Help! What Can I Eat?

Being told you need to eat dairy and soy free can be overwhelming. Stay calm! The truth is, there are still lots of foods you can eat! The main building blocks of healthy meals (meats, poultry, and seafood; vegetables and fruits; nuts and beans (except soybeans); rice; potatoes; and grains) are all fine. And remember: this is a short-term situation. Here are some tips, recipe ideas, and links to get you started.

Internet sites for people with food allergies have great brand information, fabulous recipes, and terrific suggestions. See the Resources section for more information.

Meal Ideas

Meals with a mix of protein, carbohydrate and fat are the most satisfying. Some thoughts on how to put together dairy/soy-free meals are below. Rather than give specific recipe or brand ideas here, we have provided links in our Resources section to some terrific sites. When you have some favorite meals or recipes of your own, post them on the Guestbook page for everyone to try!


Add a glass of calcium-fortified orange juice to:

  • Oatmeal made with water or a dairy/soy-free “milk” such as almond milk (try vanilla flavor!). If you are short on time, some flavors of instant oatmeal are dairy/soy free. Mix in some almonds for added protein, calcium, and healthy fats. Use a little dried fruit for sweetness.
  • Eggs. Any style. Use cooking spray or a little oil to grease the pan instead of butter. Mix in chopped veggies for added nutrition. Add milk/soy free cheese shreds (like Daiya brand). Or top with salsa! Homefries, anyone?
  • Dairy/soy-free breakfast cereal with dairy/soy-free “milk”. To make this meal more nutritious and satisfying, throw in some fruit and grab a hard-boiled egg.
  • Here is a great breakfast sandwich that takes about 2 minutes to make: Toast a bagel or dairy/soy-free bread (frozen Lenders and bagged Pepperidge Farm are good bets. Check labels). Beat an egg in a microwave-safe small bowl or cup. Microwave 1 minute. It comes out fluffy and round! Put the egg on the bagel and enjoy! If you want, add some Daiya brand or other dairy/soy-free cheese.
  • Rice or coconut milk “yogurt” and fruit parfait. On the side, have peanut butter or hummus on half a small dairy/soy-free bagel, or a hard-boiled egg for protein.
  • Smoothie: Put half a banana and some dairy/soy free milk or yogurt in a blender. Add frozen fruit, even a little dark chocolate. Blend and enjoy! (Adding nut butter will add fat and protein, which will help hold you until lunch.)
  • Nutty Banana Wrap: Spread peanut or other nut butter on a dairy/soy free wrap. Put a whole banana in the center of the wrap. Sprinkle with chopped nuts, drizzle with honey, agave, or maple syrup. Roll and enjoy. (Also great warm!)
  • Nut-Free Banana Wrap: Spread a small amount of dairy/soy-free vanilla “yogurt” on a dairy/soy free wrap. Put a whole banana in the center of the wrap. Add berries, peaches, or other soft fruit. Sprinkle with dairy/soy free granola. Drizzle with honey, agave, or maple syrup if you want a treat. Roll and enjoy. (Also great warm!)
  • Who says breakfast has to be “breakfast foods”? Leftovers from lunch or dinner make a fine and healthy breakfast. (Eating a good-sized, balanced breakfast actually helps you loose weight!)


Finding or baking some dairy/soy free bread will make sandwiches and wraps an option, but there are plenty of other choices:

  • Salads: Start with lettuce or other greens and throw in any veggies you like. Look for dairy/soy free salad dressings, or shake up your own vinaigrettes. Top with cold sliced chicken, turkey, ham or beef, shrimp, fish, hard-boiled eggs, or beans for protein. Nuts, seeds, dried fruits, or mandarin oranges are great in salads. Get creative! For example: top lettuce with black beans, salsa, and diced avocado, and crumble some soy-free corn chips on top for a quick, delicious Taco Salad. Use last night’s chicken breast, canned mandarin orange slices, diced red bell pepper and chopped scallions for an Asian Salad. Rice crackers are great on the side.
  • Leftovers: Reheat last night’s dinner, or re-mix it creatively. For example: Chicken breast with rice and broccoli last night becomes chicken fried rice or a cold rice salad today. Taco fixings can become a taco salad or a Mexican-style stuffed baked potato. Meatloaf with green beans and boiled potatoes becomes a meatloaf sandwich with a side of potato/bean salad with vinaigrette. Last night’s pasta is today’s pasta salad!
  • Don’t forget about soups!
  • Look for dairy/soy-free frozen entrees.
  • and other sites listed in our Recipes section have lots of good ideas!


Mix and match from the columns below to put together a nutritious dairy- and soy-free meal:

Protein Starch Vegetable Fat

  • Poultry (chicken, turkey, duck)
  • Beef
  • Pork
  • Lamb
  • Fish/Shellfish
  • Beans
  • Eggs
  • Peanut or Nut butters
  • Pasta
  • Rice
  • Potatoes
  • Grains (barley, buckwheat, quinoa etc.) • Any you like!
  • Steam, sauté, boil, bake, roast, fry…anything but butter, cream sauce or cheese sauce should work!
  • Dairy/soy free spread
  • Dairy/soy free salad dressing
  • Avocado
  • Nuts
  • Dairy/soy free cheese substitute


Nutritionist’s Tip: Try to get some protein and fiber with your snacks to keep you feeling satisfied.

  • Dip pretzels, carrots, celery, or apple in 2 Tablespoons of peanut butter or other nut butter. Or sprinkle nut butter with 1 Tablespoon of raisins and eat with a spoon (yum!)
  • Scoop up hummus with rice crackers, baby carrots, or other veggies.
  • Smoothies (see breakfast ideas)
  • Trail mix: Mix nuts and dried fruit. You can add dairy-free chocolate chips for a treat!
  • The fiber in an apple makes it a very satisfying snack.
  • Popcorn. “Butter flavor” usually doesn’t mean dairy. Check labels. (3 cups is a serving!)
  • Munch on (calcium-fortified!) dry breakfast cereals.
  • Fill up with fiber-rich fruits and vegetables. Don’t forget about applesauce


  • Sorbet (not sherbet)
  • Banana whip “ice cream” (puree frozen banana chunks with other fruits until smooth)
  • Rice dream or other dairy/soy free ice cream
  • Core an apple, drizzle with maple syrup or put brown sugar in the core hole, and bake.
  • Halve a grapefruit, spread with apricot preserves or marshmallow fluff, and broil until warm.
  • Dark chocolate (try dipping strawberries, bananas, or pineapple!)
  • Home baked dairy/soy free cakes and cookies. See Recipe Links for ideas.
  • Store-bought dairy/soy free desserts. See Resources section for links to sites with