We have been dairy free about 9 years. Yes, it was overwhelming at first. Sometimes it is still overwhelming. The good thing is there are so many new and wonderful dairy free products being introduced all the time. We are soy protein and nut free also. That still leaves many alternatives for cooking, baking and eating.
Instead of butter we use Earth Balance Soy Free Buttery Spread. The red tub, and red sticks. We use this in every way you would use butter, baking, sauteing, and spread on a myriad of goodies.
My go to Milk alternative is Rice Milk. I do not have a brand favorite and use Rice Dream and Trader Joe’s depending on where I am shopping for the week. I use this is cooking, baking, on cereal, and countless other ways. I also like SoDelicious Unsweetened Coconut Milk for making thicker soups and roux.
We use Daiya Cheese both the mozzarella and cheddar, in shreds and slices. We melt this on pizza and use it in tacos. It also makes a wonderful grilled cheese sandwich.
Daiya Cream Chees is al so our choice of cream cheese. We use it on bagels, dips and anything else that calls for cream cheese.
When switching to dairy free foods there is an awkward transition faze where things do not taste right. For some it might be best to just not use any alternatives and eat other things for a while be for introducing the alternatives. They are not exactly the same and if you have a picky eater they are going to know that it is not their beloved mac and cheese.