Mother and Baby

Dairy-free meal ideas for your toddler that won't cost the earth

Section: Food & Recipes

If your toddler’s been diagnosed with a dairy allergy, it’s only natural to worry about what on earth you’re going to cook him. But before panic mode takes over, know that there are plenty of substitutes, alternatives and options.

While your toddler’s dairy allergy may make eating out a struggle, cooking for him at home isn’t anywhere near as hard as you think.

The majority of supermarkets now have free sections, stocked with products specifically for people with food allergies – and these include lots of dairy-free products. 

If your tot loves cheese, chose a vegan option like Vegusto, which has a very similar taste to traditional cheddar. You can also buy soya or vegetable butter, or wonder ingredient du jour coconut oil to cook and bake with. Swap your regular milk purchase for a soya or almond one, stock up on dairy-free yoghurts and look out for dairy-free pesto to add flavour to a pasta dish.

Here are more ideas for dairy-free meals for tots.

Dairy-free breakfast ideas

  • Cornflakes with almond milk. Quick and simple! 
  • Porridge made with almond or soya milk and fruit on top will warm your tot up on a cold morning.
  • Pancakes made with almond or any alternative milk. Serve them with honey (if over one year), fruit or lemon juice.
  • Smoothies made with almond milk, bananas, almond or peanut butter, and flavoured with nutmeg, cinnamon or honey, if liked. You can also add cocoa powder for a chocolately version.
  • Toast with coconut or almond butter and raspberry or strawberry jam on top will fill your toddler up.
  • Tescos does great ready-made dairy and wheat-free crumpets and mini pancakes. Top them with whatever (dairy-free) treat your toddler fancies.


Dairy-free lunch ideas

  • Make pizzas at home together by adding tomato passata, onions, peppers, chicken or meat to pre-bought bases. You can add vegan cheese, too.
  • For something quick and simple, serve fish fingers, meatballs or sausages with rice or pasta.
  • The ultimate fast lunch, heat up spaghetti hoops or beans, and serve them on toast.
  • There are plenty of non-dairy sandwich options. Mash up avocado and banana, or spread on tuna and sweetcorn or egg and cress are all popular options.


Dairy-free dinner ideas

  • Make a delicious risotto with olive oil instead of butter and miss out the cheese. Add lemon juice, garlic, onions and vegetables.
  • Mix dairy-free pesto (look out for Meridian Free From Green Pesto) with pasta for a simple and filling meal.
  • Mashed potato made with almond or another alternative milk and soya butter is a great side option, as are sweet potato fries – just chop the sweet potato, toss in vegetable oil and roast until soft.
  • Spaghetti with a tomato-onion-garlic-based sauce and vegetables is a huge hit with toddlers.

Share your dairy-free meal options below. 

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