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What to tell 3 year old about her milk intolerance?

(6 Posts)
LetsPlayBamboozled Mon 02-Oct-17 15:25:02

DD is seeing a dietician for delayed Cows Milk Protein Allergy (or milk intolerance). Her symptoms are digestive discomfort and disturbed sleep, possibly behaviour too but I'm not sure if she is just typical toddler tantrums/upset. We are excluding dairy.

She turns 3 this week and we have been offered an early place for her 15hours free pre-school, later this month. There they have a glass of milk every day and sometimes biscuits. Occasionally they bake.

She stopped drinking milk once it didn't come in bottles, though this was at 2.4 when I suddenly twigged she had a problem with milk blush so I don't think she will want to drink the milk at nursery and have been told they will offer water. However I have never discussed her intolerance with her, and I wondered if she might want to try the milk when she sees her classmates doing the same? In which case they will tell her she can't have it so perhaps I should talk to her about it first? But not sure what to say?

She doesn't really ask for cheese or yoghurt much anyway and I've just stopped giving her things that she can't have without explaination. She is happily having Oatly on her cereal, though she calls it milk.

Wondering what others have told their children the same age? I don't want her to feel excluded/confused by nursery but also don't want to make too much of a big deal about food at this age. I have Coeliac disease myself so I am always worrying she will pick up some kind of 'food is harmful' vibe from me.

Any advice appreciated

Seeline Mon 02-Oct-17 15:29:04

Tell her that she can't have the same milk as other people because it will make her tummy poorly.
Nursery should be able to deal with this - send in the milk/food she can have so that she has biscuits when the others do etc.

davidbyrneswhitesuit Mon 02-Oct-17 15:45:29

The thinking is that it's best for kids to be able to understand their food issues and "self-advocate" (!) from as young as possible.

So you just explain that normal milk makes her feel poorly (and explain the different symptoms she has). Explain what kind of different foods milk can be in (she needs to be clear it's all dairy, not just milk itself), and drum it into her in a practical rather than scary way that her grownups in charge (ie parents/nursery staff) need to have said food is OK before she eats it...

It's hard, but you can do it without her being stressed/hyper alert. I've had to do it with two kids who react at skin contact level to multiple allergens grin

davidbyrneswhitesuit Mon 02-Oct-17 15:46:33

Sorry, PS, make sure she has equivalent food/drink at nursery, so she's not feeling different or left out.

CountFosco Sat 07-Oct-17 18:27:47

DS has a dairy allergy from 6 months and he grew up always knowing he had his own food, as did all his friends at nursery. It wasn't really an issue, just tell her cow's milk makes her poorly so she needs special milk. Don't say dairy otherwise people will exclude eggs but make sure the adults know other ruminant milk is not ok. I lost count of the number of people who asked if goats milk was ok!

Her friends at nursery will soon know as well and will police the adults.

soontobemrsmckeown Sun 19-Nov-17 20:32:32

My dd has had this on and off from birth if you tell her that milk makes her tummy hurt and if she doesn't drink it it won't hurt her any more then she should understand. My dd asks if everything she eats is dairy egg and soya free now as hers is getting worse the older she gets. She's now on a vegan diet and is much better as vegans don't eat any dairy just have to watch the soya with them but all in all she's doing much better.

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