There are many different milk alternatives out there. We can't have anything with nuts or soy, so that does narrow the field a little.
Most (if not all) of these milks come in Original, Vanilla, and Chocolate flavors. I bought a variety of these different milks. Some are better sources of protein. Some are higher in sodium. Some have more vitamins and minerals. So I thought it a good idea to keep a variety for use in different ways. Rapunzel may prefer the flavor of one over another for drinking straight up. One may be better for using in sauces, while another may be better suited for baking.
Rapunzel loves yogurt, and we love it for its good bacteria. Rapunzel, Hercules and Aurora all take probiotics everyday. I buy Culturelle in the capsules. Every morning I open 1 capsule and pour its contents onto 3 bites of yogurt for them to eat. They love their "yogurt bites" every morning! So I knew I had to find a dairy free alternative.
Cultured Coconut Milk
The So Delicious brand has several flavors. Trader Joe's also has a couple flavors in their brand.
Our girl LOVES sour cream. She puts it on a ton of stuff. And while I didn't find a true sour cream replacement, I think I found something that will work.
Plain Greek Cultured Coconut Milk
I've seen a lot of recipes that say you can use greek yogurt in place of sour cream, so I thought this was worth a shot. We'll see if she bites.
You can't forget this childhood staple. We don't eat ice cream everyday, but we do love it on occasion and I knew I had to find an alternative for Rapunzel!
Rice Milk Frozen Dessert
Coconut Milk Frozen Dessert
Rice Dream and So Delicious brands both come in several different flavors, so Rapunzel shouldn't feel deprived at all! I also think that if we do end up staying dairy free, it would be a good idea to get our own ice cream maker, so that we can make our own ice creams with different milks!
I love chocolate chips, because by adding just a few, the kids think whatever they're eating is a huge treat!
Dairy-free chocolate mini-chips
Butter is another tricky one for us because of Rapunzel's other food allergies. Earth Balance has quite a variety of butter replacements, but they contain either soy or pea-protein, which she is allergic to. But there was one that she could have that was made from, none other than, Coconut!
You may have noticed that I didn't list a cheese alternative. There are plenty of them out there, but I haven't been able to find one that doesn't contain something Rapunzel is allergic to. All of the ones I've found contain either soy, nuts, pea, or - get this - casein. Yes, there are brands of "rice cheese" out there that contain dairy! If anyone comes across a dairy free cheese that meets our requirements, PLEASE let me know! For now, we're just avoiding cheese altogether.
I am pretty confident that with these substitutions, we should be able to adjust to no dairy just fine. There will definitely be an adjustment period, but Rapunzel is game, which should make things a little easier.