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June is Dairy Alternatives Month

Caregivers in Weston, MA

Dairy products and eggsIf dairy does not make a perfect match with your, or your loved one’s, body, dairy alternatives are probably necessary. The month of June celebrates alternatives to dairy that are fortified with calcium to strengthen bones and teeth and lead to a healthy functioning cardiovascular system. Other reasons for wanting dairy alternatives include leading a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle.

Develop a Plan

Include caregivers in your dietary planning for your aging loved one. Non-medical home caregivers need to be aware of your family member’s needs so they do not inadvertently offer a dairy item that should be replaced with an alternative. Fortunately, dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, ice cream and sour cream have non-dairy alternatives that are found in most every grocery store. Unlike years of the past when these items were sparse, you can now swing by the corner store on your way home and find moderate success in purchasing non-dairy products. Look for:

  • almond milk, cashew milk, soy milk, coconut milk or lactose-free cow’s milk
  • dairy-free cheeses for salad toppings, pizza or pasta dishes
  • sour cream made with tofu
  • yogurt made with soy or lactose-free milk
  • ice cream products made with almonds, soy, or coconut milk

These non-dairy substitutes often have the same taste and texture as dairy products and can easily be used for cooking. Imagine surprising your loved one who needs elderly care with a non-dairy macaroni and cheese dinner followed by a bowl of almond-based ice cream? Your family member will enjoy the treat, but not suffer the uncomfortable digestive consequences of a dairy-based meal.

Calcium Alternatives

If your goal is to provide a home care plan that contains calcium and not dairy, put together a well-rounded diet with other calcium-based foods. Milk is not the only food group that provides the necessary calcium for strong bones. Typically, orange juice is fortified with calcium, but use caution if your senior has diabetes.

Other calcium-rich foods to choose from include:

  • green, leafy vegetables such as kale, bok choy, collard greens, okra
  • Chinese cabbage
  • broccoli
  • turnip greens
  • navy beans
  • soy beans
  • blackstrap molasses

The calcium benefits of these foods are comparable to a glass of cow’s milk. According to the Vegetarian Resource Group, your loved one receiving elder care can get approximately the same amount of calcium from 3/4 of a cup of collard greens as he can from a cup of cow’s milk.


Using a dairy alternative does more than change the products in your refrigerator, it opens up a larger menu of food choices. When you plan meals around certain food groups and dietary requirements, you often resort to the same menu week after week. By selecting dairy alternatives, your loved one benefits from the variety, plus gets the needed daily requirement of calcium, just in a new form.


If you or an aging loved one are considering non-medical in-home care in Metrowest Boston, MA, call Griswold Home Care and speak to one of our caring staff members today. Call (781) 559-0073