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.
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.
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.
Today's guest blog comes from Ellie Sears. Ellie is a wife of 12 years and a stay-at-home-mom to a beautiful three year old girl. Ellie and her daughter both have food allergies. Ellie enjoys homemaking and trying new food allergy friendly recipes. She stays active in advocating for food allergy awareness through her blog and in her hometown. Ellie blogs about life with food allergies at blessedlittlefamily.wordpress.com.
What's for dinner tonight?
A year ago, I could not have answered that question. We ate out a lot and would bring something "safe" for SG, our then two year old who is allergic to dairy and eggs. It became very expensive. I also became hesitant to exposing SG to allergens in restaurants as she sometimes broke out in hives from restaurants even though we brought her own food, her own booster seat, wiped everything down, and she had her own plastic mat for food.
But planning dinner and cooking every night. That seemed insurmountable. Then I remembered reading something that suggested for anything to become a habit, I must do it every day for a month. A month of cooking and no eating out?!?! It seemed impossible but I decided to give it a try.
After a month, I was successful (mostly!). So I kept on. And on. And I'm still doing it!
Not a big menu planner? Does it seem overwhelming? Start with planning a few days of meals for the week. Once you accomplish that, try planning an entire week. Work your way up from there. You can do it!
Here are some tips to menu planning and stretching your grocery budget at the same time. These are all things I do:
1. Look for sales and couponed meat. My local grocery store periodically puts chicken drumsticks and chicken thighs as low as 69 cents a pound and the chicken breasts as low as $1.69 a pound. Another grocery store discounts its meat with up to $3.00 off each package on the day before the sell by date. I take advantage of these deals and buy as much meat as my budget allows. I store the meat in freezer bags, as that takes up less space. It's important to always label and date the meat.
2. Prep the meat before it goes in the freezer. Sometimes I have time for this. Sometimes I don't. I always appreciate it when I defrost the meat and I've already trimmed it and it's ready to go. Taking steps beforehand saves time later. I try to always have some cooked and seasoned ground beef portioned in our freezer. It makes spaghetti or taco night a breeze!
3. Menu plan around meat in the freezer. I make a list of all of my meats and plan my menus around that. It's a great way to save money in the grocery budget and get organized!
4. Vary the menu. I try not to have too many meals back to back with the same protein. I like to also make a few meatless meals a month.
5. Repurpose leftovers. I make a delicious pork tenderloin in the slow cooker. We eat the pork one night with side dishes. The next night it gets repurposed into burritos, tacos, nachos, or a barbecue sandwich. The family gets variety and I get away with only cooking one protein for two meals. It's a win-win!
6. Use dried beans. Soaking and cooking beans is beneficial in so many ways. It takes time, but it saves money. One bag yields a lot of beans. It is much cheaper than canned beans. The beans are perfect for meatless meals in the menu. (Nachos, rice and beans, soups, meatless taco bake, etc.)
7. Keep frozen vegetables in the freezer. Nights when I'm plain exhausted, steam in the bag frozen broccoli florets save the day. Frozen or fresh vegetables are mainstays in our diet.
8. Use the internet. I've found some great blogs and new recipes online. Pinterest is my go to for finding and organizing allergy friendly recipes.
9. Try new recipes. Know that some recipes (especially ones that are adapted because of food allergies) might fail. In that case, laugh, enjoy a sandwich for dinner, and keep trying. I've had my share of cooking failures. I've had more successes, though, and that's the important part.
10. Make a list of favorite recipes. When planning, refer to this list. Plan a few favorites and pencil in some of those new recipes that were pinned on Pinterest. Add new successful recipes to the favorites list. After a few weeks, the list will be longer and it will be easier to plan a varied menu with all of these recipes right at your fingertips. This works well for me.
I do every single one of these steps and it saves us time and money. Living with food allergies can be expensive and stressful. Meal planning doesn't have to be either.
Do you menu plan? Please share your tips below.
Last week we announced the launch of Neocate Splash, Unflavored and we hope that you are excited about the unveiling of this new product as we are. Our team understands that you and your families may have questions about Neocate Splash, Unflavored so, we wanted to give you a closer look at our newest product offering.
Here is what you need to know about Neocate Splash, Unflavored:
What is Neocate® Splash, Unflavored?
Neocate Splash, Unflavored is a hypoallergenic, amino acid-based, ready-to-drink product designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of individuals over one year of age. It is unflavored with a mild taste and can be given in a tube feeding or consumed orally. Neocate Splash, Unflavored is gluten- and casein-free, has no soy oil, and provides 30 calories per fluid ounce. Neocate Splash, Unflavored is indicated for use in the dietary management of individuals with cow and soy milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance, eosinophilic esophagitis, short bowel syndrome, and other conditions of gastrointestinal tract impairment and malabsorption requiring an elemental diet (e.g.gastroesophageal reflux, enterocolitis, and Crohn’s disease). Neocate Splash, Unflavored is intended for use under medical supervision.
We are very excited to announce the launch of NEW Neocate Splash, Unflavored. This great new product is available in the United States starting July of 2014! Neocate Splash, Unflavored is a hypoallergenic, nutritionally complete, amino acid based, ready-to-feed formula for individuals over the age of one year. At Nutricia North America, we work hard to make sure that your child receives the best possible nutritional support. Towards this goal we introduce new products to provide your family with great options based on the latest medical and scientific knowledge.
This great new product is indicated for the dietary management of cow and soy milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance, eosinophilic esophagitis, short bowel syndrome, malabsorption, and other medical conditions for which an amino acid-based diet is required. Neocate Splash, Unflavored is a NEW addition to our Neocate family of products. This great new ready-to-feed option is differentiated from our E028 Splash products, not only by its slightly different name, but also by its formulation and packaging, which incorporates age neutral graphics into a sleek drink box design. Neocate Splash, Unflavored has a unique nutrient profile, based on that of Neocate Junior, to provide complete nutritional support.
For customers who are currently using our flavored E028 Splash products, please be assured these products will remain available and unchanged. Here are several key features of the NEW Neocate Splash, Unflavored: