On Sunday, September 7, Neocate will be participating in the Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) Strides for Safe Kids Mall Walk. The Mall Walk is an annual fundraising event created to bring awareness to food allergies while working towards finding a cure. This year's walk will take place at Plymouth Meeting Mall in Plymouth Meeting, PA. The Neocate team will be onsite providing free taste samples of Neocate Junior, Strawberry as well as talking with families about their specific food allergy needs and concerns. This year's fundraising is $50,000 and KFA is more than halfway there! With your support, we can help KFA meet their goal.
If you are in the Plymouth Meeting area, we encourage you to attend this great event. There will be exhibitions and free samples.
To learn more about the event and Mall Walks near you please visit, https://secure.kidswithfoodallergies.org/np/clients/kidswfa/event.jsp?event=2&.
We hope to see you there!
Read about our experience at previous Mall Walks here.
September marks National Preparedness Month, a time when families develop safety plans in the event of a natural disaster or emergency. At Nutricia, we've been thinking about our Neocate famililies and what it means to be prepared in light of having food allergies and facing a natural disaster. To help we have outlined a list of tips and resources for families to refer to as a tool to help manage food allergies in the event of an emergency.
1. Have a Sufficient Supply of Bottled Water: In the wake of disaster or an emergency, one of the first things to be impacted is the water supply. Families managing food allergies should be sure to keep a sufficient supply of bottled water for hygiene (hand washing, toliet flushing and teeth brushing) as well as food preparation. The Red Cross recommends having at least one gallon of water per person in a household. For example, if you have a family of three, you are encouraged to store away three gallons of bottled water.
2. Have a Sufficient Supply of Safe Foods: Managing food allergies can be challenging under normal circumstances. This becomes even more true when there is an emergency. FEMA suggests keeping three days worth of non-perishable safe foods to have as an eating supply during a natural disaster. Families using Neocate should remember that Neocate mixed formula is good up to four hours at room temperature.
3. Have a Sufficient Amount of Medical Supplies: During an emergency it is possible injuries may occur. To help alleviate the potential of growing injuries, be sure to have at least seven days worth of medical supplies on hand. This includes having an Epi-Pen in case of an anaphylatic attack.
With these tips, families will be more prepared in the wake of disaster. For more information on National Preparedness Month please visit: http://www.ready.gov/september. And for more tips on creating emergency plans visit http://www.fema.gov/areyouready/assemble_disaster_supplies_kit.shtm#sthash.4u2yDiCk.dpuf.
It’s hard to believe that summer is over and the kids are heading back to school. When your child has food allergies, a new school year can be a little more complicated. In today’s post, we’ll share some tips and resources for a smooth transition back to school.
First and foremost, it’s essential to educate the new teacher and classroom aides about managing your child’s food allergies in the classroom since this is where your child will spend the most time. You also need to educate the school nurse and cafeteria staff. If possible, arrange a meeting with the new teacher, school nurse, and the head of the cafeteria staff prior to the beginning of school to discuss what is required to keep your child safe. Even if the staff has not changed from the previous school year, after 3 months away, it’s still a good idea to refresh them about your child’s needs.
If you don’t already have one in place, develop a food allergy action plan and ensure that everyone who cares for your child during the school day is aware of it. This includes not only teachers, nurses, and cafeteria staff, but also bus drivers, after-school caregivers, etc. Food Allergy Research & Education provides a template form that is very useful. If you already have an action plan in place, be sure to notify everyone about any changes or updates since last year.
If your child requires an Epi-pen, make sure to provide one to the school nurse, along with any other medications that may be required. Be sure to check the expiration date on the Epi-pen.
For more tips and resources on going back to school with food allergies, visit these links:
We hope everyone has a happy & healthy school year!
You may have seen recent reports in the news about newly-developed “hypoallergenic peanuts”. In today’s post, we’ll talk about this new technology and what it means to parents of children with peanut allergies.
An estimated 2.8 million Americans suffer from peanut allergies. For those with peanut allergies, peanuts can cause severe allergic reactions, including anaphylaxis.
Researchers at North Carolina A&T University developed a first of its kind food processing system that reduces the allergenicity of regular peanuts. Regular peanuts are treated with special enzymes, which the researchers have found reduces the levels of allergens in the peanuts by up to 98%!
At this point, only the science has been discovered, so you won’t find allergy-friendly peanuts and peanut products in the grocery stores just yet. However, North Carolina A&T State University researchers have teamed up with a company that hopes to commercialize the new technology, so you may see such products in the years to come.
Although the idea of hypoallergenic peanut butter is exciting for those with peanut allergies, it’s important to remember that hypoallergenic does not mean non-allergenic. Although the special processing reduces the allergens in peanuts, it is still possible to have an allergic reaction to a less allergenic peanut because it only takes a trace amount of an allergen to trigger a reaction in very allergic individuals. When these products become commercially available, it’s important to consult with your child’s allergist before trying them. If you decide to trial them, be sure to do so under close medical supervision in case an allergic reaction occurs.
Have you ever picked up a packaged food item and seen one of the following statements?
Confusing, right? I always wonder if manufacturers use such statements just to cover their behinds. Any one of these statements is completely voluntary and unregulated. These types of precautionary labels cannot be used to assess the risk of an allergic reaction. In fact, research conducted in 2007 found that many individuals with peanut allergy ignore these advisory statements.(1) The researchers tested 200 products with a peanut advisory statement and found that most (90%) did not contain detectable peanut protein. Of the 10% that did contain detectable levels, 65% had a "clinically significant" amount of peanut protein. This translates to ~7% of the 200 tested products (all carried a peanut advisory label) being found to have a detectable amount of peanut protein that would likely pose a risk to most peanut-allergic individuals, and about 4% with a detectable level that was deemed "not clinically significant."
Because these advisory statements aren't regulated, an expert panel has recommended avoiding any foods labeled with a precautionary statement related to your food allergens.(2) If you or a family member has a food allergy, you should ask your healthcare team whether you need to rely on these advisory statements. When in doubt, it can help to contact the manufacturer to ask what they mean by the statement they use. It is also wise to err on the side of caution and contact the manufacturer even if the product doesn't have an advisory label related to your food allergen, just to be safe.
For an even more in-depth discussion, please turn to one of our trusted resources, Kids with Food Allergies. They have a great article here that does a better job of explaining this topic than we could! Sharon Wong also offers an explanation on a page of her website, geared toward peanut-free recipes.
What sort of food allergen statements have you seen during your recent grocery trips?
1. Hefle SL, et al. Consumer attitudes and risks associated with packaged foods having advisory labeling regarding the presence of peanuts. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2007
2. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases - Guidelines for the Diagnosis and Management of Food Allergy in the United States. 2007.
This is a guest post from Leslie Stiles. Leslie Stiles received her BS in English Literature at University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana and obtained her Masters in Human Nutrition from University of Illinois in Chicago. She works as a Senior Clinical Nutritionist at a children’s hospital in Chicago, IL.
A diagnosis of a food allergy may come as a shock to your family, and that shock may continue when you go to the grocery store and start to look at nutrition labels. You might find yourself asking “What can my kid eat?!”, “Will they be able to eat typical kid food like birthday cake and pizza?”, or “What will I pack them for school lunches?” The list of questions can be endless and overwhelming to say the least. Luckily, thanks to the world wide web, there are some accessible resources that will both educate and inspire you about allergen-free cooking and shopping.
This blog post is intended to present some tried and true resources that I often share with families. I encourage you all, as readers and family members of children with food allergies, to share your own tried and true resources in the comments section. It’s important for us to share information and help each other stay informed.
For all things allergy-related, the Food Allergy Research and Education organization (FARE) website is chock full of useful information. I recommend spending some time exploring all it has to offer and bookmarking it to refer to later.
Allergy Free Recipes
The Kids with Food Allergies website has created an easy-to-use, searchable recipe database. You can search for recipes that are free of the top 8 allergens and corn.
The American Academy of Allergy Asthma & Immunology website has a lot of great information about food allergies, in addition to some tasty allergen-free recipes. Each recipe is marked with a key stating which allergens have been omitted.
If you think your child with a dairy and egg allergy has to miss out on your Great Aunt Mildred’s famous banana bread, think again… You may be able to substitute other ingredients for the butter and eggs. The Kids with Food Allergies website gives a good overview of the function of each allergen ingredient in a recipe and provides suggestions for good substitutions. Unfortunately, not all allergens have substitutions that will function in the same way, so the end product may not turn out exactly the same as the original, and you may want to find a new recipe.
Allergy Friendly Manufacturers
We are lucky to live in a time when there are more allergy-friendly manufacturers than ever before. Children’s Hospital of Orange County has created one of the best resources I’ve come across thus far listing all allergy-friendly food manufacturers. You can check it out here.
Eating out at Restaurants
Want to find allergy-friendly restaurants in your area? Then Allergy Eats is the place to go! You can simply select your food allergy, type in your address, and voila - you have restaurant options. Each restaurant receives a rating, both overall and per allergen. You can also rate a restaurant yourself. To make it even easier to use, Allergy Eats has created an app that can be downloaded onto your smartphone.
Again in the food allergy community, we rely on each other for information and to stay informed. Do you have a tried and true online resource that you’ve found helpful? If so, please share it in the comments section.
-Leslie Stiles, MS, RD, LDN
There are many misconceptions about food allergies out there. In today’s post, we’ll summarize 3 of the most common misconceptions that we hear.
Food Allergies vs. Intolerances
Food allergies and food intolerances are often confused with each other but they are actually two separate conditions with different underlying causes, symptoms, and treatment. Read more about the differences between food allergies and intolerances here.
Testing for Food Allergies
Another common misconception about food allergies is the belief that testing can definitively confirm or rule out an allergy to a certain food. However, food allergy testing is not always 100% accurate. Sometimes allergy tests don’t identify a food allergy even though the patient appears to have an allergic reaction to that food (this is called a false negative). Other times an allergy test suggests a person is allergic to a food that they actually tolerate (this is called a false positive). Allergy tests can be helpful in giving your doctor clues about which foods are causing problems. However, they are not always completely accurate so doctors use them in addition to their own observations and the reports of the patient or their caregiver when evaluating a patient for a food allergy.
Immediate vs. Delayed Allergic Reactions
Many people assume that an allergic reaction to a food always occurs immediately after consuming it. Someone who experiences delayed allergic reactions to a food may mistakenly believe that their symptoms are unrelated to the food, or that they are caused by the wrong food, since the symptoms don’t occur around the time when the food allergen is consumed. It is important to recognize that delayed allergic reactions to foods can occur many hours after consumption. A diet journal and food allergy testing can help patients and their doctors to identify which food is causing problems.
Are you surprised by any of these misconceptions? What misconceptions about food allergies have you experienced?
One of the things we've learned at Neocate is that many families usually go through a long and daunting process before discovering their fussy and inconsolable little one has a cow milk allergy (CMA). The road to an official diagnosis can stir feelings of confusion. To help educate more parents and caregivers on the symptoms of CMA, Nutricia North America is unrolling our new Could it Be A Milk Allergy infographic. Could it Be a Cow Milk Allergy was designed to highlight the top eight symptoms of a cow milk allergy while providing tips on what parents should look for and next steps if children are exhibiting signs of CMA.
We want more parents, like you, to be prepared. Will you take a moment to share this with your networks? Please spread the word on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
To learn more about CMA please visit milkallergysigns.com
At Nutricia we are dedicated to providing families and caregivers with products that offer the most nutritional while managing their little ones' food allergies. We know that many of you often have questions about the Neocate family of products, so we've created videos explaining each of the products' ingredients and nutritional value.
Below is our first video on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. Click the image to play the video.
To learn more about Neocate Junior with Prebiotics please visit the following links:
If you have questions feel free to give our medical team a call at 1-800-365-7354. You can also follow us on Twitter @Neocate or like our Facebook page Facebook.com/Neocate.