With an estimated 1 in 10 children being lactose intolerant, back-to-school meals and snacks can put parents to the test. “Many parents may not recognize the symptoms of lactose intolerance in their kids, often mistaking digestive complaints as illness or food avoidance as their kids ‘being picky,’” says Ashley Koff, R.D., celebrity dietician and author of a new book Mom Energy. To help, Koff offers five signs that could mean a child is lactose intolerant:
1. Digestive complaints, especially gas, bloating and belly aches
2. Avoiding or refusing dairy when offered
3. Frequent loose stools
4. Bad breath despite proper dental care
5. Body odor that isn’t explained by normal activities (i.e., played sports or forgot to shower)
“If you suspect your child is lactose intolerant, you should talk to your pediatrician before making any dietary changes for a complete evaluation,” Koff adds. The good news, according to Koff, is that there are delicious, better quality dairy options that are lactose-free and gluten free, like lactose free yogurt, kefir and sour cream, to use as simple swaps and versatile recipe ingredients in kids’ mealtime favorites.
For easy meal tips with all of the great taste and health benefits of real dairy but with no lactose, visit www.GreenValleyLactoseFree.com.