Dairy Free

Dairy Intolerance and the Sheep’s Milk Savior

Tuesday May 3, 2016

For all of you out there struggling and dealing with dairy intolerance or MSPI, have you tried sheep’s milk?

We’ve experienced an exciting sheep’s milk breakthrough at our place. Bean, who since birth hasn’t been able to eat or touch dairy without accompanying days of stomach pains and months of eczema (FROM ONE EXPOSURE), has recently started eating sheep’s milk cheese with no problems. It turns out the structure of sheep’s milk is closer to human milk than good ol’ cow’s milk. (So many milks) So, people who struggle with “dairy” may have luck with sheep’s milk.

Now, a friend whose own child was dairy intolerant shared this tip a couple years ago and we tried it on 1 year old Bean at the time with no luck.

Two years later, though, it’s a-go. (Cow’s milk is still verboten, as is goat’s milk.)

If you’d like to give it a shot, I’d still recommend following the usual testing path: baked in first, then hard cheese, then soft cheese, then yogurt, then milk each for three days in a row, pause to spot symptoms, then repeat with the next item up. (Although, we skipped the baked-in stage because I had no idea what to bake with sheep’s milk or do they even sell sheep’s milk butter?)

Our kitchen has been revolutionized ever since. It’s terribly exciting to feed your kid cheesy pizza for the first time, or be able to top a pasta dish off with hard cheese, or put cheese in a burrito. I was finally able to make her spanakopita for the first time the other day.

It’s just been amazing to introduce all these foods. It’s all just so DELICIOUS, and the poor dear has never had it before. There’s also a special, expensive irony that the child who couldn’t eat any cheese, and still can’t eat most cheese, can now shove down Humboldt Fog like it’s candy.

We’ve had less luck with sheep’s milk yogurt. Bean doesn’t react to it, but she also doesn’t particularly like it. (And I have to agree, it’s quite…flavorful.)

Has anyone else experienced the sheep’s milk breakthrough? I wish this was something our doctor had told us about.



You can buy sheep’s milk cheeses at Whole Foods and any cheese store. I’ve also had luck finding it at Mediterranean markets (specifically Samiramis Imports at 2990 Mission Street.)

If you’re planning to use sheep’s milk as a subsitute for an ingredient (like, if you want a sheep’s milk cheese to replicate melting mozzarella on a pizza), I’d ask the cheese monger for advice. I’ve had some horribly failed recipes because I chose the wrong sheep’s milk cheese.

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