Ideas for Healthy Meals for Lactose-Intolerant Toddlers

Dairy products play a significant role in a toddler's diet because they contribute to optimal growth. However, for lactose-intolerant toddlers, consuming diary can cause health problems. People who are lactose intolerant have low levels of the enzyme lactase, which makes it difficult to digest the sugar lactose found in dairy products According to the Mayo Clinic, lactose-intolerant toddlers who consume diary may experience mild to severe gas, bloating, nausea, abdominal cramps and diarrhea.

  1. Fruit Smoothie

    • Although many breakfast foods contain or are prepared with dairy products, there are various foods lactose-intolerant toddlers can eat. For example, oatmeal with fresh fruit, Cream of Wheat and French toast made with soy milk are all healthy options. Also consider a low-calorie, non-dairy fruit smoothie. To make the smoothie, combine one-half cup vanilla soy yogurt, one-half cup fresh or frozen strawberries, 2 ice cubes and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a blender and blend until smooth.

    Spinach Salad

    • For lunch, take advantage of calcium-rich green leafy vegetables. For example, this spinach salad and homemade dressing recipe from KidsHealth is especially for lactose-intolerant children. Make the dressing first by mixing 3 tablespoons of red wine vinegar, 3 tablespoons of orange juice, 1 1/2 tablespoons of canola oil, one-fourth teaspoon of dry mustard and one-third teaspoon of poppy seeds. Place the dressing in the refrigerator. Next, mix 6 cups of torn spinach, one-half cup mandarin oranges, 1 cup sliced strawberries, 4 ounces of soy blue cheese crumbles and one-half cup of cashews in a large bowl. Pour the dressing evenly over the salad. This recipe serves four.

    Italian Vegetable Casserole

    • This low-calorie, low-fat casserole incorporates more vegetables into your toddler's diet. Another KidsHealth recipe, it is a good source of carbohydrates, fiber and protein. Spray a casserole dish with nonstick cooking spray and combine 1 sliced zucchini, 1 sliced yellow squash, one-half chopped red bell pepper, 2 tomatoes, and one-fourth cup fat-free Italian dressing into the dish. Cook the vegetables in the microwave for 10 minutes and stir every 2 to 3 minutes. You can serve this dish with brown rice; you can also add soy mozzarella cheese to the vegetables.

    Chicken with Beans and Rice

    • Cook lactose-free meals that allow toddlers to eat with the entire family. Use 16 ounces of skinless chicken breasts, a 15-ounce can of black beans, 2 cloves of minced garlic, three-fourths of a cup of salsa, red peppers, onions, hot chili pepper, and cumin (add the last four to your taste) to create a meal that is a good source of protein and fiber. This recipe, which serves four, contains 380 calories, 5 grams of fat, 40 grams of protein and 7 grams of fiber per serving. Serve the dish over brown rice. If you want to add a cheesy flair, sprinkle it with soy cheddar cheese.

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