“Are there any foods Diana needs to worry about not eating while breastfeeding?” I had brought my wonderful mother-in-law to the midwife appointment the day after Corban’s birth, knowing that Eric and I were too tired to be able to think clearly. I had encouraged her to ask the midwife any questions she thought of for us.
“Dairy, chocolate and orange juice are common irritants for breastfed babies.” She answered.
What? Ummm, you just named three of my favorite foods. Actually dairy is my favorite food pyramid building block, (and protein snack) encompassing delicious foods like ice cream, yogurt, milk, and CHEESE!
I decided that since Eric and I didn’t have food allergies, it wouldn’t be an issue. Besides, he was just eating colostrum right now, so I decided to get all the dairy, chocolate and orange juice I could before my milk came in.
In the first couple weeks of his life I cut back on how much dairy I consumed, but didn’t cut it out. Corban cried a lot, but he’s a baby, that’s what they do right? After a big spit up session on a day I drank orange juice, I decided I’d better take that out. It was a bummer but not a huge deal.
But I began to realize that the majority of Corban’s crying was due to terrible rounds of gas that he just couldn’t get out. His little tummy would be round and distended, even an hour after eating. I decided then and there that I would do anything to keep my baby from pain, and giving up dairy was my first attempt to ease his suffering.
It was a little harder then I thought. I somehow forgot that butter is dairy, and would sometimes forget to order my sandwich or burger without cheese. But eventually I went two full days without any dairy and Corban seemed to be feeling better. Then came the Valentine’s party.
Our Bradley birth instructor, who was also our doula, holds various holiday parties throughout the year. It’s a great opportunity to chat about natural child rearing with other parents, and see lots of adorable babies. Plus the food is always great! At this particular party, I could no longer eat anything and everything. A lot of the food had dairy. But there was a beautiful tofu salad that I and another dairy free mom piled on our plates.
I ate a huge portion, marveling at how it was the best tofu I’d ever had. Then the mom who’d brought it overheard me and said, “Oh it’s not tofu, it’s mozzarella!” My heart sank as I looked at my precious baby sleeping so peacefully. Ever the optimist, I agreed with everyone that at least this would be a good chance to test if it really is dairy that bothers him.
It was the worst test ever.
Poor Corban screamed in pain several times a day for the next two and a half days. After his first painful scream session, I became so dedicated to avoiding dairy, that even friends and family were on the lookout for the evil dairy monster for me. But that third night, Corban slept so much better.
I’ve decided giving up dairy is definitely worth the comfort and happiness of my son. It’s good for our sanity as well. I love being able to tell if his cries are due to hunger, a wet diaper, tiredness, or gas. When it is gas, we’re usually able to help him burp it out within a couple minutes.
But dairy free has presented some challenges for me. First of all, I’m still hungry all the time. It’s like being in my second trimester again! I used to turn to cheese, yogurt or a glass of milk for quick and easy protein when I got hungry. Now I’m looking for more creative sources of easy protein.
I’ve also apparently developed a sweet tooth with the birth of my sweet boy. I’ve been craving cookies, cakes and ice cream like never before. Before getting pregnant I was just getting confident in swapping refined sugars and flours in my baking recipes for healthier, natural versions. Now I have to lose the dairy as well!
Fortunately, coconut oil is a great substitution for butter, and the idea of using it inspired these double coconut cookies.
These cookies are designed for coconut lovers like myself. I used Tropical Traditions Organic Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil. It’s their most expensive coconut oil, but the quality is incredible, and it has a wonderful coconut taste. For everyday cooking I use their less expensive Organic Expeller Pressed Coconut Oil, which is tasteless. But I of course wanted that rich tropical taste for these cookies.
I also used unsweetened shredded coconut, not the super sticky sugary coconut you buy in the the bag on the baking aisle. I get mine in bulk from Azure Standard for an incredibly low price, but you can also get it in health food stores and sometimes in the bulk bins at the regular grocery store.
I’ve now made these cookies three times in two weeks (don’t worry, we shared one batch with friends!) and feel the recipe is finally perfected. Just be careful moving them to the cooling rack as they are quite light and fragile when they first come out of the oven. Eric actually prefers to eat these cookies at least a few hours after they’ve cooled, they get a little more dense that way.
Have you ever had to give up a food you really love? How did you handle it?
- 1/2 cup (105 g) melted coconut oil
- 1 cup (165 g) sucanat
- 1 (45 g) egg
- 1/2 tsp (3 g) vanilla
- 1 1/2 c (175 g) soft white whole wheat flour
- 1/2 tsp (4g) baking soda
- 1/4 tsp (1 g) kosher salt
- 1 cup (90 g) shredded coconut (unsweetened)
- Preheat over to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment or waxed paper.
- Mix coconut and sucanat together.
- Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
- Use freshly washed and dried hands to shape dough into 1 1/2 inch balls. Place on lined cookie sheet 3 inches apart.
- Bake 8-10 minutes until golden. Use a spatula to move cookies to a cooling rack.
- Let cool at least 15 minutes before serving.
Approximate cost/serving: I save money on whole wheat flour (and get extra nutrition) by grinding it myself. I get the wheat, sucanat, coconut, and coconut oil in bulk. I get eggs from a local farm for $2 a dozen. With all those money saving techniques, these cost just about $2.50 for two dozen cookies. That’s just 10 cents a cookie!
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 47Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 17mgCarbohydrates: 8gFiber: 1gSugar: 2gProtein: 1g
Nutrition information is an estimate only.