Food Allergy Living Blog




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6 Benefits of Food Tracking Diaries for Food Allergies

Posted 5.24.16 | Irina Kabigting

Mainstream media often covers the topic of food journaling or keeping a food diary to track what you eat. Usually that’s in the context of dieting, because this strategy can help us be more mindful of the foods we eat and can help in reducing the number of calories consumed. But have you ever thought about the benefits food journals can bring to families managing food allergies?

Today we will go over some of the benefits that can be gained by keeping a detailed food allergy journal.

What is a Food Allergy Journal?

A food allergy journal is a place where you record food intake for you and/or your child on a regular basis in a chronological order. This journal contains exactly what was eaten, when and where. The more detailed your records are, the easier it is for your healthcare team to spot potential allergy triggers and/or cross-reactions. (Unsure what cross-reactions are? Read Food Allergies and Cross-Reactivity – Do You Have to Avoid Related Foods?) Don’t forget to include in your records ingredients of an item consumed, note brand names used and quantities eaten.

Additional items you can track in your journal:

  • Formula, breast milk and other liquids
  • Food preparation type - Homemade or pre-packaged? Raw or Cooked? Fried or Baked?
  • Medications/Vitamins taken
  • Symptoms observed - Severity, how soon after eating they showed up, what they looked like? What time of day/night did they show up? Start/stop time (when applicable). For example “Baby was gassy and fussy 30 minutes after drinking 4 oz of formula. This lasted for 2 hours after eating”.
  • Mental state - How did you/your child feel during the meal and after? Was your child more fussy than usual, or did she have trouble sleeping?
  • Environmental triggers - Did you eat at home or out at the restaurant? Did you visit anywhere that had animals? Was anyone wearing a lot of perfume? Were there freshly bought flowers or was a nearby window open?

Benefits of Food Allergy Journals:

While keeping very detailed records of everything eaten can take some time, it does come with benefits:

  1. No need to memorize everything you/your baby consumes. During your next doctor’s visit you can easily answer their diet-related questions
  2. Helps prepare you for the next office visit. Knowing exactly what was consumed can help spark questions you might have for your healthcare professional
  3. Can help identify trends/cross-reactions
  4. Can work as a playbook for your healthcare team when you come in with concerns. For example, do you have concerns about the number of diapers you are changing vs. how many you think you should be changing? Is your baby gaining enough/not enough weight?
  5. Can help guide potential tests/recommendations
  6. You can track symptom improvements over time after taking certain foods out of the diet

Automating Food Allergy Tracking

Food allergy tracking can be done with an old school paper and pen method or you can go the high tech route with spreadsheets or phone apps.

Did you know that using the new Neocate Footsteps app you can simplify the tracking process and even email your doctor all the information ahead of time?

There are many features the new app provides that can help you keep a detailes food allergy journal:

  • Track events and share reports with your healthcare team: Diaper changes, symptoms, sleep times, meals, bottles, mood, weight, height and head circumference. 

            

  • Attach images and notes to any event, such as a diaper or skin rash. No need to guess when a specific event happened, how many wet diapers your baby had that day, or what that rash looked like last Tuesday.

           

  • View easy-to-read charts that can help identify patterns in sleeping, eating, and allergic symptoms. 

           

  • Email Reports: You can even email these charts directly to your healthcare team ahead of time!

           

 

Learn more about the app.

Do you keep a food allergy diary? What tips would you share with other families?


National Eosinophil Awareness Week 2016 - Review from APFED

Posted 5.18.16 | Nutrition Specialist

As we are coming close to the end of celebrating National Eosinophil Awareness Week 2016, we would like to share a guest blog post from Mary Jo Strobel. Mary Jo is Executive Director of the American Parthership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED).

How do you say eosinophil? It’s a question we hear often, especially during National Eosinophil Awareness Week (May 15-21). The answer is: ee-oh-sin-oh-fil.

Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that play an important part of our immune system, helping us to fight off certain types of infections, such as parasites. Many different problems can cause high numbers of eosinophils in the blood including allergies (food and environmental), certain infections caused by parasites, eosinophil-associated gastrointestinal disorders, and other problems. When a person has elevated numbers of eosinophils in their digestive system, tissues, organs, and/or bloodstream, without a known cause, he or she may have an eosinophil-associated disease (EAD).

Eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders (EGIDs) are distinct diseases affecting areas of the gastrointestinal tract: the esophagus, stomach, and small and/or large intestine. EGIDs are often driven by food triggers.

Symptoms of EGIDs may vary from one person to the next, and may differ depending on age. Infants and toddlers often refuse their food or have trouble growing properly. School-age children may have recurring abdominal pain, trouble swallowing, or vomiting. Teens and adults most often have difficulty swallowing or painful swallowing. Their esophagus may narrow and cause food to become stuck (impaction), causing a medical emergency.

Currently, there is no FDA-approved therapy to treat EGIDs. Symptoms are controlled by dietary restrictions and/or swallowed steroids. Some patients have a severely restricted diet, or must avoid the vast majority of foods and instead receive all of their nutrition as an elemental diet (that is, amino acid-based nutrition), such as Neocate. Some patients are able to drink formula, while others need a feeding tube.

Join Us in Celebration of National Eosinophil Awareness Week!

This week is National Eosinophil Awareness Week (NEAW), May 15-21. Every year during the third week of May, our patient community comes together in honor and celebration of this special week to ramp up efforts around the globe to raise awareness of EADs. Since being officially recognized by Congress in 2007, this special week has helped bring about a greater understanding of these rare, chronic, and emerging diseases for which there is no cure.

APFED is spearheading the movement to unite patients and families, patient organizations, medical institutions and societies, healthcare providers, and companies that support the EAD community. We are working harder than ever to help the public, the medical community, and lawmakers understand the challenges faced by patients who have these diseases, placing particular emphasis on quality patient care, access to services and medical foods, and funding important research that will lead to improved diagnostics, treatments, and eventually a cure.

APFED is grateful to Neocate for supporting our National Eosinophil Awareness Week celebration. Thanks to this partnership, APFED will have the means to send educational packets to healthcare providers across the U.S. so that they have the information they need to better care for patients with EADs, and the ability to help patients and family with their efforts to raise awareness.

Visit APFED’s website to learn more about National Eosinophil Awareness Week and the ways that you can take part. We have new toolkits for individual supporters and health care professionals and organizations to help with your efforts. In addition, APFED’s blog has 10 easy ways you can support this special week.

We hope you'll take a moment to help us teach others about eosinophil-associated diseases. The first step is to share this blog post, and you can make a world of difference!

Mary Jo Strobel

Mary Jo Strobel is Executive Director of the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED), a non-profit patient advocacy organization dedicated to patients and their families coping with eosinophil-associated diseases. In addition to providing education and support services, APFED funds peer-reviewed research through its Hope on the Horizon program. This program is supported entirely by donations and allows investigators to initiate new, relevant projects that are likely to further the development of less invasive testing, new treatments and ultimately a cure.

Mary Jo lives in Northern Virginia with her husband and two children. Her niece suffers from eosinophilic esophagitis.

Do you have an eosinophil-associated disease? Check out these resources!

  • EosConnections online community support forum
  • APFED’s 14th Annual Patient Education Conference for EGIDs (July 8-9 in San Diego)
  • APFED’s E-library featuring video segments on a variety of topics
  • Consortium of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Researchers (CEGIR), a federally-funded initiative that brings together top experts in the U.S. to research EGIDs. Learn more about CEGIR and their enrolling trials, and sign up for the Contact Registry at www.rdcrn.org/cegir

Patient Perspectives – I am 13 and I have EoE

Posted 5.18.16 | Nutrition Specialist


Hi my name is Zachary and I am 13 years old. I was diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) at 13 months of age. I have had this disease my entire life.

Besides EoE, I have food allergies. In the beginning I was on formula only (an elemental diet, which is only amino acid-based nutrition) because there weren’t any foods that were safe for me to eat.  When I was 9 years old and in the 4th grade, I switched to E028 Splash. I was happy to switch to E028 Splash because it is premade in a drink box so I could just put it in the fridge for a couple of minutes and voila! There’s my meal! Throughout the years, the number of safe foods that I have has grown. Right now, I have around 40 safe foods. In the last three years alone I have gained 5 foods.

EoE impacts my everyday life since it restricts what foods I can eat. It has forced me to plan ahead by being prepared for every scenario. If I want to go to a restaurant with my friends, I have to make sure that there is something on the menu safe for me to eat, or bring my own food. I also have to bring my epinephrine auto-injector everywhere I go.

I am very excited that this week is National Eosinophil Awareness Week because I have a personal connection with its origin. In 2007, my family helped the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) to get this special week declared. I was one of the kid ambassadors that went to talk to members of Congress about eosinophilic esophagitis.  That was one of the best things that came out of having EoE!

-Zachary

For more information about EoE and National Eosinophil Awareness Week, please check out www.apfed.org.


National Eosinophil Awareness Week 2016

Posted 5.17.16 | Nutrition Specialist

May 15-21 2016

This week is the 9th Annual National Eosinophil Awareness Week!

Let’s start with a few basics. What are eosinophils? Eosinophils (pronounced E-O-sin-O-fills) are a type of white blood cell that are normally helpful to the body. Eosinophils play a role in the immune system, helping to fight off certain types of infections and parasites. These cells respond to triggers (e.g., food and airborne allergens) by releasing toxins into the affected area. Normally, most eosinophils spend most of their time in the circulatory system (basically in the blood).

However, sometimes eosinophils can go to parts of the body in large numbers, which is unusual. Affected areas of the body may include: the bladder, connective tissue, areas of the gastrointestinal tract (including the esophagus, stomach, small intestine and large intestine,), blood and lungs. If eosinophils  build up in these body parts in large numbers, they can cause swelling and other symptoms. That’s no fun!

We at Neocate support APFED (the American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders) in spreading awareness of Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disorders (EGIDs).  EGIDs are those disorders, like EoE (eosinophilic esophagitis), that affect parts of the digestive tract. Check out APFED’s Facebook page to see what EGIDs are all about! APFED also has great materials to help educate patients, families and caregivers. Educational videos, like this one, help to explain EGIDs to children.

 

How did National Eosinophilic Awareness Week start?

On May 15, 2007, the House of Representatives passed a bill designating the third week of May as National Eosinophil Awareness Week (NEAW). The purpose of NEAW is to create awareness and educate both the general public and medical community about eosinophil-associated diseases.

Where can I find out more about National Eosinophil Awareness Week?

APFED has many educational resources on their website to help spread awareness of eosinophilic disorders. APFED has created a calendar for the week with their suggestions and tips to help spread awareness and E-D-U-C-A-T-E those around you!

Educate (Sunday)

  • Post facts about eosinophil-associated diseases to your social media page/s.
  • Distribute educational materials to health care providers and area businesses.

Donate (Monday)

  • Make a personal donation to APFED and encourage others to match it.

Unite (Tuesday)\

  • Coordinate a get-together with local eos families (“eos” is short for eosinophils) to celebrate NEAW, or work together to plan a fundraiser.
  • Become a member of APFED and ask a friend to join as well.
  • Register for APFED’s Annual Patient Education Conference.
  • Join or start a local support group.
  • Join the National Eosinophil Awareness Week community on Facebook.

Change (Wednesday)

  • Change the way others view your disease by sharing your story.
  • Wear a magenta colored t-shirt to school or work and encourage your friends and colleagues to so the same.
  • Change your social media profile picture and banner to the NEAW logo.
  • Share APFED’s fact sheet about eosinophil-associated diseases or “Can you say ‘Eosinophilic?” flyer.

Awareness (Thursday)

  • Wear a magenta colored t-shirt to school or work and encourage your friends and colleagues to so the same.
  • Change your social media profile picture and banner to the NEAW logo provided on the APFED website.
  • Share APFED’s fact sheet about eosinophil-associated diseases or “Can you say ‘Eosinophilic?” flyer.

Thank (Friday)

  • Reach out to those who have been supportive of your journey with eos to thank them.
  • Thank health care providers for their support and care.
  • Thank legislators who support issues important to our community.

Engage (Saturday)

Invite family, friends, and others to experience dietary limitations (Suggestion: Eat Like Us for a Day Challenge).

Create a community fundraising walk at your school or workplace, or organize a Hope on the Horizon Walk to benefit APFED’s research fund.

However you choose to get involved, we want to thank you for your interest in National Eosinophilic Awareness Week and helping to spread the word about this disorder!

 

-          Ellen Sviland Avery

Nutricia believes in APFED’s mission. Suggestions to donate or fundraise to support APFED come from APFED, and reproduction of those suggestions here does not imply a recommendation or endorsement from Nutricia.


New Neocate Footsteps App – Support in YOUR Pocket

Posted 5.12.16 | Irina Kabigting

For many families, getting to a diagnosis of a food allergy or related condition can be a tough journey. Many food allergies start with mysterious symptoms that mimic other conditions or diseases, which can mean multiple doctor visits for some families to reach a diagnosis.

Once diagnosed, new patients and their families often have a lot of questions such as:

  • What do I eat? Should I track it? What causes my symptoms?
  • Where can I get the special formula you prescribed?
  • How do I mix the formula? Store it? Travel with it?
  • Should the poop really be green with Neocate?
  • Do I have to pay out-of-pocket?

After discussing these pain points with Neocate families, we created a  brand new Neocate Footsteps App. The app is free and is available in iTunes now: https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/neocate-footsteps/id1098276656?mt=8

This app is for anyone with food allergies or related conditions or those who care for them. The Neocate Footsteps App is the only app that specifically helps track usage of amino acid-based formulas and other food intake, allergic symptoms, mood, sleep times, diapers and more. It also provides helpful resources authored and edited by healthcare professionals on a weekly basis to help you stay in-the-know.

Here’s a quick video that showcases various functions and features of the app:

How to Download the Neocate Footsteps App

As mentioned previously, the app is available for iOS devices only. You can follow the following steps to get started:

1.     Go to the App Store on your iPhone (or iPad*) to start. The App Store Icon looks like:

 

2.     Using the Search option (located along the bottom of the screen), search for “Neocate Footsteps”

3.     Once you find the app, tap “Get” on the right side of the screen, then tap “Install”. If asked, enter your iTunes password. If you don’t remember your iTunes password, you will have to retrieve/reset it before being able to download.

4.     The app then will download to your device. Get excited!

5.     Upon finishing, a new Neocate Footsteps app icon will appear on your device. The icon will look like:

 

6.     Tap on the icon to start using the app

*While the app is designed to work best on iPhones, it will also work on iPads. When searching the app store on an iPad, make sure to select “iPhone Only” from the search options to see the app. This option is located on the top left corner.

Once the app is installed you’ll notice that it will automatically scale up to display full size on the iPad screen, causing the buttons, fonts and graphics to look proportionately larger than normal. If you want to decrease the size of the app to normal iPhone size, press the [1x] button in the lower right corner of the screen.

How Can The Neocate Footsteps App Benefit You and Your Family?

This app is designed for anyone with food allergies or those who care for children with food allergies, and allows patients, parents & caregivers to:

  • Track events and share reports with your healthcare team: Diaper changes, symptoms, sleep times, meals, bottles, mood, weight, height and head circumference.  Reports can be emailed in advance and shared during appointments.
  • Create and share allergy cards: Easily share important information about food allergies with babysitters, daycare providers or teachers, or with restaurant staff while dining out.
  • View easy-to-read charts that can help identify patterns in sleeping, eating, and allergic symptoms. You can even email these charts directly to your healthcare team ahead of time!
  • Attach images and notes to any event, such as a diaper or skin rash. No need to guess when a specific event happened, how many wet diapers your baby had that day, or what that rash looked like last Tuesday.

Additional features include:

  • Tips & Resources: Read guidance written by healthcare professionals and other experts - updated twice weekly!
  • Allergy-friendly recipes: If you are new to the food allergy world or are in the phase of transitioning, we understand that you might be looking for delicious allergy-friendly recipes. With the app, you get access to a mobile-friendly way to browse recipes that incorporate Neocate products.
  • Reimbursement & Coverage: Navigating insurance coverage and reimbursement options can be a hassle. The Neocate Footsteps app offers a simple way you can call or email experts who can help you get through this challenging maze.
  • Pharmacy finder: Locate convenient pharmacies to order Neocate, or you can order directly through our website and receive free shipping.
  • Neocate product information: Detailed product information with the option to buy direct from the company.

The Neocate Footsteps App is all of the Neocate top resources in your pocket with you at all times!

The Neocate Footsteps program offers an array of resources to support, answer and inspire at each milestone of your food allergy journey.  Learn more here: http://www.neocate.com/footsteps/

With a full line of amino-acid based products to help children thrive from infancy through school age and beyond, only Neocate offers a range of solutions designed to support you and your families at every step of your journey.


Neocate Footsteps – Support Along Your Food Allergy Journey!

Posted 5.10.16 | Nutrition Specialist

When your child was diagnosed with a food allergy or related condition, you probably had loads of questions. Many questions are best answered by members of your healthcare team – they are the medical experts! But for everyday answers you can turn to our Neocate Footsteps program.

But what, exactly, is Neocate Footsteps?

First, Neocate already offers the broadest line of hypoallergenic products to safely nourish your child from birth through school age. But Neocate is about more than just nutrition. We’re also here to help support you in ways you might not expect.

Neocate Footsteps is our comprehensive program to support you with practical information and inspiration at every step of your food allergy journey. After speaking with families like yours, we wanted to provide a program that supports patients and their families through the various milestones of the food allergy journey. Whether you are new to food allergies and want an introduction to our products, need help with the lifestyle change, or are a trooper who is looking for new ideas to change your routine, we are here for you.

You’ve probably already seen some of the great resources we provide, but watch below all of the ways we hope to help families like yours.

 

 

As you can see, with Neocate Footsteps, we’re with you at every step of your food allergy journey.

Let us know in the comments section: Which of the many Neocate Footsteps resources have you found helpful?

-Yanit Belachew
  Associate Brand Manager, Neocate

Neocate is meant for use under medical supervision, so ask your child’s healthcare team about Neocate before use.


Celebrating Neocate Mothers!

Posted 5.5.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Each year, for one special day we have the privilege of honoring all of the mothers who devote themselves to ensuring the safety of their children. With Mother’s Day approaching this weekend, we want to thank each and every one of our Neocate moms for their endless love and support of not only their children, but each other.

We frequently receive thoughtful messages from the community about how Neocate has helped moms and their LOs thrive. The beauty of the Neocate community is the willingness of our parents to share their journeys and help each other overcome food allergy obstacles. Thank youfor your continued love, support and dedication.

In celebration of Neocate mothers everywhere, we’ve highlighted a few of the heartfelt testimonies we’ve received. 

 

 


National FPIES Day 2016

Posted 5.3.16 | Nutrition Specialist


The one day of the year a pie to the face is a GOOD thing! 

Got your attention? Good! Because May 4th is National FPIES Day! We wanted to share a few facts about FPIES and tell you about National FPIES Day, ways that you can get involved, and some organizations that help to raise awareness and support for FPIES.

FPIES

FPIES stands for Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome. This is a rare form of food allergy that is gaining awareness. FPIES affects infants and young children primarily, can take a long time to be recognized and diagnosed, and can mean very significant dietary restrictions. Want more details?

National FPIES Day

What better way to raise awareness for a condition than with a dedicated day? We can’t think of one! In 2015, the United States Senate designated May 4th as National FPIES Awareness Day! This resulted from efforts from the International FPIES Association (I-FPIES, more on them below) and over 1,000 supporters.

Raising awareness of FPIES can help highlight the disorder on behalf of affected children and adults. Together, we can make diagnosis and treatment – and life in general - easier for FPIES children and families.

Every day is a good day to raise awareness about FPIES, but National FPIES Awareness Day is probably the best day. Here are some ways that you can help to raise awareness and spread the word:

  • Change your Facebook or Twitter profile picture to the official event logo, available from I-FPIES, the FPIES awareness ribbon:

 

  • Share your personal FPIES story, photos, and words of encouragement on social media
  • Use the hashtags #NationalFPIESDay and #FPIESontheRise
  • Donate in honor of someone you know with FPIES to an organization dedicated to creating a better tomorrow for those living with FPIES (more below)

Pies in the face for FPIES 

We saved our favorite awareness-raising idea for last: Pies in the face challenge for FPIES! This genius idea came from I-FPIES, and we personally can’t wait to pie our coworkers (to help raise awareness, of course!). Read more here, but here’s the low-down:

  1. Post a video of yourself being "pied" on the I-FPIES Facebook page or using the hashtag #pieface4fpies
  2. In your video, make sure to:
  • State why you are doing this: to raise money and awareness for FPIES and for National FPIES Awareness Day on May 4th.
  • Name who you are honoring with this challenge.
  • Refer to fpies.org to learn more about FPIES.
  1. Make a donation to help fund initiatives that make a difference in the lives of FPIES patients and families.
  2. Get family, friends and others involved! Nominate 4 more people to complete the challenge in 48 hours!

I-FPIES – The International FPIES Association

I-FPIES, founded by a mom who had a very personal experience with FPIES, is a nonprofit organization that provides education, support, and advocacy for individuals with FPIES and their families. I-FPIES partners with leaders in the medical community to develop evidence-based research, with a focus on early detection and new treatment options. Ultimately, I-FPIES represents families and medical professionals united by a common focus: finding a cause and a cure for FPIES. Learn more about I-FPIES here, including how you can help to support this great organization.

The FPIES Foundation

The FPIES Foundation is a collaborative effort of several families affected by FPIES who want to help other families find their way. The FPIES Foundation is committed to providing support resource to families to make their everyday lives easier. Learn more about The FPIES foundation and view their resources here.

Gee, we should have an FPIES conference!

Wouldn’t it be great if a national conference for FPIES took place the same week as National FPIES Awareness Day? We’ve got news for you: there is one, and it does! If you have a loved one with FPIES, there's still time…

The 2016 FPIES Education Conference takes place later this week, on May 7, in the great city of Chicago. Presented by I-FPIES, the conference brings together parents and caregivers to share experiences and learn the latest about FPIES from leading researchers and healthcare professionals. Read more about this great event here.

How will you help promote and raise awareness of FPIES this year?

-Rob McCandlish, RDN


Neocate Mixing & Storage Questions Answered – Round 2

Posted 4.28.16 | Nutrition Specialist

When it comes to mixing and storing formula, we’ve heard every question, usually more than once! A few months ago, we answered questions about mixing and storing Neocate products. This post was so popular that it helped spark additional questions from our Facebook followers as well as comments posted on our blog.

So here we go, Round 2!

Once Neocate formulas are prepared, how long until they go bad? Can I keep them longer in the fridge?

The important thing to remember is that our recommendations help to make sure that Neocate stays fresh and that it doesn’t have time to “go bad.” (Good Neocate is a nice guy; Bad Neocate is just plain mean!) “Going bad” is a nice way of saying that a food or formula sat around too long, and bacteria showed up and multiplied! This can make food or formula taste bad, smell bad, and possibly make you sick. Here’s a breakdown of the times we recommend:

24 hours – This is the amount of time that prepared Neocate powdered formulas can stay in the fridge, IF you put them in right after mixing. This also applies to Neocate Splash that’s been opened, but not if anyone has taken a drink directly from the container! If Neocate has been in the fridge longer than 24 hours, we recommend throwing it out.

4 hours – This is the amount of time that prepared Neocate powdered formulas (or opened or poured Neocate Splash) can sit out at room temperature. This can be either after being freshly mixed, or after being removed from the fridge. If it’s been on the counter at room temperature longer than 4 hours, throw it out!

1 hour – This is the amount of time that Neocate can be kept after someone starts to drink it. Like it or not, our mouths are full of bacteria that just love nutrient-rich formulas like Neocate. Once your baby, child, or you take a drink, start the clock and throw out what’s left after 1 hour. Safety first!

Can I make Neocate in advance and use it at a later time?

Sure! As long as you follow the rules above for storage times, you can prepare Neocate formulas in advance. We always recommend that freshly prepared formula is best, but we know it’s not always easy to mix it exactly when you need it. For further guidance, check with your healthcare team!

Note: We don’t recommend preparing Neocate Nutra - our hypoallergenic semi-solid - in advance, because the texture will actually become thicker over time AND thicker with refrigeration. However, the storage instructions for Neocate Nutra would be the same as for the Neocate formulas if your healthcare team is okay with the thicker texture.

 

Once I’ve mixed Neocate to store for later, do I put it straight into the fridge or do I need to cool it down first?

It’s best to cool the prepared Neocate quickly to get it below the “danger zone” at which bacteria grow best. Straight into the fridge for a bottle is fine, regardless of the water temperature used. That’s because small items will cool quickly in a fridge. However, if you mix a large volume of Neocate, such as for a full day, and store it in a large container, it will cool pretty slowly in the fridge. Here are two options:

  1. Use cold water to prepare the Neocate, so it doesn’t have much cooling to do.
  2. If you prepare the Neocate formula with warm or room temperature water, start by pouring it into the container you’ll store it in. Put the lid on. Then fill a large bowl or pot with ice water. Nestle the container with Neocate in the ice water. Rotate it every few minutes. This will cool it down quicker than the cold air in the refrigerator would. After about 20-30 minutes, it should be plenty cold, and you can move it to the fridge.

It’s important to note not to use hot water when mixing your formula.
(See what temperature water should be when used to mix Neocate formulas.)

What temperature should the fridge be when storing Neocate?

Ooh, good question! We actually don’t get this one very often. For storing anything perishable (food, leftovers, prepared Neocate, you name it), a refrigerator should maintain a temperature below 40° F (4° C).

Did you know that some spots in your refrigerator are colder than others? It’s true! In general, the door is the warmest part of the fridge. The coldest parts can vary based on the layout of the fridge (i.e. where the freezer and icemaker are).

Want a surefire way to know if your fridge is cold enough? Take it’s temperature! Place a cup of water in the fridge, add a thermometer, and wait a few hours. You can even move it around to different parts of the fridge to see the differences – just make sure you give the water a few hours to adjust to the new “climate.”

What is the best temperature for storing Neocate Splash? Can Neocate Splash drink boxes be stored in the refrigerator?

The best temperature for storing unopened Neocate Splash long term is room temperature. That’s because some nutrients don’t hold up well under heat, and some don’t do well in cold. So keep Neocate Splash away from sunny windows, air vents, hot appliances, and cold, drafty spaces. That goes for unopened cans of other Neocate products, too!

That said, you can put unopened Neocate Splash in the refrigerator ahead of time to cool down, such as for tomorrow’s lunch box. If it hasn’t been opened, we suggest you can keep it refrigerated for up to a week. This is because we just don’t know the effects that cold (but not freezing) temperatures over extended periods of time might have on levels of some nutrients. Remember though: If the drink box is open, it can only be refrigerated for up to 24 hours, but no more. And if someone has already taken a drink from the box, you’ve got 1 hour!

How should I prepare Neocate when going on a trip?

Ooh, you’re going on a trip? Where? Can we come? No, seriously, you don’t have to bring us with you, but feel free to share a picture of you traveling with Neocate on our Facebook or Instagram!

When you are going on a trip with prepared Neocate formula, follow these rules:

  • Mix no more Neocate formula than you need in 24 hours - otherwise you’ll have to toss what's left!
  • Keep it cold – below 40° F (4° C) – and store it for no more than 24 hours. That means you’ll need a well-insulated cooler and plenty of cold freezer packs or bags of ice.
  • If you use powdered Neocate formula, take extra cans, just in case.
  • If you use Neocate Splash, take extra drink boxes, just in case.
  • If you use Neocate Splash, keep unopened drink boxes away from extreme temperatures. That means don’t throw it in the trunk in the extreme heat of summer or bitter cold of winter for long periods of time, like road trips.
  • Check out this post about flying with Neocate for more helpful tips.

Can you store Neocate frozen?

We don’t recommend it. Why, you ask? Plenty of other foods can be kept safely in the freezer longer than they can in the fridge, so why not Neocate? The short answer to this question is: we don’t know. Okay, that’s not a very fair answer, and it’s not the whole truth! The mid-range answer is that freezing temperatures can affect Neocate’s quality in ways we can’t predict. Still want more information, or don’t believe us? Here goes…

Freezing temperatures (below 32° F, or 4° C) can affect some nutrient levels. Some vitamins just don’t hold up well under really cold temperatures, and home freezers can actually get very cold! Also, frozen Neocate that thaws may discolor and/or separate into different layers. Gray Neocate in layers is not appealing! We cannot guarantee nutrient content or quality of Neocate products when frozen, which is why we don’t recommend it.

That said, some recipes that call for Neocate products are frozen, and frozen treats can be downright delicious. Ask your healthcare team for advice before you prepare Neocate in any of these recipes, or any way other than as directed on the packaging or as we suggest above. Find more information about cooking with Neocate here.

Can I still use Neocate past the expiration date?

Nope! We absolutely don’t budge on this one. If you don’t like this simple, straightforward answer, you can read this post that spells out in detail why we can’t recommend using Neocate past the expiration date.

How do I ensure Neocate dissolves properly?

Like any powdered formulas, sometimes clogged nipples happen. Following these steps can help ensure that Neocate formulas dissolve well:

  • In general, the warmer the water, the better the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids in Neocate powders will dissolve.
  • The warmest water you should use is 122° F (50° C) to ensure the nutrient levels are not affected. (Water that temperature is pretty warm, but not uncomfortbly hot is our best description without pulling out a thermometer)
  • DO NOT use boiling water to prepare Neocate powders. While Neocate powders dissolve REALLY well in boiling water, it destroys a lot of important nutrients.
  • Stir or shake vigorously for the best solubility.
  • You can try allowing formula freshly mixed to "rest" for a few minutes and then give it another vigorous stir or shake.
  • If you still have trouble after trying the above tips, give us a call at 800.Neocate to let us know!

Again, if we didn’t answer your question, check this post with other common questions to see if we cover it there. If not, we’re happy to help in the comments section below! What other questions do you have about mixing, preparing, serving, or storing Neocate?

-Rob

You can trust me! I've worked at Nutricia as part of the Medical Affairs team since 2010! My job is answering Neocate questions, and if I don't know the answer to your question, I know where to get it! I'm also a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist.


2016 National Autism Awareness Month

Posted 4.21.16 | Nutrition Specialist

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

April is National Autism Awareness Month. This year, we at Neocate helped to spread a bit of awareness on the condition by sharing a very powerful video that was put together by the UK National Autistic society on our Facebook page.

 “I’m not naughty. I’m autistic”

 

**Warning: this film contains flashing lights, bright colors and loud, sudden noises

The video portrays the world through the eyes of an autistic boy. It gives a glimpse of what the world looks like through the eyes of an autistic child. 

It’s important to note that this video is only meant to spark awareness and is not intended to depict exact experiences of all who are diagnosed with autism. Autism spectrum disorder varies from one patient to another.

What is Autism?

According to CDC, Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is a group of developmental disabilities that can cause significant social, communication and behavioral challenges. 

A recent report by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC):

·       Estimated about 1 in 68 children in the United States have been

        identified with ASD

·       Almost half of children identified with ASD have average or above

        average intellectual ability

·       ASD occurs among all racial, ethnic, and socioeconomic groups

·       Boys are 4.5 times more likely to be identified with ASD than girls

·       Most are diagnosed after age of 4

According HHS.gov: “ASD is a developmental disability characterized, in varying degrees, by persistent difficulties in social communication and restrictive and repetitive behaviors, interests, or activities. We know that early screening and intervention at younger ages helps children get the most effective treatments earlier in life. Yet the CDC found that most children with autism are diagnosed after age 4, even though autism can be diagnosed as early as age 2.”

The following is a chart from 2016 Community Report from the Autism and Developmental Disability (ADDM) Network:

 

How did National Autism Awareness Month Begin?

According to the Autism Society website, nearly a quarter of a century ago they launched a nationwide effort to promote awareness of ASD. The goal was to promote inclusion, and self-determination for all.

“Assure that each person with ASD is provided the opportunity to achieve the highest possible quality of life.”

National Autism Awareness month is an opportunity for all of us to promote autism awareness, autism acceptance and to draw attention to diagnosis.

How to Celebrate?

One way you can get involved this month is by finding a local or an online event/activity to participate in. The Autism Society Affiliate Network page provides great starting point for this search. They even offer a map option that can be used for your search. You can also reach out to various organizations to see if there is a way for you to partner up.

Additional national organizations involved with Autism Awareness (just a few we came across in our search) include:

·       Autism Society

·       Autism Speaks

·       National Autism Association

·       The Arc Autism Now

If you participated this month to help spread awareness of ASD, don’t forget to comment below and share your experience.

-The Neocate Team

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Autism



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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.