Alternativs To Cow's Milk

Alternativs To Cow's Milk

Some people are not able to tolerate dairy products. This can be due to an allergy or an intolerance to the proteins in milk or an intolerance to lactose.

If you have worked with a dietitian or other health professional and determined that you cannot tolerate dairy protein, the drink with the most similar nutrients to dairy is soy. However, it is mportant to understand that about half of people who cannot tolerate dairy also cannot tolerate soy.  Most soy drinks have different tastes and consistencies, so it is best to try a few until you find one that you like. Ideally you would find a soy drink that has added calcium, riboflavin – vitamin B2, vitamin B12 and vitamin A.

If you are not able to find a soy drink that has all these added vitamins, or you do not enjoy the taste, or you do not tolerate soy, it is possible to get these nutrients from other sources. See Living on a Restricted Diet for more information.

All other milk type drinks including rice milk, goat milk, sheep or oat milk are generally not recommended as alternatives to dairy, unless there is no other option or if you are on an elimination diet. They are often lacking in too many vitamins and minerals. Rice and oat milk are also low in protein. However the availability of alternative milks with added nutrients is continually growing.

Also, it is important to realise that goats’ milk or sheeps’ milk have very similar proteins to dairy and if you have a problem with the protein in dairy, it is highly likely you will have a problem with these milks too.

Some people find that they tolerate A2 cows milk but not A1 (normal cows milk) as the casein protein is different. However, you need to challenge to see if you are able to tolerate it.

If you are unable to have dairy or soy and need to have another alternative, it is a good idea to talk to a dietitian about replacing the nutrients. They may recommend including extra protein in your diet and taking a calcium supplement.

Children under the age of 1 year should only have breastmilk or formula as a milk drink. Breastmilk is the normal complete food for infants although formula will meet nutritional needs of the baby. Among other things, breastmilk also contains many protective factors and growth factors important for development and components that encourage healthy gut bacteria in the baby. The World Health Organization recommends that babies breastfeed for 2 years and beyond, as long as mother and child desire.

Special formulas may be prescribed by a doctor if your baby is not breastfed and needs this due to allergies or intolerances.

If your baby has allergies or intolerances and you are breastfeeding, you may need to avoid eating the foods that are causing problems. It is a good idea to see a dietitian about how to balance your diet while avoiding some foods.


At Allergy Train, we aim to be a source of nutritional and food hypersensitivity information to guide you in your journey through an elimination diet or in learning to live on a restricted diet. However, the information provided on our site is for educational purposes only and should never be used to diagnose food hypersensitivity or other medical conditions. It is very important you talk to a health professional such as a doctor and a dietitian before you undertake any kind of dietary elimination process or restricted diet.


Our Allergy Train Pty Ltd website contains links to other websites to assist you with obtaining more information. However, we do not necessarily endorse all the content on these sites. Please critique each of these sites yourself before taking on board any of the information found on these sites.

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  • Jenny Trezise