About Food Allergy Living Blog




Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. It's written by Nutricia's team of nutrition specialists, which currently includes Rob McCandlish, Kendra Valle and Jody Benitz.

The purpose of this Food Allergy Blog is to keep families living with food allergies, especially children with food allergies informed with the latest news and events, while providing useful tips, recipes and advice for your food allergy related questions. Of course, don't ever use this (or anything else you read online) to replace medical advice. Always talk to your health care provider.

We encourage conversation and discussion about food allergies and the issues children have dealing with all different types of childhood allergies, so please feel free to utilize our comment section on each of our posts if you have any questions, thoughts or even opinions. We'd really like to hear your feedback and have a conversation with you.

If you'd prefer to reach us directly, you can always email nutritionservices@nutricia.com. 

About the Food Allergy Living Authors

Rob McCandlish – Medical Affairs Associate

What is your current role at Nutricia? What does this role involve?

I'm a Medical Affairs Associate. In my role, I develop tools that help health care professionals to help their patients. Sometimes this includes new product development, or handouts for families.

How long have you been working with Nutricia and/or medical food focused on nutrition and rare diseases?

I have been working at Nutricia since 2010 - time flies when you're having fun!

Why did you choose to work in this field? What do you find most interesting about the medical foods industry?

I was drawn to Nutricia because we focus on conditions with special nutritional needs. We are about more than just formula or nutritional supplements.

What is your favorite Neocate product and/or recipe using the Neocate line?

It's so hard to pick a favorite! If I had to choose, I'd say Neocate Nutra. It's such an innovative product, and only Nutricia would put in the time and research to bring an incredible product like this to the families who can use it.

What question about Neocate and/or medical foods do you get asked the most?

A lot of folks want to know how Neocate is different from other formulas, and what makes it so unique.

Where did you go to school? What was your area of study?

I studied Biology at Mary Washington College, and then Nutrition at James Madison University.

What is a fun fact we probably didn’t know about you?

I still have a flip phone, and I made it to the National spelling bee in the 5th grade. 

Kendra Valle - Nutrition Specialist

What is your current role at Nutricia? What does this role involve?

I am currently a Nutrition Specialist in the Medical & Scientific Affairs Department. I serve as a resource to parents/caregivers, dietitians, physicians, nurses and others who have nutrition-related questions about our products. I am also involved in various projects throughout our department.

How long have you been working with Nutricia and/or medical food focused on nutrition and rare diseases?

I have been working at Nutricia for six months.

Why did you choose to work in this field? What do you find most interesting about the medical foods industry?

There are so many areas of nutrition that a dietitian can be a part of. It is really rewarding to be a part of the Nutricia team because I am able to help individuals who not only need our products out of medical necessity, but also thrive on our products.

What is your favorite Neocate product and/or recipe using the Neocate line?

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is delicious!

What question about Neocate and/or medical foods do you get asked the most?

The question I get asked the most about Neocate is: What is Neocate? What is the difference between Neocate and other formulas?

Where did you go to school? What was your area of study?

I received a Bachelor of Science degree in Dietetics at the University of Maryland, College Park.

What is a fun fact we probably didn’t know about you?

I have two young girls (2 and 4 years old) who are always keeping me on my toes!

Jody Benitz - Nutrition Specialist

What is your current role at Nutricia? What does this role involve?

As a Nutrition Specialist at Nutricia, I try to turn frowns upside down- listening, offering support, answers and being pro-active in any way possible. Additionally, I write blogs and enjoy putting a fun and interesting "spin" on them.

How long have you been working with Nutricia and/or medical food focused on nutrition and rare diseases?

I have been working at Nutricia for 6 months

Why did you choose to work in this field? What do you find most interesting about the medical foods industry?

I chose to work in the medical foods industry because I am a people person- I like helping others. What I find the most interesting about working in this field is that I think of everyone as 'starfish,’ their situations/challenges have a uniqueness to them. As a result, I try to 'customize' support and make it special with add-on 'bonus' info etc. if I think it might be beneficial.

What is your favorite Neocate product and/or recipe using the Neocate line?

My favorite Neocate recipe is the butternut squash soup, I LOVE soup.

What question about Neocate and/or medical foods do you get asked the most?

The most frequent question I get asked the most about Neocate is regarding mixing instructions and requests for samples.

Where did you go to school? What was your area of study?

I studied Animal Science at the University of Illinois and Poultry Science at Texas A&M University. Thereafter, I then decided to become a Dietitian and focus on people.

What is a fun fact we probably didn’t know about you?

I had an exotic bird business and I am also a big time bike rider.