Find the best kid-friendly dairy-free recipes to make feeding toddlers and kids with milk allergies and intolerances easy and delicious. Bonus: Everyone in the family will love these recipes too!
Finding nutritious dairy-free recipes that the kids will actually eat can be a challenge—so much kids food has so much cheese!—but I hope this list helps you to have a few more options to feed your child.
There is almost always a substitution available to make a recipe dairy-free, but there are also so many delicious recipes and foods that naturally don’t contain any dairy. Some of my favorites are below.
What to Feed a Dairy-Free Toddler
When a child can’t have dairy, it can help to focus on the foods they can eat. A dairy-free toddler, assuming no other allergies, can eat:
- Complex carbohydrates including whole grains
- Meat, poultry, fish
- Legumes, seeds, and nuts
- Healthy fats including avocado, help, chia, and flax
- Plant-based dairy substitutions including plant milk, nondairy yogurts, and more
TIP: Keep a running physical list of all of the foods your child can eat if you often feel stumped for what to serve them.
Dairy-Free Breakfast Recipes
These healthy recipes for kids either are free from dairy or offer easy substitutes.
- Banana Peach Oatmeal Muffins
- Flourless Chocolate Muffins with Hidden Veggies
- Healthy Homemade Granola Bars
- Banana Oatmeal Pancakes
- Healthy Strawberry Muffins
- Carrot Cake Muffins
- Baked Oatmeal with Blueberries and Coconut
- Banana Spinach Pancakes
- Smoothies with Hidden Veggies
- Healthy Breakfast Bars
- Healthy Pumpkin Muffins
TIP: You can make any smoothie recipe using nondairy milk or nondairy yogurt. Any overnight oats recipe can be made with nondairy yogurt.
Dairy-Free Snack Recipes
Try these healthy snacks for kids if you need to provide dairy-free options.
- Whole Grain Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins (use dairy-free chocolate chips)
- Zucchini Banana Bread with Chocolate Chips
- Mini Applesauce Muffins
- Healthy Banana Bread
- Blueberry Banana Smoothie
- Coconut Chips
- Strawberry Applesauce
- Quick and Easy Fruit Salsa
- DIY Trail Mix
- Crockpot Applesauce
- Soft-Roasted Chickpeas
- Peanut Butter Oatmeal Energy Balls
TIP: Store-bought snacks including mini Larabars, Made Good granola bars, and Enjoy Life Foods products are all dairy-free.
Dairy-Free Dinner Ideas
Try these family-friendly dinner ideas to feed everyone at the table a delicious dairy-free meal.
- Baked Chicken Nuggets
- Skillet Stuffed Peppers
- Peanut Sauce Grain Bowls
- Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup
- Teriyaki Shrimp and Veggies
- Big Batch Veggie Chili
- Instant Pot Pinto Beans with Rice
- Vegetarian Black Bean Soup
- Easy Marinara Sauce with Pasta
- Easy Carrot Hummus
- Slow Cooker Chicken and Bean Tacos
- Roasted Veggie Tacos with Chickpeas
- Sesame Tofu
- Shrimp Fajitas
- Citrus Shrimp and Noodles
- Easy Red Lentil Soup
- Homemade Refried Beans in the Crockpot
- Easy Ratatouille with Pasta
The kids can still have treats, even without the dairy!
- No-Bake Peanut Butter Balls
- No-Bake Chocolate Cookies
- No-Bake Apricot Cookies
- Easy Gingerbread Cookies
- Healthy Sugar Cookies
- Apple Cookies with Oats and Raisins
- Healthy Carrot Cookies
- Healthy Fudge Brownies
- Peanut Butter Rice Crispy Treats
TIP: Buy dairy-free chocolate chips as needed.
If a recipe calls for butter, what’s a good dairy-free substitution?
You can usually use melted coconut oil in place of butter in baked goods or olive oil in savory foods. It may vary depending on the recipe.
If a recipe calls for milk, what’s a good dairy-free substitution?
You can usually use a nondairy plant milk (plain unsweetened is best) in place of regular dairy milk in baked goods and other recipes. It may vary depending on the recipe.
Is it a true milk allergy?
According to Jenny McGlothlin and Katja Rowell, MD, authors of Helping Your Child with Extreme Picky Eating, some parents think that their children are allergic when it is a lactose intolerance. In those cases, lactose-free milk, hard aged cheeses, some yogurt, and even chocolate milk are more readily tolerated.
Additionally, some children grow out of an earlier sensitivity and even allergies. Check with your doctor for more detailed information.