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Milk Allergy | Overview

A milk allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in cows’ milk. It is most common among infants and young children.

Milk Allergy | Overview

A milk allergy is an abnormal response of the body to the proteins found in cows’ milk. It is most common among infants and young children.

Milk Allergy | Symptoms and Causes

Which foods should a milk-allergic child avoid?

Dairy products such as cream, cheese, butter, ice cream and yogurt all contain the proteins found in cows’ milk. But milk proteins may also be present in other commonly eaten foods, so it is important to read the labels of any food or beverage you are considering giving your child.

Are products labeled “non-dairy” safe for a milk-allergic child?

Not necessarily. These products do not contain butter, cream, or milk, but they may still use other milk-containing ingredients. Check the ingredient list to be certain.

What other “surprising” foods should a milk-allergic child watch out for?

Processed meats, including hot dogs, sausages and luncheon meats, frequently contain milk or are processed on milk-containing lines. Carefully read all food labels.

Avoid ingredients including:

  • Artificial butter flavor
  • Butter, butter fat, buttermilk
  • Casein
  • Caseinates (ammonium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium)
  • Cheese, cottage cheese, curds
  • Cream
  • Custard, pudding
  • Ghee
  • Half and half
  • Hydrolysates (casein, milk protein, protein, whey, whey protein)
  • Lactalbumin, lactalbumin phosphate
  • Lactoglobulin
  • Lactose
  • Milk (derivative, protein, solids, malted, condensed, evaporated, dry, whole, lowfat, nonfat, skim)
  • Nougat
  • Rennet casein
  • Sour cream
  • Sour cream solids
  • Whey
  • Yogurt

Also, carefully review these other possible sources of milk or milk products:

  • Brown sugar flavoring
  • Caramel flavoring
  • Chocolate
  • High protein flour
  • Lactic acid starter culture
  • Margarine
  • Natural flavoring
  • Simplesse

Milk Allergy | Treatments

"We're taking a very small amount of milk and giving to children who are allergic. The ideal outcome is that the patient will be cured of their milk allergy, and they can have milk products, like ice cream, whenever they wanted".

-Lynda Schneider, MD, director of Boston Children's Allergy Program

Milk Allergy | Patient Stories

A cure for milk allergies?

Part 1: Meet Brett, whose severe allergy to milk may be cured

August 25, 2009

This is the first in a series about Brett Nasuti, an 11-year-old Boston Children’s Hospital patient who was born allergic to 15 foods. Brett is the very first Children’s patient to go through a milk exposure desensitizationtrial—the first of its kind in the country—which could cure him of his severe milk allergy. In this video you can watch Brett and his mom, Robyn, talk about what it’s been like for their family to live with his life-threatening condition and their hopes for the trial’s outcome.

Stay tuned to follow Brett as he goes through the study, during which he drinks more and more milk after getting injections to ward off allergic reactions. You can see him take his first-ever sip of milk and hear him talk about what it’s like to live with a life-threatening allergy. You can also watch Robyn shop for her two kids with food allergies (she cooks three different dinners each day for her family) and hear Brett’s classmates talk about what they’ve learned from him. Plus, check back to see Lynda Schneider, MD, the director of Boston Children’s Allergy Program, discuss the shocking rise in food allergies and how this trial represents a path to a potential cure.

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Milk Allergy | Programs & Services