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Casein-Containing Foods To Avoid If Your Baby Is Allergic to Dairy

Casein is a type of protein found in milk and milk products. In people with milk allergies, casein is usually the culprit. The protein sometimes shows up in unsuspected products, so awareness is essential if your doctor has advised you to avoid it for the sake of your nursing baby.

Dairy Products

Casein and whey are the two primary protein types in milk. All cow's milk AND goat’s milk contains casein. Cream, half and half, yogurt and sour cream are other obvious sources of the protein. Ice cream, butter, cheese and pudding also contain it. Foods made with these products -- such as cream-based soups, sherbet, pudding and custard -- are also casein-rich. Dairy milk alternatives -- such as coconut, almond and soy milks – USUALLY do not contain casein, though some soy milks have added casein. Read labels carefully!

Less Obvious Sources

Margarine, tuna, dairy-free cheese, non-dairy coffee creamer, semisweet chocolate, cereal bars, and cheese-flavored chips and snack crackers often have traces of casein. Baked goods are another food of which to be wary because many contain milk or buttermilk.

Ingredient Warning

Reading food labels helps you identify the presence of casein. The ingredients "lactic acid" and "artificial flavorings" mean a food could have casein in it. Avoid these products, or call the manufacturer to make sure they're safe if you have an allergy. Foods that list "caseinate" on the label definitely contain casein. Beware that dairy-free doesn't mean casein-free.