But in the past week or so, I have come to realize that Ike really, really, really cannot handle dairy, not even occasionally. That in addition to stomach issues caused by both, just like eating gluten causes extreme behavioral issues in Ike, dairy also causes those same issues. He goes bonkers when he eats dairy- I see the struggle inside him- it's like he's possessed by a demon and can't stop what he's doing, but is very upset about it because he doesn't want to misbehave... There'll be a moment of that lucid Ike peering out from the maws of the beast, asking me to please help him, verbalizing his request and then the monster returns and no trace of lovable Ike remains, for hours until the dairy is out of his system... It's gotten to the point that Ike understands exactly what dairy does to him (in addition to knowing about what gluten does), that he is willing to do without dairy, and doesn't put up even one bit of a fuss when I tell him that he can't have that food because it is dairy.
But I care about Ike, and I know how hard it is for a 3.5 year old to go without all these foods that his friends eat and that he loves, so I'm trying extra hard to make healthy, dairy free, gluten free versions of these foods. (In case you were wondering- I've been dairy free for 1.5+ years already, but I let my boys have dairy on a semi regular basis- I wasn't strict with them at all.)
So after I said no to him about the chocolate milk in the store, I decided that I'd make it up to him so he doesn't feel like he has to miss out on the good things in life. I decided that I'd be making Ike safe chocolate milk today for the family. Dairy free, as well as sugar free and processed food free.
It came out absolutely delicious. I used a combination of homemade coconut milk and homemade sunflower milk, because sunflower milk can have a somewhat grassy taste sometimes, and I wanted to mimic the creaminess you get in store bought chocolate milk.
It was a big hit. And my kids said it was tastier than the store bought chocolate milk. I heartily concur!
If you have no dairy issues, feel free to make this with regular whole milk- it'll be great as well, and healthier than the store bought stuff.
The recipe is in two parts- first the homemade chocolate syrup, which can be used to top ice cream, granola, or any other place you'd use store bought chocolate syrup, and then the chocolate milk itself. (But if you're looking for cheapness over health, this recipe for homemade chocolate syrup is cheaper, and you can use rapadura instead of the white sugar if you want.)
Homemade Healthy Chocolate Milk and Chocolate Syrup- Refined Sugar Free, Dairy Free, Delicious and CreamyHomemade Healthy Chocolate Syrup with Honey
3/4 cup honey (to make this vegan, use maple syrup or agave nectar, and adjust the amounts as necessary)
1/2 cup water
1 cup cocoa powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground vanilla bean or homemade vanilla extract (optional)
1. Mix all these in a pot.
2. Bring to a boil, whisking to ensure there are no clumps.
3. Cool and use.
Homemade Healthy Dairy Free Chocolate Milk
1 1/2 cups homemade coconut milk
2 1/2 cups homemade sunflower milk
(Or 4 cups of another milk, like cow milk, goat's milk, almond milk, or a combination)
1/4 cup homemade healthy chocolate syrup
1. Mix all the ingredients together until the syrup is all dissolved.
2. Drink either cold or hot.
Are you or your family members fans of chocolate milk? Do you buy it ready made, make it with store bought chocolate syrup, with homemade chocolate syrup, or just avoid it? Does this look like a recipe you'd try? Which version do you think you'd try?
Do you know anyone who has behavioral issues when they eat dairy?
If your kids are off dairy, do you do anything special for them so they don't feel like they're missing out? What are your "hacks"?