Breakfast: is it the most important meal of the day? Or perhaps it’s one of the hardest meals for those who are managing food allergies and other dietary restrictions? If you regularly have busy mornings, or feel stuck in a food rut, breakfast can feel like a tough meal to serve when your options are already limited (especially for those who can’t do shared equipment due to possible cross contamination/cross contact risk).
The great news about making dairy free breakfasts is that in most cases, dairy free milk is a 1:1 substitution for cow’s milk. You can use almond milk, coconut milk, soy milk, or your favorite dairy-free milk in place of regular milk. For example, let’s say you’d like to make a delicious breakfast of overnight oats with fresh fruits (great for busy mornings). If the recipe calls for 5 ounces of “milk” you’d use 5 ounces of dairy free milk instead.
As a food allergy mom, I can tell you, overnight oats and other easy recipes like chia pudding are not only great for the whole family, but will save you loads of time as you get the family out the door. For those with kids who may be hesitant to try these types of recipes, sweeten the deal with chocolate chips. I kid you not, 5 chocolate chips can go a long way.
For Those with Protein Concerns
Anytime you remove a whole food group (or multiple groups when managing multiple food allergies), you’ll probably have concerns about individual nutrients. I see a lot of parents asking if their child is getting enough protein. Before you load your kiddo up on protein powders and supplements, it’s important that you work with their GP to know what their baseline is, and what their daily needs are.
When doing this, most parents learn that their child is already getting enough protein since their diet is varied enough. For those who need to boost the protein, here are some dairy-free breakfast ideas that are more protein focused.
- Breakfast burritos loaded with high protein ingredients such as black beans.
- Boosted smoothies with ingredients such as chia seeds (also great for fiber) or nut/seed butters (my kids like almond butter).
- Add turkey bacon to a basic oatmeal recipe.
- Scrambled eggs with veg and sausage (add avocado or avocado salsa for extra flavour and whole food healthy fat).
Smoothies are an Awesome Dairy Free Breakfast
Online, if you’re looking up smoothie recipes, I’m sure you’ll see plenty with milk as an ingredient. Going back to my first point, you can use any non-dairy milk you enjoy in place of the milk in a smoothie recipe. Fun Fact: you can even use ingredients such as water or orange juice in place of the milk.
When making a smoothie, I like to start with a few different fruits as the base. I also add maple syrup and vanilla extract since that’s how my kids enjoy them. I’ll usually add some spinach or baby kale, dairy free milk, and blend it all up. This is a delicious way to start the day, but also a way to bring in extra nutrition. You can add nuts, seeds, frozen vegetables (in small amounts), and several other ingredients that will nutritionally boost the day.
For those who have to have a specific number of grams of protein per day, a smoothie does a great job of delivering added protein powders (even if they don’t taste great). Just be careful when purchasing protein powder if you have a lactose intolerance or milk allergy, as many protein powders contain lactose and/or whey, or other milk derived ingredients.
If you want to serve your smoothie in a creative way, look up pictures of smoothie bowls. It’s still the same smoothie, just jazzed up a bit.
Chilly Morning Breakfast Ideas
On colder days, here are some ideas that can warm you up:
- Breakfast Sandwich (can be made in advance and heated before eating)
- Overnight Oats, heated in a pan (this reduces the overall cook time since the oats have “cooked” overnight)
- Breakfast scramble (for a vegan version, try a tofu scramble)
- Sweet Potato Toast
- Breakfast Quinoa Bowl (heat quinoa with veg and protein of choice such as sausage)
- Baked Pancakes (instead of making individual pancakes, you bake the entire batter like a sheet pan cake)
- Breakfast Burritos
- Hash Browns and Sausage (I cook them in dairy free/vegan butter for my kids and they love it)
- Breakfast Tacos
Easy Dairy Free Healthy Breakfast Ideas
Before I share these ideas, please remember: there’s no universal definition of the word healthy. What one person considers healthy another may look down upon. As you create meals that meet your needs, research nutrition a bit. You can go further by having your GP run labs so you know if you have any nutritional deficiencies that need to be addressed.
Sure, there are general rules to eating healthy such as reducing highly and ultra processed foods. I’m sure many can agree that reducing added sugars and highly refined sugars are another good step. When most people learn about GMOs, they eliminate those as well.
It’s important to know that no two people are the same. What works for one person may not help the next person feel their best. I say all of that simply to say: what’s best for you is what’s healthy for you. Now, on to the breakfast ideas!
- Protein Pancakes (You can use a basic recipe for pancakes and add in protein powder, or even remove 15% of the flour and replace it with protein powder.)
- Avocado Toast + Fresh Fruit (use a bread made with whole wheat flour or other whole grains for an improved nutrition profile)
- Breakfast Salad (Yup, that’s a thing! I serve it all the time. Cook a ground meat of choice, season, add veg such as onion or celery, and serve over a bed of mixed greens.)
- Homemade Protein Muffins
- Homemade Baked Oat Bars
For Those who Need More Healthy Fats
There are a range of reasons a person would want or need to incorporate more healthy fats into their diet. When we’re looking at breakfast, easy ingredients to include would be avocado (think avocado toast), olive oil (you can add it to smoothies, use a finishing oil, or cook with it), coconut oil (great for cooking and smoothies), and chia seeds (chia pudding and smoothies are the easy ways to use them).
One of my kids absolutely needed more fat to start the day, and I essentially made them a fat bomb breakfast bowl as I liked to call it. It was the perfect way to incorporate the nutrients this specific child needed to function well. I’d include pasture raised bacon (or organic sausage), eggs, and guacamole as the base. From there, he would sometimes add a little gluten-free bread, or a gluten-free tortilla. Other times, he added salsa and olives (think taco breakfast bowl). I kept lots of interesting ingredients on hand in the fridge that he could cycle through to prevent boredom.
Delicious Dairy-Free Breakfast Recipes
RAISE (membership website) has hundreds of dairy-free recipes to choose from. Here are some awesome recipes you can find on the website. These are also suitable for anyone with an egg allergy, as they’re all egg free as well.
- Apple Crumble Breakfast Recipe (featuring sweet potatoes)
- Dairy Free Chocolate “Peanut Butter” Smoothie
- Egg Free French Toast (yes, it’s a vegan version!!)
- Grain Free Strawberry Muffins
Amazing Vegan Breakfast Recipe Ideas
If you’re needing a good vegan breakfast recipe, RAISE has you covered as well. Here are several recipes I think you’ll enjoy. For those who do have a safe vegan sausage or vegan egg substitute, you can also incorporate those into your breakfast recipes.
- Easy Milk and Egg Free Spinach Blender Waffles
- Creamy Mango Rice (an alternative to oatmeal)
- Double Chocolate Muffins (freezer friendly, gluten free, egg free)
- Fluffy Gluten Free & Egg Free Buckwheat Pancakes
We’ve reached the end of this article, and I want to leave you with a few more easy breakfast ideas that are also dairy free:
- Yogurt + Fruit + Coconut Flakes (can be any yogurt, I’ve heard good things about soy yogurt in terms of body and texture)
- Soft-Boiled Eggs + Frozen Veg (whilst the eggs boil the veg cooks in the oven)
- Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (or other fun oatmeal creations)
- Freezer Stock! (I’m a huge fan of batch cooking! Pancakes, waffles, and muffins all freeze well. Thaw them overnight on your counter top for a mega easy breakfast.)