How to Reuse empty Neocate Cans

Posted 12.13.11 | Christine Graham-Garo

As we’ve mentioned before, here at Nutricia North America, we strive to take measures to reduce our impact on the Earth.  In our last blog we wrote on how Neocate cans are recyclable.  We highly encourage all Neocate (and Duocal) users to recycle those empty cans!

Also, as you may have heard, one rule of thumb when striving to be environmentally responsible is to reduce, reuse, recycle – in that order.  So, we wanted to share some ideas on ways to reuse your Neocate cans.


Art class*

Have your child and their friends create their own piece of work to hang in their room. Gather a bunch of art supplies and let them go at it, while being safe of course.

Musical Instruments – Drums or Maracas*

Save the plastic lid and grab a pair of sturdy sticks and start drumming away.  You can also make a maraca out of the Neocate cans by adding beans or pebbles for another sound effect. 

Pot for plants/flowers*

Decorate the outside of the can and safely poke a hole at the bottom of the can to allow for drainage.  Fill with potting soil and plant the seeds or repot another plant.


Re-purpose them to store toys such as building blocks, marbles, or toy cars.  You can also reuse formula cans to keep your scrapbooking or craft items in place.  They make great storage containers for buttons, ribbons, safety pins, beads and/or other small items you have lying around.  You can even print out pictures of these items from the internet, and then use them to decorate.  It’s an easy way to decorate and label what is inside of the can.

Holiday Gift basket*  

Paint the outside of the can for the holiday season and fill with treats, holiday goodies or a personal gift for the receiver.  You can even attach a handle for easy carrying.

Piggy Banks*

Turn an empty Neocate formula can into a cute piggy bank for your child or even for yourself!  Paste pictures of your kids onto the outside, and then use a box cutter to create a rectangular shape size cutout in the plastic lid.

Collect old cooking oil or store dry foods*

You can reuse empty formula can for collecting unwanted oils from fry baskets.  Pour leftover oil into the can, and then freeze it to avoid spill or smells.  Toss when the can is full.

For a more Eco-friendly approach, place a sheet of wax paper in the empty can before you pour in the oil.  Simply pull and throw out the frozen stuff, and you can reuse the formula can again.

Another nifty idea to repurpose infant formula tins is to use them as storage containers to keep crackers, dried beans, pasta, rice, and other dry allergen friendly goods.  Decorate the outside label and label it with the new contents.

Do you have other ideas on ways to creatively reuse empty Neocate cans?  We would love to hear!

- Christine

*Be sure to clean the cans out thoroughly before reusing them.  We recommend doing this by leaving the can in soapy water for a few minutes.  Then, scrub the interior of the can being careful with any sharp edges and let it sit till 100% dry.  Also, being the interior liner of all Nutricia’s products are BPA free, you don’t have to worry about storing items in there for long periods.






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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.