Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results


Kids With Food Allergies

Resources from the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation

Posted 4.5.11 | Guest Blogger

Our post today is a guest blog entry from Lynda Mitchell, the Founder ofKids With Food Allergies Foundation. We'd like to thank her for guest blogging with us. 

As the parent of a baby who had multiple food allergies, I truly understand the joys and challenges of parenting a child with food allergies. My baby - now 21 years old - is successfully attending college, living a full life, and managing his own food allergies.

As the founder of Kids With Food Allergies Foundation (KFA), a nonprofit grass roots support organization for families raising children with food allergies, I want to assure you that you are not alone, and want you to know that there is a world of support waiting for you.

KFA offers daily assistance and practical food allergy management help. Reach out to us when you're just getting started. We can help you not feel alone, give you pointers to make your life easier and help improve the quality of life for you and your child. Or, if you've been "in the trenches" managing food allergies for a while, you are welcome to get involved and share what you know with others who are new to food allergies, stay informed with news, or get involved with volunteer work or leadership opportunities.

Our website is rich with resources to help you day-to-day. Most of this information is fully accessible without cost to you. Please check out what we offer, and use what is helpful!

Looking for social support?

Our online support community of 24,000 members is the largest online peer support group focused solely on children's food allergies. Registration is free-so if you haven't already become a member, please join us and participate in sharing support, exchanging information, and giving and getting help with food ideas, recipes and cooking challenges! In addition to general forums, there are places to discuss special issues, like raising children with eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders, food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), celebrating birthdays and special occasions (Yes, we can even help you bake your child's birthday cake!), and lots more!

New to food allergies?

Check out our free e-book starter guide, From Confusion to Confidence, and our online tutorial and videos. We also offer a one-page handout with need-to-know information focusing on prevention and preparedness.

Need help with grocery shopping, food ideas, baking, cooking or recipes?

Check out our label reading guides; basic substitution and "How to Cook" information; grocery shopping tips; and Safe Eats Recipe Database. We also offer twice-yearly reports on new allergy- and kid-friendly foods; an Allergy Buyer's Guide; and food and cooking support forums where you can ask other parents for tried-and-true suggestions.

Looking for help navigating holidays, school, travel or special occasions?

Check out our holiday guides, school resources, travel and camp tips! We've got lots more to offer too. So, visit our website soon, become a member and sign up for our free news updates! Find us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. We're here to help inform, connect and support families. I hope we can be of help to yours, too.

Lynda


Families & Siblings: Living Together with Food Allergies

Posted 12.14.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

As we all know, children with food allergies often go on restricted or special diets to eliminate the offensive foods. This can be challenging for the child, but also the entire family. One example I read that resonated with me was about a 4-year old girl with food allergies who had to be put on a restrictive diet. She did not handle this well and would become angry at friends and family. She especially became angry at her little 2 year old brother, who was allowed to eat whatever he wanted. Interestingly, the brother stopped eating what he was allowed and began eating the same restricted diet as his sister. I also read about another child with allergies that would take food from his sibling without his parents knowing!

These stories really made me think about how much food allergies can affect the entire family. In a survey of 87 families, pediatric allergy specialist, Dr. Mary Bollinger and colleagues at the University of Maryland found that half had made significant changes to their social activities to accommodate their child’s food allergy.1 This may seem obvious to some, but its an important part of food allergy treatment that often gets overlooked.

Adjusting to a Food Allergy Life

In his book, Understanding and Managing Your Child’s Food Allergies, Scott Sicherer has helpful advice for dealing with food allergies as a family. One thing he says is reassuring, “People with a food allergies should do and can do everything that a person without food allergies does, except for eating the food to which they are allergic."

What are some ideas you have for helping the whole family cope with food allergies? Are there any ways you have found to help manage the siblings’ reactions to the situation? I would love to hear what you all have done. Although every child may need a different technique, if we all share our ideas, I’m sure it can help at least one family!

-Christine

1. M.E. Bollinger et al. (2006) The impact of food allergy on the daily activities of children and their families. Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, 96: 415-421. [Image Source]


Halloween with Food Allergies

Posted 10.26.10 | Sarah O'Brien

We shared our top 4 Tips for Celebrating Halloween Without a Food Allergy Scare. But with Halloween coming up this weekend we wanted to share a round-up of all the great “Halloween with Food Allergies” tips we’ve seen recently. Here is some more great advice from our favorite blogs and advocacy groups!

Tips for a Food Allergy Safe Trick or Treating

  • Kids With Food Allergies recommends pre-positioning safe candy at friends houses along with other advice for safe trick-or-treating and school parties.
  • Gina Clowes of Allergy Moms has 15 Halloween Safety Tips in her latest newsletter. She recommends pulling a “switcheroo” and buying two of the same treat collectors, letting your little one trick-or-treat, but then swapping their loot out with the safe version once you get home.

Have you read any great ideas for having a safe, but fun, Halloween? Be sure to share the links!

- Sarah


Tips for Teaching Your Children To Manage Their Own Food Allergies

Posted 9.23.10 | Mallory West

I recently attended the Kids with Food Allergies Family Fun Event at the Whole Foods in North Wales, Pennsylvania and I was so impressed with how responsible the kids I met there were with managing their food allergies.

This made me think about how important it is to train your little ones to manage their food allergies and related conditions. As a parent, you will always play an important role, but once your child goes off to school and picks up extracurricular activities you won’t be with them all the time. Plus, although some food allergies are outgrown, others are life-long conditions. For these children managing food allergies will always be a part of their lives.

Teaching Toddlers and Young Children About Food Allergies

The skills and information you give your child about her food allergies will depend on her age. Start out with the basics; providing too much information too soon will confuse young children.

The best way to get through to a toddler or young child is to communicate with them in their language and on their level. Teach them through activities they enjoy!

Teaching Older Kids and Teenagers about Food Allergies:

For those of you with older kids and teens, below are some resources that may be helpful for you as you continue to educate them on food allergy management.

How are you teaching your little ones about their food allergies? What tips or resources would you recommend for other parents?

-Mallory

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Food Allergy Family Fun Event and Expo

Posted 9.7.10 | Sarah O'Brien

Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) is hosting their 2nd Annual Family Fun Event and Expo on September 12 and October 2. For the first time the events will take place in two different locations! They are excited to be back in North Wales, PA on Sunday, September 12 at the Whole Foods Market and will also be in Houston, TX on Saturday, October 2 at LaCenterra at Cinco Ranch.

Raising Food Allergy Awareness While Having Fun!

The KFA family fun events were put together to help raise food allergy awareness and funds to support KFA education, outreach and support programs. These are free events you don’t want to miss. There is fun for the whole family including a children’s dance-a-thon, live music and lots of great allergy friendly foods! It’s a great chance for kids and parents to connect with other families and get an opportunity to share experiences and learn new ways to deal with food allergies.

There will be all sorts of exciting entertainment for food allergic children. Special guest, Kyle Dine will be performing at both Expos! He will provide a music performance and puppet show that will be a sure entertainment for the kids.

We are pleased to be supporters of these events and to help raise food allergy awareness. We are excited to share that we will also be attending both expos. Be sure to stop by and say hello to Mallory in North Wales and Madalene, another colleague of ours, in Houston! We will be available to answer any Neocate questions you may have and help you and your family to have a fantastic day!

It’s not too late to register online.

We hope to see you there.

- Sarah


Hidden Allergens: Dairy, Soy and Gluten Allergies

Posted 5.25.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

As we near the end the month of May, our series on Hidden Food Allergens is wrapping up. Mallory and Nita wrote great entries with tips and ideas on how to best avoid hidden dairy, soy and gluten allergens in food. Usually, there is a long list of items to avoid, so as Mallory mentioned, it’s helpful to print out your own list, laminate it, and take it with you on your grocery trips. It’s nearly impossible to memorize all those potential allergens you need to look out for on the product label. Having a list handy will cut back on the time you spend examining labels and make it easier for you to get what you need from the store and get on with your day!

Always remember, if you are uncertain whether a produce may contain an allergen, call the manufacturers and ask! The more educated you can be, the better.

Belonging to a food allergy social group or network can also allow you to share experiences and learn from other families who are in similar situations. Some groups you can join are the Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN), Facebook and/or Twitter groups dedicated to food allergies (including the Neocate Facebook page), Kids with Food Allergies (KWFA), and the Food Allergy Initiative (FAI). For example, if you just found out (from the manufacturer) that a certain food, surprisingly, had some traces of a particular allergen, you could share that information with others and help prevent accidental exposure from happening to another family.

So keep those Hidden Food Allergens lists handy and keep an eye on those labels! What other actions have you done to help avoid those hidden allergens? We always appreciate hearing your advice!

- Christine


Food Allergy Support Groups

Posted 3.25.10 | Sarah O'Brien

We know that the diagnosis of a food allergy or GI condition can sometimes be overwhelming for families. Fortunately, there are many great support groups out there that can help you find your footing with resources, advice and stories from other families going through similar situations. Here are a few that we have found helpful.

Allergy Moms

Founded by Gina Clowes, AllergyMoms provides support for parents of children with food allergies. The Web site and monthly newsletter features articles, food allergy recipes and the latest news and research on breast-feeding, hypoallergenic formulas, eczema, reflux, anaphylaxis and school policy.

American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

APFED is an advocacy group for children and adults living with eosinophilic esophagitis, eosinophilic gastroenteritis, eosinophilic colitis, hypereosinophilic syndrome, and other eosinophilic disorders. It is a great resource and provides accurate, up-to-date information on eosinophilic disorders and related problems. Not only does the organization increase awareness and educate patients and physicians, APFED also works to increase funding for research.

Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN)

FAAN was established in 1991 to share information vital to raising a child with food allergies. Throughout the year the group holds events to raise awareness about food allergies, including Food Allergy Walks in cities across the country. The FAAN Web site features an extensive database of allergy-friendly recipes, as well as links to other resources like local support groups and allergy camps.

Kids with Food Allergies (KFA)

Started by Lynda Mitchell, KFA is a nationwide nonprofit organization that offers online food allergy support groups, information, news, and allergen-free recipes for families raising children with food allergies. They have a new guide called KFA's Starter Guide to Parenting a Child with a Food Allergy that is especially helpful when you are first trying to understand food allergies, diagnosis and treatment. You can also subscribe to their bi-weekly newsletter for the latest updates!

Reflux Rebels

Reflux Rebels was started by a group of mothers who all had children with reflux and food allergies. Their goal is to share the knowledge they have learned from their own experiences and provide advice to families going through something similar. The Web site features some helpful quizzes that can help you get an idea of what your baby’s symptoms mean and what treatment options are out there. They also run an active message board on BabyCenter for those of you looking to ask a question or just chat with other parents navigating reflux and food allergies.

We hope you find these groups helpful! There are also a number of local support and advocacy groups out there that are ready to lend a hand too. What groups have been good resources for you?

-Sarah


Great Kid Treats & Snacks for an Allergy-Safe Valentines Day!

Posted 2.11.10 | Mallory West

Valentines Day is a fun holiday for kids and most schools have some kind of celebration, where students share valentines, candy and other treats. For a child with food allergies (and their parents), this day can be stressful. You want to ensure your child stays safe from potential allergens while making sure they get to enjoy all of the fun. Here are some ideas for a safe and fun Valentine’s Day celebration!

First and foremost, you want to make sure your child stays safe during any classroom valentine exchanges. Kids with Food Allergies compiled a list of 7 tips to follow in order to keep your child safe at school on Valentines Day:

You may want to bring in some allergy-free treats for your child so he/she doesn’t feel left out.

Here are some allergy-friendly* treat ideas:

If you are looking for an alternative to candy and sweets, your child can bring valentine-themed stickers, pencils, etc. Another idea is to talk with your child’s teacher about making a valentine-themed craft that everyone can participate in and enjoy. This way, the celebration isn’t totally focused on candy and treats.

For example, the class could make these valentine-themed crafts:

  • Valentine mobiles
  • Valentine wreaths
  • Friendship boxes

What allergy-friendly Valentines Day ideas/tips do you have to share?

-Mallory

*These allergy-friendly recipes are free of the most common allergens but as always, double check to make sure all of the ingredients are safe for your child.


Dealing with a New Diagnosis of Food Allergy

Posted 1.21.10 | Guest Blogger

Our post today is a guest blog entry from Lynda Mitchell, founder and president of Kids With Food Allergies, a national non-profit food allergy support group. We’d like to thank her for guest blogging for us.

In her book, AfterShock, social psychologist Jessie Gruman, PhD, the president of the Center for Advancing Health, writes about what to do when the doctor gives you – or someone you love – a devastating diagnosis. Although she may not have had a food allergy diagnosis on her mind when she wrote it, much of what she spells out in her book would generally apply to how we, as parents, feel when we find out one of our children has been diagnosed with food allergy. Let’s face it: food allergy rocks our world – it not only changes our whole family’s lifestyle and greatly impacts our quality of life, it also requires meticulous management to keep our children safe and reaction-free. Knowing that our children could have an allergic reaction and change from the picture of health one minute to life-threatening anaphylaxis the next adds much stress to our lives as well.

National nonprofit organization Kids With Food Allergies has a very active online community for families, and many members join to learn about food allergies and to connect with other parents for day-to-day support when they are dealing with a new diagnosis. From the outset, we’ve seen parents asking the same questions and searching for the same answers to learn the basics immediately after diagnosis to understand what they are dealing with and learn how to keep their children safe.

With that in mind, and knowing that many Web-savvy families search the Internet looking for information about food allergy when their children are diagnosed, we decided to create a getting started guide for families – a free e-book, From Confusion to Confidence, that doesn’t answer every possible question, but rather focuses on the essential things you would need to know – those “mundane details” Dr. Gruman references – if your child is just diagnosed with a food allergy. This free guide includes a 42-page compilation of articles, checklists and resources on topics ranging from understanding food allergy, diagnosis and treatment to day-to-day management of nutrition, cooking, shopping and living with food allergies.

Please take a look; download it and spread the word that it’s now available for families and can be a ready resource if they face a new diagnosis.

- Lynda


Kids with Food Allergies Introduces a Free Starter Guide for Parenting a Child with Food Allergies

Posted 12.1.09 | Sarah O'Brien

starter-guideReceiving a food allergy diagnosis can be a lot for parents to handle! Between trying to understand the allergy, learning what things to avoid and making sure your little one is getting the proper nutrition they need to thrive, it can be complicated and confusing. Even though I am a nutrition specialist, I remember being totally overwhelmed when my daughter was diagnosed with a milk protein allergy.

To help parents like us, Kids with Food Allergies has released From Confusion to Confidence: a Starter Guide for Parenting a Child with Food Allergies - a free e-book with articles, checklists and resources on everything related to food allergies. If your child has recently been diagnosed, or you are looking for a new source of information, I would definitely recommend checking it out.

You can download the guide from the Kids with Food Allergies Web site here. While you’re there, be sure to check out the other great resources available on the site – they have a great archive of recipes as well!

Are there any other resources that you have found helpful? We’d love to hear about them!

- Sarah


Allergy Resources – Facebook?!

Posted 10.20.09 | Nutrition Specialist

FacebookFacebook might not be the first place you think to look when it comes to searching for info about your child with food allergies or other GI conditions. In fact, I was a little hesitant when someone suggested we start up a Neocate Facebook fan page. But as I’ve become more familiar with the tool, I’ve discovered that there are many great fan pages and groups on Facebook devoted to the topic of food allergies. And it really is a helpful tool for connecting to other parents that might be going through similar situations and share stories, news and advice.

Some of my Facebook favorites include:

You can also join the discussion on the Neocate fan page. We sometimes offer coupons to Fans and parents have found that it’s a good place to share their stories with other parents, get answers to their Neocate and allergy-related questions, and keep up to date on allergy related news and more!

Do you have a favorite Facebook fan page or group? Let us know in the comments!

-Nita


New Food Allergy Resource Center for Parents

Posted 5.26.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

It’s always great to find a new food allergy resource to help keep your allergy-prone little one safe and healthy. It’s also nice to have somewhere to go when you need advice from healthcare professionals and fellow food allergy parents. Kids With Food Allergies recently created a new food allergy resource center to do exactly that.

The resource center has Kids With Food Allergies’ publications, as well as resource sections that cover the following topics:

  • Allergy Friendly Food Reports
  • Food Allergy Basics
  • Diagnosis & Testing
  • Emotional and Social Issues
  • Food Allergens
  • Food & Cooking
  • Gastrointestinal Disorders
  • Holidays
  • Managing Food Allergies
  • Medication & Pharmacy
  • Product Safety & Labeling
  • School & Preschool
  • Shopping
  • Support Groups

Let us know what you think of the KFA resource center and what other good food allergy resources you recommend.

- Christine


It’s Time For An Allergy-Free Passover

Posted 4.7.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

Tomorrow night is Passover and you have family visiting and friends coming over for the holiday. However, with an allergy-prone little one, you might be concerned about how to have a traditional, yet allergy-free event.

Kids With Food Allergies (KWFA) put together a great booklet to help you plan a successful, allergy-free celebration. The booklet gives suggestions on preparation for the Seder, activities for the Seder, recipes to use during Passover and a list of allergy-free resources.

My favorite section of this resource is the activity ideas for the Seder. Particularly, I like the idea of creating a fun trivia game with your children for your family and guests. This is a great way for your children to focus on the fun, not the food, during Passover! As KWFA suggests, you can make it as simple as putting questions on index cards or you can create a more intricate board game.

To read the entire booklet, click here.

Another great resource to use for allergy-free Passover preparation is Living Without, a magazine specifically for people with food allergies and sensitivities. The April edition of the magazine includes the article, “Sensitive to Passover,” which has great allergy-free baking tips.

How are you having an allergy-free Passover?

- Christine


Can my child have an allergic reaction from a medicine or vaccine?

Posted 2.18.09 | Nutrition Specialist

Unfortunately, the answer might be yes. Recently, Kids with Food Allergies dedicated part of their monthly e-newsletter to articles and resources on potential food allergens in medication and vaccines. The information was very informative and is something I encourage all allergy parents to read and be aware of.

Prescription and over-the-counter medications, as well as vaccines, can contain food allergens as inactive ingredients. While a generic form of a drug must be chemically equivalent to its brand name counterpart — and therefore have the same active ingredients — it does not have to contain the same inactive ingredients as its brand name equivalent. Some of these inactive ingredients may be derived from potential food allergens.

All the more reason to read all food labels and packaging inserts carefully. And speak with your child’s allergist regarding the safety of vaccines and medications to ensure your child doesn’t have a surprise reaction.

To read the entire e-newsletter, click here.

And to see a list of e-newsletter topics from Kids with Food Allergies, click here.

I encourage you to check them out!

- Nita


Facebook Food Allergy Roundup

Posted 6.9.11 | Sarah O'Brien

Rob wrote a great blog post last week about some of the great blogs out there covering food allergies.  This week, I thought I would highlight some Facebook pages related to food allergies that you can connect with for helpful information.

  • American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, and Immunology: Come here for updates about the latest research in allergy/immunology, access to educational tools and publications, and to share your thoughts about current issues in allergy and asthma.
  • APFED - The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders: APFED's Facebook page has an active wall where parents of children with eosinophilic disorders often post for support.  You can also find updates about new research and relevant events.
  • The CURED Foundation: This non-profit foundation is dedicated to those suffering from eosinophilic disorders.  Their Facebook page offers information on how to get involved and answers questions from parents about their children's conditions.
  • Food Allergy Initiative: FAI is another good resource for up to date allergy news and ways to get involved with fundraising.
  • Kids with Food Allergies Foundation: This page has an active wall where parents share their food allergy stories. KWFA provides the latest news on food allergy research and events.
  • The Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network (FAAN): The official FAAN Facebook page provides allergy news, updates on their walks, conferences and summer camps, as well as helpful tips posted by members.

Don't forget you can also become a fan of the Neocate Facebook page - we have a great community of parents who share their food allergy stories and offer support for others!  You can ask questions and find the latest news about Neocate and allergies.

Are there any other food allergy-related Facebook pages that we missed?  Be sure to share them in the comments!

- Sarah


Twitter Food Allergy Roundup

Posted 6.17.11 | Nutrition Specialist

This month we highlighted some of the great blogs out there covering food allergies and then some Facebook pages related to food allergies and now today we’ve decided to talk about some great twitter accounts that you can follow for even more helpful information.

  • @FoodAllergy:the twitter account for The Food Allergy Anaphylactic Network (FANN) is a great source of information and resources related to food allergies and anaphylaxis;
  • @kfatweets: the twitter account for Kids With Food Allergies provides information to help improve the lives of families raising children with food allergies and helps them to create a safe and healthy environment for their children.
  • @AllergyEats: the twitter account for AllergyEats provides a user-friendly guide to allergy-friendly restaurants across the United States reviewed by people with food allergies, for people with food allergies.
  • @Apfedorg: the twitter account for The American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED) is dedicated to providing information to patients and their families coping with Eosinophilic Disorders.
  • @Fooducate: the twitter account for Fooducate is a grocery advisor, helping people choose the best food for their families by analyzinginformation found in product's nutrition panel and ingredient list. 

Don't forget you can also follow us on twitter at @Neocate!  You can ask questions and find the latest news about Neocate and allergies.

Are there any other food allergy-related twitter accounts that we missed?  Be sure to share them in the comments!

- Sarah 


Food Allergies and World Breastfeeding Week 2011

Posted 8.2.11 | Christine Graham-Garo

The World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action and breastfeeding advocates in more than 170 countries worldwide will be celebrating World Breastfeeding WeekAugust 1-7!  We all know how important breastfeeding is, so we wanted to share some information about this week as well as breastfeeding a little one with food allergies.

 It’s always suggested that the first choice should be to breastfeed your baby because studies have shown that breastfeeding1, 2:

  • Protects the baby against infections, such as ear infections and the flu; and
  • Protects against other conditions such as

 However, while breastfeeding is important, it can become more complicated if your baby has food allergies.  In that case, healthcare professionals typically recommend that the mother start an elimination diet, where she will remove the offending allergen or allergens from her diet, ultimately removing them from her baby’s diet. This can become problematic if the mom is not getting the nutrients she needs, resulting in the baby not getting the right nutrition from the breast milk alone.  Therefore, a lactating mom on an elimination diet should be closely monitored by a doctor or Registered Dietitian to ensure she is getting all the vitamins and minerals she requires while avoiding the specific allergen(s).  To read more about elimination diets and how to best educate yourself on reading labels to avoid certain allergens like milk, soy, peanuts, eggs, tree nuts, fish, shellfish and wheatwe recommend checking out the Consortium of Food Allergy Research website.   

Here at Nutricia, we always support breastfeeding, but understand that some moms are just not able to breastfeed as they wish.  If the baby has a known food allergy and if the mom is not able to breastfeed, then a formula like, Neocate Infant DHA ARA, can be an appropriate alternative.

 As always, talk to your doctor about the best way to help your baby get the right nutrition they need as well as any questions you have about breastfeeding your baby.  

Are you a mom who has breastfed a food allergic infant and had to follow an elimination diet?  Was it hard for you?  Do you have any recommendations or insights for other moms in this same situation?  We would love it if you shared!

 

-Christine

 

1.http://www.womenshealth.gov/breastfeeding/why-breastfeeding-is-important/#pubs

2.http://www.breastfeeding.com/all_about/all_about_more.html

 


Baby Formula Prep Machines and Neocate Mixing

Posted 12.15.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Technology – what would we do without it! Today we have appliances designed solely to brew our coffee, to shuck an ear of corn, and to open soup cans. I’ve even seen countertop appliances designed to cook frozen pizzas that do nothing else! And really, who can blame us. We’re busy. We have full-time jobs, busy families, full social calendars, and no free time. Add a new infant to the mix, and you need 24 hours to get things done with no time left over to sleep.

It’s a given, then, that we look for ways and devices to help simplify parenting. If you’ve ever had to prepare a bottle of formula in the middle of the night while trying to comfort a crying infant, you know how challenging this can be. Companies know this and have come up with ways to simplify tasks that come with parenting infants. There are now appliances that can steam and puree baby foods, wash and dry baby bottles, and also prepare bottles of infant formula.

Which begs the question: Can you trust an appliance from an independent company to prepare any infant formula? And how about specialized formulas, like Neocate? Today, we’ll walk through some points to consider and share our perspective on this question.

Infant formula prep appliances

What are they, and what do they do? Appliances that are designed to prepare infant formula were introduced in the United States several years ago. The premise? They make bottle prep much simpler. They save you time by reducing the number of steps you have to take when you’re in desperate need of a bottle.

How do they work? There are several types of appliances available. Here is a basic rundown of the functions they perform:

1.     Some baby formula prep machines are designed to work with very specific capsules of infant formula, and not with any other infant formulas. That appliance clearly cannot be used for any other off-the-shelf powdered infant formula. It’s similar to some of the automatic coffee and espresso appliances available these days, which have pods.

2.     Other appliances are designed to be very simple to operate too. Whenever you need a bottle of formula you press a button and, in no time at all, you have a bottle of warm, prepared formula ready to go – no muss, no fuss. These appliances are designed to be universal – used with almost all powdered infant formulas:

  • An enclosed container holds infant formula powder.
  • A reservoir holds water
  • The appliance heats water to a certain temperature
  • The appliance is intended to dispense the right amount of powder and warm water to prepare formula at the standard concentration

3.     Still other appliances will dispense heated water into a bottle to which you manually add powdered infant formula, saving you the step of warming and measuring out the water. These appliances are designed to be universal – used with any powdered infant formula.

  • An enclosed container holds water.
  • You place the bottle under a dispenser
  • The appliance dispenses a small amount of very hot water.
  • You add the powdered infant formula.
  • The appliance then dispenses the remaining water

All of these “universal” appliances - not the very specific type that we described first with the formula pods - are meant to remove some or all of the hassles of measuring the powder, heating water, measuring the water, and/or mixing the formula. What’s not to love?

A perusal of online reviews shows that these appliances haven’t always worked as well as buyers might hope. Some models also seem to have been discontinued in the US in the past. Another drawback is that some of the appliances require regular and, in some cases, pretty comprehensive cleaning.

These appliances offer a number of different volume options, for example as little as 2 to as much as 11 ounces. The ones that dispense powder also have instructions for settings designed to dispense the right amount of formula powder. This is important, because too little or too much powder can lead to formula that’s too dilute or too concentrated. This can pose serious health risks for infants.

What we recommend

Nutricia cannot recommend the use of automated infant formula prep appliances to prepare Neocate. As a company that makes specialized formulas for infants with unique medical conditions, we take the health and safety of our customers and your little ones very seriously.

Factor 1: Mixing accuracy

Nutricia cannot ensure that the amount of Neocate powder dispensed by any of these appliances is accurate. The manufacturers of these appliances may state otherwise. The scoops that we provide with our Neocate formulas are validated for use with these formulas. (Even more accurate than the scoops provided are scales that measure in grams.) Just as important is the volume of water, which should also be measured accurately and can affect formula concentration.

Factor 2: Temperature

Some of the infant formula prep appliances dispense a small amount of water that is very hot (about 158°F, or 70°C). This is based on recommendations followed in some parts of the world to use very hot water when preparing powdered infant formula. However, this is not standard practice in the United States.

For now we cannot recommend using water above 122°F (50°C) when mixing powdered Neocate products. (For Neocate Syneo Infant this is 104°F, or 40°C.) Following questions about higher water temperatures, we conducted small-scale tests on a few specific heat-sensitive nutrients mixing Neocate with water at the high temperature of 158°F (70°C).

We found the high temperature had an impact on those nutrients. While the effect during these tests did not lower the nutrient levels below the amounts stated on the label, at this time we cannot recommend exposing Neocate powders to water above 122°F, or 50°C (104°F, or 40°C, for Neocate Syneo Infant). Aside from the potential impact on heat-sensitive nutrients, there is also the possibility that using such hot water can slightly affect the taste, smell, and ability to remain in solution (i.e. to not separate).

In closing…

While these are our recommendations, we understand that automated infant formula prep appliances seem incredibly convenient. Our best guidance if you are interested in using one of these appliances is to check with your healthcare team. Share the information we’ve outlined above with them. While we don’t recommend these appliances, your healthcare team can assess the potential drawbacks to help determine if any of them might be appropriate for you.

We hope this helps, but feel free to ask any additional questions in the comments, below!

Rob


Understanding FPIES Through Moms Sharing Their Stories

Posted 11.17.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Our post today is a guest blog entry from Lynda Mitchell.  We’d like to thank her for guest blogging for us.

When the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation opened its doors in 2005, Tracy, one of our members, told me her son had food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), a rare allergy condition affecting the GI tract that was sometimes mistaken for an eosinophilic gastrointestinal condition.

When Tracy shared her story, I came to better understand FPIES and the unique challenges it presents both for the families dealing with it and for the physicians diagnosing it. I’ve written the following to help you better understand FPIES using personal stories moms have shared with us along the way.

Debbie’s story:

When [my baby] was 6 months old, my milk supply started to drop so I was told to give him some milk formula. …  Almost immediately, … he started to projectile vomit. We took him to the ER of our children's hospital. By the time they got to us, he had stopped vomiting and was just a happy baby. They patted us on our heads and told us it was just a milk allergy and sent us on our way.A few weeks later, Ben started vomiting 1 1/2 hours after [feeding], and I was told (by the pediatrician's nurse) he just had the flu. But I could tell it was more than that.

A child with FPIES may experience what appears to be a severe stomach bug, but the "bug" only starts a couple hours after the offending food is given. Many FPIES parents have rushed their children to the ER, limp from extreme, repeated projectile vomiting, only to be told, "It's the stomach flu." However, the next time they feed their children the same solids, the dramatic symptoms return, often more rapidly after ingestion. 

Maria’s story:

Mason was "big and healthy" but nearly died (vomited until he became dehydrated, went into shock and stopped breathing) after starting rice cereal at 4 months of age.

FPIES reactions often show up in the first weeks or months of life, or at an older age for the exclusively-breastfed child. Reactions usually occur upon introducing first solid foods, which are typically made with dairy or soy, such as infant cereals or formulas. (Infant formulas are considered solids for FPIES purposes.) Although the most common FPIES triggers are cow's milk (dairy) and soy, other solid foods can cause an FPIES reaction, even uncommon food allergens, such as rice, oat and barley. 

Reactions are frequently characterized by profuse vomiting and diarrhea. Upon removing the problem food(s), all FPIES symptoms subside.

Tracy’s story:

A typical reaction takes Evan about four days to recover from. His most recent exposure was a single bite of a bagel with cream cheese on it. Within two hours he had vomited three times, and began diarrhea that put him through 32 diapers in as many hours. ...  Evan's reactions occur approximately two hours after he ingests food, with dairy in any form or strength causing his most severe reactions.

FPIES reactions almost always begin with delayed onset vomiting (usually two hours after ingestion, sometimes as late as eight hours after). Symptoms can range from mild (an increase in reflux and several days of runny stools) to life threatening (shock). In severe cases, after repeatedly vomiting, children often begin vomiting bile. Commonly, diarrhea follows and can last up to several days. In the worst reactions (about 20% of the time), the child has such severe vomiting and diarrhea that he rapidly becomes seriously dehydrated and may go into shock. One characteristic is that these children do not have other typical symptoms of allergy develop as part of these reactions (e.g., hives, wheezing, atopic dermatitis, swelling, etc.).

Debbie’s story:

 … At 7 months, I weaned him. … So, we gave him a bottle of soy formula (assuming it would all be fine because he was JUST allergic to milk according to all the docs. One and a half hours after Ben had eaten, he started projectile vomiting again and passed out. We took him to the ER and they decided to admit us. The allergists still didn't think it was an allergy—they thought these were all flukes—and I believed them. … They decided to do a soy oral challenge (because nothing was showing up on the RAST [blood allergy test] for soy). He failed it miserably!! They had to call a code blue and then admit us from the allergy clinic. It scared the allergists (and me for that matter) half to death. So, because they had called a code blue, they had to write an incident report. Because of that report, someone else looked at Ben's case and figured out that he has FPIES.

Debbie’s son went into shock, which is a severe reaction due to FPIES. As with all things, each child is different, and the range, severity and duration of symptoms may vary from reaction to reaction.

Brooke’s story:

One night in my frustration, I thought that she did well with the soy formula, so I would try a bottle of that again and see if she would eat. She ate about half of that bottle and then refused it. My husband took her and she started profuse vomiting again. I gave her a quick bath because she was soaked to the bone. She vomited the whole time; I was only able to put a diaper on her before she went white as a ghost and totally limp and unresponsive. She was like a rag doll and wouldn't move. We rushed to the local children's hospital branch close to our house. They immediately took her into trauma and started to work on her. She wouldn't respond to anything, not even needle pricks. They gave her oxygen, and IV, thermal blankets, etc. They finally got her stabilized and sent her to the main children's hospital downtown by ambulance. At the hospital, after a dozen different kinds of tests, she was started on Neocate® formula.

Since rapid dehydration and shock are medical emergencies, your local emergency service (9-1-1) needs to be contacted when a reaction like this occurs.

The most critical treatment during an FPIES reaction is intravenous (IV) fluids because of the risk and prevalence of dehydration. Children experiencing more severe symptoms may also need steroids and in-hospital monitoring. However, use of antihistamines and epinephrine are not helpful because FPIES works through a different mechanism than a “regular” IgE mediated allergy. Mild reactions may be able to be treated at home with oral electrolyte re-hydration (e.g., Pedialyte®). Because it's a rare, but serious condition, in the event of an emergency, it is vital to get the correct treatment. Some doctors provide their patients with a letter containing a brief description of FPIES and its proper treatment. In the event of a reaction, this letter can be taken to the ER with the child.

Dietary modifications vary, depending on the patient’s specific reactions. Often, infants who have reacted to both dairy and soy formulas will be placed on hypoallergenic or amino acid-based formula. Some children do well breastfeeding. Other children who have fewer triggers may just strictly avoid the offending food(s).

New foods are usually introduced very slowly, one food at a time, for an extended period of time per food. Some doctors recommend trialing a single food for up to three weeks before introducing another.

Jen’s story:

Ian did well until we tried to reintroduce milk at our GI doctor's suggestion. Ian vomited once with a small quantity of milk. A [blood] RAST test then came back negative and I was told to try the milk again. This is when the "textbook" FPIES reaction occurred. One and a half hours after ingesting a tablespoon of milk, my son experienced severe vomiting (at least 30 times) and pretty much passed out in my arms immediately. We had to be rushed via ambulance to the hospital where IV fluids were given. He recovered after a few hours.

FPIES is hard to diagnose because it is a non-IgE mediated immune reaction in the gastrointestinal system. This means that traditional blood or skin testing will be negative for the foods that cause FPIES reactions. Unlike traditional IgE-mediated allergies, FPIES reactions do not manifest with itching, hives, swelling, coughing or wheezing. Symptoms typically only involve the gastrointestinal system; other body organs are not involved.

Final Thoughts

FPIES is a rare condition that often goes undiagnosed, or can take a while to diagnose because traditional allergy tests are negative and the diagnosis is typically made based on symptom presentation. FPIES can be a very frightening condition to deal with, especially before it’s diagnosed when the child is experiencing severe and unexplained reactions to first foods or formulas with dramatic symptoms of lethargy or shock. A correct diagnosis and dietary avoidance of the offending foods is essential to manage and avoid further FPIES reactions.

I hope this information is helpful to you. If these stories sound familiar regarding your own child, print out the patient education resource below and speak with your child’s physician. 

 For more information, please visit:

Patient Education ResourceWhat is Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome?

Online SupportKids With Food Allergies Foundation Online Community(includes a dedicated forum just for FPIES parents)

New FPIES Nonprofit Organization Forming:  International Association for Food Protein Enterocolitis

Lynda Mitchell is the founder and president of the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation(KFA). Lynda knows from personal experience that parents raising children with food allergies struggle to keep their children healthy and safe.  And, like her, many become empowered by telling their stories and connecting with each other for emotional support and information-sharing. To meet these needs, she first organized the online group POFAK (Parents of Food Allergic Kids) in 1998, to connect parents. Then in 2005, to help more families, she organized KFA as a national charity focused on day-to-day food allergy education and support for families. She has a master’s degree in health information management and informatics and lives in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, with her husband, a retired naval officer, her son, and her two Labrador Retrievers.

Names of moms and/or children in this blog post have been changed out of respect to the members of our community. 


Recycling Neocate Cans

Posted 6.21.17 | Nutrition Specialist

As we’ve mentioned before, here at Nutricia North America, we strive to take measures to reduce our impact on the Earth. That’s why we encourage everyone to reuse or recycle their Neocate cans.

The best part about recycling is that it can be a family activity, and there are plenty of ways to get your kids excited about it all.

Recycling Neocate Cans

Did you know that all empty Neocate product cans are recyclable, as well as the Splash drink boxes?

The plastic lids on our cans can be recycled. This might vary, though, based on where you live. To be sure if you can recycle the lids, check with your local municipality or curbside recycling pickup company. The key thing to look for is whether they accept number 4 plastics – the lids we use on our cans are number 4. As more localities continue to accept a bigger variety of plastics, we hope many of our customers can recycle their Neocate lids! If your curbside recycling pickup company currently does not accept number 4 plastic, you may also be able to find a nearby drop-off location by using the search feature on Earth911 with the term “#4 Rigid Plastic” and your city or zip code.

But what about the scoop that comes with our products? Great news: if your municipality or recycling pickup company takes number 5 plastics, you can recycle the scoops as well! Number 5 plastics are also used in yogurt cups, other food tubs, plastic flower pots, and disposable razors. Even better news: for those customers who live in an area where number 5 products are not collected from the community, you have another option with the Preserve® Gimme 5 program. You may be able to locate a local Preserve drop-off site where number 5 plastics are collected. If that doesn’t work, Preserve will even accept number 5 plastics by mail and turn them into consumer products.

Reusing & Recycling Neocate Cans

Neocate cans can be recycled anywhere that metals are accepted for recycling. But taking care of our planet is not just about recycling. It also means making sure we reuse the products in a creative way to help minimize impact on the landfills. 

You can reuse Neocate cans for arts and crafts. Be sure to clean the cans out thoroughly before reusing them.  We recommend doing this by leaving the can in soapy water for a few minutes. Then, scrub the interior of the can being careful with any sharp edges and let it sit till 100% dry.  Also, parents will be glad to know that Nutricia’s products are BPA free.

Musical Instruments

Interested in crafting a set of maracas or drums? Save the plastic lid from the Neocate can and grab a pair of sturdy sticks and start drumming away.  You can also make a maraca out of the Neocate cans by adding beans or pebbles for another sound effect. 

Pot for plants/flowers

Decorate the outside of the can and safely poke a hole at the bottom of the can to allow for drainage. Fill with potting soil and plant the seeds or repot another plant.


 

Storage

Repurpose cans to store toys such as building blocks, marbles, or toy cars. You can also reuse formula cans to keep your scrapbooking or craft items in place. They make great storage containers for buttons, ribbons, safety pins, beads and/or other small items you have lying around.  You can even print out pictures of these items from the internet, and then use them to decorate. It’s an easy way to decorate and label what is inside of the can.

Image by HeyBernice.com

Holiday Gift basket 

Paint the outside of the can for the holiday season and fill with treats, holiday goodies or a personal gift for the receiver. You can even attach a handle for easy carrying.

 

Gift/favor basket or even flower pot

Piggy Banks

Turn an empty Neocate formula can into a cute piggy bank for your child or even for yourself!  Paste pictures of your kids onto the outside, and then use a box cutter to create a rectangular shape size cutout in the plastic lid.


Jars to store dry foods

[Image by Make--do.blogspot.com]

Lanterns

[Image by GrowCreativeBlog.com]

Headband organizer

[Image by The Organized Housewife]

Playset

[Image by RobbyGurl's Creations]

For additional creative ideas on how to recycle or creatively reuse the packaging from your Neocate products, follow our Pinterest Recycling board.

We highly encourage you to recycle and reuse your Neocate cans instead of putting them in the trash to be thrown in a landfill. If you have used your Neocate packaging in a creative way, comment below, we would love to learn!


Celebrating Halloween with Food Allergies: Tips, Resources, and Recipes!

Posted 10.26.15 | Mallory West

Halloween with Food Allergies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Halloween can be extra “spooky” for parents of children with food allergies. For today’s post, I’ve collected some tips, resources, and recipes to help ensure that your family has a safe, happy, and allergy-friendly Halloween.

Tips & Resources:

  • Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) has developed an amazing Tips to Safely Celebrate Halloween with Food Allergies resource which includes:
    • Halloween tips for home: hosting a party, enlisting help of others, trading unsafe treats and ideas for a food-free Halloween
    • Halloween tips for school: discussion with parents and teachers
    • Trick-or-treating checklist
    • Examples of non-food treats
    • Fun ways to celebrate
  • KFA's guide on how to read Halloween candy labels is also extremely thorough and helpful!

Join the Teal Pumpkin Project!

Food Allergy Reserach & Education (FARE) started a campaign to help raise awareness of food allergies and promote inclusion of all kids on Halloween. It's REALLY taken off in recent years! Join the Teal Pumpkin Project and help create a safer, happier Halloween for everyone! Included are great ideas for non-food treats that everyone can enjoy.

Recipes*:

Have some tips, resources, or recipes of your own? Share them here or on our Facebook page: www.Facebook.com/Neocate. We’d love to see some Halloween photos of your kids as well!

-Mallory

 

*Please keep in mind that these recipes are “allergy-friendly” and not necessarily “allergen-free,” depending on the foods your loved one has to avoid. Be sure to check the ingredients to ensure each recipe is appropriate for your child’s food allergies. If you are unsure, consult with your child’s healthcare professional.

Photo: Flickr user- http://www.flickr.com/photos/vdrg/


Egg Allergy, New Research, and the Flu Shot

Posted 11.7.12 | Mallory West

We talk about the big eight allergens all the time but today we’ll focus specifically on the egg allergen.  Egg allergy is the second most common food allergy among infants and children, second to milk allergy. It’s estimated to affect about 1.5% of young kids. In most cases, allergic reactions to egg involve the skin, which may explain why egg allergy is the most common food allergy among infants and children with eczema. However, more severe reactions, including anaphylaxis, are possible. The good news is that egg allergy is one of the most likely to be outgrown. About 70% of children outgrow their egg allergy by the age of 16.

New Research on Egg Allergy in Children:

Although relatively common, little is known about the risk factors for egg allergy. Recently, a group of researchers designed a study to learn more about who is at risk for egg allergy. They found an increased risk among infants with a family history of allergy and those with parents born in East Asia[i]. Interestingly, they also found that exposure to dogs and having siblings during the first year of life may decrease the risk of egg allergy. It’s important to remember that there are likely many factors contributing to the development of food allergy and there is no single cause or preventive factor. However, this information may help contribute to the understanding of why some children develop egg allergy and others don’t. 

Egg Allergy and the Flu Shot:

With flu season fast approaching, flu shots are being offered just about everywhere. However, if your child has an egg allergy, it’s important to discuss it with their doctor first. The influenza vaccine is grown on egg embryos, so it may contain a small amount of egg protein and for those with an allergy to egg, trigger an allergic reaction. Therefore, be sure to talk with the doctor about whether or not it’s appropriate for your child and what precautions you may need to take to keep your little one safe.  Depending on the severity of previous reactions, they may recommend that the flu shot be given in the pediatrician or allergist’s office so that the child be monitored for any reaction for 30 minutes afterwards.


For more information on managing your little one’s egg allergy, visit the Kids with Food Allergies website for some great tips, resources, and recipes. 

 -Mallory

 



Sources:

Koplin JJet al.Environmental and demographic risk factors for egg allergy in a population-based study of infants. Allergy2012;67:1415–1422.

Egg Allergy. American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology. Accessed November 2, 2012. http://www.acaai.org/allergist/allergies/Types/food-allergies/types/Pages/egg-allergy.aspx.

Eggs. Food Allergy and Anaphylaxis Network. Accessed November 2, 2012. http://www.foodallergy.org/page/egg-allergy.

Photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/bokchoi-snowpea/4774641788/

 


Happy Thanksgiving

Posted 11.22.12 | Nutrition Specialist

On behalf of everyone here at Nutricia North America, we would like to wish you and your family a happy, safe and food allergy free Thanksgiving holiday!


Strides for Safe Kids Mall Walk and Expo

Posted 11.29.12 | Guest Blogger

Our guest blog post today is from Lynda Mitchell, President of Kids With Food Allergies Foundation

Nutricia North America was a platinum sponsor at the Kids With Food Allergies Foundation 4th annual family event and fundraiser in Philadelphia on September 9, 2012.  The Strides for Safe Kids Mall Walk and Expo welcomed nearly 500 attendees, who gathered to raise funds to support KFA's mission to keep children safe and healthy by educating and supporting their families.

The event included:

A fundraising walk through the interior of the Plymouth Meeting Mall. Our supporters raised more than $25,000 that will be used to keep children safe and healthy!

                                                                         

An award presentation to special guest, Representative Thomas Murt.  We awarded a certificate of appreciation for the work he's done in Pennsylvania to protect students with food allergies in schools.

                                                                        

Exhibitor tables to find out more about their products and services.  Many vendors offered free samples of their products.  All products had ingredient statements on them so parents and kids, too, could read the labels!

                                                                           

A concert by the world's only food allergy musician, Kyle Dine.

                                                                              

An advocacy table where parents and kids could learn more about school food allergy bills and sign posters to support state bill 5067, School Access to Emergency Epinephrine, a bill in the Pennsylvania House of Representatives designed to keep all children with allergies safe in school.  Parents could also sign posters for similar bills in New Jersey and a federal bill in the senate.

                                                                                

A magic show by magicians Kyle and Kelly.

A lovely play area and carousel surrounding the event inside the mall.

                                                                            

We thank everyone who came to the event to make it a wonderful day for families and a successful fundraiser for Kids With Food Allergies Foundation.  We also thank Nutricia North America for being a platinum sponsor of the event and supporting our ongoing work.  We are looking forward to our 5th annual event next year - we hope to see you there!

- Lynda


Allergy Friendly Holidays

Posted 12.12.12 | Nutrition Specialist

Hosting or attending a holiday dinner can be stressful for parents of children with food allergies. We’ve compiled a list of helpful resources to help you ensure a safe and enjoyable holiday celebration for your family.

Guides

Remember to check for hidden allergens that may be added during the processing or preparation of your holiday feast. Gravies and sauces may contain hidden allergens, so be sure to check the ingredients first.

Food and Recipes

Below is a list of some allergy-friendly variations to the traditional holiday dishes. Please be sure to consult your healthcare professional to determine if these recipes, there ingredients and consistencies are appropriate for your child.

Helpful Articles for Celebrating the Holidays with Food Allergies

For those of you who will be traveling over the holidays, here are some articles that may be helpful to you:

Do you have any fun allergy-friendly recipes or holiday tips? Please share them!

- Mallory

 


Neocate Faces - Carson

Posted 12.12.12 | Nutrition Specialist

 

When Carson’s mom brought him home from the hospital, she knew something wasn’t right.  He was fussy, cried constantly and had trouble feeding.  At one month old, Carson’s mom Jennifer decided to supplement with formula.  However, Carson’s ailments continued.

 

“I tried everything I could think of, but nothing ever changed,” says Jennifer, Carson’s mother.  “I had to hold him at night to keep his head upright so he didn’t choke or gag.”

 

Carson was suffering from Eosinophilic Esophagitis, gastroesophageal reflux disease, milk allergiesand soy intolerance.  Weight loss was a constant struggle and he was unable to sleep.

 

Pediatricians perscribed Zantac and Reglan, but neither helped. The family tried mixing rice cereal in his formula, but there was no improvement. “We struggled to make it work,” says Jennifer. “Everyone was sleep deprived and exhausted from caring for Carson.”

 

After months of battling pain and poor health, a family member recommended that Carson try Neocate. Right away, the four month old began improving dramatically. He no longer spit up or vomited, his rash disappeared and he was able to sleep.

 

“It was immediately clear that Carson was not able to tolerate anything besides Neocate —the formula was like magic in a can,” says Jennifer. “He is now happy to sit in his swing or bouncy seat and play without crying out in pain!”

 

With Neocate, Carson will have the chance to grow to be a healthy child, free of pain.

 

“Neocate has been a life saver,” says Jennifer.  “Without this formula, Carson would still be screaming.  I am so thankful for this product.”


How much should my baby eat?

Posted 12.12.12 | Nutrition Specialist


How much Neocate does my child need?

Q: After going through almost every formula, my baby’s allergist told me I should give her Neocate Infant DHA/ARA. I need to know how many cans to buy and how much does my baby need to drink?

A: Many parents of infants, toddlers and children new to Neocate have this question. There’s never an exact answer, so here’s what you need to know:

We are always happy to help, but this important question about your little one’s health is best answered by the members of his/her healthcare team. They know your child’s medical history and needs, have lots of experience, and can give you the best guidance. With that in mind, we can offer some general guidelines.

The volume of Neocate needed depends on calorie needs, which can vary a lot from person to person. Factors that affect calorie needs include age, weight, gender, height, medical conditions, and how active someone is.

Another term you might hear is “catch-up growth,” which can come up if your little one falls behind on the growth curve and needs to gain extra weight (beyond normal weight gain) to "catch up" to where she should be. It can mean she will need additional calories from Neocate or foods in the beginning to catch up, especially if the medical team feels she is behind on the growth curve.

Neocate Infant

If your little one is bottle-fed, you can expect that he or she will probably consume about the same volume of Neocate InfantDHA/ARA as of the current formula. The amount of Neocate may increase or decrease a little bit, especially in the beginning. And over time, as your baby's calorie needs grow, the amount of Neocate per day will also grow. Once solids are introduced, they will gradually make up more of your baby's nutrition. Without being too specific, here are some general ranges for daily amounts of formula by age*. These ranges are for infants who are exclusively formula-fed, and will be less for infants who take solid foods:

  • 1 – 3 months……..roughly 20 to 30 fluid ounces (fl oz)
  • 4 – 6 months……..roughly 24 to 34 fl oz
  • 7 – 9 months……..roughly 29 to 39 fl oz
  • 10 – 12 months….roughly 34 to 44 fl oz

Neocate Nutra

As the only amino acid-based semi-solid that can be spoon-fed, Neocate Nutra has been a big help for many families dealing with severe and multiple food allergies. Neocate Nutra has high levels of several key nutrients, but is not meant to supply all of a child’s nutrition. For infants six months and older, Nutra is used along with Neocate Infant DHA/ARA or another hypoallergenic infant formula.

Follow your healthcare team’s recommendations for a serving size of Nutra to offer your little one and how many times a day to offer it. Many healthcare teams suggest starting with a smaller serving size (4 scoops of Neocate Nutra + 1 fl oz of water) and offering it two or three times a day. For older children, a larger serving size (8 scoops of Neocate Nutra + 2 fl oz of water) may be recommended.

Neocate Junior and Neocate Splash

While Neocate Junior and Neocate Junior with Prebiotics can meet a toddler or child’s full nutritional needs, these formulas are often used along with solid foods or other beverages, such as with an elimination diet. This can make the Neocate serving amount per day a bit tricky to nail down, which is where a healthcare team comes in very handy! It often depends on the foods your child avoids and any nutrient gaps in their diet. For instance, many children with milk and soy allergies use Neocate Junior as a major source of protein, calcium, vitamin D, and other nutrients important for bone health. The same is true for Neocate Splash.

Some children require an amino acid-based formula to meet their full caloric needs. Some examples would be a child with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) that is on a strict amino acid-based diet for six weeks, or a toddler with severe allergies who hasn’t yet found safe foods. The following are some general ranges for daily amounts of formula by age* for active children who are strictly on Neocate Junior and often drinking Neocate Splash as well:

  • 1 to 3 years…….roughly 27 to 47 fl oz
  • 4 to 8 years…….roughly 50 to 62 fl oz
  • 9 to 13 years…...roughly 65 to 81 fl oz

Again, these are general guidelines. Your little one’s healthcare team can take all of the key factors into account to provide you with a tailored recommendation for your child. They will also monitor your child’s growth on Neocate and adjust the amount of formula as needed to meet his/her calorie and nutrient needs.

We hope this rundown helps! What questions do you have about the volume of formula needed?

*Ranges for formula are extrapolations based on “Dietary Reference Intakes for Energy,” Food and Nutrition Board, Institute of Medicine of the National Academies.


How to Keep Your Child Safe from Potential Food Allergens in Medications

Posted 1.8.13 | Mallory West

It’s important for food allergy families to be aware of the potential for food allergens contained as inactive ingredients (aka “excipient ingredients”) in prescription and over-the-counter medications.

We’ve talked before about the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004, which requires food manufacturers to clearly label the presence of the top 8 allergens (milk, eggs, tree nuts, peanuts, shellfish, fish, soy, and wheat). This means that the ingredient list must either use the common name of the allergen it contains (e.g. wheat flour), list the allergen name in parenthesis (e.g. flour (wheat)) or declare the allergen after the ingredient list (e.g. “Contains wheat”). Although FALCPA also applies to dietary supplements and vitamins, it does not apply to prescription and over-the-counter medications. This can make it more difficult to detect a given allergen in the medication’s ingredient list.

If your child has severe food allergies, always consult with the doctor or pharmacist about whether or not a given medication is safe for your little one and when in doubt, call the manufacturer to check the source of the ingredients. If your child needs a medication that has an ingredient that your child is allergic to, your pharmacist or doctor may be able to find another version of the drug that is free of that ingredient. If not, you may be able to get the medication through a compounding pharmacy.

Another important thing to remember is that brand name and generic drugs may have different ingredients so you should never assume one is safe because the other is. If your child is switched from a brand name drug to a generic drug (or vice versa), it is still necessary to check for allergens since the inactive ingredients may vary from one version to the other. Kids with Food Allergies has a great guide to ingredient differences between generic and brand name drugs.

Have any of you experienced an allergic reaction due to a hidden food allergen in medication? Were you able to find an allergy-safe version? What tips or advice would you offer other parents?

-Mallory

 

Resources:

Kids with Food Allergies provides some helpful advice for checking medications for food allergens.

Previous blog post on flu shots for patients with egg allergy

Previous blog post on hidden allergens in medications

Previous blog post “Can my child have an allergic reaction from a medicine or vaccine?”

 

Photo: source


Happy Easter

Posted 3.28.13 | Nutrition Specialist

 

Easter is just a few days away! You and your families are probably planning for the big day by dyeing eggs, putting together baskets and taking pictures with the famous Easter Bunny. As you prepare we have an Easter-friendly and allergy-free recipe that you and your family are sure to enjoy. If you try it we would love to hear your comments!

Peach Potato Puffs (from Kids With Food Allergies)

By Danielle (deestricky1)

2 cups mashed sweet potatoes

1 tsp lemon juice

2 tsp brown sugar

1/4 tsp salt dash ginger

2 tsp dairy-free, soy free, corn free margarine

6 canned peach halves

In a medium-sized bowl, mix all the ingredients except the peaches. Whip with whisk or mixer until nice and fluffy.

Take whipped potato mixture and pile some into each peach half. Arrange the filled peach halves in a greased or sprayed 6x10" baking pan and dot with additional margarine. Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 20 minutes.

 

On behalf of everyone at Nutricia North America, we want to wish you a Happy Easter!


Bullying Common in Kids with Food Allergies

Posted 4.2.13 | Christine Graham-Garo

While it may be no surprise that children with food allergies are subject to bullying, disturbingly, bullying takes the form of food threats says new research. A study done by Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, found that 45% of children from a food allergy clinic and 36% of parents indicate the child has been harassed for any reason. About a third of the children state the bullying was related to the food allergy.

A good amount of children (70%) stated they told their parents, 35% told a teacher, which is a great thing. A key finding is that the bullying was significantly associated with increased distress and decreased quality of life (QOL) in both parent s and children.

When parents were aware of the bullying, children were less anxious and had a better QOL.

The take home messages here are : 1) strongly encourage your children to report any bullying to you or their school professionals. 2) if you see bullying yourself, do something about it.

Knowledge and communication are important in minimizing the bullying of kids with food allergies.

Has your child been bullied due to food allergies? If so, what did you do to help stop it?



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.