Fact sheetDiet specifications

Published: November 2011. Next review: 2024.

Allergy diet - milk free

This document is part of the ACI Diet Specifications for Adult Inpatients. It is not to be used for patient education.


To provide a diet that excludes milk protein and all foods that may contain milk protein.


No milk or milk-derived ingredients, or traces of milk. This diet eliminates mammalian milk, ie milk from cows, goats, sheep or buffalo. Cheeses are not allowed.


Milk allergy or intolerance.

Nutritional adequacy

Nutritionally adequate.


It is not possible to provide a full list of all permitted commercial products; the following are general guidelines only. Care should be taken to read all product ingredient lists to look for ingredients derived from milk, eg butter, ghee, cheese, cream, buttermilk, milk or dairy solids, non-fat dairy solids, yoghurt, casein, caseinate, whey, curds, lactoglobulin and lactalbumin. All packaged food with milk ingredients must carry a mandatory warning statement under Standard 1.2.3 of the Food Standards Code and should therefore be able to be identified on food labels.

Many savoury flavour ingredients include a milk base, and may be present in commercial products such as processed meats, soups and sauces.


Suitable for use in paediatrics when combined with an age-appropriate diet.

Specific menu planning guidelines

Allowed Not allowed
Hot main dishes

All plain cooked meat, poultry, fish, eggs, and legumes

Other dishes made without milk, cheese, cream, butter, yoghurt or regular margarine

Any dishes containing milk, cheese, cream, sour cream, yoghurt, butter or regular margarine, eg quiches, omelettes, frittatas, mornays, macaroni cheese, lasagne
Sauces, graviesSauces made with milk-free margarine, e.g. tomato sauce – check labels

White sauces made with milk, cream, butter or regular margarine

Commercial gravy mixes

Starchy vegetables / pasta / rice

Steamed and jacket potato

Mashed, pureed potato made with milk-free margarine and water

Plain rice and pasta

Any dishes made with milk, cheese, butter or regular margarine, e.g. scalloped potato, regular mashed potato
VegetablesAll othersAny vegetables made with milk, cheese, butter or regular margarine (e.g. cauliflower au gratin)
SoupsOther soups made with milk-free margarine – check labels

Any soups made with milk, cream, butter or regular margarine, eg most cream soups

Many commercial soups will have added milk solids or casein – check label

SandwichesSandwiches made with milk-free bread and margarine

Cheese, mayonnaise, regular margarine or butter

Any meats with milk-derived additives

Salads, dressingsOthers – check labels

Cheese, mayonnaise

Any meats with milk-derived additives

Breads, cereals

Milk-free breads

Rice cakes

Breakfast cereals without milk ingredients (e.g. rolled oats prepared with water, Weet-Bix™, Corn Flakes®, All-Bran®, some mueslis – check label)

Regular bread, including rolls

Hot breakfast cereals prepared with milk

Breakfast cereals with milk ingredients, eg Coco Pops® – check labels


Milk-free margarine

Jam, honey, Vegemite™, peanut butter

Butter, regular margarine Cheese spreads
Hot breakfast choicesAll othersScrambled eggs, omelettes
FruitAll fresh, canned and dried fruits-
YoghurtSoy yoghurtAll milk-based yoghurts and Frûche®


Soy-milk custard or creamy rice

Some sorbets – check label

Tapioca and sago made without milk

Milk-based desserts, e.g. custards, ice-cream, mousses, cheesecakes

Cakes, pastry-based and crumble desserts, unless carefully checked


Milk and cheeseSoy milk Milk-free soy cheese – check label

All cow’s milk (full and low fat)

All cheeses (including cottage cheese)

BeveragesTea, coffee, cordial, soft drinks, fruit juice

Milk, flavoured milk

Milo®, Aktavite®, Ovaltine®

BiscuitsMilk-free biscuits onlyMany commercial biscuits – check label
MiscellaneousPlain nuts

Many nutritional supplements, unless carefully checked (eg Resource® Fruit Beverage, Resource® Plus, Sustagen®, Ensure®)



  1. Food Standards Australia New Zealand. Ingredients to avoid if you are allergic to milk.
  2. Royal Prince Alfred Hospital Allergy Unit. Allergy information sheets. [accessed 26 April 2010];.
  3. Dietitians Association of Australia. Nutrition manual. 8th ed. Canberra: DAA; 2009.
  4. Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy. Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy.
  5. American Dietetic Association. Nutrition care manual. Chicago: ADA; 2009. [accessed 17 March 2010];
  6. Anaphylaxis Australia. Allergen cards. 2007.
  7. Maher AK, editor; Iowa Dietetic Association. Simplified diet manual. 10th ed. Ames: Blackwell; 2007
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