice.
8. Ice Cream
This couldn’t be a kid-friendly list without mentioning ice cream. Every child probably dreams of ice cream every day though adults probably do the same. Your kids can enjoy ice cream in many ways. A discerning grocery shopper can find coconut ice cream and ice cream made with plant milk. One of the simplest substitutions to try at home is to blend chopped frozen bananas with frozen berries; you can call this tasty treat “Yonanas.”
9. Whipped Cream
Kids love to top treats with a little bit of whipped cream. You can’t blame them because it’s quite delicious and so luxurious, but dairy is usually used for this. The good thing is inventive vegan folks have created alternatives that work, such as coconut whipped cream and other alternatives. Try a few of them until your kids fall in love with the taste.
It’s important to remember that non-dairy options are not available everywhere. You can try to pick up things at your local grocery store, but you may have to visit a health food store. These alternatives are good and nutritious, so you’re doing your kids a favor by giving them an alternative.
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