While there are no treatments that can help your child’s body produce more lactase, there are many ways to manage their symptoms. At first, the process involves some trial and error as you learn how much lactose your child can tolerate.
The following strategies can help:
- Try small amounts of milk products. Children who consume lactose in small amounts throughout the day may tolerate it better.
- Use a digestive aid. Products such as Lactaid and Dairy Ease can help your child digest lactose. They are available as tablets to take before a meal or as drops to add to milk.
- Buy lactose-free dairy products. These give your child calcium from milk without the symptoms of lactose intolerance.
- Look for hidden sources of lactose. Check product labels for terms such a whey, curds, milk by-products or dry milk solids — all of which contain lactose.
Milk products are a major source of calcium, which is an important nutrient for growing children. If possible, have your child eat some dairy products each day for the calcium. Yogurt, buttermilk and aged cheeses have less lactose than other dairy products and may cause fewer symptoms. Your child also can get calcium from leafy green vegetables, broccoli, salmon, sardines and fortified orange juice. Soy and almond milks also supply calcium.