Tag Archives: Hidden Dairy

Weekly Smiles (Events)

Here is a list of Smiling Away Allergies’ weekly events:

TIPSy Tuesdays

On Tuesdays, I plan to post tips that we have found helpful or something that we have learned during this journey so far. I call it “TIPS”y TUESDAYS not only because I must admit to being a bit corny at times, but mainly because I want to help others be prepared.  Therefore, once a week we will CHEERS to being prepared so we can smile on…

Worry-Free Wednesdays

Each Wednesday I will try to post a quote or lyrics to a song that I find inspirational.  Words that help me see past fear and worry, enabling us to continue to smile on…

Tbt (Throw Back Thursdays)

On some Thursdays, we will throw it back to some of the earlier signs and experiences with food allergies/eczema as well as what we have learned through it. Regardless of what should have or could have happened, we smile on together in trying to educate others about the world of allergies…

Favorite Finds Fridays

I plan to post a “favorite find” on Fridays.  It may not always be directly relate to food allergies and eczema.   However, it will always be something that has helped us a lot with TJ’s experience, allowing us all to smile on in faith…


(Source: http://www.firstcovers.com/userquotes/39076/let+your+smile.html)

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels – The Reality of Hidden Allergens

From food to non-food products, it is extremely crucial to be on the look out for hidden allergens. Reading food labels and learning about ingredients becomes second nature when living with food allergies.   However, even when you are comfortable with a product, it is important still double check the label especially since companies can change the makeup of their products. In addition, the ingredients in many everyday items will amaze you at times.   I know that I continue to be surprised by many of the components of common foods and non-food products.

Here is some of the information about coconut, oats, dairy, and peanuts/nuts that I have learned throughout the course of this journey so far. (It does not include every location of these allergens as we are still learning.)



  • many cakes, candies, chocolates, cookies, ice creams      
  • some Thai and Indian foods
  • some shampoos, soaps, lotions, sun products, and cosmetics

NOTE: Everyone’s body tolerates and reacts to foods differently.  For example,  TJ mildly vomited (spit up) the coconut milk that he drank at his last food challenge. Therefore, his body does not tolerate coconut milk and he is allergic to it.  However, the toddler soy formula that he has been drinking since June contains coconut oil which his body does tolerate.  In addition to this, Exederm, the shampoo/body wash we use for him contains Decyl Glucoside, an extract from coconut oil, glucose, and palm kernel oil. TJ’s body does wonderfully with this as well.  His body tolerates the oil but not the protein.

Coconut Allergy Resource 1

(Source: http://www.allergy.org.au/)

Coconut Allergy Resource 2 (Derived Ingredients)

(Source: http://coconutallergy.blogspot.com/)

2) OATS are present in…


  • many granola bars, cereals, cookies, puddings
  • oat based milks and creams
  • some moisturizers, face washes and scrubs
  • the Aveeno products that we had been using
  • some beers

Interesting article regarding foods with gluten and how oats are related to this

(Source: http://www.diabetes.org/?loc=logo)

3) MILK (DAIRY)/MILK DERIVATIVES are present in…

Aside from the obvious dairy foods like all of the varieties of cow’s milk, creamer, butter, creams, cheese and cheese products, yogurt, and ice cream, dairy crosses your path more than you think. Here are some other places that milk proteins and lactose exist…


  • some baking mixes, baked goods, breads, cookies, crackers, granola bars
  • some cereals (For example:  Honey Bunches of Oats contains whey from milk.)
  • some chewing gums (http://www.recaldent.com/c_where_find_recal.asp) and some breath mints
  • some caramel and candies
  • some non-dairy creamers and lactose-free milks (This includes my favorite “non-dairy” creamer that contains sodium caseinate, a milk derivative.)
  • some soups, broths and gravies
  • imitation syrups
  • Lactose is used in some prescription and over-the-counter drugs and vitamins.
  • Casein is in some art supplies like some types of chalk. (Check out the article below.)

Chalk & Dairy Allergy

(Source: https://www.navanfoods.com/navanblog)

4) PEANUTS/TREE NUTS are present in…

  • Because I could not compile a better list myself, I wanted to share this amazing resource as we read and smile on to a great week…

Peanut Allergy Avoidance List & Travel-Size Cards

(Source: http://www.kidswithfoodallergies.org/)


  • Additional peanut/tree nut articles that I found interesting and informative.

Medications & Peanut/Tree Nut Allergies

(Source: http://www.peanutallergy.com/)

“Stupid Things That Contain Nuts”

(Source: https://itsahardnutlife.wordpress.com/)

TIPSy TUESDAYS – Always Read Labels –

Tbt- Dining Out with Food Allergies

Dining out with food allergies has to do with your own comfort level based on individual allergies plus being prepared. With that being said, it’s been over a year since we went out to eat with TJ, (minus one time after the beach when he was napping in his stroller with us.)We simply aren’t ready yet and feel as though he isn’t either being only 16 months and still having many food allergies.

Looking back to before we knew about his allergies, there were a few times we took him with us to eat. We always planned it for a time when he would be taking a late afternoon nap or right before his bedtime. While we would start each dining experience with him in his stroller, usually as we were eating our main course one of us would have to hold him as he started to fuss. Once again, we would continue eating our food while holding him. This is obviously no longer feasible since he is a toddler who is on the move and also has several confirmed allergies.   While we look forward to the day that we all do indeed eat out as a family, we are simply waiting for when it is safest for TJ.

However, just because we aren’t ready yet to hit up a restaurant with our little guy,  doesn’t mean we can’t prepare for when we are. Here are excellent resources that I have found and wanted to share.   We look forward to the days ahead when we will be using these resources too so we have faith and smile on…

Get prepared:

Managing Food Allergies – Dining Out

(Source: http://www.foodallergy.org/)

Test your knowledge: Take the Ingredient Quiz

Ingredient Quiz

Answer Key

(Source: http://www.foodallergy.org/)

This is an awesome guide to allergy-friendly restaurants throughout the United States. (There is also an app for your phone!)

Allergy Eats Website

Bagging Our Yogurt Separately

Having the day off from work today, I took my son to Shoprite.  Since TJ is currently allergic to many common foods that fill these aisles, I do take extra precautions.   (For awhile, during the winter, I would not bring him to any stores with food by myself.   I was still very fearful and not ready yet.)

However, we always go grocery shopping together now.  I do follow certain precautions though because I find comfort in being over-cautious.

  1. Of course, I carry his Auvi-Q/Epi-Pen
  2. He sits in a shopping cart with a cover over it that I bring.
  3. I put all of the foods he is allergic to far away from his reach.  (I even put yogurt, creamer, and milk for my husband under the cart.)
  4. I always bring water, Puffs, or toys to occupy TJ.
  5. When bagging my items, I bag all dairy objects in a separate bag. 

If the cashier wants to bag herself or himself, I ask if she or he can do #5.  Bag separately. No one has ever had a problem with this before today.   This morning when I almost forgot that I had yogurt on the bottom of the cart, TJ reminded me by pointing to it, saying “Uh oh.” Therefore, I apologized and gave it to the cashier who had just started scanning up my items.

I asked, “Can you please bag the yogurt in a separate bag?”

Giving me a look already since I had almost forgotten them on the bottom, she questioned, ” Why?”

Even though I should not have had to explain, I responded, “My son has an allergy to it and so I try to be extra careful.”

Her responses baffled me and yet again reminded me that too many people out there are still ignorant in regards to food allergies. “He is allergic to the container?”

Because I suddenly felt a strong urge to hold back how angry and upset I was, I smiled instead and replied, “He is allergic to dairy.  Yogurt is dairy. So, no it’s not the container; however, containers can open by accident which has happened to me before with yogurt.  So, we bag separately.”

Oh and she did not stop, “I never heard of anyone being allergic to yogurt.”

I informed her that, “Actually, milk is one of the top 8 food allergies and top one for children.”

(In America – I know that these top allergens are different in different countries.)

This is the type of ignorance that I wrote about this week.  Education is the key to opening minds and then hearts.   In the past, an experience like this would have made me break down crying in the car on the way home and then run to my husband about it, probably still crying.   It sounds dramatic but it is scary. However, something has changed and is continuing to shift in me through all of this.

Instead, I am hopeful that either this worker will think about what I said or maybe the people who were close by and heard our conversation, learned something by it.  (It wasn’t exactly a quiet conversation…ha) However, even if no one else learned anything, I did. I learned even more about this role of being TJ’s advocate and because of that alone, our faith goes beyond ignorance so we smile on.


From Obvious to Hidden Allergens – Common Toddler Foods

When I think of toddlers and young children, there are some foods that I view of as staples. Many of these common snacks, TJ cannot have yet due to his allergies.  Aside from the obvious ones like yogurt, yogurt bites, and cheese sticks…


There are a bunch of others that contain milk, wheat, or some of the other allergens that some people, including myself may not have known before this.


  1. Cheerioscontains wheat & oats


2. Rice Krispiescontains malt flavoring which is usually made from the gluten grain, barley


3. Goldfish – (although made with smiles)contains wheat and dairy


4. RITZ Crackerscontains wheat and barley

(It also contains soy but TJ can eat soy now.)


This is an excellent resource about hidden dairy in products for all ages.



These are just some of the common yummy toddler snacks that TJ cannot yet have.   However, we have faith that he will one day be able to try these delicious products.  In the meantime, we are very thankful all of the products TJ can safely snack on now and as he continues to get older.  For now, we must look at the bright side.  TJ has one of the healthiest diet ever so with that positive thought, we snack and smile on …