Q: I see that Nutricia only has amino-acid based products that are designed for children. Can the Neocate products be used by teenagers or even adults?
A: We get questions about using Neocate for older children, teenagers, and adults pretty often. This is especially common when folks are diagnosed eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) beyond childhood and an elemental diet is recommended. Here’s what you need to know:
Neocate’s RightAge approach
The Neocate products are all designed and tailored for specific age ranges. This helps ensure that growing children who need elemental formula get the right nutrients at the right age, especially when formula is their only source of nutrition. For instance, Neocate Infant and Neocate Junior products have different levels of vitamins and minerals to meet the different nutrition needs of infants versus toddlers and children. With this in mind, there are two ways that Neocate products, primarily Neocate Junior and Neocate’s Splash, can be used beyond childhood.
Neocate products can be used for supplemental nutrition
For many people with severe food allergies or conditions like EoE, it can be difficult to get 100% of the essential nutrients from diet. This is because many foods that have to be avoided are rich in important nutrients like protein, calcium, vitamin D, iron, essential fats, and more. For many folks who avoid these foods, Neocate Junior is a source of those nutrients. For instance, many of them consume it with their meals in place of cow’s milk to ensure a more balanced diet. Neocate Junior and Splash are often used this way with elimination diets, such as the six-food elimination diet. Neocate products can be useful as supplemental nutrition for folks of all ages.
Can Neocate products be used “sole-source” beyond childhood?
Using a product “sole source” means that a person gets all of his/her calories from that product. The product should be “nutritionally complete,” meaning that it provides 100% or more of all vitamins and minerals. Neocate Junior products are commonly used as the only source of nutrition in children over 1 year. Neocate Junior was formulated to provide all of the essential vitamins and minerals children need.
Whether or not Neocate Junior can meet 100% of nutrition needs beyond childhood depends on a few factors. Our nutrient needs change as we age, and are also different for women who are pregnant or nursing. Also, everyone has different calorie needs, and the number of calories you consume of Neocate Junior determines the amount of each nutrient you get. Therefore, it’s important to check with your health care team to see if Neocate Junior can meet 100% of your nutrition needs. They will consider the nutrient levels in Neocate Junior, your calorie needs, and your specific nutrient needs to make their decision. Some teenagers or adults, especially those with high calorie needs, might be able to use Neocate Junior as their sole source of nutrition to meet 100% of their needs. Other folks might need to take a vitamin or mineral supplement along with Neocate Junior to meet 100% of their needs.
The good news is that amino acid-based formulas have come a long way in the past 20 years. Neocate Junior now comes in versions with or without prebiotic fiber (to help promote gut health and regularity), as well as Unflavored, Vanilla, Chocolate, and Tropical flavors. Neocate’s E028 Splash comes in drink boxes in three great flavors: perfect for busy teens and to add variety. Neocate Nutra can be mixed with the other products to provide some texture to an otherwise liquid elemental diet.
What if I or my health care team have questions?
As always, families and health care providers are welcome to contact us with questions.