We are a family with ‘previous’ when it comes to milk. When Amelie was 3 – with considerable reluctance and embarrassment at becoming ‘faddy’ parents, we decided to try removing milk from her diet since we had gone beyond misery at her eczema and asthma. She was miserable, we were miserable, it had reached the point where even the inconvenience of an exclusion diet had to be worth a go.
So we took milk away. It was trickier than we thought as powdered milk turns up in fish fingers, most branded breakfast and every cake so our diet changed (for the better) overnight as Max took over and we cooked more from scratch from then on, ate together more and turned meals into an event. it felt like a drag at the time, though in retrospect, now I’ve seen my niece adapt to a coeliac diet, I realise it was child’s play in comparison. And for Amelie, the effect was immediate. Her skin calmed, her breathing improved, she began to sleep through and her fairly challenging set of behaviours started to settle. (In fact, it is tempting to consider a return to milk free now!) If she was exposed to milk after the initial 2 weeks, she would get bright red flashes under her eyes, confirming our opinion that Amelie was intolerant of something in milk and that she was better off without it.
One thing that was more of a problem was pouring milk. She missed her cereal – and breakfast without it is expensive – and hated soya. Goat’s milk was a no go for her (though some can tolerate it) and we ended up buying rice milk for her, and subsequently also for Josie, who had a less dramatic but similar skin reaction to milk. And there we’ve stayed. When I was pregnant with Freddie I used it as milk and cereal would make me hugely sleepy and then a ‘not for under 7’ recommendation came out due to the arsenic levels in it – which has caused me considerable angst over the years.
The girls are growing up now and while they are conditioned to rice milk, it is far from ideal. For one thing it makes them ‘different’ and conditioned to drinking something odd and for a second it’s expensive. And for a third, well, they can’t easily play this game with friends!
Back in the olden days, I assumed that the girls had a lactose intolerance and only found out later that this would have really only affected their stomach (which was never a problem). The A2 milk in the video has a different protein make up and it is the protein which can cause things like eczema flare ups. So for kids like Amelie and Josie, it may just about be perfect and because it is ‘real milk’ it works fine in baking and meals too. (If I can persuade them to try it!)
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