Cooking dairy free with Oatly and getting my sleep back

Frankie has cows milk protein allergy and she is also lactose intolerant so we cook dairy free and Frankie also has to have dairy free milk. Up until the age of two Frankie was prescribed Neocate milk. When Frankie was approaching two we had to make the decision of what milk to move her on to. There are so many alternatives soya , almond , oat milk the list is endless.

We decided to try her on Oatly which is an oat based milk. There are many varieties of the drink but we decided to go with the enriched with calcium and vitamins (D, Riboflavin, B12) one. It is free from lactose, milk protein and soya which is fab.

Frankie was never a good sleeper and still up until 20 months she was waking for milk in the night and she had only slept through a handful of times. She took to the Oatly really quickly it took two nights of fusing and refusing until she realised she did actually like the milk. I have tried it myself and it does taste like milk and has a really pleasant taste to it.

After about a week of having her sippy  cup of Oatly to take to bed Frankie started to sleep through and not wake for milk. After a few months of being on Oatly she now sleeps and I am eternally grateful to Oatly ! We sleep ! I think it may be the fact that it is Oat based and the relaxing nature of oats also maybe it fills her up more than the formula did. It has also given her a better appetite which I am thrilled with. When Frankie was on formula she would pick at her breakfast and lunch but now she is happy to have her breakfast when she wakes up and enjoys it.

There is so much you can do with Oatly , one of our favourite ways of using it in cooking it to make a fish pie. Here is the recipe for you to try.

Ingredients

  • 400ml of Oatly
  • 500g fish pie mix
  • 40g of Vitalite dairy free spread
  • 40g of plain flour
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 200g of grated Vio life cheese

For the topping

  • 800g of medium potatoes, peeled and cut into quarters
  • 40g of vitalite dairy free spread

Method

  • Arrange the fish and prawns in to an oven dish
  • To make the sauce for the pie melt the Vitalite in a pan then add the flour and whisk until it forms a paste , slowly add small amounts of Oatly bit by bit and keep stirring until a thick sauce forms. Add the Vio life to the sauce.

            

  • Pour the sauce over the fish in the oven dish add some salt and pepper.

  • To make the mash for the topping. Half fill a large saucepan with cold water. Add the potatoes and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft.
  • Drain the potatoes and put them back in to the pan. Mash with the Vitalite until a mash is formed.

  • Cook in a preheated on 200C/400F/Gas 6 for 25 mins until golden brown on top

There will be a competition live soon over at my facebook page with8 a chance to win some Oatly vouchers and start creating some yummy diary free creations.

 

 

Review: Plamil foods – dairy free chocolate products

I was recently sent a lovely package of dairy free chocolate from Plamil foods to review.  Such a fab variety including dairy free chocolate bunnies , strawberry flavour no added sugar chocolate , banana no added sugar chocolate , organic dairy free alternative to white chocolate and milk chocolate alternative 45% cocoa. All products were dairy free , nut free and vegan friendly. Frankie has cows milk protein allergy and is lactose
intolerant so these were perfect for her.
Dairy free chocolate bunnies
These were so cute for Easter. Frankie has never had a chocolate Easter  bunny as I’ve never been able to find one for her. She was so excited when she saw the bunny shaped chocolate , it tasted delicious too.  Plamil foods have a wide variety of Easter products on their website. I will definitely be purchasing some of these for Frankie’s dairy allergy and vegan friends for her birthday party bags which is around Easter time.
The fruit flavoured no added sugar chocolate – Banana and strawberry
These were really yummy and they are Frankie’s favourite fruits so she really enjoyed. You could actually taste the fruit flavour which was great. I liked that they had no added sugar too as some dairy free products can be high in sugar which puts me off giving them to Frankie. These would also be fab for my Dad who is diabetic for Fathers Day. Such a versatile product we are going to order some more from the website to make our Easter nest cakes to give them that extra special touch.
Milk chocolate alternative 45% cocoa
This really did have a lovely rich milk chocolate taste.  You could taste the quality and the fact that is was 45% cocoa. This would be fab for baking too I’m thinking of making a dairy free cheesecake with this.
Dairy free alternative to white chocolate
This was one of Frankie’s other favourites , its hard to find dairy free white chocolate they are usually milk chocolate alternative or dark chocolate.  This had a lovely creamy flavour and really did taste like white chocolate.
Overall the Plamil food products are fantastic and the variety is amazing as some dairy free brands only have a small selection. Plamil foods have so much choice on their website and really do have something to suit all needs. They are definitely our new favourite and we will be a regular visitor to their site.

An open letter plea from an allergy Mummy – NHS please don’t do this

Dear CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) and the NHS ,

I am a mummy to two children who both have milk allergies. Archie who has just turned three was lactose intolerant , he grew out of this by the time he was 15 months old. Frankie who is 22 months old has cows milk protein allergy and is also lactose intolerant. Frankie is yet to outgrow her allergies and still has a dairy free diet. She is prescribed Neocate , an amino acid based formula and will continue to be prescribed this until her second birthday.

We went through a horrendous period in parenthood instead of enjoying and embracing the new born stage we were filled with worry and upset trying to work out what was making our babies so ill. Archie wasn’t diagnosed lactose intolerant until he was 5 months old. He used to cry in pain , projectile vomit after nearly every feed , have trouble feeding and was generally unhappy and unsettled. This was heart breaking watch as a parent and I felt like such a failure for not being able to help my baby.  Watching them cry in pain for hours on end and not being able to help is completely soul destroying. Archie was prescribed SMA lacto free formula and was a changed baby within 48 hours  , he was almost symptom free and we had a happy baby.

Frankie was diagnosed when she was 9 weeks old her symptoms were more severe than Archie’s. She would cry for hours on end in excruciating pain , she also had severe diarrhoea after every feed and eczema that was infected and oozed puss.  It took three different milk trials and a hospital admission to get the correct treatment for Frankie. Once Frankie was started on the Neocate formula she was also almost symptom free and happier within a week. It was a struggle to get that prescription for her as it carries a price tag of £38 per tin , these are half tins and we were using four tins a week at one point.

 

Having access to these formulas was fantastic as breast feeding was not an option for me , I had tried and not been physically able to breastfeed. This in itself was truly crushing and so stressful for me. Some mums with allergy babies can breastfeed if they also have a dairy free diet as dairy can be transferred to the baby via the breastmilk. If babies have various different allergies this can be more difficult for the mother as its hard to know exactly what is causing the baby to react.

I’m totally shocked and appalled at the decision the CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) has made to ban writing prescriptions for dairy free formula in some areas in the UK. If this had been brought in to place when Archie and Frankie were babies I know that we would not have been able to afford £608 a month in formula for Frankie’s Neocate milk. Croydon CCG has already brought this proposal in to place.

It is so stressful having a baby with allergies and watching them cry in pain and see how unhappy they are every day. Even though it’s not your fault as a parent you convince yourself it is. I did exactly this and felt guilty and blamed myself for not being able to breastfeed. I would sit down at night and sob and  think this is all my fault if I was breast feeding her she wouldn’t have this allergy and she would not have to go through this.

If I had to see Frankie in pain any longer and not be able to get the milk on prescription I would have sunk in to the grips of post natal depression. To be completely honest I think it had already set in and had a hold on me before her diagnosis , it has taken me nearly two years and writing this blog post to admit that to myself. Seeing her the way she was is something I would not wish on any parent.

I also had a 15 month to look after and with a baby that cried literally all day and night and would only settle on me,  this was getting increasingly harder and taking its toll on all of us. Archie must have been so confused as to why this other little person we had brought home was so sad and also made mummy sad – this is how he would have seen it in his eyes as he was far to young to understand.

It would have had a huge affect on us financially , even though James works and does have a decent job we wouldn’t have ben able to find an extra £600 plus a month. I would have had to go back to work and give up on the idea of being a stay at home mum , which is something I always wanted to do.

Even if I had got a job it would have had to be full time which would have meant paying childcare fees for two and covering the cost of the milk. I would have also had to leave Frankie at 10 weeks old to be able to do this. The other option would have been to get a loan to cover the cost of the milk for two years which would have been £15,000 plus this would mean high loan repayments each month which would have destroyed us financially.

We are lucky that Archie has grown out of his allergy and we are hoping Frankie will too. They are now both happy toddlers but things could have been so different if they did not get the treatment/prescriptions they needed , they could have been very poorly.

CCG if you are reading this please don’t do this. Think about how this will affect thousands of babies and parents.

From ,

An allergy mummy