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Dairy Allergies and Baked Goods

by Rallie McAllister, MD, MPH

If you have a child with a dairy allergy, you’ve probably wondered if there was something you could do to make dairy less daunting. As it turns out, there might just be a way to help children overcome their dairy allergies. Scientists at Mount Sinai School of Medicine’s Jaffe Food Allergy Institute* found that introducing increasing amounts of foods that contain baked milk into the diets of children with milk allergies helped a majority of them outgrow their allergies.

The children were offered foods such as muffins, waffles, and cookies, all of which contained baked milk. The high baking temperatures break down the proteins in milk, reducing the allergenicity.

Included in the study were 88 children with dairy allergies, ages 2 to 17 years old. Over a five-year period, researchers introduced the children to foods that had progressively less-heated milk as an ingredient. At the end of the study period, 47 percent of the children in the experimental group could tolerate unheated milk products, such as skim milk, yogurt and ice cream.

Although it’s not absolutely necessary for children to consume dairy products in order to remain healthy, it does make it easier for most children to meet their bodies’ calcium requirements. In the United States, milk is the number one source of dietary calcium.

If your child has dairy allergies and you’d like to do something about it, talk to your doctor about this and other steps you can take. With a little help, your child might not have to swear off dairy forever.

*The results of the study were published in the May 2011 issue of the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology.

The information on MommyMDGuides.com is not intended to replace the diagnosis, treatment, and services of a physician. Always consult your physician or child care expert if you have any questions concerning your family's health. For severe or life-threatening conditions, seek immediate medical attention.