Does your child have constant infections, eczema, rashes, allergies, brain fog, anxiety or behavioral challenges?

Did you know any of these could be caused by Food Sensitivities?

In this podcast we explore the reasons your child might want to consider going Dairy Free and the one primary thing to remember while doing so…


Listen On


Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.

Audio Transcription: 


Hello everyone, welcome back to functional nutrition and learning for kids your podcast about all things nutrition, learning, and movement. I’m your host, Vaish and you can reach me at www.functionalnutritionforkids.com.

Today we’re talking about the big D dairy. And if your child is struggling with constipation issues, and these can sometimes accompany food sensitivities, especially dairy, I have a freebie for you. If you click on functionalnutritionforkids.com/constipationtoolkit, you will find a pretty invaluable set of tools that you can use when your child is constipated.

No, of course, we are here to answer the big question today. Should your child go dairy free? Let’s start with the why as we always must. Why are you here? Why are you curious about ditching dairy?

Now they’re likely one of five reasons that you are here. Your child has chronic gut issues. This could be constipation, diarrhea, or just pain. Your child has severe environmental allergies, your child has eczema, skin rashes, etc. And in her ditching dairy may help. Number four, your child has a diagnosis of autism or ADHD and you’re exploring dietary influences.

Number five, your child has acid reflux, perhaps this is affecting sleep and eating. And actually, there is a number six, which is actually far more common than these five, your child is chronically sick, they fall sick very often, they’re usually congested, their normal status, congestion. And even if it’s not all the way up to there, your child falls sick much more often than you consider usual.

There are often two reasons that you might not be here, a child is a picky eater, and b your child has severe food sensitivities that do not include dairy. Oftentimes, when people are picked when children are picky eaters, or they’re already restricted on their foods, their parents do not want to remove another food group, which is understandable, but we are going to discuss later in this podcast, why that may actually be necessary.

Now if you find yourself in a box that is not described by any of the above, drop me a note. Okay, now I’m here to tell you that all of the five reasons that we talked about earlier are the same in a way, whether your child has obvious gut issues, ADHD, autism symptoms, behavioral challenges, eczema, or allergies, we now know that everything is connected and most chronic health issues stem from the same course.

To be more accurate, everything stems from the gut, brain immune access, and by that we mean the connections that intertwine your digestive system, your nervous system, and your immune system.

Now, these can present as eczema allergies sometimes, for example, an immune issue, right? These are immune issues, or constipation, which is a gut issue or behavior, and moods and focus, which can be neurological issues. Your body chooses, depending on the area of weaknesses, but what about dairy? Where does that fit into the picture? If you’ve heard people throw these things, these terms around dairy cause constipation, dairy causes mucus, dairy causes migraines, and whatnot.

You may be wondering, perhaps you grew up in India having dairy all the time, what sort of newfangled nonsense this is right? And perhaps you grew up in America, maybe you still had dairy all the time. Maybe you were sensitive and you had pain and you didn’t realize it. But if that was not the case, perhaps your ancestors did right? Had dairy a lot, especially if they’re from Europe. Now while this is a topic for another podcast, or video, modern agriculture, including animals is far removed from traditional agriculture.

The protein structure of milk today is very different from what your ancestors consumed in India, the ratio of one to two proteins at the bare minimum, right, this is different, but take it beyond that there are hormones and conventional dairy antibiotics that are given to cows that find their way of course into milk right?

Resulting in a concoction because it would be a stretch to call it a food that is further made even more difficult to digest by the process of ultra pasteurization, and homogenization, which guess what we’re introduced for the very purpose of long-term preservation of your milk.

In other words, we’re trying to make sure the microbes can get to it so you can be pretty sure that perhaps your digestion is current, what about organic milk? That’s the question that I get a lot. organic milk, perhaps you’re drinking organic milk that’s VAT pasteurized and non-homogenized. And this is very fantastic. And it’s coming from a farm to you and all of that.

If you are one of the few without issues with dairy or specifically with a very robust digestive system, then go for it. But let’s come back to the Why? Why are you here? You are here because we’re talking about children who are struggling with chronic health issues. And often the only way to separate the signal from the noise is to do an intention and remove of dairy for at least a month to see what happens.

Oftentimes, some people will see results during the removal, but many people will see results during the reintroduction. Now, if you’ve really confused at this point, let me summarize by saying that the combination of hard-to-digest proteins and a weak digestive system and the latter of the gut is much more common than we realize resulting in a food that is often digested partially,

If your child has cerebral palsy Down syndrome or autism, the odds are that they have a weak digestive system. partially digested proteins from dairy can do something very strange.

They can bind to opioid receptors in the brain, we are talking effects of opium here, making it justice addictive, which is why it is a struggle in the first place to ditch the dairy and which is why it is even more important to teach the dairy. Another question I get is that is it possible to get away with just a little bit?

Can I just have a little bit of dairy right? Know, if you truly want to separate the noise from the signal you must do 100 percent otherwise, we’re just feeling good about you know, ditching the dairy? Oh yes, we’re dairy free and all of that without actually achieving significant results.

Question number three, when is it okay to consume dairy? When you have nothing to address when you’re comfortable with your child’s physiological state when you have reached a steady state and things are good, or you are good with things the way they are?

Question number four, what about camel milk? I’ve heard such good things about camel milk. Dude, Let’s ditch the dairy first. It’s true that camel milk can have amazing immune-modulating properties. But first, let’s hit our baseline right, let’s remove the noise let’s hit the baseline once you hit the baseline, once you know what life is without dairy, then experiment so that you can clearly see the signal.

A lot of times in our world today the reason that people don’t realize that they have food sensitivities or because we’re missing the signal in the world of noise.

The next objection is that I am not ready and that is fine. But consider the addictive properties of dairy and wonder why you or your child may not be ready. The things that we’re often not ready to give up. This could be caffeine or dairy, wheat, crack smoking, whatever right sitting, watching Netflix these are things that we often need to give up.

Nobody’s ever not ready to give up kale right? Lastly, what can I drink instead? anything it doesn’t have to come in a milk carton or anything water. But if your child really wants something milk to drink for sure. Almond milk, sesame milk, kale milk. Just kidding.

If you have issues with oxalates go for low oxalate greens and look for milk that is made from low oxalate nuts which are very few, however, so you can try something like flax milk but I love low oxalate greens and sardines Okay, so otherwise just go for the nuts seeds green sardines are super picky eater will probably need some supplementation in the beginning.

No, I did say the last question, but I’m thinking about so many of you that are wondering what about calcium. If you can’t absorb calcium anyway? Not if you probably can’t absorb calcium anyway, with an inflamed gut. If your child is reacting to dairy has a food sensitivity digested partially.

The obvious result of it is gut inflammation, okay? And you often need adequate levels of magnesium, vitamin D, and Vitamin K in order to absorb calcium from foods in the presence of a less diverse diet in the presence of an inflamed gut. I could ask what about the calcium right? Just drinking three cups of milk quantity is less important than the quality of calcium that you’re getting.

This is your perfect excuse to bring built-in diversity from the aforementioned nuts, seeds, greens, and sardines. Do check with a nutritionist to see if your child needs calcium, magnesium D, or K supplementation. But the good thing is that the foods that we mentioned about often have multiple micronutrients in them.

They’re not just sources of calcium or protein, right? Especially things like greens and like milk. What about the protein? Now there are tons of options. If your child eats sardines, I’m going to say sardines again because it’s a pretty awesome superfood that covers a lot of bases. But nuts, seeds, and protein powders on occasion mean remembering diversity over quality or quantity. I’m sorry, quality over quantity is important here.

My son gets his protein for example, from ground fermented lentils that are made into crepes that we call those us which are super bioavailable sources of both protein and vitamins and minerals. Now, what if your child is a picky eater?

Remember the reasons that you may not want like perhaps you thinking you don’t want to give up dairy? Could be that your child is a picky eater and then they have gluten activities other than dairy. Here is the secret, you may need to ditch dairy any way to see results.

The inflammation caused by dairy can cascade into so many areas. But this is definitely where you need to tread with more caution and awareness of how to substitute how to get started. Set yourself up for success. But do a super-controlled experiment, don’t do one day off and one day on because it takes a few weeks for the immune system to respond to a lack of data for the inflammation to turn off and for you to see results.

Most people often notice a change like I said, with the reintroduction. Now, imagine this is something so simple as dropping a food but think about what it needs.

It needs courage, it needs perseverance, it needs creativity, and it needs a vision. And the best thing is that this is time-bound. Nobody’s asking us to do this for life. Right. So as with all good habits, we want to start with a time-bound, controlled experiment.

What is not to like? I’m your host Vaish. It was wonderful talking to you today about dairy please drop in a note at why should functionalnutritionforkids.com and tell me what else you’d like to hear about today’s music was by my daughter Maitri as always, and I look forward to meeting you again next week. Bye.