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milk substitutes


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I have an appt to see a naturopathic doctor middle of April for my 7 yr old son who may have TS so I thought I'd start off by eliminating his dairy for now. I visited the grocery store this morning to find a milk replacement and was quickly discouraged and overwhelmed by what I saw. I was going to try an Almond based milk but these were the ingredients:


Almond Base (filtered water, almonds)

tricalcuim phosphate,

tapioca starch,

canola lecithin and/or sunflower lecithin,


natural flavour,

sodium bicarbonate,


vitamin A palmitate,

zinc gluconate,


vitamin D2,

vitamin B12


I am no specialist when it comes to healthy eating but I have no idea what most of these indredients are. And most of the other types of milk were no different (rice milk). How do I start my son on a strict diet when I can't even get past what seemed to be an easy task of buying almond milk. Would this milk have been a healthy substitute? Does anyone have any suggestions regarding milk substitutes?



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you are correct to be suspicious as some of those ingredients are not ok

carrageenan can cause severe digestive distress in susceptible individuals


"natural flavors" is a slippery slope as not all companies are honest about how "natural" these are



the vitamins/minerals are ok...not sure why they have sodium bicarb in tho?


I think Wholefoods does have a range of more pure milk substitutes, Almond, Rice, Soy etc


some people are sensitive to those as well so it is trial and error unless you know for sure your child tolerates those ok


Goat's milk is often a good substitute as people who are dairy sensitive can usually tolerate goat milk products


Most milk allergy is related either to casein and/or lactose

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Good eye! I would not give this product to my son.


The tapioca is probably for flavor, the tri ph ("anti caking") and sod bicarb (antifungal) are proably both in there to act as preservative agents, etc. etc. etc. It's hard to find things completely devoid of such ingredients, but it's good to avoid them as much as possible. A long ingredients list on any food product will keep me away from it.


A couple of months ago I linked a 60 minutes report on how "natural flavors" can be made. The labels should probably just say "... and combinations of random assorted chemicals [that we aren't naming] which attempt to mimmick the flavor of a real food."


Good luck with the modifications; I know they are not easy to do, especially at the beginning. I hope they prove to be beneficial.



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If I wasn't confused to begin with, now I really am!!! Who do we turn to to advise us on what to feed our children? Where do I start? Are nutritionists a good place...I don't know where to turn or who to talk to. The internet is resourceful but overwhelming at the same time. What seemed to be a fairly easy task (buying substitute milk) has turned out to be discouraging to say the least. I can't imagine changing pretty much our entire diet. I feel like I am failing before I even start. I could really use some suggesstions. I don't want this to send me into a downward spiral but I'm finding it very hard to stay positive right now.


Distraught mom,


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Sorry Diane!


I didn't mean to discourge.


I'll keep quiet, but just say one last thing: a good dr. (or doctors) undoubtedly helps. He/She/They will be able to tell you if diet is even an issue. In our case it was. And we could not have done a diet change without expert guidance, which we got from an environmental medicine practice. With that help, making the change was very very possible. We did it.



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Chris....it was not you who discouraged me, it's this entire process that is extremely difficult....just accepting the fact that my son has TS has been a challenge. This is the beginning for me, and I am sure, that with most people, probably everyone who has a child with TS has felt those same discouraging feelings at some point or another. Thank you for your input and sharing your knowledge, please do not keep quiet. What you now said, in fact, has made me feel better....I am seeing an environmental doctor in 2 weeks time and I was not sure he was the most appropriate (but that is just because of lack of knowledge on my part), but after speaking to the nutritionist there and knowing that folks like yourself have had success with one, really helps ease my mind as far as moving in the right direction goes. I just wanted to get a head start and wean him off of milk since the appt is still 2 weeks away but that just didn't go so smoothly. In a perfect world there would just be a handbook of all specific foods to eat that we could all follow but if it was a perfect world, we would not be dealing with TS to begin with.


I do appreciate your input, even if I let my emotions get the better of me, learning and becoming knowledgeable will only help me to help my son.




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Hi Diane,


Welcome, sorry you are feeling overwhelmed, especially with the diet. I felt the exact same way in the beginning & when I wasn't crying about the tics I was crying about the extreme difficulty in managing my son's diet. However, you will get used to the ingredients & after a while you will feel much more comfortable.


My best suggestion is to start off shopping at Whole Foods instead of the regular grocery store, that really helped me in the beginning because even though all the foods at Whole Foods aren't perfect, you rule out many offending ingredients just by walking through the door.


We use Rice Milk and have found many suitable alternatives as far as rice milk cheeses & we also use the So Delicious brand of yogurt, cultured coconut milk & even ice cream. It works for us.


Also, my best advice is don't be too hard on yourself in the beginning. There might be ingredients that you don't understand & slip by. However, I found just by going organic, eliminating artificial colors/preservatives & MSG made a difference. As you get more familiar and as your son is on the diet longer you will also start to notice certain food items that trigger his symptoms or you might realize food really isn't a trigger for him at all. You might want to keep a diary or journal in the beginning & see if it helps.


Good Luck & Hang in There - :)



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