Food Allergy Living Blog

Neocate Tips and News

Nutricia Navigator – Neocate Product Coverage and Reimbursement Assistance

Posted 11.19.15 | Christine Graham-Garo

Nutricia NavigatorLiving with food allergies can be worrisome for families. So when you find the formula that your child tolerates, it is an exciting and anxious time. However, if your insurance states that they will not cover the cost of that formula, it can bring on even more worries to an already stressful situation.

For families looking to obtain product coverage, it can often be overwhelming to speak to insurance companies directly.  Insurance companies tend to use terms and phrases not common in our day-to-day conversations. This is where the Nutricia Navigator steps in.

What is Nutricia Navigator?

Nutricia Navigator is a free reimbursement service created to help you find Neocate product access and coverage.

The program was started in 2010 and is available in all 50 US States. Our Navigator team is well versed in the insurance lingo and necessary steps needed to be taken in order to obtain possible coverage.  Think of them as the GPS for insurance coverage of Neocate Products.

It is the only service that goes above and beyond to help you gain Nutricia product access and coverage, and will stay by your side until you have the product in-hand and all your questions have been answered.

Nutricia Navigator Facts

How Nutricia Navigator Works?

·         Helps you understand where & how Nutricia products can be covered.

·         Will assist you in appealing denials for Nutricia product coverage by self-funded and fully-funded plans through medical necessity support.

·         Will stay by your side until you have the Nutricia product in-hand and all questions have been answered.

·         Initiates joint calls between patients, healthcare teams & insurance companies to guide you through difficult reimbursement processes.

·         Works with Medicaid, WIC*, self-funded plans, commercial insurance, & state mandates to work towards Nutricia product coverage support.

·         And Much More!

If you are wondering if your insurance will cover the cost of Neocate, start by calling the Nutricia Navigator at 1-800-365-7354, option 8, ext 1200. You can also email them at

For additional information, or forms to help you get started with Nutricia Navigator, go to the Navigator’s website.

* WIC = WIC is a registered service mark of the U.S. Department of Agriculture for USDA’s Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children.


Orange you glad you read this post?

Posted 7.31.15 | Nutrition Specialist

Our guest blog today comes from Raquel Durban, a Registered Dietitian specializing in immediate and delayed food allergies in Charlotte, NC.  Raquel is a medical advisory board member for the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Connection Team (FAACT) and an active participant in the American Academy of Asthma, Allergy and Immunology (AAAAI), American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) and International Network for Diet and Nutrition in Allergy (INDANA).  We would like to thank Raquel for this post. 

Think oranges are only for juicing? Think again! Oranges can provide a fun and educational experience to practice using auto-injectable epinephrine! While in clinic one afternoon, a mother pulled out a bag of citrus fruits (oranges and grapefruits work best because of their large size) and her expired auto-injectable epinephrine.

To my surprise and delight, she wanted to inject the oranges with her expired epinephrine devices so that I could "see" her practice and validate her administration. What makes this such a great idea? While the training devices for auto-injectable epinephrine are great teaching aids, the actually devices are heavier than the test devices, as they are filled with epinephrine. Also, the skin and flesh of the citrus fruits mimics a thigh very well.

I wanted to pass along this great idea to other families who might like to practice using expired auto-injectable epinephrine. If practicing with a little one, make sure you give them a helping hand. And after your practice session, please ensure that you dispose of the expired auto-injectable epinephrine correctly by checking with your doctor’s office or pharmacy. Some cities also have household hazardous waste programs that accept medical waste.


Image source: Debbie

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) and the Six Food Elimination Diet

Posted 5.15.15 | Christine Graham-Garo

Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) is a condition that is continuing to get more and more attention in the medical community, which means the public is learning more about it too. Unfortunately though, the management options for EoE are not black and white. EoE may be managed either with medication, which has known long-term side effects, or nutrition therapy, which has been shown extremely effective, but may be difficult to follow for some families.

Medications used to manage EoE are all steroids, and at this point no medication has FDA approval for EoE. Steroids have been shown to be effective in managing EoE for more than half of patients. However, steroids may not be the best long-term solution for everyone. Many families who choose to use steroids may mix the medication recommended by their physician with Neocate Nutra. This is because Neocate Nutra thickens, so can help to coat the esophagus with the steroid. This use of Neocate Nutra was even studied by a medical team and you can read about their published research here.

As EoE is a chronic condition, management with nutrition therapy is often discussed and preferred by many families over steroids. Here are nutritional therapy options for EoE:

  • Elemental Diet – A diet consisting almost exclusively of amino acid-based (or elemental) products
  • Elimination Diets – The removal of allergens from the diet.
    1. Tailored Elimination – Elimination of specific allergens based on allergy testing
    2. Six Food Elimination – Elimination of 6 top allergens based on the most common allergens seen in EoE patients

The Six Food Elimination Diet

The 6 Food Elimination diet has been gaining in popularity because it bypasses extensive food allergen testing needed for the Tailored Elimination diet. As you may know, allergy tests (skin prick tests and blood tests) are not perfect. There are often false positives which can make the treatment plan more complicated and time consuming, and some allergens may be missed ('false negatives'). So what the 6 Food Elimination diet proposes is that, off-the-bat, patients eliminate the top 6 allergens seen in EoE patients. The top allergens are milk, soy, eggs, wheat, peanuts/tree nuts, and seafood. One study1 confirms there is a 74% success rate when using this type of nutrition therapy for EoE. (As a point of reference, an Elemental Diet shows a 95-98% success rate based on multiple studies.) Researcers are also looking into 4 Food Elimination diets.

Advantages and Disadvantages to consider

The advantages of using the 6 Food Elimination diet approach are that you can still eat solid foods. It also eliminates the need for extensive skin and blood tests to check for food allergies. Important disadvantages to this diet therapy are that it may unnecessarily remove foods from the diet, and many process foods are out, meaning the diet often involves a lot of preparation and careful reading of ingredient lists. Eliminating so many foods can increase the risk of patients being deficient in one or more nutrients. Also, as many of you may know, it is hard just to remove milk and soy from your diet. Try eliminating SIX different allergens that are found in many foods while maintaining your nutritional status! For this reason, many medical teams that manage patients with EoE encourage their patients to supplement the 6 Food Elimination diet with a nutritionally dense, hypoallergenic elemental product, such as Neocate®. This can help ensure the patient is getting all the protein, vitamins and minerals they need per day while ensuring that no allergic reactions will occur with the elemental products. It is vital that EoE patients are monitored by a dietitian. The dietitian will help calculate how much of the elemental product the patient will need per day and also make sure the nutritional status of the patient is maintained.

Again, since research has found a 74% success rate for the 6 Food Elimination diet, it's possible that symptoms will persist after starting the 6 Food Elimination diet. If this happens, your medical team can help you decide the next best step, which may include a careful review of your diet, possibly eliminating more foods, or starting with a more “allergen safe” diet therapy such as an Elemental diet. After a few weeks on the Elemental diet, most teams will work with you to start reintroducing solid foods to figure out which ones may be contributing to your symptoms.

I hope this helped to shed some light on this nutritional therapy options for EoE. Every person will have their own treatment plan that works for them. Is anyone following an elimination diet now? How is it going for you? Have any tips you can share that may help others manage an elimination diet?


1 Kagawalla AF et al, Effect of six-food elimination diet on clinical and histologic outcomes in eosinophilic esophagitis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol 2006:4(9):363-8

Coming Soon: Neocate Junior With Prebiotics Strawberry Flavor

Posted 2.25.14 | Nutrition Specialist
We are very excited to announce the launch of Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, STRAWBERRY in the United States! Strawberry is a flavor that kids love! This great tasting new product will be available starting March of 2014! Our strawberry flavor is a NEW addition to our existing and popular Neocate Junior with Prebiotics product line, which includes options in great tasting Vanilla or Unflavored.
The new Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is a powdered medical food for individuals over the age of one year. It is indicated for the dietary management of cow and soy milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance, eosinophilic esophagitis, short bowel syndrome and conditions of gastrointestinal tract impairment and malabsorption requiring an elemental diet. Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry will be available as a powder in 14.1 oz cans.
Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is coming soon! Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be sharing more information on this great tasting new product online at, including details on how to purchase it. Stay tuned for more information soon. 
Nutricia looks forward to bringing you the best clinical nutrition products. For more information on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry and our family of amino acid-based medical foods, please visit or call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-365-7354, Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 7:00 pm EST. 
UPDATE: Neocate Junior with Prebiotics in Strawberry Flavor is now live and available. Learn more.

Information on Neocate® Junior with Improved Vitamins and Minerals

Posted 2.5.14 | Neocate Admin

Dear Neocate Community,

Our sole purpose is to provide specialized medical nutrition to children and adults with highly-sensitive and complex conditions. We periodically improve our products to reflect the latest medical and scientific consensus and ensure that the people who use our products receive the best possible nutritional support for their optimal health. If we receive a report of an individual who is unable to tolerate his or her source of nutrition, we always aim to work closely with the individual’s family and physician to help find a solution that meets the individual’s unique needs.

In February 2013 we improved the levels of 11 vitamins and minerals, like vitamin D, in our Neocate® Junior line of products to provide better nutritional support. The improvements ensure that Neocate Junior products are in line with the U.S. Institute of Medicine’s current dietary reference intake (DRI) recommendations. The upgrade did not alter the macronutrients (i.e., protein, fat, carbohydrate), and the products retain the same hypoallergenic properties as before. Since then, for more than a year, thousands of children have continued to thrive on Neocate Junior with improved vitamins and minerals for their daily nutrition.

We have been working with the family and physician of one child having tolerability difficulties with the upgraded product to support them in finding a solution that addresses the child’s individual medical diagnosis and needs. For this case, we are going to manufacture the pre-upgrade formula that we discontinued in January 2013 for the child’s trialing under supervision from a physician.

This is currently an isolated case, and so we are not marketing the discontinued product. However, we will work individually with any family and their physician who reach out to us and help address concerns or difficulties with our products. This may include transition support, support trialing other commercially available options, and finally working with the child's physician to determine if any other nutritional solutions might be successful, such as producing a discontinued formulation.

Questions on the 2012 Label Graphics Change

Some families reported concerns with pre-upgrade Neocate Junior following a change to the product label graphics in 2012; however there was no change to the product formulation or process prior to the February 2013 upgrade. For more information about this situation and how we have offered support to families, please click here.

What You Should Do

For most children, moving from one formula to a nutritionally-improved version does not typically require a transition period or present tolerability concerns. Families should continue using the upgraded Neocate Junior with improved vitamins and minerals as directed. All Neocate Junior products are hypoallergenic and safe for use as directed.

If you have questions or concerns, including tolerability issues, we encourage you to contact your child’s physician or our Nutrition Services team (1-800-365-7354), so that we can help support your individual case.

For more information on the upgrade, please click here.

Kind Regards,

Nutricia North America


How to Conduct an Elimination Diet

Posted 1.28.14 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Many people who find their way to Neocate as part of an elimination diet. Sometimes this is for moms nursing their infants, whereas other times an elimination diet is used for older children with allergies. If you are exploring an elimination diet for yourself or your child, here are some resources and a few suggestions.

1 – Know the Basics

The general idea behind an elimination diet is that certain foods are strictly eliminated. This video, featuring members of our team, explains the basics behind an elimination diet, such as eliminating dairy and soy ingredients. You can also read some of our related posts: Elimination Diets and Breastfeeding, and Resources for Your Elimination Diet.

2 - Ask for Advice

We always suggest that you check with the healthcare team and follow their advice for an elimination diet. Your healthcare team can provide much more detailed and tailored instructions on what foods you should eliminate and how to avoid them. It can help to take a list of questions to the healthcare team – here are some suggestions to help prepare for the appointment.

3 – Remember the Risks

Make sure the healthcare team explains what should improve with the elimination diet and how quickly. Also look to understand any risks. For instance, in cases of multiple food allergies there is often a need to eliminate more than just dairy and soy. This can lead to a diet that is low in one or more nutrients, which could pose a risk of deficiency. Please read this previous blog post about a child on an elimination diet to make sure you’re aware of some potential risks.

What experience can you share with others who are exploring an elimination diet?

- Rob

[Image source]

New and Improved Neocate Infant: Why We Increased the DHA Content

Posted 10.1.13 | Mallory West

As you’re all likely aware by now, we recently made some improvements to the Neocate Infant with DHA and ARA. One of the improvements was the increased level of docosahexaenoic acid, better known as DHA. You may recall that DHA is a fatty acid found in breast milk which plays a role in infant brain and eye development.

DHA is found in breast milk at an average level of 0.32% of fatty acids[i]. When breast feeding isn’t possible, infant nutrition experts recommend that infant formulas provide between 0.2-0.5% total fatty acids as DHA[ii]. The reformulated version of Neocate Infant with DHA and ARA provides DHA at a level of 0.35% of total fatty acids, which is in line with current recommendations and closer to the average levels found in breast milk. We hope you are as excited as we are about the increased DHA and the rest of the improvements in the new Neocate!

For more information on the new and improved Neocate Infant with DHA and ARA, visit

As always, if you have any questions, please contact our Nutrition Specialists at 1-800-365-7354, Option 2 or at


[i] Brenna JT, et al. Docosahexaenoic and arachidonic acid concentrations in human breast milk worldwide. Am J Clin Nutr. 2007 Jun;85(6):1457-64.

[ii] Koletzko B, et al. The roles of long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids in pregnancy, lactation and infancy: review of current knowledge and consensus recommendations. J Perinat Med. 2008;36(1):5-14.

Photo: Flickr user pfly


How to Transition Your Little One from the Old Neocate to the New Formula

Posted 9.10.13 | Mallory West

As you've likely heard by now, the New and Improved Neocate Infant is now available for purchase! In this video, Nutrition Specialists Mallory and Christine demonstrate how to transition from the old Neocate Infant to the new formula. If you have any questions about making the transition, please call one of our Nutrition Specialists at 1-800-365-7354 or email us at 



Transitioning from Breast Milk to Neocate

Posted 8.22.13 | Nutrition Specialist

You have always enjoyed breast feeding your little one. What could be better than some quiet time bonding with a snuggly bundle of love as many as 8 times a day? What a bonus that it’s the best source of nutrition for your little one. Recently though, it seems that the thought of weaning has crossed your mind once or twice. Maybe you’re going back to work and the long commute, crazy schedule and pumping is just more than you can bear. Or perhaps you have a very faint memory of what a full night’s sleep used to feel like and you are desperate to experience it once more. In addition, your child may have been diagnosed with a cow’s milk or soy protein allergy and despite an elimination diet, your LO can not tolerate your breast milk. Will the transition from breast feeding to Neocate be difficult? Not necessarily. If your LO’s healthcare team has recommended Neocate and you are considering a transition from breast milk, read on. Included are our best tips for a successful transition.

• First of all relax and be patient. The more relaxed you are, the more relaxed your baby will be.

• Feeding time is more likely to be a success if it’s a pressure free zone. Your baby may need time to get used to the new formula and bottle. If he doesn’t take it in 10 minutes, try again in an hour.

• A baby may be more likely to refuse a bottle if he has a choice between breast feeding and the bottle. It might be best to eventually bottle feed exclusively.

• A gradual transition may be best. For instance, you can prepare Neocate Infant and mix it with expressed breast milk, gradually increasing the amount of Neocate.

• A baby may be more accepting of a bottle the first time from someone other than Mom.

• A baby may have a preference for a particular nipple size and temperature so consider different nipple size, shapes and warming the nipple prior to feeding time.

• Your LO may be more accepting of the formula if she gets a small taste of what’s to come. Try putting a small amount of formula on her lips prior to offering the bottle.

You can find some more transition tips in 'A Guide to Transitioning to Neocate' on this page, which includes tips from a Feeding Specialist.

Do you have any ideas that have helped make for a successful transition from breastfeeding to Neocate? Please feel free to share them here.



We are Improving Neocate® to Provide Better Nutritional Support

Posted 1.29.13 | Neocate Admin




We know your child relies on Neocate, and we want to make sure he or she receives the best possible nutritional support according to the very latest medical and scientific knowlegdge.  This means from time to time we improve our products to better serve your family.

There has been speculation in recent weeks about whether there have been changes to Neocate Junior, unflavored over the past year.  Up until now, we have made no changes (you can read about this here).  Whenever we plan changes or improvements to our products, we announce them to you in advance and also provide information and resources to help you and your family prepare.

We would like to share with you that we are making upgrades in 2013 to many products within our Neocate family, specifically Neocate® Infant, Neocate® Junior and Neocate's E028 Splash.  Improvements will be made first to Neocate Junior, starting in mid-February.

You can find details on what we have changed, when you can expect to see them and helpful resources here.  We will also update you well in advance with information and tips on the coming changes to Neocate Infant and Neocate's E028 Splash.

Here's briefly what you can expect to see from the improved Neocate Junior:

  • The levels of eleven vitamins and minerals in Neocate Junior have been upgraded to provide better nutritional support for your child.  The changes are in line with the latest dietary reference intake (DRI) recommendations by the Institute of Medicine.
  • The levels of protein, fat and carbohydrate (i.e., macronutrients) will remain the same.
  • No new ingredients will be added to the product.
  • There will be no change in can size, price, codes or graphics.
  • Beginning in January we will announce that an improved product is coming through the use of stickers on the lids of current Neocate Junior products.
  • The improved Neocate Junior will be available beginning in mid-February, clearly marked with stickers informing parents that the product has "improved levels of vitamins and minerals."  Specific availablity in each area and by flavor may differ.

We understand the sensitivity of the chidlren who rely on our products.  For most children, moving from one formula to an improved version of the same forumla does not require a "transition period."  However, some parents and clinicans prefer to transition over the course of a few days.  We recommend that you contact your child's pediatrician or other healthcare provider with any specific questions or concerns about making this transition.

Additional details including transition tips can be found here or by calling our Nutrition Specialist at 1-800-Neocate (636-2283) 

- Team Neocate

Page 1 of 5 pages  1 2 3 >  Last ›

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.