1 in 20 infants and young children suffer from cow’s milk allergy. It is the most common food allergy in the age group. It is important to understand that

  • children who are allergic to cow’s milk will also be allergic to sheep and goat’s milk and these milks should also be avoided
  • most children will outgrow their cow’s milk allergy, usually by school age
  • 4 out of 5 children with cow’s milk allergy do not react to baked milk products, such as digestive or malted milk biscuits
  • children who tolerate and continue to eat these baked milk products will outgrow their allergies sooner than children who completely avoid all dairy products
  • children with milk allergy should to be reviewed every 6 months to check their progress and see if they have outgrown the problem

For children with cow’s milk allergy there are four milk alternatives. For further advice, discuss with your dietitian, health visitor, nurse, or doctor.

Extensively hydrolysed formulas

Preferred option for most infants less than 6 months old and also older children who are allergic to soy.

Soya milk formulas

Preferred option for children over 6 months old who tolerate soya milk

Amino acid formulas

Only for very severe milk allergies. NOT for children who tolerate an extensively hydrolysed formula

Other formulas

Poor alternative. Rice milk is contraindicated in children under 5 years old.


  • Althera (SMA)
  • Aptimil pepti (Milipa)
  • Nutramigen LLG (Mead Johnson)
  • Similac alimentum (Abbott)
  • Infasoy
  • Isomil
  • Nurture soya
  • Prosobee Lipil
  • Wysoy
  • Alfamino (Nestle)
  • Neocate LCP (Nutricia)
  • Nutramigen Puramino (Mead Johnson)
  • Oat milk
  • Almond milk
  • Coconut milk
  • Rice milk