Neocate Nutra and Oral Motor Skills

Posted 9.7.12 | Christine Graham-Garo

Neocate Nutra is a one-of-a-kind product.  With the protein source being 100% non-allergenic amino acids, this allows for food allergic children to enjoy a pudding-like solid.  Not only does this provide a great source of nutrients in the diet, it also helps severely allergic children practice eating more solid foods.

 There are a growing number of food allergic children who have feeding difficulties.1  This is often due to learned associations with food and discomfort and reinforcement of maladaptive feeding behaviors.1  The development of learned feeding skills starts once the baby is born.  But there is a critical period at about four to six months where a baby will start to experiment with more solid/pureed foods.  If a child’s progression of feeding development is shifted, due to learned food refusal, a limited diet based on elimination diets, or limited mealtime moments, that may result in delayed oral motor skill development. 

If your child is showing signs of feeding difficulties, it is important you see your doctor or reach out to a certified feeding specialist.

The good thing about Nutra is that it is a – milk free and gluten free – hypoallergenic soft cereal.  Additionally, it is a good source of Vitamin D, Calcium, and Iron which is important for a child on a restricted diet due to food allergies.

To show you how Neocate Nutra can help, we want to highlight a patient case study that was developed by a Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Specialist in Aurora, CO.

Patient History: The case report is of a seven month old boy with a history of intolerance to several milk- and soy-based formulas.  He had many symptoms including vomiting, poor growth and poor feeding transition to solids (basically refusing to eat solids).  Doctors diagnosed this child with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE).

Nutritional Management: The child was started on an amino acid based formula, Neocate Infant.  His parents were highly anxious regarding growth and the struggle to feed their baby, resulting in stressful feeding dynamics and a bumpy transition to Neocate Infant.

His pediatrician and gastroenterologist together with the dietitian recommended Neocate Nutra for additional calories and the developmental opportunity to acquire oral motor skills such as successful spoon feedings. Neocate Nutra was presented 2 times a day, with one serving thinned with Neocate Infant to help with the Neocate Infant formula intake. After consulting with the child’s allergist, Neocate Nutra was mixed with other foods like apple sauce, sweet potato and white potato to promote increased acceptance as well as adding a variety of flavors that were age appropriate.

Result: The introduction of Neocate Nutra provided extra calories, supported and promoted typical oral motor skill development, provided satisfying feeding opportunities for the caregivers, and reduced the family’s’ stress around growth and mealtimes. By 12 months of age the child was eating full volumes of the Neocate Infant and was continuing on the Neocate Nutra.


-          Christine


1.        Haas A. Feeding Disorder in Food Allergic children. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep(2010) 10:258–264

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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.