Food Allergy Living Blog

Nutrition Specialist Column

Tube Feeding Research - You Can Help!

Posted 4.17.14 | Rob McCandlish, RD

We recently learned about a tube feeding research protocol that is currently recruiting families. We know that a lot of families use feeding tubes with our Neocate products. If you have a child who is tube fed, you may be able to help!

What the researchers are studying

Robert Porter, BBA, MBA, is a doctoral researcher at Capella University. He is looking at how a feeding tube might affect a child’s language development. If you’re wondering why he’s so interested, his son Bo was tube fed for over seven years and his wife is also a Speech Language Pathologist!

Which families are eligible to help?

-Parents/caregivers who are US citizens, or US residents who speak English as the primary language with their child
-Children 2 to 7 years old who are currently or have been tube-fed for at least 12 consecutive months, receiving at least 80% of nutrition through a feeding tube
-Children currently diagnosed with a language delay

Where can I find more information?        

You can find more information at the website that’s been set up for the study:

We hope that any of you who may be eligible are willing to help with this important research!

- Rob

Managing Food Allergies: Easter and Passover

Posted 4.10.14 | Mallory West

Holidays and special events tend to include food and spring celebrations are no exception. Whether your family celebrates Easter or Passover, you might be looking for help to ensure that your little one stays safe and enjoys the day. We’ve compiled some tips and food-allergy recipe ideas for today’s post.



Kids with Food Allergies’ offers these awesome guides to celebrating Easter with food allergies:

Also, here are some dyeable ceramic eggs available for kids with egg allergies:



Kids with Food Allergies has some wonderful resources for enjoying an allergy-friendly Passover:

Check out these allergy-friendly Passover recipes provided by

We also came across this food allergy mom’s blog, Kosher with Food Allergies!


How does your family manage food allergies on Easter or Passover? Please share your tips and recipes!


Understanding Your Baby’s Stool

Posted 4.2.14 | Nutrition Specialist

During the first months of life, parents pay close attention to their baby’s bowel movements. Any variation from what they perceive as a “normal poop” can cause a lot of anxiety for a parent. So what exactly is a “normal poop or bowel movement”? The answer is complex; every baby is different so what is considered “normal” will vary from baby to baby.

The color, consistency and frequency of bowel movements may differ. It will depend on if the baby is breast-fed or formula-fed, as well as the mom’s diet or the type of formula used. Below are some general guidelines to help you with your diaper expectations.

Color & Consistency:

  • Breast-fed babies: An exclusively breast-fed baby’s stools will be a light mustard color and often will have seed-like specs. In terms of consistency, stools may range from very soft to loose and runny.
  • Formula-fed babies: For a baby consuming standard (milk or soy-based) infant formula, stools are generally tan or yellow in color. When it comes to consistency, a breast-fed baby will have comparatively firmer stools but usually not firmer than a peanut butter consistency.
  • Neocate babies: If your baby is on an elemental formula, like Neocate, stools may be greenish in color and are often relatively dark (but not black, black can indicate blood in the stools so always contact the doctor if you see this). This is completely normal and is due to the special composition of Neocate and the way it is digested in the body.

Regardless if your baby drinks breast milk or formula, blood or mucus in the stool is not typical so if you see this, you should let the physician know right away.


The frequency of bowel movements varies greatly from baby to baby. Some newborn babies may have a bowel movement after each feeding and others may go once a day or even once every two days. During the first weeks of life, before you have learned your baby’s pooping pattern, it is generally advised to call the physician if the baby goes three or more days without a bowel movement.

  • Breast-fed babies: After the first month, breast-fed babies usually have fewer bowel movements than before. It some cases, it is normal for a baby to have only one bowel movement a week. Breast milk leaves little solid waste so bowel movements are less frequent However, as long as the stools are soft (no firmer than peanut butter) and the baby is healthy and growing, there is no reason for concern.
  • Formula-fed babies: Formula-fed babies typically have one or more bowel movement a day. If you are concerned that your baby has infrequent bowel movements or notice that he/she is straining to pass a bowel movement, this may indicate that he/she is constipated so check with the doctor.
  • Neocate babies: Because Neocate is so broken down, it is very easily digested and there is very little waste leftover. Therefore it’s normal for bowel movements to decrease in frequency once you switch to Neocate. As long as stools aren’t overly hard and dry and the baby doesn’t seem to have trouble passing them, this is perfectly normal.


Regardless if your baby is breast-fed or formula-fed, hard or dry stools that are difficult to pass may indicate constipation. Talk with the doctor about what you can do to help. Sometimes the solution is as simple as providing additional fluids. Other times, the doctor will prescribe a laxative to make it easier for your baby to pass bowel movements.


Because a newborn’s stools may be soft and slightly runny, it may be difficult to tell if they have diarrhea. A significant increase in frequency or an extremely liquid bowel movement are signs to look for. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration so if you are concerned that your baby has diarrhea, contact the physician.

With Baby Poop, Normal Depends on the Baby

The general message for this post is that every baby has their own “normal poop” and what’s normal for one baby may not be normal for another. The key is to look out for any sudden change in your baby’s normal bowel movements. Keep in mind that occasional variations are normal, especially once a baby begins taking solid foods.

Hopefully this gives you some guidance for what to expect at diaper changing time. Keep in mind that you know your baby best, so if you’re ever concerned about your baby’s bowel movements, contact the physician just in case. What have you experienced? What advice would you share with other moms?

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics

Posted 3.25.14 | Rob McCandlish, RD

Families ask every now and then: What’s the difference between Neocate Junior and Neocate Junior with Prebiotics? Which one should I choose?

Main Differences

The key differences between these two products are basic. One version has added prebiotic fiber, the other does not (more on prebiotics below). They are also available in different flavors. Neocate Junior (without added fiber) is available in Unflavored, Chocolate, and Tropical flavors. Neocate Junior with added prebiotic fiber is available in Unflavored, Vanilla, and Strawberry flavors. We offer multiple flavors of each version to give our customers options. For children especially, growing evidence suggests they may leave less in their cup if given a choice between flavors.(1)

Benefits of Prebiotics

The next logical question is ‘Which version of Neocate Junior is right?’ There are a few things to consider about fiber, and parents and caregivers should always discuss this with the healthcare team.

1) Most children don’t meet their fiber recommendations.(2,3) This data is based on children with typical diets, who don’t need a formula like Neocate. For those on a more restricted diet, meeting fiber needs is often even more difficult.

2) Prebiotic fiber may help with regularity. Similar to fiber in our diet from fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, added prebiotic fiber may help with diarrhea, constipation, and vomiting.(4,5) Regularity can be an occasional problem for those who depend on elemental formula.

3) Added fiber has been suggested for individuals who depend on elemental formula, like Neocate, for long periods of time.(6) Having a formula like Neocate Junior with Prebiotics that already has fiber added makes it simple!

After hearing about the benefits of prebiotic fiber, some families ask us when someone might not choose Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. For most individuals, a formula with added prebiotic fiber is probably a better option, unless they prefer the Tropical or Chocolate flavor. However some individuals have rare conditions or follow restricted diets in which certain types of fiber should be avoided. Again, it’s best to discuss this with the healthcare team.

What questions do you have about prebiotic fiber?


1. Brandt KA, et al. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:A-95.
2. Butte NF, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:S27.
3. Hampl JS, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:1418.
4. Saavedra JM, et al. Br J Nutr. 2002;87S2:S241.
5. Waligora-Dupriet AJ, et al. Int J Food Microbiol. 2007;113:108.
6. Girten M, et al. In: Eosinophilic Esophagitis. 2011:323.

How to Mix Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry

Posted 3.13.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Last week, we announced the official launch of Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry.  So far, we've gotten a ton of great feedback on the newest flavor. Many little ones (and some adults!) are finding it to be extremely delicious.

As we continue working to provide families with the best possible products, we want to ensure parents and caregivers have all the necessary resources needed. Linked below is our latest mixing tutorial for Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry.



Nutricia looks forward to bringing you the best clinical nutrition products. For more information on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry and how to request a sample please call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-365-7354. 

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is Here

Posted 3.6.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Nutricia North America is pleased to announce the official launch of Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry. We are very excited about bringing you this new flavor.

As we continue to roll out the launch there are just a few things we want you to know. 

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 is available as a powder in 14.1 oz cans. Over the course of the next several weeks and days, we will be sharing more information on this great tasting new product online at, including details on how to purchase it and a mixing tutorial via the NeocateUS YouTube channel. 
Nutricia looks forward to bringing you the best clinical nutrition products. For more information on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry and how to request a sample please call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-365-7354. 

Mixing Video for Neocate Infant DHA/ARA

Posted 2.28.14 | Nutrition Specialist

We get questions from families pretty often about how to properly mix Neocate products.  This is why in addition to the preparation instructions on our website our Nutrition Specialists have created videos explaining how to properly mix Neocate products for our blog and NeocateUSYouTube channel!

We are excited to share with you our most recent mixing video for Neocate Infant DHA/ARA.

Neocate Infant DHA/ARA is the first and only amino acid-based infant formula with added nucleotides – you can read more about nucleotides here.  The great thing about Neocate Infant DHA/ARA is that the standard mixing uses one ounce of water to one scoop of formula, allowing you ounce-by-ounce mixing. For instance when your little one is ready to step up from a four-ounce bottle to five ounces, you just need to add one more ounce of water and one more scoop of powder, which means less formula wasted (compared to formulas that use 1 scoop to 2 ounces water).


Have you had a chance to view this mixing video?  Do you find this video helpful? What other mixing videos would you like to see? Let us know by posting a comment in the comment section!

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. 

Tips for Raising Food Allergy Socially Aware Children

Posted 2.20.14 | Nutrition Specialist

With an increase in food allergies these days, it is extremely important that today’s youth fully understand the ramifications food allergies pose on those affected. However, this is a lot easier said than done. How do we get through to our little ones the seriousness of food allergies? has a great education and awareness page. On this page you can find very simplified but informative presentations which can be offered to kids in elementary school, or teens in high school, regarding the significance of food allergies and what to do if their classmate or friend is experiencing an allergic reaction. They have really nice posters which can be displayed in classrooms or organizations, as well as bookmarks for a constant reminder throughout a child’s day. My favorite find on the site, are these adorable “PAL™ Hero Awards”, which can be handed out to a child when they are observed promoting food allergy awareness.

Another fantastic website to check out is They have a large array of really nice posters, which can be downloaded for free, and displayed anywhere in classrooms or organizations too. In addition to the free posters on this site, there is also a 4½ minute learning module on food allergies for elementary school-aged children.

You can review the learning pieces on these websites alone with your child, or bring it to the attention of your child’s teacher so that they may be used as a learning activity in school. Suggest bringing these posters and bookmarks to the classroom to increase the safety of those affected with food allergies.

Do you have any suggestions to help increase the awareness of food allergies for today’s youth? If so, please share!


Average Yearly Cost for Food Allergies and Cost Saving Tips

Posted 1.16.14 | Nutrition Specialist

Approximately 8% of children living in the United States are living with food allergies.  A recent report published by JAMA Pediatrics, surveyed 1,600 caretakers of a child with a food allergy, the overall cost of childhood food allergies was estimated to be nearly $25 billion each year with medicine, special food, loss of work, and other expenses.  This means, annually, food allergy costs are $4,184 per child.  Special diets and allergen-free foods were estimated to be the second costliest expense with food allergies at $1.7 billion, with medical being number one.  This means raising a child with food allergies can increase your costs by about 30%.

Unfortunately, most of us do not have an extra 30% to spend annually.  This increases a need to find ways on how to save money while keeping the child safe from harmful allergens.  I went to researching the internet for ideas on how caretakers can attempt to save some pennies while keeping their child safe.  Below I have listed a few ideas that you may find helpful.  Please share any other helpful hints you may have, we would love to hear from you.

Make your own meals

By preparing ahead of time with menus for the week, you will be less likely to purchase impulse buys at the grocery store.  In addition to reducing impulse buys, you will also waste less food by knowing how much you are going to use ahead of time and have fewer trips to the stores.  By preparing your own meals, you are able to adjust the recipe as needed and attempt to reduce the need for costly special ingredients.  One of the articles I found referenced which is a meal-planning website that sorts recipes by all major dietary restrictions, including common allergens such as nuts and dairy. 

Clip coupons and stock up

The Sunday newspaper is always a great first start as it is filled with coupon magazines and grocery circulars.  The next suggestion would be going to the grocer's website to see which allergy-friendly brands they have and if there are any coupons to print at that time.  The last suggestion you may find helpful is going to the product's website directly as they may have coupons for print on their site.  Once you have your coupons and see what is on sale at which store you can start stocking up on items with long-shelf-lives.

Online shopping

Obtaining product straight from the source is sometimes the cheapest way to purchase items as a middleman is not required for stocking, shelving, and shipping to add additional fees.  The products website may even offer a discount if a certain amount of the item is ordered, or free shipping if a specific amount of money was spent on the site. 

Don't forget samples

Some companies will offer a complimentary sample, this way your child can try the product before purchasing a large, and quite often pricey, amount.  Do not feel shy about asking the company if samples are available. 


References: 1. "The Economic Impact of Childhood Food Allergy in the United States" Ruchi Gupta, et al., JAMA Pediatrics, doi:10.1001/jamapediatrics.2013.2376, published online 16 September 2013. 2. "Kids & Food Allergies: 4 Ways to Keep High Costs in Check" Christine Ryan Jyoti,, posted on November 13, 2013. 

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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.