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How to manage milk allergy in a child?

Q: My son has milk allergy, which was diagnosed at the age of 3 and half years. We have stopped milk and other milk products totally, after which his health stabilized. We are vegetarians and I have started giving him 2 eggs per day for protein and fat. We are giving him 2 glasses of soya milk daily and other soya products like granules/tofu etc. once a week. I have read in an article that too much soya can affect the reproductive system as it contains plant oestrogens. Is it true? How much of soya can I give him everyday? How do we ensure that he is getting sufficient calcium?

A:You can give your son a total of 12-15 g soya or soya products daily. Infertility on long term intake has been seen in female human adults and further research is still on. Young children with lactase deficiency should not eat any foods containing lactose. Most older children and adults need not avoid lactose completely, but people differ in the amounts and types of foods they can handle. For example, one person may have symptoms after drinking a small glass of milk, while another can drink one glass but not two. Others may be able to manage ice cream and aged cheeses, such as cheddar and Swiss, but not other dairy products. Dietary control of lactose intolerance depends on people learning through trial and error how much lactose they can handle. For those who react to very small amounts of lactose or have trouble limiting their intake of foods that contain it, lactase enzymes are available without a prescription to help people digest foods that contain lactose. The tablets are taken with the first bite of dairy food. Lactase enzyme is also available as a liquid. Adding a few drops of the enzyme will convert the lactose in milk or cream, making it more digestible for people with lactose intolerance. Lactose-reduced milk and other products are available at most supermarkets. The milk contains all of the nutrients found in regular milk and remains fresh for about the same length of time, or longer if it is super-pasteurised. So do not eliminate milk completely if it is ok with your paediatician. Daily recommended intake of calcium in your sons case needs to be 800mg/day. Many non-dairy foods are high in calcium. Green vegetables, such as broccoli and kale. Calcium-fortified orange juice, 1 cup 308–344 mg Soymilk, fortified, 1 cup 200 mg Broccoli (raw), 1 cup 90 mg Orange, 1 medium 50 mg Lettuce greens, 1/2 cup 10 mg Calcium is absorbed and used only when there is enough vitamin D in the body. A balanced diet should provide an adequate supply of vitamin D. Sources of vitamin D include eggs and liver. However, sunlight helps the body naturally absorb or synthesize vitamin D, and with enough exposure to the sun, food sources may not be necessary.


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