The cornerstone of treatment for cow’s milk allergic children is the avoidance of all cow’s milk protein, including cow’s milk derived infant formulas and other dairy products. The only exception may be extensively heated cow’s milk protein (CMP), such as in baked products, which can be continued in those tolerant to them. Parents should read food labels and recognize terms that may indicate the presence of cow’s milk protein. These include terms such as whey, lactose, casein, caseinate, lactalbumin and lactoglobulin.
In formula -fed infants, an appropriate hypoallergenic infant formula will need to be selected and must be advised by your allergist. Some children, especially those with an immediate type cow’s milk allergy, will tolerate soya-based milks; these children will be carefully selected by your allergist. Potential advantages of soya-based milks are the good taste and affordability. Goat’s milk formulas and the so-called “HA” or “partially hydrolysed” formulas are NOT suitable for cow’s milk allergy sufferers.
If a breastfed child is symptomatic, and found to be allergic to cow’s milk protein, then the lactating mother will be advised and guided on elimination of cow’s milk and dairy from her own diet.
For further information on cow’s milk allergy, discuss with your allergist, dietician, and visit the allergy foundation on www.allergyfoundation.co.za