Having to Cut the Cheese Part 2 {Guide to a Dairy-Free Diet}

As I recounted in yesterday’s post, at 8 weeks old we found out my son had a dairy allergy. Suddenly I had new dairy-free dietary restrictions in order to continue nursing him. Cooking all my meals at home and reading every label became the new normal. It was a struggle in the beginning to adapt, but once I adjusted I quickly saw the benefits. In an effort to make the transition a little easier for other moms who may be going through the same thing, I’ve compiled a list of my favorite dairy-free and soy-free* grocery items, restaurants, and information.

Having to Cut the Cheese Part 2 {Guide to a Dairy-Free Diet}

Grocery Shopping:

I shopped around multiple stores to find foods I could eat, but often felt overwhelmed because of either too many or too few options. Trader Joe’s became my go-to place because the store is small and the choices are manageable. My kind of shopping. For that reason most of my dairy-free and soy-free favorites come from Trader Joe’s, but some you can find just about anywhere. They are also super helpful when ti comes to this kind of thing – they even have handouts ready to go that list their dairy- and soy-free products. All you have to do is ask.

Grocery stores in general are getting better selections of foods that are friendly to different allergies, so check your favorite local store. Having items I knew were safe and could grab while rushing through the store with an infant became so important. Ingredients can change in food without notice though, so it is still a good idea to double check before you purchase. You’ll also find a list of other items you might not know are dairy-free and a few great brands to look for. Here are my Top 10 go-to items:

Dairy Free Diet1. Dark chocolate bar

Kind of my weakness. It took a while to find one that didn’t have any dairy in it. This one is a must have! (available at TJ’s)

2. Snickerdoodles

These cookies are free from the 7 common allergens. I found them addictingly good. (TJ’s)

3. SoDelicous creamer

This brand has a great selection of dairy free products. I love this creamer and their coconut mint chocolate ice cream. Some products contain soy so double check if you are avoiding it. (available everywhere!)

4. Lara Bars

Don’t leave home without them! So good and there are a bunch of great flavor options. (everywhere!)

5. Vegetable Burritos

A great grab and go lunch from the freezer section. (TJ’s)

6. Veggie Burgers

These are another great frozen option. (TJ’s)

7. Thai Red Curry Sauce

This sauce packs a huge flavor and is a great way to liven up your veggies. Just add some rice! (TJ’s)

8. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter

So good. (Target)

9. Marinara Sauce

It shocked me how many marinara sauces had dairy and soy. This has become a staple now. (TJ’s)

10. Sir Kensington Mayo

If you are avoiding soy this is a must have. They have other flavored mayos and condiments as well. (Whole Foods and online)

Other Dairy-Free Items and Brands:
Oreos – who knew?!
Crescent Rolls
Bagel Chips
Lucy’s Cookies – also soy free
Earth Balance – butters and other products, also soy free
Enjoy Life – chocolate chips and other sweets
Hail Merry – amazing desserts
Silk – almond and coconut milks
Almond Breeze – almond and coconut milks (the almond/coconut blend is great!)
Justin’s – various flavored nut butters

Favorite Places to Eat:

Fresh Kitchen – The menu of healthy meals to go have helpful symbol keys for all different dietary restrictions. Check for the ‘Dairy Free’ and ‘Contains Soy’ symbols.
Zoe’s Kitchen – Zoe’s also has a helpful menu with an orange (V) for vegan items on the menu. If you are avoiding soy you may still need to check the ingredients in the vegan options. I found that a lot of their vegetarian (green (V)) can be made dairy-free just by asking for no feta cheese.
Panera Bread – When viewing the menu online you can click on individual items to view any allergens. A few of my favorites include the Napa Almond Chicken Salad Sandwich, the Roasted Turkey & Avocado BLT, and the Asian Sesame Chicken Salad. Their oatmeal is great too!
Our Daily Bread – Delicious sandwiches, salads and smoothies are on the menu, many vegetarian or vegan.
MJ’s Cafe – The food is amazing, and everything on the menu is vegetarian if not vegan. The staff is always helpful when I tell them I’m avoiding dairy.
Magpie Cafe – Another great option for breakfast items and lunch on the go. Plus they have a great selection of dairy-free milks for your coffee!
Sushi restaurants (all over town) – Generally dairy free is easy to find, just avoid any sushi rolls with cream cheese or sauces that contain dairy. If you are avoiding soy also you may need to be careful here…soy sauce, for starters!


www.foodallergy.org – This is a great starting point to understand the seven main allergens and allergies vs. intolerance. It also provides a great list of ingredients to avoid (and their sneaky names) and ones that are safe.
www.godairyfree.org – Another great resource with restaurant recommendations and a grocery guide.
www.whole30.com – Paleo and the Whole30 diet do not include dairy or soy. Loosely following their guidelines helped me find new recipes and ways to prepare food to keep from getting bored.

Pinterest is always a great resource for an endless supply of recipes.

Making sure I had food with me at all times was key to my success with eliminating dairy and soy. Fresh fruits and vegetables, meats and eggs are great to have on hand and are always safe to eat. Plus you can throw them together with any other staples you have around for an easy meal.

I hope this information is helpful for any moms navigating a dairy-free and soy-free diet, whether it’s because of an allergy or simply a dietary choice.

Do you have any other foods, local restaurants or helpful information that wasn’t included in this guide? Please share! We love finding more options!

*My doctor advised me to remove soy in addition to dairy from my diet because children can often be allergic to both. I eventually added in some foods that contained soy ingredients without a negative reaction from my son. This was after he had healed for months, but I still avoided tofu, soy milk, and anything else predominantly soy.

Kelly Moore
Kelly was born and raised in California and moved to Baton Rouge shortly after graduating college. A few years later she married a southern boy, Travis, and now they are parents to son, Luke, and fur baby Juliet. Kelly began blogging after they purchased their first home in Spanish Town as a way to share the renovation projects and experiences with family back home. As a full-time working mom, she cherishes her evenings and weekends with her family. If she isn’t walking around downtown with her crew, Kelly can be found cooking, digging in their vegetable garden, trying to make her kiddo giggle, and working on their endless house projects.


  1. Lit Pizza has dairy-free cheese (Daiya brand, which you can also buy at Whole Fods and is the best non-dairy cheese, in my opinion)!


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