The symptoms of cow's milk allergy will usually disappear once the child reaches the age of four, and only a few of the allergies last into adulthood. But in the meantime, many parents are confused about how to meet the nutritional needs of children who are allergic to cow's milk. The reason is cow's milk is a good source of protein, calcium and folic acid for children's growth and development. Don't be confused, sir, ma'am! Check out the various tips below.
Tips to meet the nutritional needs of children with cow's milk allergy
1. Continue breastfeeding
For babies who are still breastfeeding, continuing exclusive breastfeeding is the best choice to meet their nutrition. The protein content in breast milk is quite high and its composition is different from the protein found in cow's milk.
The quality of breast milk protein is better than cow's milk because breast milk has a more complete type of amino acid than cow's milk. One example is the amino acid taurine which has a role in brain development. These amino acids are found in quite high amounts in developing brain tissue.
2. Avoid all forms of cow's milk products
Children who are allergic to milk should not be given cow's milk and all its derivatives, such as butter and margarine, cheese, yogurt, ice cream, cereals, cakes, biscuits, crackers, milk porridge, pudding, and custard. Also be aware of products that contain casein, whey, and lactose in the raw material column.
For children who can already eat solid food, you can exchange calcium intake from cow's milk with other calcium food sources, such as spinach, bokcoy, tofu, oranges, eggs, anchovies, and sardines.
3. Choose hypoallergenic formula milk
If your child consumes formula milk, choose hypoallergenic formula milk. Hypoallergenic milk is milk that has peptides with a small molecular weight and does not cause allergic reactions in children. Based on research, the use of hypoallergenic milk does not cause allergies in 90% of infants and children allergic to cow's milk.
Milk that is included in the hypoallergenic group is extensive hydrolyzed milk and amino acid formula milk. Extensively hydrolyzed milk is given to children who suffer from cow's milk allergy with mild or moderate clinical symptoms. Amino acid formula milk is given to children suffering from cow's milk allergy with severe clinical symptoms. As an alternative, children suffering from cow's milk allergy can also consume milk containing donkey protein isolates.
4. Milk from other animals is not recommended
Most parents think of giving milk from other mammals to replace cow's milk. But goat milk is not recommended for children allergic to cow's milk because it can risk a cross reaction. In addition, goat's milk, sheep's milk, etc. should not be given to babies under one year of age unless it has been made into infant formula. However, at present there is no formula milk based on milk from other mammals (besides cattle) in Indonesia.
Alternatively, you can provide non-cow vegetable milk such as nut milk. But also consider whether your child has a peanut allergy. If so, you can give him rice or coconut milk (not coconut milk, you know!)
Should the child not be given food that contains cow's milk protein forever?
- Symptoms and Signs of Your Child's Cow Milk Allergy
- Tips for Meeting the Active Nutrition Needs of Children
- Could Allergy Children be Lowered from Parents?
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Reviewed: June 20, 2019 | Last Edited: June 20, 2019
Cow's Milk (Dairy) Allergy. https://www.allergy.org.au/patients/food-allergy/cows-milk-dairy-allergy Accessed on 16 October 2017.
Indonesian Pediatrician Association. 2017. Indonesian Pediatrician Association Recommendations: Diagnosis and Management of Cow Milk Allergy. Jakarta: Indonesian Pediatricians Association Publisher.