10 Dairy-Free Recipes for Kids


Lactose intolerance, which is caused by the inability to digest lactose (the main carbohydrate in dairy products) is surprisingly common, affecting about three million people in the United States alone. 

Since it can cause a number of unpleasant symptoms, including bloating, diarrhea and abdominal cramps, it's important to look for dairy-free alternatives for your family's favorite recipes. The 10 below are kid-approved! 

Dairy-Free Banana Chocolate Brownies  

There's nothing like the smell of brownies wafting through the kitchen. This recipe relies on a dairy-free combination of bananas and soy milk to build its base, plus dairy-free chocolate chips for added sweetness. Your kids will gobble these up in no time!


Butternut Mac and Cheese 

Traditional mac and cheese is a nightmare for the lactose intolerant, but this recipe makes an excellent substitute for the real thing. Instead of all that dairy-heavy cheese, blend cashews and butternut squash for a creamy, satisfying sauce. 


Peanut Butter Banana Baked Oatmeal 

Need a dairy-free breakfast to get you through busy weekday mornings? This make-ahead oatmeal keeps in the fridge for days, and it's free of dairy, gluten and refined sugar, so you can be sure the day is off to a good start. 


Vegan Ranch Dressing 

Nothing helps those veggies go down better than ranch dressing, so we understand if you want to find a substitute for your child. This dressing comes together in only five minutes and relies on fresh herbs and a plant-based milk of your choice.


Butter Garlic Noodles 

Say goodbye to cheese-laden pasta and add this equally comforting recipe to your family's dinner rotation. Toasted breadcrumbs on top make for a delicious crunch that will have the kids requesting this dish over and over again. 


Hummus Quesadillas 

The ease of quesadillas is why they make the perfect lunch, but they're usually loaded with cheese. This new spin on the traditional recipe includes hummus, olive oil and any of your child's favorite fillings!


Applesauce Carrot Muffins 

Unlike most muffin recipes, this one doesn't contain milk or oil and instead relies on healthy, unsweetened applesauce to moisten ingredients. Note that butter is included on this recipe list. Butter has trace amounts of lactose—almost undetectable in one tablespoon—but if your child has a severe allergy, make sure to substitute lactose-free butter. 


Dairy-Free "Cheese" Pizza 

From the crust to the toppings, this pizza prioritizes dairy-free ingredients the whole way through. The real secret is the active dry yeast, which gives the pizza that straight-from-your-local-pizza-shop texture. 


Dairy-Free, Nut-Free Queso 

Most dairy free queso calls for cashews, but if your child is also allergic to nuts, this recipe will meet all of their food sensitivity needs. Instead of cashews, it comes together with butternut squash, sweet potato, chicken broth and coconut milk for extra creaminess.


Peanut Butter Banana Nice Cream 

Is life without ice cream really worth living? This recipe lets your child indulge without any digestive problems later. With only six ingredients, all you need to do is add everything into a food processor and blend.


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