Living Well with Galactosemia


Jessica – I have a healthy, 12-year old daughter who was born with Galactosemia which is a metabolic disorder that does not allow the body to break down galactose – a milk protein.  She has been on a dairy-free diet since she was 9 days old.  At that time, I began my search to find any and every commercial product that did not contain dairy or dairy derivatives such as whey, lactic acid, sodium caseinate, etc. 

Fortunately, we also keep kosher and the kosher "pareve" labeling system that appears on a package is a way to assure that the product does not contain dairy or dairy derivatives.  It was very surprising to learn that things such as a simple, brand-name can of tuna can contain dairy!  It has also been my goal to find a way to adapt recipes to make them dairy free so that my daughter could eat the "same" things as her friends. 

I know that when someone's child is first diagnosed, it feels like a death sentence because of all of the
possible problems that can be caused by Galactosemia.  My daughter's first year was a tough one, but now the dairy-free diet is a no-brainer and she is a happy, healthy 12-year old.

I was so excited to find this website as I am always eager to learn about new dairy-free products and recipes.  Thanks!!!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.


  1. If a vegan diet works for you, that’s great! A strict vegan diet would be dairy-free (and therefore lactose-free) by definition. But use caution if you have concerns with trace cross-contamination of lactose. Vegan labels do not guarantee complete safety.

  2. a very interesting read. We live in South Africa and my grandson was diagnosed with Galactosemia when he was 7 days old and is now 8 weeks. I have emailed various websites but to no avail. If there is anyone out there that can please assist or guide us I would be for ever great full. Please can you contact me.

    • Hi Sharlene, you haven’t emailed us! What information are you looking for? In general, people who have galactosemia must strictly avoid all lactose, so they usually follow a dairy-free diet. For that, you’ve come to the right place!

      • Hey Alisa, is it possible someone (such as myself) who has galactosemia, follows a vegan diet? Therefore only eating vegan meals such as vegan cake, vegan milkshake, etc? Please let me know asap, thanks.

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