Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results


milk allergy

Spring and Seasonal Allergies

Posted 4.19.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

If you or a family member has seasonal allergies, which are triggered by environmental allergens like pollen, you probably know that spring can be a rough time of year, especially if you live in an area with a high pollen count. Here at Neocate, we hear from some parents that their children’s food allergy symptoms seem worse at this time of year. Let’s take some time to review the similarities and differences between food allergy and environmental allergy symptoms.

Seasonal Allergies

Allergies that show up in the spring are also called hay fever or allergic rhinitis. They are usually caused by pollen: the body recognizes proteins in pollen as “foreign” and mounts an immune response, like it does to bacteria or viruses. This causes the symptoms associated with seasonal allergies. Most of these symptoms are “above the neck” and include sneezing, itchy eyes, or a runny nose. Some folks are allergic to only one or a few types of pollen, whereas others are sensitive to many types of pollen. Symptoms can show up after a move to a new geographic area where the plants, and the pollen, are different. It seems that allergic rhinitis isn’t limited to older children and adults: infants can have it too.

Food Allergies

Food allergies are a response to the proteins in food. When that food (or even a trace amount of that food) is consumed, the body mounts an immune response. In this way, food allergies can be similar to seasonal allergies. Most of the food allergy symptoms fall “below the neck” because the body responds to the part of the body where the food is: the gut. In older children and adults these symptoms include bloating, diarrhea, and an itchy sensation in the mouth, among others. The symptoms are different for infants who have a milk and/or soy allergy than those of older children and adults.

Similarities

Food allergies and seasonal allergies share some of the same symptoms. For instance, both can cause a runny nose, headache, and congestion as a result of exposure to allergens that are foods or pollen. The two are also similar in that their symptoms can both be minimized by avoiding their respective triggers. Here are tips for minimizing symptoms of seasonal allergies and our past blogs for preventing symptoms of food allergies.

Differences

Fortunately seasonal allergies can also be treated with medications. This is nice because pollen can make symptoms persist constantly, often for weeks at a time. Unfortunately, there aren’t any widely used medications to help treat mild to moderate food allergies. The best treatment for food allergies is avoidance. Along those lines, it’s easier to avoid food allergens than it is to avoid the triggers for seasonal allergies. Even if there were a medication that helped with mild food allergies, some food allergies are so severe that the only treatment is to entirely avoid the food in question.

If your child is exhibiting symptoms that aren’t clearly one allergy or the other, ask yourself these questions:

-Monitor the pollen count: are the symptoms worse as pollen counts go up?

-Monitor the diet: has anything new been added that could cause the symptoms?

-Is your child exhibiting new symptoms, or are the same symptoms getting worse?

If your child has food allergies and his or her symptoms seem to get worse at a certain time of year, it may be that new or worsened symptoms could be due to seasonal allergies, which aren’t helped by avoiding food allergens. Ultimately, it’s probably best to see an allergist, especially if your child has symptoms that are making them miserable. Allergists can help by identifying the cause of a seasonal allergy, suggesting ways to minimize symptoms, and prescribing drugs that might help as needed. Check with the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology to locate an allergy center near you.

Did you have a tough time telling what was causing your child’s allergy symptoms?

- Rob

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R.J.’s Story – An Update

Posted 3.29.11 | Nutrition Specialist

We've shared R.J.'s story before (and his little brother Ken). As a child he had severe,painful eczema that covered his entire body. His parents tried everything, but he didn't find relief until they switched to Neocate.

We wanted to share this sweet video that his parents sent to us recently. Today R.J. is 5 years old, and doing great! He is still allergic to milk, but Neocate has helped make him a happy and health little boy.

R.J. Happy & Health Video

-Sarah


Nutricia Navigator Program Available in all 50 States!

Posted 3.8.11 | Sarah O'Brien

Please click here to reach a more recent post about the Nutricia Navigator Program, available to help families in all 50 states!


Israel’s Story

Posted 2.15.11 | Guest Blogger

Our post today is a guest blog entry from Karen Adams, Israel’s mom. We’d like to thank her for guest blogging for us.

I've heard several mothers talk about how their baby was fine at the hospital, that their problems didn’t begin until they got home. Our experience didn’t happen like that. From the very first day my son Israel, wouldn’t sleep, but instead screamed and cried constantly. Nothing seemed to soothe him. Our last night at the hospital, we asked the nursery to take him, so we could get some sleep. 15 minutes later they brought him back saying he was kicked out of the nursery, because he cried too much.

Our first night home was spent nervously watching our baby boy projectile vomit, scream and cry. For months Israel would scream and cry and vomit for hours on end. In fact he would cry so hard he would lose his voice. He took only small naps, the most being 45 minutes. He would have diarrhea so badly that he would keep yeast infections on his skin. He would have odd rashes and dry patches of skin. After two pediatricians and trials of cows milk formulas and soy formula. The doctor then switched him to Nutramigen and scheduled an upper GI.

The upper GI confirmed reflux and he was then put on Prevacid. The Nutramigen and Prevacid really seemed to do the trick. He was still a little fussy and spit up quite a lot. But the doctor wasn’t concerned and felt we shouldn’t be either. But being his mother, I just couldn’t let it go. He could drink water and hold it down, but his formula he would spit up. I knew he could do better. After a few weeks of research I found out about Neocate.

I had read so many testimonials about how Neocate and Prevacid stopped the food allergy reactions and reflux issues. Could it be true? His pediatrician thought the problem was reflux, lactose intolerance and classic “Colic”. And that I simply worried too much.

Finally after several visits he agreed to send my son (6 months old) for an allergy test. He tested positive for Milk, Soy, Corn, Pork, Peanuts, Apples, and Rice and positive for some other intolerances. FINALLY I had my proof!!! The allergy specialist gave me a prescription for Neocate and I rushed it to the pharmacy as quickly as possible.

That afternoon we gave him his first bottle of Neocate. He took the bottle and guzzled it down. We watched and waited, and to our surprise no spitting up! We realized not only had the other formula's been causing spit up but also had made him irritable. He started gaining weight, sleeping through the night and generally acting satisfied within a week of being on Neocate. Now he is happy, healthy and full of energy! He just turned one year old in December 2010 and now we are starting on Neocate Jr. As a mother, I couldn’t be happier!

Thanks to Neocate!

-Karen

Karen and Israel's video on YouTube


FPIES (Food Protein Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome)

Posted 1.27.11 | Sarah O'Brien

FPIES, or food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome, is a condition that I’ve been hearing about more and more lately. It is not particularly well-known, so I thought we could cover some of the basics in today’s blog.

What is FPIES?

FPIES is a disease that typically affects infants and young children. While it can mimic food allergies, the difference with FPIES is that it is a non-IgE mediated immune reaction in the gastrointestinal (GI) system to one or more specific foods. This means that the IgE antibodies associated with other food allergies are not involved in an FPIES reaction.

Cow’s milk and soy are the most common FPIES triggers, but ANY foods can cause an FPIES reaction (even ones that aren’t typically considered to be allergens like rice and oats).

Common Symptoms of FPIES

Most FPIES reactions happen when a child is very young – just a few weeks or months old. Often it happens when the first formulas or solid foods are introduced (breastmilk doesn’t usually cause an FPIES reaction, even if the mother has eaten a trigger food).

Each child is different, but the most common symptoms of FPIES involve the GI tract and can include projectile vomiting and diarrhea, which means that it is often mistaken for a stomach bug. There is almost always a delayed onset of symptoms - often vomiting occurs 2 hours after eating a trigger food, with diarrhea following 5 hours after eating. Some children experience relatively mild symptoms, while others have such severe vomiting and diarrhea that they can become seriously dehydrated and go into shock.

Diagnosing and Treating FPIES

It can be difficult to diagnose FPIES because blood allergy tests only look for IgE-mediated responses. Usually a diagnosis occurs after repeated reactions. Keeping a food journal may be helpful in identifying triggers if you think your child has FPIES.

Treating FPIES varies depending on the child, their triggers and reactions. For infants with FPIES an elemental formula like Neocate is often used. For some children who have fewer triggers treatment is simply to avoid those foods. Introducing new foods slowly – one at a time and for up to three weeks – is extremely important to identify both safe and trigger foods. If your child has an FPIES reaction, it is important that they remain hydrated to avoid going into shock.

Outgrowing FPIES

Many children with FPIES outgrow the disease by age three, but this can vary based on how severe their symptoms are and which foods they react to. According to an article from Kids With Food Allergies, one study showed that 100% of children with FPIES reactions to barley had outgrown and were tolerating barley by age three, while only 40% of those with FPIES to rice, and 60% to dairy tolerated it by the same age.

To determine if your child has outgrown FPIES it is important to work with your doctor and evaluate it on a food-by-food basis. Atopy patch testing can help assess if your child is ready for an oral challenge in your doctor’s office or hospital (do not attempt without a doctor’s supervision!).

We hope this helps shed some light on an often confusing disease. If any of you have children with FPIES and can share your experiences, please leave a comment!

- Sarah


But Doctor, Is My Baby’s Rash Really JUST a Rash?

Posted 1.18.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Here at Neocate, we often talk with concerned parents who tell us they’ve read other stories from parents whose children had a terrible rash that was only helped by Neocate after lots of trial and error. Frequently, these parents tell us they don’t feel their doctor is familiar with food allergies. Just yesterday a father told me that his pediatrician kept telling him that “every baby gets rashes, it’s normal; he’ll grow out of it.”

Some pediatricians and many parents are surprised to learn that about seven percent of children have food allergies. Many parents who eventually learn that their child has a food allergy, which can only be treated by changing the diet, wish their journey to a solution had been shorter and simpler. Here are some tips for what you can do if you feel your doctor isn’t recognizing your little one’s rash as a possible sign of a food allergy.

Take Careful Notes

A rash is often the first sign of a food allergy that a parent notices. While it’s true that almost all babies experience diaper rash at some point, this is not the same as a rash caused by food allergy. Diaper rash, like many rashes, is caused by something on the outside: wet or rubbing diapers, scented lotion, rough fabrics, or even fabric softener. It’s important to rule out these other causes that might contribute to eczema, atopic dermatitis, or itching.

If you’ve eliminated potential causes, it’s more likely that the rash is caused by something on the inside: a food allergen. If you document all steps you’ve taken to eliminate other culprits, the doctor is more likely to consider a food allergy as the cause of your baby’s rash. If you notice that your baby has a rash and you think it might be related to a food allergy, check to see if your baby exhibits any other signs of a food allergy. It’s unusual for a baby with food allergy to only have a rash. Make a list of your baby’s symptoms which could also be caused by a food allergy to provide to the doctor.

Many parents tell us that they went through multiple different infant formulas before finally finding relief with Neocate. Some infants don’t even tolerate breast milk because of dairy foods in the mom’s diet. Make notes of the different symptoms that did not go away with each formula you’ve tried. Many doctors assume a soy formula or hydrolyzed formula will help if the baby has a milk allergy. However, many babies with a milk allergy also have a soy allergy and can be extremely sensitive to even small amounts of milk protein.

Make an Appointment with Your Baby’s Doctor

When you discuss your baby’s rash with the pediatrician, explain that you think you have ruled out other causes, and explain the list of changes you tried that did not help. Inform the doctor that food allergy is common among infants, and explain the other symptoms your child is experiencing which could be related to food allergy. Skin creams are commonly prescribed for rashes. While these creams may help to reduce inflammation and itching caused by a food allergy, they will not help other allergy symptoms such as diarrhea, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or wheezing. Only a change in the diet will truly solve the problem.

When you see your pediatrician, you may also want to request a referral to an allergist (narrow your search by selecting the “Food Allergy” specialty). The allergy testing that these professionals perform provides the best information to help your child find a diagnosis and relief from a food allergy.

Finally, share with the doctor your knowledge of Neocate, the amino acid-based formula that makes such a difference for babies with food allergies. It’s important to follow the steps to help give your baby’s rash the best chance to heal. We know that it is so hard to see your little one feeling so uncomfortable but remember it may take some time, even after you start using Neocate.

What steps did you take to know that your baby’s rash was caused by food allergy?

- Rob

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Hydrolysate or Hydrolyzed Formulas vs. Amino Acid-Based Formulas

Posted 1.6.11 | Christine Graham-Garo


Quite often, we receive calls from families who are distraught and worried after trying five or six different infant formulas that their child with food allergies was not able to tolerate before finding Neocate, an amino acid-based formula. Often, the formulas they tried in the past were hydrolyzed, or hydrolysate, formulas (such as Alimentum and Nutramigen), which are labeled as hypoallergenic. So I often hear the question. “If this formula is hypoallergenic, why didn’t it work for my baby with food allergies?”

In order to answer this question, I’ll need to explain exactly what a hydrolyzed or hydrolysate formula is and how they differ from amino acid-based formulas, which are sometimes called elemental formulas. The main difference is: hydrolyzed formulas have partial milk proteins in them. Amino acid-based formulas, like Neocate, are milk-free and made up of non-allergenic amino acids, which are the building blocks of protein. That means there is a very slim chance of a child having an allergic reaction to them, as a typical allergic reaction is a reaction to protein.

The reason hydrolyzed formulas can be labeled as hypoallergenic is that the milk proteins in those formulas have been broken down (or hydrolyzed) so that the body’s immune system may not detect the proteins as being an allergen. But with the number of calls we get from families in distress over their little one not tolerating the hydrolysate formula, I can tell you that it is not always the fix-all for a child facing food allergies. This is where an amino acid-based formula comes in. It is sometimes stated that amino acid-based formulas are “super” hypoallergenic, or the least allergenic option. This could be interpreted to mean that amino acid-based formulas are more hypoallergenic than hydrolyzed formulas, although both types of formulas fit the American Academy of Pediatrics' (AAP) criteria that an infant formula must meet to be labeled hypoallergenic.

In general, studies show that amino acid-based formulas are tolerated by almost all severely food-allergic babies. Although many food allergy babies tolerate hydrolyzed formulas, there is a subset that do not - often having symptoms like severe diarrhea, vomiting, rashes and failure to thrive. If you're concerned that your little one isn't tolerating a hydryolyzed formula, talk to your baby's doctor.

A review of scientific research addressed the intolerance concern with hydrolyzed formulas by stating that “there are clinical benefits from the use of amino acid-based formulas in both symptoms and growth in infants and children with cow’s milk allergy who fail to tolerate extensively hydrolyzed formula”1. Another study showed that up to 30% of babies with complex food allergies did not tolerate the hydrolyzed formula ised inthe study2. This is important to know especially if your little one (or someone else’s infant) is still displaying signs of food allergy and is currently using a hydrolyzed formula.

Did your child not tolerate a hydrolyzed formula? What did you do?

- Christine

1 Hill DJ, The efficacy of amino acid based formula in relieving the symptoms of cows milk allergy-A systematic review. Clin Exp Allergy. 2007.
2 Latcham et al, A consistent pattern of minor immunodeficiency and subtle enteropathy in children with multiple food allergy. J Pediatr. 2003.


Top Ten Blog Posts of 2010

Posted 1.4.11 | Sarah O'Brien

Happy New Year! Before we jump into 2011 on Food Allergy Living, we wanted to recap our top ten blog posts of 2010. We tackled topics from food allergy recipes to tube feeding and everything in between and had some excellent guest bloggers share their stories. Based on reader traffic, here were our most popular posts:

1) Baby Rashes (when is it a milk allergy?)

In this post, Christine talks about how to tell if your child has a typical rash or if it is a sign of an allergic reaction to cow’s milk.

2) Dysphagia, GERD and Silent Aspiration

Mallory tackled the topic of GERD, or gastroesophageal reflux disease, and two other conditions commonly associated with it: dysphagia and silent aspiration.

3) Accidental Injections of Epinephrine from an EpiPen

If you or your child uses an EpiPen, this blog is a must-read in case you ever have an accidental injection.

4) Fun Summer Camps for Kids with Food Allergies

Children with food allergies don’t have to miss out on summer camp fun with these allergy-friendly options.

5) How Can Duocal Help My Child Gain Weight?

If your child is underweight or has been diagnosed with failure to thrive, the supplement Duocal can help provide extra calories in their diet.

6) Baby Formula and Food Thickeners: What are the Options?

Thickeners can help treat reflux, but children with food allergies often react to the rice cereals or oatmeals that are commonly recommended. Christine offers some other options that are allergy-friendly.

7) Guest Blog: Living with Eosinophilic Esophagitis - Norman’s Story

Kendra Tiedemann shared her son Norman’s journey with eosinophilic esophagitis.

8) Understanding How Infant Taste Buds Work

If you’ve ever wondered if your baby can taste her food, then be sure to read this post from Mallory.

9) Failure to Thrive: My Child is Underweight, What Should I Do?

In this post, Nita helped to clear up some common confusions about what a failure to thrive diagnosis means and how it is treated.

10) Guest Blog: Food Protein-Induced Entercolitis Syndrome – Roland’s Story

Lorelei Alvarez, one of the founders of the Reflux Rebels group, shared her son Roland’s journey with FPIES in this guest blog.

Which blog posts were your favorite over the last year? Are there any topics you’d like to see us cover in 2011?

- Sarah


8 Signs of a Milk Allergy

Posted 11.23.10 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

A friend told me she went to an office Halloween party as a peanut allergy. I wondered: What would you wear that says, “I am an allergy?” I still don’t know the answer to that question! Thinking about that made me wonder: Since babies don’t come with labels and can’t tell us what they experience, how do they tell us “I have an allergy?

More and more, children are diagnosed with food allergies, with cow’s milk allergy being the most common. In fact, more than 100,000 babies each year suffer from milk allergy. There are multiple clues pediatricians look for that help diagnose a cow’s milk allergy that you can look for too. Below is a list of eight questions to help parents of infants identify a potential milk allergy, designed by Dr. John Moissidis, a Board certified pediatric allergist at The Asthma Allergy Clinic in Shreveport, La.

Milk Allergy Symptoms

1. Diarrhea Diarrhea is common in babies, but if it is persistent (an average of two to four times a day for more than five to seven days) and/or if there is blood or mucous in the stool, it could signal a more serious milk allergy.

2. Vomiting Babies often spit up bits of food, but vomiting beyond the typical mealtime regurgitation should be examined by a doctor. Reflux symptoms, such as spit-up and difficulty swallowing, can also be milk allergy symptoms.

3. Skin Rash There are many causes for infant skin rashes like eczema. Milk allergy is one possible cause, especially if the rash occurs along with some of these other symptoms.

4. Extreme Fussiness Every baby cries, but crying continuously and inconsolably for long periods of time is abnormal. When there is no apparent reason, this is usually called colic. Sometimes this extreme fussiness is actually caused by the gastrointestinal pain resulting from an allergy to the proteins found in milk.

5. Low or No Weight Gain Most infants double their weight by six months and triple it by 12 months. But when babies are not getting the nutrition they need because of excessive diarrhea and vomiting, they are unable to grow like they should.

6. Gassiness All babies have gas, but when it occurs along with several of these other symptoms, it can also signal an allergy to milk proteins.

7. Respiratory Problems Colds are common for infants, but wheezing, struggling to breathe and developing excess mucus in the nose and throat is not. For some kids, these respiratory problems can be the baby’s reaction to the protein found in milk.

8. Failure to Thrive Babies with milk allergy often suffer from a lack of proper nutrition characterized by dehydration, loss of appetite and lack of energy. This overall failure to thrive is often the result of the effect the other symptoms have on the infant’s body.

My baby has one or more of these symptoms – what now?

Babies with an allergy to cow’s milk protein cannot process the complex proteins found in milk-based baby formula, and many babies also react to soy-based infant formulas. Because of this, infant milk allergy is treated by either eliminating the milk proteins from the nursing mother’s diet or by replacing the regular formula with an amino acid-based formula.

An amino acid-based formula is safe for babies with milk and soy allergies because it is made using amino acids, the building blocks of protein. Amino acids are small enough that they won’t cause an allergic reaction in the way that complete protein chains or partly broken down proteins found in other formulas will.

The next step should be to schedule an appointment with your child’s pediatrician in order to receive a more thorough evaluation and diagnosis. Bring this information with you and ask your doctor if your baby might benefit from an amino acid-based formula.

What symptoms did your baby have that led you to suspect a milk allergy?

- Rob

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When to Trial Milk?

Posted 9.29.10 | Sarah O'Brien

If you have a child with a milk protein allergy, you’ve probably wondered if they will ever outgrow it. There is a chance your child will eventually develop a tolerance to milk and outgrow their allergy, although it is less likely than previously thought. A study conducted at Johns Hopkins University in 2007 showed that 19% of children outgrew their milk allergy by age 4, 42% had outgrown it by age 8, and 79% were milk allergy-free by age 16.

So how can you tell if your child is no longer allergic to dairy products?

Conducting a Milk Trial

Often your pediatrician or allergist may suggest a milk trial to test their tolerance once your child is over 12 months old and hasn’t had any diary in their diet for at least 6 months. A milk trial typically consists of giving your child a small about of dairy, often starting with products like yogurt or cheese which can be tolerated better than cow’s milk. If your child does not experience any adverse reactions (such as diarrhea, vomiting or gassiness) then you can continue to give increasing amounts of dairy products, slowly working up to 100% cow’s milk.

Milk Trial Precautions

It is important to remember that if your child originally had a severe reaction to milk, such as anaphylaxis, then you should have the milk trial conducted under medical supervision. Do not try re-introducing milk at home! Even if your child had a less severe reaction it is always important to get the go-ahead from your doctor ahead of time, just to be on the safe side.

Failing a Milk Trial

If your child is not able to tolerate the dairy you introduce in the milk trial, this simply means you will need to continue eliminating it from their diet. Your doctor may want to try again with another milk trial in 6–12 months. In the meantime, it is important to make sure that they are getting all of the nutrients they need. One option is to switch them to an elemental toddler formula, like Neocate Junior, which is specially formulated to be nutritionally complete for children 12 months and older with food allergies and related GI conditions.

Have you tried a milk trial with any of your little ones with milk protein allergies? How did they go?

- Sarah


Nutrition, Brain Development and Food Allergies: Can Food Allergies Affect Proper Brain Development?

Posted 8.26.10 | Mallory West

Brain development is most sensitive to a baby's nutrition between the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years life. The brain is rapidly growing during this period; in fact, an infant’s brain increases in size by 175% during the first year of life and by another 18% during the second year[1] Children who are malnourished during this period do not grow and develop properly so adequate nutrition is of utmost importance[2]. Although all nutrients are important for health and development, certain nutrients play especially important roles. If your LO has food allergies, his/her limited diet can make it more difficult to get enough of these nutrients. Therefore, it is important to understand which nutrients are key so that you can make sure your LO’s needs are met.

  • Protein and Calories

    True malnourishment occurs when there is a prolonged inadequate intake of protein and calories. Studies show that grossly malnourished infants and toddlers suffer both short and long-term consequences, which may include delayed motor and language development, as well as poorer intelligence schools and school performance[3].
  • Fat

    Myelin is a fatty substance that covers and protects nerves. Myelination (the development of myelin around nerve fibers) occurs at a very rapid rate during the first 2 years of life and this is a key part of brain growth and development. Because myelin is composed mostly of fat, fat is an important component of nutrition for infants and toddlers and fat intake should not be restricted during this period.
    • DHA and ARA:

      DHA and ARA are fatty acids found in breast milk. Research shows that DHA and ARA are important for brain and eye development, especially during the first year of life. The levels of DHA and ARA in breast milk and formula has been linked to better visual acuity and cognitive performance1.
  • Iron

    Iron deficiency during the first 2 years of life can result in irreversible cognitive deficits[4]. Bottle-fed babies should receive formula that contains iron and breast-fed infants should receive some form of iron supplementation at around 6 months of age. Most infant starter foods (such as rice cereal and Neocate Nutra) are fortified with iron to meet these needs.
  • Other Nutrients

    Like iron, iodine deficiency during infancy and toddlerhood can have long-term cognitive consequences. Fortunately, iodine deficiency is very rare is developed countries. Research also shows that zinc, choline, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D play important roles in brain development but there is less concrete knowledge about the specific roles they play.

Nutrition and Brain Development for Children with Food Allergies

For most children, milk and milk products are key sources of calories, protein and fats, all of which are critical for proper brain development. For infants and children with milk allergies, its critical that they receive alternate sources of nutrition so that their brains have all the ingredients necessary for proper brain growth and development. This is why its so important to work with a health care provider to develop an allergy-safe, nutritionally-adequate diet.

  • Breast milk or a nutritionally-complete infant formula provides a full range of nutrition for infants
  • If your LO is formula fed, consider a formula supplemented with DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development
  • If your LO is breast-fed, be sure to supplement iron after 6 months of age and if formula-fed, be sure to choose a formula with iron. Starter foods like rice cereal or Neocate Nutra are fortified with iron to meet these needs
  • Once children transition to solids, be sure to provide a balanced diet to ensure all nutrient needs are met. For children with a restricted diet, a wide variety of foods may not be possible so talk with your health care provider about appropriate medical foods or supplements, which can be helpful for filling in the blanks

-Mallory


[1] Abad-Jorge, A. “The Role of DHA and ARA in Infant Nutrition and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes”. Today’s Dietitian Vol. 10 No. 10 P. 66.
[2] Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. http://www.main.zerotothree.org.
[3] Benton, D. The Influence of Dietary Status on the Cognitive Performance of Children. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2010, 54, 457-470.
[4] Beard J. Iron deficiency alters brain development and functioning. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 1):1468S-72S.


Dogs Sniff Out Danger for Kids with Food Allergies

Posted 8.17.10 | Sarah O'Brien

For children with severe food allergies, going to the mall, a restaurant or even school can be dangerous. In some cases, just being in the room with people who have recently eaten peanuts or drank milk could spur a potentially deadly anaphylactic reaction. Until recently, the solution has been to keep these children in a carefully controlled environment. But with the help of some specially trained furry friends, there is a new level of freedom for those with food allergies.

Allergy detection dogs are being trained in facilities across the country as companions for children with food allergies. Just as dogs can be trained to use their extraordinary sense of smell to detect bombs or drugs, they can also be trained to detect minute amounts of allergens, like peanuts, in any form.

These dogs are constant companions for children with food allergies. They scan house guests for any allergen residue; scrutinize groceries, books and other items you bring home, and accompany you to public places where they scan people and environments for contamination. Check out how Rock’O helps Riley, an eight-year old girl with a severe peanut allergy, navigate her daily routine. Watch YouTube video

Allergy detection dogs don’t come cheap – prices range from $10,000 to $15,000. But across the country, communities are pitching in to help families in need. Jett McConnell, of Spokane, Washington, was able to raise enough money for his allergy dog Farley. Watch YouTube video

If you are interested in an allergy detection dog of your own, there are currently several facilities that train allergy-detecting dogs, including Peanut Detector Dogs and Angel Service Dogs. There are also detection dogs for other conditions, including diabetes. The diabetic alert dogs can detect high and low blood sugar levels in children.

Would you consider getting an allergy detection dog?

- Sarah


Tips for Allergy-Friendly Play Dates

Posted 8.3.10 | Christine Graham-Garo


I have many fond memories of play dates with my friends as a young child. But as a child with Type 1 Diabetes, my mother had to be prepared when dropping me off at a friend’s house to play. Before the playtime fun could begin, she would always have informative discussions with the family to ensure they were comfortable and understood my condition.

First, my mom had to make sure that my friends’ parents understood what I could or couldn’t eat - in those days, sweets of any kind were a big no-no for Type 1 diabetics. My mom also had to educate the family on what to do if I became hypoglycemic, a scenario that could quickly become serious if not managed quickly.

Play dates are also often a challenge for families of children with food allergies and related conditions. Today we are going to share some of our favorite tips to help parents and caregivers with food allergy kiddos plan an allergy-safe play date. Keep in mind these tips can be used for both older and younger children.

  1. Make play date cards. A play date card is a card you give to the adult in charge of a play date with important information. There are tons of choices of templates for play date cards on the market.

    For children with allergies or related conditions, the play date card will be a lot like one you might give to a babysitter or the staff at a restaurant - an allergy card. Here's one mom's blog in which she shares ideas for allergy play date cards. These cards are ideal for documenting your child's dietary and medical needs. We really think the host will appreciate this!
     
  2. Bring your own snacks (for the whole gang). Create your own allergen-free snacks so that your little one and their play date guests can all enjoy snack time together. Here you can find some allergen safe recipes to look through. Or a quick online search will come up with many options from experience allergy parents, too! We think the host will also really appreciate this. They have enough to do watching multiple children, much less come up with a snack that works for everyone!
     
  3. Create a caregiver book. Prepare a three-ring binder with all of your child's food allergy and medical information. Having this information all in one place will make it easy to find in an emergency.You should consider including:
    • a list of food allergens and ingredients to avoid
    • a list of contacts in case of an emergency
    • instructions for your child's epinephrine auto-injector
    • medication schedules
    • allergy-friendly recipes, etc.
  4. Consider inviting parents, too. For very young children who aren't used to being away from mom or dad, and even for older kids making their first visit to another family’s home, consider making play dates a family affair. Invite the other parent (or caregiver) to join you for coffee and chat while the kids play.

    Many kids need to work up to the "drop-off" play date, and many parents are wary of leaving their children in the home of someone they don't know very well. Having a parents-too play date the first time will give you time to speak with the other parent, get to know them better, and educate them on your little ones’ food allergies and related conditions.

Communication is the most important part in ensuring that your child’s play dates are both safe and fun. The best thing to do may be to ask the host in advance 'What do you need from me?'

What do you do to prepare for your child’s play dates? What tips can you share with other parents?

- Christine

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Share Your Recipes, Photos & Stories with Us on Facebook, MySpace and Twitter

Posted 2.23.10 | Sarah O'Brien

Through our 1-800-Neocate information line we get a lot of questions but we also hear a lot of great stories from parents who deal with the effects of their child having a milk allergy every day. We love hearing those stories and we love to share them with other food allergy parents who are coping with the same situations.

With that in mind the old way of sharing your stories, recipes and photos – via snail mail - is slow, cumbersome and just a little tough for most busy parents to put together, pack it up and send into us. So our team of nutritionists has worked diligently to provide all of you with easier ways to share what you love to share the most.

If you have an account on Facebook, feel free to become a fan of our Neocate Fanpage where you can:

  • Post questions, comments, suggestions, recipes & stories
  • Add your photos (parents love to share their before & after photos of their children)
  • Add videos
  • Start discussions about relevant topics like the new Texas State Insurance Reimbursement Laws

And for those avid Twitter users out there, we didn’t forget you either. We’ve got our own Neocate Twitter account where we tweet out links to our latest blog posts, answer questions about Neocate and give suggestions where we can. We’re also looking into hosting some Tweetchats in the future about dealing with food & milk allergies, so keep your eyes open for that! We recognize that in today’s busy world sometimes it’s just easier to connect with us through the places where you are already actively participate and we wanted to make it easier for all of you to do so. So come on over and join the discussions, we’d love to hear what you have to say!

- Sarah


Can Your Child Outgrow a Food or Milk Allergy?

Posted 1.29.10 | Nutrition Specialist

So your little one has just been diagnosed with a milk or food allergy and you’re already wondering when (or even if) he or she will finally outgrow it. As much as your new elemental formula and allergen-friendly diet is helping, you can’t help but wonder when you can feed your child without anxiety. Don’t worry, you’re not alone!

Good news – It is possible for children to outgrow their allergies; however, it may depend on what the child is allergic to and the type of allergy. Most importantly, keep in mind that all children are different!

Children with cow’s milk allergy (CMA) may be more likely to outgrow their allergies than their peanut or tree nut allergy buddies. Studies have shown that about 45-50% of children outgrow a CMA at one year, 60-75% at two years and 85-90% at three years.[1],[2]

Now, compare that to the studies which show that about 20% and 10%, respectively, of young patients may outgrow peanut and tree nut allergies and approximately 8% of patients who outgrow a peanut allergy relapse. Additionally, nut related allergies are typically more severe and can even be fatal, which is quite scary![3]

If your little one has multiple protein allergies, such as both CMA and nut related allergies, he or she may outgrow the CMA while the nut related allergy could still persist. Still, outgrowing an allergy to cow’s milk will expand their diet and improve the quality of life and available foods for your little one.

The other factor that may influence your little one’s ability to outgrow an allergy is the levels of allergen-specific IgE detected in their blood. This means, the lower the allergen-specific IgE detected, the greater the chance of outgrowing the allergy. Your doctor can monitor this with either blood or skin prick tests.

As I mentioned before, all children are different. Your little one may have all the right “ingredients” to overcome their allergy, but they may be doing it at their own pace. Your doctor may decide to attempt a food trial by introducing some foods that your child is allergic to, in order to see if the allergy still persists. Be patient, sometimes food trials can be taxing.

As many of you know, I suffered from CMA growing up and over time, I was finally able to consume milk products. It happened gradually -first I stopped having a reaction when consuming cheese (most likely because it’s processed, so my immune system didn’t recognize the milk proteins as allergens) and then I could finally add in other foods that were previously not allowed in my diet.

So my advice to all of you new allergy parents is don’t worry, there is a light at the end of the tunnel! To the more experienced allergy parents, can you shed any advice on food trials and outgrowing allergies? -

Nita


[1] de Boissieu D, Dupont C. Time course of allergy to extensively hydrolyzed cow's milk proteins in infants. J Pediatr 2000;136:119-20.
[2] de Boissieu D, Dupont C. Allergy to extensively hydrolyzed cow's milk proteins in infants: safety and duration of amino acid-based formula. : J Pediatr. 2002;141:271-3.
[3] The natural history of peanut and tree nut allergy. Fleischer DM. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2007 Jun;7(3):175-81. Review.


Baby Rashes from A to Z (Acne to Eczema!) and When Is It a Milk Allergy?

Posted 4.18.17 | Nutrition Specialist

What new parent hasn’t asked questions like this: “Where did THAT come from?” Or maybe “Why is she suddenly so ITCHY?” Or even “What ARE all of those little bumps on her head?”

Babies drink what we give them (unless they don’t like it!), wear what we put on them (until they take it off!), and tend to stay where we put them (until they go mobile!). If adults are in control and a baby never leaves our sight, we should have answers to these questions. But almost every new parent comes up against a skin condition that they can’t explain.

As newborn babies grow and develop they can experience lots of different skin conditions. Some are typical, whereas others can be hard to explain. In today’s post, we’re going to walk through some of the most common questions and answers related to baby rashes. Food allergies can play a role in some of these conditions, so we’ll point out where that’s the case. 

Acne

Acne is something we associate with teenagers, but it can happen anytime in life. Acne is usually related to hormones, and babies sure do have hormones! Where do babies get hormones, maternal hormones are passed through the womb. Baby acne is harmless and usually goes away within a few weeks.

According to MayoClinic, “Baby acne can occur anywhere on the face, but usually appears on the cheeks, nose and forehead. Baby acne is common — and temporary. There's little you can do to prevent baby acne. Baby acne usually clears up on its own, without scarring.” Read more to learn when to see a doctor about baby acne

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis – which may also be called atopic eczema, involves scaly and itchy rashes that can be over a small or large part of the body. It can be triggered by allergens in the air (pollen, mold, dust mites, or animals), dry skin, or any number of factors. Severity of symptoms varies from one person to another. There’s an association between atopic dermatitis and food allergies, especially in cases of severe atopic dermatitis. At this time, it’s not clear if one causes the other. For infants, atopic dermatitis and cow milk allergy often are linked.

Contact Dermatitis

Contact dermatitis describes a situation where some substance makes contact with the skin and causes it to become red or inflamed. This could be anything from food to laundry detergent or lotions. Your little one’s healthcare team can help you narrow down the possibilities and make changes to remove whatever’s causing this type of dermatitis. If food is a cause, you’ll need to keep your little one from coming into contact with the food and cosmetics with ingredients from that food. Symptoms and treatments of contact dermatitis.

Diaper Rash

Diaper rash happens when a rash occurs on parts of the skin in contact with diapers. Some causes include having wet diapers on for too long, when the infant has diarrhea, or diapers are too tight. Rash can also be caused by introduction of new products to clean, for example if you are using cloth diapers. Symptoms and treatments of diaper rash.

Eczema

Eczema is a generic term for any dermatitis or skin swelling or itching. It’s often used to describe atopic dermatitis – see above! Read over a story of Morgan and his food allergy related eczema.

Hives

Hives, also called urticarial, are red, itchy bumps on the skin, often caused by an allergic reaction to a food or a drug. Hives can vary in size and can at times connect with one another to create a larger swelling. They often go away within 24 hours, but are still no fun. It’s important to avoid whatever substance or food triggers hives. Symptoms and treatments of hives.

Rash

A rash is a generic term that describes some sort of itchiness or irritation of the skin. Your doctor would be the best resource to look and narrow down what a rash represents and what might be causing it. For little onces, their pediatrician may decide to refer you to an allergist and/or a dermatologist.

When is a Rash a Milk Allergy?

Baby Rash

You should always refer to your pediatrician to help you understand what is causing your little one’s rash, but it’s also important to look at the big picture. Sometimes a baby with a cow milk allergy will also display other symptoms in addition to the rash. For instance, you may also see symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, gassiness, wheezing, runny nose, and/or colic.

If you do see a rash accompanied by any of these other symptoms, make sure to keep detailed notes and share all symptoms with your little one's doctor so that the healthcare team has all of the information to get to the bottom of what might be happening.

Also, make sure to work with your pediatrician to come up with a plan for taking care of your baby’s skin – no matter what is triggering the rash, it is important to take possible steps to alleviate the rash and any discomfort. Some possible steps your little one's doctor might suggest include:

  • Bathing your baby in soothing lukewarm water
  • Avoiding scented soaps, bath oils, and perfumed powders
  • Applying an over-the-counter moisturizer to your baby’s skin
  • Keeping your baby’s fingernails filed short and smooth to minimize damage from scratching
     
  • Using cotton mittens to help prevent scratching
  • Dressing your baby in soft cotton fabrics to prevent possible fabric irritation
  • Keeping your baby cool and avoiding hot, humid environments
  • Trying to keep your baby distracted from the itchiness with fun activities

We’ve told you what we know about various common skin conditions that you might see on your little one. Keep in mind, there are other conditions that can cause skin rashes, including various infections. Even with this info, you probably still have questions and want answers! The next step is to discuss them further with you little one’s healthcare team. Make sure you plan ahead, take notes and ask the right questions when you see your doctor.

-Rob

Rob McCandlish is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who joined the Nutricia team in 2010. Rob has years of experience at Nutricia following food allergy research, working with Neocate products, talking with Neocate families and learning about the science behind Neocate and food allergies. Rob has two nephews who both used Neocate for their cow milk allergies!


Why I’m Thankful

Posted 11.5.09 | Sarah O'Brien

With Thanksgiving just around the corner, Nita, Christine, Mallory and I thought it would be fun to do a series of blog entries on what we are thankful for in our own lives. I’m going to kick it off today, but be sure to check in each Thursday in November for a new “Why I’m Thankful” post.

I am thankful for the knowledge and experience that I have gained by working at Nutricia. I not only have the privilege to help families find relief for their babies, but I was also able to put my knowledge to use with my own child, Reagan. After 7 weeks of allergy-related reflux and colic, Reagan was also able to find relief with Neocate and my husband and I were able to find a little more assurance in ourselves as new parents…….and also a tad more rest!

After hearing from parents every day about what a long journey it is for them to finally find relief (usually 3-4 months), I was grateful that Reagan found comfort in just 7 weeks (which felt like an eternity at the time). I returned from maternity leave feeling even more empowered to help other mothers because I now understand first hand how desperate and exhausting these situations can be. It brought my job to a whole new level and I am thrilled to be able to have an opportunity to share my knowledge and become a resource to other families in these situations.

I was also able to help my niece, Maya who was diagnosed with a milk allergy and ended up on Neocate shortly after Reagan. Reagan and Maya are now 16 and 14 months old and have both grown out of their allergy and reflux issues. They are happy and healthy babies which I could not be more grateful for!

What are you thankful for this year? I would love to hear about your families!

-Sarah


Hope For a Milk Allergy Cure at Children’s Hospital Boston

Posted 9.10.09 | Nutrition Specialist

A new Milk Allergy Desensitization study is being conducted at Children’s Hospital Boston. Cameras followed the first patient to participate in the study, Brett Nasuti, along the way. Brett is 11 years old and was born with allergies to 15 different foods, including a severe milk allergy.

The first video in this three part series features Brett and his mother Robin talking about the challenges the family faces living with his milk allergy. In the second video Dr. Lynda Schneider, MD, the Allergy Program Director, discusses the details of her groundbreaking study and how the clinical trial works. Finally, in the third video we get to watch as Brett takes his first “sips” of milk to test his tolerance.

You’ll have to watch the videos to see the outcome of Brett’s first experience with milk, but this little guy has a great attitude throughout the process. Hopefully this study will bring new hope and a cure for food allergies!

-Nita


Product Recall Alert – Kroger Super Kids Enriched White Sandwich Bread

Posted 8.26.09 | Mallory West

If you are making sandwiches for your children’s first week of school, watch out! National grocery store chain Kroger has issued a recall of Kroger brand Super Kids Enriched White Sandwich Bread because it may contain milk, which is not listed as an ingredient on the label.

The bread is sold in 20-ounce packages with the UPC number 1111000831, and lists various “Best If Used By” dates. Kroger stores in Alabama, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Missouri, North Carolina, Ohio, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia and West Virginia are recalling the bread.

Customers should return the product to stores for a refund or replacement. If you have questions about the recall, you can contact Kroger toll-free at (800) 632-6900. For more information, please visit http://bit.ly/29LBjx.

P.S. Always read labels carefully. Though it doesn’t apply in this case (the Kroger bread didn’t list milk on the label at all) sometimes milk shows up on packaged good/formula labels as other names like “casein” or “whey.”

-Mallory


Soy Allergies on the Rise

Posted 8.19.09 | Christine Graham-Garo


We’ve posted before about soy allergies and noted that according to the American Academy of Pediatrics as many as 70% of babies with milk protein allergies are also allergic to soy. Typically, soy allergies are associated with infants who have reactions to soy-based formulas and outgrow the allergy by the time they reach kindergarten.

However, as demand for soy continues to rise and more soy ingredients are being used in processed foods, a growing number of adults are developing soy allergies as well.

Soy is now considered one of the most common potential food allergens — along with peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, milk, eggs, and wheat, but it wasn’t always so. According to AllergyKids.com, soy allergies increased by 50% in 1996. The reason? While the true cause of such a startling increase is not known, some experts attribute it to a new type of genetically engineered soy that was introduced that year.

Unfortunately, researchers haven't been able to identify exactly what parts of soy cause allergic reactions. Like milk and other common allergens, there are several proteins found in soy that have been shown to be allergenic.

If you or your little one do develop an allergy to soy, make sure to read all labels. Some common ingredients to look for that contain soy include:

  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein (HVP)
  • Textured vegetable protein (TVP)
  • Lecithin
  • Monodiglyceride
  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Vegetable oil
  • Vitamin E
  • Natural flavoring
  • Vegetable broth
  • Vegetable gum
  • Vegetable starch
- Christine

Is that Milk in my Child’s Soy Product?

Posted 7.9.09 | Mallory West


As most food allergy parents can attest, trying to understand food labels and whether or not they might contain an allergen is a frustrating process! However, making things even more complicated is the fact that sometimes the product name and description can be misleading.For instance, yesterday I read an article about a mom of a child with milk protein allergy. She bought and gave her son Stonyfield O’Soy Soy Yogurt, assuming that the product contained soy and therefore, would not be made with milk. By the time she noticed the statement underneath the ingredients list “contains soy and milk,” her son was halfway done with his snack.

Fortunately, her son was ok, but this is a great reminder that sometimes milk and other allergens can show up in unexpected places and it’s important to carefully read all labels. To read the entire story, click here.

(As a side note, if you have a baby with a milk protein allergy, check with your doctor about whether your little one might also be allergic to soy. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, as many as 70% of babies with milk protein allergies are also allergic to soy.)

Be sure to post advice on any other labeling pitfalls you come across!

-Mallory


Neocate Nutra – The First Hypoallergenic Semi-Solid Medical Food

Posted 6.9.09 | Sarah O'Brien

I’m excited to let everyone know about a new product Neocate just launched called Neocate Nutra – the first hypoallergenic semi-solid medical food for children and infants over 6 months of age. The product is great as a snack for a toddler with cow’s milk allergy and also for transitioning infants onto solid foods.

To learn more about the product check out the product description on the Neocate Web site. Do you think this is a product that will be useful for children with milk allergies? We’d love to hear your thoughts. Let us know by commenting on the blog, or join the discussion on Facebook by visiting Neocate’s Fan Page.

- Sarah


Milk Protein Allergy Symptoms: Nothing To Sneeze At

Posted 5.28.09 | Nutrition Specialist

One of my favorite parts about being a nutrition specialist is talking to parents. While sometimes I just answer questions, other times I am able to hear a family’s actual allergy story. This is great because it helps me understand what parents are really going through.

Unfortunately, one thing I constantly hear from parents is that it took months and several doctor visits before their child was finally diagnosed with milk protein allergy.

Since there seems to be a lack of awareness about the symptoms of milk protein allergy, I wanted to quickly run through some of the most common symptoms – the more allergy parents or soon-to-be parents know, hopefully the better the diagnosis process.

Because one of the symptoms of a milk protein allergy is extreme fussiness, doctors often dismiss the other symptoms and diagnose the baby with colic. This happens all too often, causing little ones to suffer for far too long.

For more information on colicky babies and milk allergies, check out the article: What is Colic.

Other common symptoms of a milk protein allergy include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Vomiting
  • Skin rashes
  • Fussiness
  • Low or no weight gain
  • Gassiness
  • Wheezing
  • Failure to thrive

If you’re baby is experiencing any of these symptoms, visit your doctor. And in the mean time check out testforallergy.com to take a free test online that will help you determine if your baby has a milk allergy.

- Nita


Fajita Spices and Seasonings Recall Alert

Posted 4.30.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

According to the Food and Drug Administration, McCormick and Company, Inc. is voluntarily recalling particular Lawry’s Fajitas Spices and Seasonings packages because they contain undeclared milk ingredients. This recall was initiated after it was discovered that the product was mispackaged and therefore, the package label did not list milk as an ingredient. Those with an allergy or intolerance to milk should not use this product.

The recalled Lawry’s Fajita Spices and Seasonings packages have a UPC Code of 2150022500 and a “best if used by” date of OCT0110PX62.

All grocery stores are removing the recalled products from their shelves.

If you purchased this product and would like a replacement or refund, call 1-800-952-9797.

- Christine


Milk Allergies in the News

Posted 4.29.09 | Nutrition Specialist

Here’s an interesting article from the Potomac Gazette about a Maryland food allergy family that nicely highlights the need for better diagnosis of infant milk allergies.

However, I wish the reporter would have explained further hypoallergenic formulas and the differences between hydrolysate formulas and elemental formulas. In the article, Victoria Goldberg, mother of two boys who were allergic to milk as babies, mentions that the hypoallergenic formula she gave her oldest still caused a reaction. That’s likely because it was a hypoallergenic hydrolysate.

Hydrolysate formulas (i.e. Nutramigen, Alimentum) contain protein chains that are partially broken down, which makes it easier to digest than typical baby formula. However, sometimes that’s not enough. Some babies need elemental formula (i.e. Neocate) that contain individual amino acids (the building blocks of protein) instead of protein chains.

I think understanding this distinction is key – especially since it can mean the difference between a sick, miserable baby and a happy, healthy baby.

- Nita


Product Recall Alert – Mislabeled Cheese Franks

Posted 3.31.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

Sara Lee North American Retail is recalling approximately 1,728 pounds of cheese frankfurters produced on February 12, 2009 and shipped to distribution centers around the country.

The cheese frankfurters were accidentally packaged with the beef frank labels and therefore, milk is not listed as an ingredient on the label. Anyone with milk protein allergy or milk intolerance should not eat this product.

The package label reads “Ball Park Brand Beef Franks” and has the UPC code of “5450010002.” To see the label of the recalled product, click here.

The products are currently being removed from all store and warehouse shelves.

For the entire story, click here.

And contact the Sara Lee consumer affairs recall hotline at (888) 891-6100 if you have any questions.

- Christine


What is a “Super” Hypoallergenic Formula?

Posted 3.10.09 | Nutrition Specialist

Recently, I’ve received a lot of questions regarding the different types of hypoallergenic formulas that are out there. Often, babies with milk protein allergies will try several formulas before finding one that actually works. Here’s a run-down of formulas for you.

Hydrolysate Formula: Nutramigen and Alimentum are hydrolysate formulas. Although these formulas are hypoallergenic, the protein in these formulas is only partially broken down. Therefore, allergic reactions can still occur when on this formula.

Amino Acid-Based Formula: Around the office, this formula has been called “super” hypoallergenic, meaning it is made from individual non-allergenic amino acids, making it easy for babies to digest. Neocate and Elecare are both amino acid-based formulas, but only Neocate is manufactured in a 100% dairy free environment.

Sometimes, babies with symptoms of milk protein allergy are given a hydrolysate formula first to see if it works. If the baby is still sick after several weeks, the doctor then recommends switching to an amino acid-based formula. However, that can mean many weeks (that feel like an eternity!) of a sick, miserable, undernourished baby and exhausted, stressed out parents.

So, some doctors recommend starting with the amino acid-based formula – which they know will provide the baby with relief fast if he or she has milk protein allergy. If the baby does well on it (for infants with milk protein allergy, symptoms usually resolve within three days of starting Neocate), after a few weeks parents can try to transition the baby to a hydrolysate. If the Neocate doesn’t help the baby, that tells the doctor right away that it is not a milk protein allergy causing the baby’s symptoms and the medical team needs to do some more investigative work to find out what’s really wrong. If you have a baby recently diagnosed with milk protein allergy, talk to your doc about the best approach.

If you think your little one might have a milk protein allergy, but hasn’t been diagnosed yet, make an appointment with your doctor.

Any questions? Let me know!

- Nita


Another Product Recall…

Posted 2.24.09 | Nutrition Specialist

The Georgia Agriculture Commissioner, Tommy Irvin, alerted consumers today of the following product recall because it contains a milk ingredient not listed on the product label:

Arrowhead Mills® Organic Stone Ground Whole Wheat Flour. The UPC code is #74333-47242 and the lot code is 06OCT09.

The product was distributed nationwide to natural food stores. Those with a severe milk protein allergy or sensitivity should not consume the product.

If you bought this product, you can return it to the place of purchase for a full refund.

And for questions or concerns, call the manufacturing company, Arrowhead Mills, at 1- 800-749-0730.

- Nita


Product Recall!

Posted 2.19.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

Broughton Foods of Marietta, Ohio is voluntarily recalling several products because they may contain undeclared milk protein. Anyone who has a milk protein allergy or a severe sensitivity to milk protein should not consume these items.

The recall involves the following products:
- Pints of Broughton Orange Juice with a date of January 14, 2009 or earlier and a UPC code of 70880 02070;
- Pints of Broughton Citrus Punch with a date of September 17, 2008 or earlier and a UPC code of 70880 02130;
- Pints of Broughton Fruit Punch with a date of September 16, 2008 or earlier and a UPC code of 70880 02234; and
- Pints of Broughton Brewed Iced Tea With Sugar Added with a date of December 20, 2008 or earlier and a UPC code of 70880 02063. *You can find the dates on the neck of the container. The UPC code is on the label under the ingredients.

For more information, you can call 1-800-871-6761 for recorded information or 1-800-283-2479 ext. 849 between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. EST to speak with a company representative.

The company issued an apology to all customers.

And remember, if your little one has a milk protein allergy, it's important to make sure products are manufactured in a 100 percent dairy free environment.

- Christine


Elimination Diet FYI

Posted 1.22.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

So, you find out your child has a milk protein allergy, and you think, “What am I going to feed him? Babies are supposed to drink milk!” I know it can be confusing, and a little overwhelming, at first. However, after taking a look at your options, you will be good to go!

If your child is formula fed, you won’t need to worry about eliminating anything from your diet. As we’ve talked about in previous entries, you can just switch your little one to an amino acid-based formula. However, if you choose to breastfeed, you will need to follow an elimination diet and remove all milk and soy protein from your diet.

For your reference, here is a list of the basic foods that may contain dairy or soy protein that you should avoid when on the elimination diet:

  • All dairy and soy products
  • Meat/processed meats
  • Whey or Casein on the label
  • Nutrition bars
  • Glazes
  • Lactose-free products
  • Chocolate
  • Fortified cereals
  • Non-broth (cream) soup
  • Cheese/Yogurt
  • Salad dressing

Kids With Food Allergies also has another in-depth list you can take a look at. Click here to see the full list.

These are just some things to look out for when implementing an elimination diet. Of course, if you feel the need to supplement your baby’s diet or if the elimination diet is compromised, an amino acid-based formula is always a great option. And, as always, please speak with a registered dietitian or your pediatrician before starting the elimination diet.

- Christine



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.