Food Allergy Living Blog

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Introducing Your Neocate Baby to Solids - Summer Treat

Posted 7.26.16 | Irina Kabigting

Whether you are introducing your baby to solid food or are just looking for a refreshing summer treat, the following recipe is perfect for a hot day. This recipe is especially refreshing if you cool it in the refrigerator before serving.

Click on the image below to download a printable recipe card.

If you need additional information for introducing solid food to your Neocate baby, here are three resources that might be handy:

Additional Recipes

Our Neocate YouTube channel is full of additional recipes you can try today (don’t forget to subscribe as additional videos are added on a regular basis).

Do you have a Neocate recipe you created? We would love to hear all about it. Make sure to comment below with your recipe name and what inspired your crea

Summer Travel Checklist

Posted 7.21.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Are you going on vacation with your family this summer? Traveling with allergies can be daunting, but that doesn’t mean you need to avoid travel altogether. Precautionary steps can be taken to minimize the chance of you or a loved one having an allergic reaction while on the road. Whether you’re traveling by car, plane, or train, transporting Neocate requires preparation. Follow our checklist to make sure that you are prepared for your journey. 

 Don’t forget to pack:

  • EpiPen
  • Allergy cards
  • Antibacterial wipes
  • Diaper bag: Check out our blog post on what to pack.
  • Neocate: Make sure to pack enough to last your entire trip!
  • Medications
  • Cash, ATM card, or traveler’s checks
  • Printouts of reservations

Travel tips:

  • Plan ahead of time. Make sure you have the right amount of Neocate to last your entire trip. You don’t want to have to call pharmacies to locate formula while you are relaxing with your family!
  • If you are flying, read the TSA policy. They have strict limits about flying with liquids and powders. You might want to consider packing Neocate in your checked bags to avoid the hassle. Make sure you have enough formula in your carry-on to last you the entire flight. It might be easier to bring a small cooler for your bottles!
  • Pack your snacks. If you are flying, there are select food items that can be taken on board within your carry-on bag, which include fresh whole fruit, like oranges and apples. Wrapped sandwiches, bags of chips, and pastries are usually okay, so long as the items are sealed properly. If you are unsure what is allowed and what isn’t allowed, see TSA’s official list of prohibited items
  • Pack an EpiPen. It is recommended that you pack an EpiPen within your carry-on bag, as checked bags can be subject to rough handling and hot temperatures that could render the EpiPen ineffective. As a precautionary measure, carry the prescription label from the pharmacy and a note from your doctor acknowledging the food allergy. 
  • Pack your allergy card, and copies if you have them. Having an allergy card to provide to flight crew and like staff will provide a clear outline of the types of foods that can cause your little one to have a reaction. If you unsure how to create one, we made it super simple using the Neocate Footsteps App.

Lastly, remember to have a great time! Here are some inspirational images other Neocate families have shared with us as they were getting ready on their trips. 


If you have any additional travel tips or would like to share your packing photos, feel free to comment below or post them to our Facebook page. Have fun, and stay safe on your travels this summer! 

What to do with Unused Neocate Products? You Can Donate!

Posted 7.19.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Clutter. It is something I don’t like to have around my work or living area. If you are like and have extra Neocate formula around your house (that you no longer need), you may view extra formula as “clutter” and something that you need to get rid of. But what do you do with that formula that was prescribed to you by a healthcare professional? Consider donating your unused  to someone who may be able to benefit from it!  When donating, it’s very important to ensure that the formula is not expired.  For our powdered Neocate products you can find the expiration date on the bottom of the can. If you’re looking at a drink box of Splash, you can find the expiration date on the top of the drink box. The expiration dates on the Neocate family of products follow the standard North American format, which is Month/Day/Year. 

Oley Foundation

One option is to consider donating to an organization that assists those in need that can’t afford formula. One such example is the Oley Foundation. It was started in 1983 and “strives to enrich the lives of those living with home intravenous nutrition and tube feeding through education, advocacy, and networking”.

The Oley Foundation has an Equipment/Supply Exchange Program to connect families in need of enteral formula, pumps, tubing and other supplies with families who have items to donate. Note that items are for donation only and there may be costs associated with shipping the formula. In general, it is the responsibility of the individual receiving the formula to pay for the shipping costs. Procedures for donating to Oley Foundation.

The Parker Lee Project

This is another organization you might want to consider when donating unused formula that is based in Texas. Parker Lee Project was started by Megan & Phillip Smith after they had first-hand experience if struggling, arguing and pleading with offices, insurance companies, and DME companies for various supplies for their daughter.

The Parker Lee Project accepts all unused unopened supplise (except Suction Supplies) and all gently used equipment (as long as it hasn't been molded to fit your child specifically). View their website on various ways to connect.

The Hovannesian Feeding Foundation

This foundation was started by Hovannesian family after welcoming into their family daughter born with Kabuki Syndrome.  The organizations collects items to redistribute to families that have to pay out of pocket despite having insurance.  

Additional Resources

You can always call your local pediatric gastroenterologist office or a local Children's Hospital to ask if they accept donations for people whose insurance won't cover it. Additionally, you can find other family support groups via the following pages:

If you know of a resource that accepts donations of Neocate products that you would like to share with our community, please don’t hesitate to comment below. You can also consult with your healthcare professional for other options on donating your unused formula to other families that may need it.

Note, organizations listed above are not endorsed by Nutricia North America and cannot be responsible for the information they contain.

- Ellen

Ellen Sviland Avery joined the Nutricia team during the summer of 2014. She has extensive experience in pediatrics, metabolics and tube feeding. Prior to coming to Nutricia, she worked in home infusion. She has been a registered dietitian for more than 12 years. Her passion in pediatric nutrition started when she was in Birmingham working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and has continued throughout her career.

3 Tips to Prepare for Summer Camp with Food Allergies

Posted 7.14.16 | Nutrition Specialist

School is out and summer is here!  For a lot of families that means vacations and summer camps. Do you need help making sure your child’s allergies stay in check over the summer?  We can help! Preparation is important when sending kids with food allergies away to camp, on vacations, or to stay with relatives.  But how can you prepare?


First, find out if the summer camp your child will be attending has a policy on food allergies. Additional questions to help with your research:

  • Does the camp allow other children to pack lunches/snacks which contain possible food allergens like peanuts, nuts and/or milk products?  If so, is there a designated area for allergic children to eat their snacks and lunches? 
  • What kind of staff will your child have access to? Is there a healthcare professional on site? What are their credentials and responsibilities?
  • What are the procedures for emergencies? How far away is the camp from a hospital or a medical treatment center?
  • What activities will the camp provide during your child’s stay?  Is there elevated potential for exposure to known allergens?
  • Is there a dedicated place where allergen-free snacks are stored?
  • For some information on allergy-friendly camps, or camps that are aware of how to manage allergies:
  • FARE: List of Food Allergy-Friendly Camps
  • Summer Camp Options for Food Allergic, Gluten-Free and Vegan Kids

Additionally, check-out the following recording of a webinar featuring Dr. Pistiner and Ms. Polmear-Swendris answering questions about how to choose a camp, what questions to ask of summer camp staff, how to store epinephrine at camp, and a review of basic food allergy management.


Once you have decided upon your camp of choice, the next step is to advocate for your child. Notify everybody about your child’s allergies: the camp director, counselors, subs (if you have access to them), even insist the camp lifeguard is aware.  If the camp you chose to attend does not have an allergy policy in place, help educate organizers on how to keep your child safe.  First, help camp counselors and administrators understand your child’s allergy.  Don’t assume they have all the facts. Second, tell them how to handle any possible exposure and give them your emergency care plan (this is a perfect time to share an allergy card you can create using the Neocate Footsteps App).  Here’s another helpful link that you can use to help staff members prepare: PDF Example of FARE Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Emergency Care Plan


Finally, one of the best ways to prepare is to talk to your child about their food allergies.  If your child is old enough to understand their allergy, they can be the first line of defense against an accidental exposure.  Help them recognize their symptoms and how to alert staff members for help.  Have your child label their lunch and snack; reiterating the importance of not sharing foods and/or drinks with other campers. 

Educate your child on how to properly manage food allergies at camp and ensure that they are aware of:

  • Green light and red light (or safe and unsafe) foods
  • Strategies for avoiding exposure to allergens (i.e. NEVER trade food with other campers)
  • Symptoms of allergic reactions (i.e. NOT to go off alone if symptoms are beginning);
  • How and when to tell an adult about a possible allergic response
  • How to read a food label (if your child is younger, plan with the camp how to handle this)
  • How to use epinephrine 

If you are sending your little toddler to their first camp, use the following link to read 3 Easy Steps for Success when Explaining Food Allergies to your Toddler.

And finally, have them wear a medical alert bracelet.   There are many options available for bracelets, including waterproof ones, perfect for summer!

Keep in mind, getting ready for camp can be similar to how you get ready for a new school year or traveling.   If you need additional tips on how to specifically travel this summer with Neocate, make sure to check-out Helpful Tips and Resources when Traveling with Food Allergies.

We hope these tips will help make this summer a fun and exciting experience for your children; a summer they will never forget while staying healthy and safe!  Do you have any other tips or suggestions to share?  We would love to hear from you!

Meet Some Awesome Neocate Families!

Posted 7.12.16 | Nutrition Specialist

In March of this year we at Nutricia had the great privilege to meet with three wonderful families that are using various Neocate products to manage their cow milk and multiple food allergies. We were delighted to hear about their unique stories, about the ups and downs in their allergy journeys, both the tears and the laughter and ultimately about how all their experiences have made them stronger!

One topic we talked about with the families was the areas of support that they felt were the most important to them. They also told us how more information and more unique support could be made available for everyone that is dealing with a food allergy. But hear for yourself what they shared with us!

We would like to thank the families involved for their time, their energy and their wonderful stories. We will be posting more updates in the future. In the meantime, if you have a story that you would like to share about food allergy, cow milk allergy, Neocate or anything related you can get in touch with us by commenting below!


NEW Neocate Footsteps Parent Guide – Download Yours Today!

Posted 7.8.16 | Neocate Admin

In May we introduced you to our Neocate Footsteps program which provides a comprehensive set of support tools for you along the food allergy journey. As part of the Footsteps program we are launching a Footsteps Parent Guide. This new guide gives you more detail on food allergies supported by Neocate as well as tips to help you overcome any bumps in the road.

Download the Footsteps Parent Guide Now

Here are some topic areas covered by the Footsteps Parent Guide:

  • Food Allergies Explained– Helps explain food allergies and the various conditions Neocate helps with
  • Insurance Reimbursement– Learn how our Navigator program can help you get insurance coverage for Neocate
  • Managing Food Allergies at Home– Tips and tricks for changing your routine at home as you adjust to a new lifestyle with food allergies
  • Stepping out with Food Allergies– Learn how to adjust your routine outside of home and protect your child with food allergies when they set into social situations

Neocate Footsteps is here to help and support you at every step of your food allergy journey. Make sure to download your copy of the Footsteps Parent Guide today and check out other components of the Footsteps program. 

Neocate Footsteps Program Components:


> Download the Footsteps Parent Guide Now

Have you tried any of the services listed above? Let us know your thoughts and share your experiences. We would love to hear back from you.


3 Neocate Smoothie Recipes - Quick & Easy Ways to Cool off this Summer

Posted 7.5.16 | Nutrition Specialist

The sun is shining bright, days are longer, school is out of session, and I cannot wait to be outside enjoying the weather or sitting by the water. Yes, that is right. Summer is officially here!! Even when your schedule no longer changes with summer break from school, many of us look forward to this time of year. 

Summer is a wonderful time of year for me since I cannot get enough of the sunshine and outdoor activities. I might just be walking my dogs late in the sunshine of the long days, sitting on a neighborhood bench while reading and enjoying the crisp evening air, or perhaps enjoying a refreshing beverage to keep myself cool while enjoying the company of friends. I will do almost anything to get outside and soak up some summer rays and take advantage of long days.

Unfortunately along with the wonderful summer sun comes the summer heat. And if you live in a humid climate like me, that can make the heat of a hot day quite uncomfortable. What better to cool you off than a refreshing beverage!? Well we here at Neocate have some quick and easy ideas for you to enjoy the Neocate you know and love with a bit of a twist to help you cool off in the summer heat.

Vanilla Orange Pineapple Fruit Blast Smoothie

How about some brightly colored oranges and pineapple to go along with those summer rays? Well, if you want to brighten your day then this Vanilla Orange Pineapple Fruit Blast Smoothie is a must for you. A few quick items into the blender and you will have a refreshing citrus smoothie to enjoy in the heat or maybe even poolside. Check out this video and recipe details and you will be minutes away from a bright and refreshing Neocate treat.

Here’s a quick recipe card you can save and print for your records:



Pumped Up Peach and Strawberry Smoothie

Oranges don’t seem to cool you off? No worries. How about Peaches and Strawberries? This Pumped Up Peach and Strawberry Smoothie has only 3 simple ingredients including some frozen fruit and Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry flavor for some added strawberry kick. Just pop the 3 simple ingredients into the blender and you are just moments away from a tasty strawberry delight to help you cool off from the summer heat. Watch this quick video to see how simple and easy it is for you to enjoy one of your very own.

Click on the image below for printable recipe card

Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Smoothie

I am a girl who loves to enjoy some chocolate. If you agree (at least with the chocolate bit), then this Cinnamon Chocolate Swirl Smoothie will really hit the spot. Perfect for when you want something refreshing and also a chocolate treat to perhaps satisfy your late summer evening chocolate cravings. This is a great one to keep handy when you want to take your smoothie with you on the go since you can add the Neocate Junior, Chocolate flavor powder directly to the mixture. After a quick shake in your shaker cup you are on your way with a refreshing beverage in hand.

Click on the image below for printable recipe card

What are some of your favorite summer treats to beat the summer heat? Let us know how you like these recipes, or any other suggestions to beat the summer heat.

--Kristin Crosby MS, RDN

2016 Unique Summer Activities for the Family

Posted 7.1.16 | Nutrition Specialist

The end of school and start of summer vacation is here! Yippee and oh my! Right?

Summer is a great time for activities for the whole family. You probably already have one or several plans on your summer horizon, but are probably open to suggestions too. Great! Creative activities have my name all over them and I’m happy to share.

But wait- first of all, are you worried about taking on all this fun adventure and keeping track of food allergies? Never fear, Neocate is here with an abundance of resources and tools with your food allergy needs in mind.  For instance, have you seen our NEW Footsteps App? Consider it a go-to anywhere, anytime assistant. Seriously! You can reference a video all about it featured in this blog New Neocate Footsteps App – Support in YOUR Pocket.

One of the app features that is great for allergy kids on the go this summer, is the Allergy Card section. This feature can be used to organize important information about your child’s food allergy and can be taken along or shared with others. No need to memorize. You can even create multiple cards for caregivers, camp counselors, etc. These cards can be shared in multiple ways or simply printed and stashed in your backpack. Allergy cards provide a simple way to present information pertaining to your child’s condition(s), Neocate products used, medication(s), allergen(s) as well as doctor's information. It even includes an option for you to put additional notes, add recipes and links to favorite Neocate resources too. Pretty cool, huh?

Now are you ready for some summer family fun suggestions?  OK, here you go!

Happy 100th Birthday to our National Park Service

The National Park Service is celebrating its centennial birthday on August 25, 2016 and EVERYONE is invited to share in the celebration. Check it out here.

There are some pretty awesome downloadable guides from the National Park download center, here are a few offerings:

  • National Park Owner’s Guide – Filled with detailed maps, travel tips for over 400 parks.
  • Parks are for Play – Meant for parents to help kids enjoy, explore, and have adventures together.
  • Happy Trails – Spanning all levels of expertise, this guide is meant to inspire park wanderlust.
  • Urban Playgrounds – A park list within or close to metropolitan areas for day trip experiences.

You may want to look at our previous post Food Allergy Free Holiday Activities for more on this topic. Sometimes outside fun can happen in your own backyard and we have fun ideas for this too.

Happy Birthday AMERICA!

July 4th will mark the 240th anniversary of when the original thirteen colonies declared their independence from Britain in 1776. Check out your local listing of 4th of July events such as parades and fireworks. Check out our previous posts on this too:

Rainy Day Blues?

No problem! If you’re looking for something relaxing, creative or active, our post Rain Day=Fun Day is full of great ideas.

Whatever you do and wherever you go this summer- ENJOY! And remember to take the Nutricia Footsteps app along with you.

-Jody L. Benitz, MS, RDN

How to Get Neocate Covered - Discover the Nutricia Navigator Difference

Posted 6.21.16 | Nutrition Specialist

The insurance landscape can be an intricate and confusing space. The bad news is that this landscape is getting more and more multifaceted. Unique sets of terms, changing legislature governing medical food, and new private and government-funded health insurance plans are just few of the elements that add to the complexity. The good news is that you don’t have to navigate world of healthcare coverage alone.

At Neocate we offer a free service created to help you find product access and coverage. This service is called Navigator and it helps you do just that, navigate. Nutricia Navigator provides resources and support to help answer your reimbursement questions. For example:

  • Do I have to pay for out-of-pocket costs?
  • My insurance denied product coverage, now what?
  • I am on WIC, is Neocate covered?

Our Navigator team works with Medicaid, WIC, self-funded plans, commercial insurance, & state mandates. Here's a quick video that provides an overview of the services the Navigator team provides:

Hear from Michael & Jennifer Derouen from Kingwood, TX on how Nutricia Navigator assisted them to obtain coverage for Neocate after they were initially denied coverage by their insurance company:

How can Navigator Help?

  • Contact your insurance plan to verify if you have coverage
  • Helps you understand where & how Nutricia products can be covered
  • Will assist in appealing denials for Nutricia product coverage through medical necessity support
  • Initiates joint calls between you, healthcare teams & insurance companies to guide you through difficult reimbursement processes

What Makes Nutricia Navigator Service Unique?

The Navigator team will go above and beyond to investigate all possible avenues to help you have the Nutricia product in-hand and make sure all questions have been answered. The Nutricia Navigator service is a piece of a comprehensive suite of tools and services Neocate offers as part of the Neocate Footsteps program. Learn More.

How to Contact Navigator

There are several ways you can contact our Navigator team, just choose the one that works best for you:

  • Email – Send an email to our team
  • Call – Give a call at 1-800-365-7354 and select option 5 between 10 am – 5 pm ET, Monday- Friday

Our goal is to help every family’s food allergy journey become as simple as possible. Even if, in the past, you have been denied coverage for Neocate by your insurance company, we encourage for you to double-check with our Navigator team to see if all possible options have been exhausted.

If our Navigator team has helped you, please share your experience with others below!

Father’s Day Gifts Kids Can Make

Posted 6.16.16 | Nutrition Specialist

With Father’s Day quickly approaching, it’s time to start thinking about what to get dad for his special day. Instead of heading to the mall, try taking some time with your little one to create a handmade gift! All of the gifts below are inexpensive and can be made with your children’s help!


Custom Golf Balls - Use recycled golf balls to make a custom gift for dad! All you need are markers and a little creativity to paint!







Popsicle Stick Photo Frames - All you need are popsicle sticks, tape, and glue! Print out your favorite picture with dad and add it to a customized frame.







Superdad Footprint Card - This is the perfect craft to get your children excited for Father’s Day. Use any color paint you want your super dad to be. You can also paint a shirt and gift to dads or grandpas!






“My Dad Rocks” - The hardest part of making this craft is finding the perfect rock! From there, all you need to do is wash it and paint a little message.







Paper Tie Craft - This is a super easy DIY paper tie you and your little one can make for Father’s Day. You can write a personal message on the ties, paste a cut out of your children’s hands or decorate however you choose!






For more fun gift ideas, check out our list of last-minute gift ideas here. From all of us at Nutricia North America, we would like to wish a Happy Father’s Day to all food allergy dads!




fathers day  |  holidays  |  family

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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.