Elimination diets – Important nutrients you may be missing out on.

Posted 8.16.12 | Christine Graham-Garo

If your child has a food allergy, than you are probably managing it with an elimination diet.

We have blogged about elimination diets in the past and have done a YouTube video to explain what an elimination diet is.  But, I wanted to dive a bit deeper into elimination diets and the nutrients that may be missing from these diets and how to help ensure you or your child are getting those important nutrients from the diet.

So, today we will be focusing on the diet of a child over the age of 1 year.  As we know, cow milk is a major part of the diet for children in the U.S. Milk is a major source of calcium, protein and other important nutrients to help with bone health. But when you or your child needs to stay away from milk containing products, how do you ensure those vital nutrients for growth are being met?

Studies show that children on an elimination diet had poorer growth versus children without food allergies.1,2 Other research found that children with food allergies (such as cow milk allergy (CMA)) have significantly lower intakes of protein and calcium and are at higher risk for malnutrition unless supplementation replaces the nutrients from milk.3  Furthermore, multiple studies found that children with CMA also had lower bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD) scores.4,5

Children on elimination diets (especially under the age of 2 years) are suggested to use a hypoallergenic formula to supplement the diet.6 This is where Neocate® can play a nutritionally important role. Neocate Junior products are an important source of elemental hypoallergenic protein and have other important nutrients to supplement an elimination diet. Neocate Junior is up to 16% higher in protein, calorie for calorie, compared with other elemental formulas on the market. This means there will be more protein in every ounce that is taken of the Neocate Junior.  Neocate also provides Neocate Nutra, which is meant to be used as a supplement to the diet and is considered to be high in Calcium and a good source of vitamin D and iron.

To see how much Neocate Junior would be needed per day to meet a child’s calcium requirements (assuming it is taken as a sole source of nutrition), below is a table for your reference. Please note, this is only for calcium needs and does not represent all the nutrients a child requires. Please talk with your doctor and/or dietitian to ensure all other nutrient needs are being met.

Fluid ounces (fl oz) needed per day to meet 100% DRI for Calcium from Neocate Junior, Unflavored


1-3 year old

4-8 year old

9-13 year old

Est. fl oz needed from Neocate Junior (at standard dilution; 30 kcal/oz)

15 fl oz/d

24 fl oz/d

38 fl oz/d



What are some of your challenges with food allergy elimination diets?



1.       Christie L, et al. Food allergies in children affect nutrient intake and growth. J Am Diet Assoc 2002.

2.       Rockell, et al. Two-year changes in bone and body composition in young children with a history of prolonged milk avoidance. Osto Int, 2005.

3.       Henriksen C, et al. Nutrient intake among two-year-old children on cows’ milk-restricted diets. Acta Paediatr. 2000.

4.       Jensen VB, et al. Bone mineral status in children with cow milk allergy. Pediatr Allergy Immunol 2004.

5.       Jorgensen, et al. Two-year changes in bone and body composition in young children with a history of prolonged milk avoidance. Ped All and Immun, 2004.

6.       Fiocchi et al, DRACMA Guidelines. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2010

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About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.