How can Duocal Nutritional Supplement Help My Child Gain Weight?

Posted 2.16.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

As a follow up to our “Failure to Thrive: My child is underweight, what should I do?” blog, I would like to further explain the product Duocal. It may be a good option for a child with failure to thrive (or FTT) as well as other conditions such as multiple food protein intolerance and conditions related to food allergies such as Eosinophilic Esophagitis (or EE), Gastroesophageal reflux disease (or GERD), and Atopic Dermatitis (or AD).

Duocal is a high calorie, protein-free powdered nutritional supplement that can be added to foods or beverages when additional calories are needed to gain adequate weight. Keep in mind that Duocal is not a formula and should not be used as a sole source of nutrition.

Duocal is made up of carbohydrates and fats. It is flavorless and super soluble so there are no changes to the taste and/or texture of the food it is being added to (which also helps with diet compliance). The Duocal 400g can comes with a scoop which provides about 25 extra calories per scoop.

The reason Duocal is unique is the fact that it does not contain proteins. This is important for a child who needs extra calories due to FTT or weight loss secondary to severe food allergies (keep in mind; only proteins can cause an allergic reaction).

Duocal is 100% milk free and is made in a milk free environment to ensure tolerance. Duocal is for children ages 1 and over. The amount of Duocal you or your little one may need per day is to be determined by your doctor or dietitian. The amount of Duocal needed per day really depends on what the specific nutritional needs are for the patient. Duocal is for children ages one year and older, so it can be used throughout ones life stages.

Duocal can be mixed with a wide variety of foods. Here are some quick tips on how to use Duocal to get you started.

(These are approximations, please check with your doctor or dietitian for exact amounts) When using

Duocal for:

· Beverages: Add 2 scoops of Duocal per 4 fl oz.

· Toddler Foods: Add 2 scoops of Duocal per ¼ cup of food.

· Mashed potatoes: Add 3-4 scoops Duocal per ½ cup of mashed potatoes.

· Soups: Add ~6 scoops of Duocal for a 16 oz serving (or one can) of soup.

The site has a lot of helpful recipes and complete nutritional information to help you better understand how to incorporate Duocal into your child’s diet.

Have you tried Duocal before? What kind of recipes did you make with it? We are always excited to hear of new ways to use Duocal in helping patients thrive.


Read Comments (4)

  • 2017-05-27 | Lily Wu

    Can Duocal be given with breast milk as a module to increase caloric concentration of breast milk?

  • 2017-06-01 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Lily,
        Thanks for the question. 1) We cannot recommend Duocal for children below 1 year of age, since it hasn’t been studied in infants. 2) Yes, Duocal can be mixed with any beverage or formula to add calories, so by extension it could also be added to breast milk.
        For questions like this and advice on this topic, we always refer parents to the healthcare provider for their decision and guidance. Hope this helps!

  • 2018-01-05 | Eugenia McCartney

    My son loss weight can i add Duocal he 9 month old

  • 2018-01-08 | Nutrition Specialist

    Hi Eugenia,
        We cannot recommend Duocal for children below 1 year of age. You should discuss with your son’s healthcare team whether they want to recommend Duocal and, if so, how much. If they feel that his weight loss is something to be concerned about, they will likely have other recommendations or strategies that they prefer to try first before recommending a product like Duocal.
        Best of luck to you!

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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.