This month’s blogger spotlight is on Laura from Dairy Free Kids. Laura’s blog www.dairyfreekids.ie is all about sharing ideas, product information and recipes with other parents of dairy free children. Read her story below!
How long have you been blogging? Why did you initially set up your blog?
I set up my blog in 2012. I’ve been blogging for just over 4 years. When my older boy was first diagnosed with cow’s milk protein allergy about 6 years ago, I found it difficult to find resources online about living dairy free and to find suitable recipes etc. IT was a learning curve and when I had a bit more time I decided to start a blog to share recipes, tips and product information with other parents in a similar situation and anyone who is free from milk for whatever reason.
Tell us a bit about your blog?
My blog is dairy free kids, I write about living with children with food allergies. I cover recipes to how to deal with being dairy free at a birthday party and everything in between. The blog has become a resource of dairy free recipes, tips and dairy free product information.
What’s your favourite thing about blogging?
My favourite thing is when I receive feedback from a reader. It is always lovely to hear the blog has helped someone else or that someone is interested in reading. Even if the feedback is a question on a product or a call for advice, it is lovely to have the interaction with people who read the blog. I also love the networking side of it, meeting with other bloggers.
What aspect of dairy free life do you find the most challenging?
Initially it was daunting, milk seems to be in everything even things you wouldn’t expect, but you learn very quickly and this is just normal for us now. The biggest challenge now is situations that I can’t control, for example a surprise treat at school or at an activity or camp. That dread of the child being handed a chocolate bar and their little face crumpling because they know they can’t have it. If things aren’t planned in advance I don’t know to give a safe treat for them to have, they are very good and they know I will give them something safe later if this happens but at the time it is hard for them.
What tips would you give to anyone or any parent who has just discovered they/their family member is lactose intolerant or allergic to cows milk?
Don’t panic! It isn’t as daunting as it first seems. Do some research and find out what items contain milk or lactose, and check all the labels as you go around the supermarket. It will take time the first few times but you’ll soon know which products to avoid and which brands are safe. Just because one brand of digestive biscuits are ok doesn’t mean they all are so be vigilant checking labels. Do go online and ask questions if you’re not sure. There are plenty of other free from people on Facebook forums who are always delighted to help, and many people send me questions which I put out on my own Facebook page too and get good responses from other dairy free parents.
What’s your ‘go-to’ family favourite recipe?
As treats are the main issue with being dairy free, our favourite recipe are decadent chocolate brownies! We make these for parties or cake sales and unless you tell people they usually don’t know they are dairy free. (Find the recipe here: http://dairyfreekids.ie/dairy-free-chocolate-brownies/)