Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results


Elimination Diets and ADHD

Posted 4.12.11 | Christine Graham-Garo

In light of a recent New York Times article highlighting the link between artificial dyes and ADHD in children, we felt we should further explain how this debate originally started. A couple of days ago there was a spark in the news about the government reevaluating the safety of food dyes found in many everyday foods we all have in our pantries. The evaluation came when select studies were suggesting a link between food dyes and ADHD in children. In the end, the FDA did not find a link between food dyes and ADHD as the results of the studies were not substantial enough to make that claim.

Are elimination diets effective in helping with ADHD?

There is a recent article from February that confirmed an elimination diet that was made up of only rice, meat, vegetables, pears, and water was found to improve behavior in hyperactive children. As a caveat, 36% of the participants did not respond to the diet at all.

In the 1970’s, Dr. Benjamin Feingold, a pediatric allergist from California, had success treating the symptoms of hyperactivity in some children by prescribing an elimination diet. The doctor even came up with his own diet, The Feingold Diet or Program. The Feingold Program eliminates these additives from your diet:

  • Artificial (synthetic) coloring
  • Artificial (synthetic) flavoring
  • Aspartame (NutraSweet, an artificial sweetener)
  • Artificial (synthetic) preservatives BHA, BHT, TBHQ (these preservatives are found in most foods on the market)

So all-in-all, I would say strive to use foods that are low or contain no artificial color or dyes. It is already hard enough just restricting milk or soy from your child’s diet to have to worry about dyes as well! If you are concerned about the possibility that your child could have ADHD, speak to a Registered Dietitian about possibly starting an elimination diet. Remember, you must ensure your little one is still getting the nutrition he or she needs with these special diets. Another option you have is to use an allergen-free supplement, for example Neocate Junior Unflavored with Prebiotics (which is also free of food colorings and flavors) to help ensure that their individual nutrition needs are being met.

Have you looked into an elimination diet before? Do you know anyone who started one and has had success? We would like to hear about it. Please tell us your story in the comment section below.


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


World Allergy Organization: Cow’s Milk Allergy Guidelines

Posted 3.24.11 | Christine Graham-Garo

A few weeks ago I had posted some highlights from the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease (NIAID) guidelines on food allergies that came out in December 2010.

Today I wanted to share the World Allergy Organization’s (WAO) guidelines on cow’s milk allergy (CMA). WAO is a leading source of allergy information worldwide for medical professionals and consumers. The WAO Diagnosis and Rationale for Action against Cow’s Milk Allergy (DRACMA) Guidelines were released in April 2010. They are open to the public, which is great. Feel free to review them by following the link.

They may be best to share with your allergist, pediatric gastroenterologist, dietitian, or general pediatrician if your little one has been diagnosed with or is thought to have CMA.

Keep in mind it is a large document (~100 pages...whoa!).It really does a great job at providing recommendations on the proper diagnostic tools needed for an accurate CMA diagnosis (as 50 - 90% of food allergy diagnoses are not actually food allergies). The WAO also provides information on amino acid-based formulas (AABF), such as Neocate, and where the use of AAB products is best in the management plan of patients (e.g. Eosinophilic Esophagitis patients).

Hopefully this will help you and your child’s doctor in understanding the proper guidelines in accurately diagnosing and managing your child’s CMA. Let us know what you think of it. Is this useful information for you or your child’s doctor?


SBS and Gut Adaptation

Posted 3.22.11 | Mallory West

We’ve talked about Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS) in previous posts. Our last post on SBS talked about how the small intestine is the absorption hub on the GI tract. When part of the small intestine is removed, you lose that important area for water and nutrient absorption and your body is no longer able to utilize the food and liquid that you consume. For this reason, total parental nutrition (TPN) may be necessary at first. Remember that TPN is nutrition that is delivered straight into the blood stream, rather than going through the digestive tract. The digestion and absorption processes are skipped.

Although this can sustain someone, there are many risks associated with TPN and in order for the remaining portion of the small intestine to adapt, it is very important to start enteral nutrition (EN) as soon as possible. Recall that EN is where nutrition is delivered through the digestive tract, either through a feeding tube or by eating regularly. So what exactly does it mean for the small intestine to adapt? We’ll focus on this subject in today’s blog post!

What is intestinal adaptation?

After a significant portion of the small intestine is removed, the remaining small intestine goes through a process of adaptation that increases its ability to absorb water and nutrients. What changes are involved in adaptation?

  • The remaining portion of the small intestine may grow slightly in length
  • The remaining portion of the small intestine may grow in diameter (width)
  • The inner lining of the small intestine grows, increasing in surface area and the ability to absorb

The growth of the inner lining and absorptive capacity is perhaps the most important feature. How does the growth of the inner lining improve the ability to absorb nutrients? Think about a sponge, which we use to absorb liquid. The reason that it absorbs so well is the nooks and crannies which give the sponge a large surface area. Think about a 2 by 2 inch sponge in comparison to a 2 by 2 inch wood block. The sponge will absorb much more due to the high surface area. The growth of the inner lining of the intestine increases the surface area to form nooks and crannies so that it can absorb efficiently, like a sponge.

The prognosis of a patient with SBS depends on how well their gut adapts. If the remaining portion adapts enough, it will be able to compensate for the lost portion of the intestine. Once this happens, TPN can be stopped because the digestive tract is now able to absorb enough nutrients and water from the diet.

Can you support the adaptation process or speed it up?

Intestinal adaptation can take up to 2 years to occur. The best way to support gut adaptation is to eat! Consuming some foods by mouth or through a feeding tube triggers the release of certain hormones and promotes blood flow to the GI tract. The hormones and blood flow promote the adaptation process. This is why it’s so important to start enteral nutrition as soon as possible. TPN continues to deliver the bulk of nutrients that the patient needs to live and be healthy, so the food in the digestive tract is not expected to fulfill this role yet. But little by little, the patient is able to tolerate more foods through the GI tract and able to absorb more and more nutrients until eventually, their gut has adapted enough to allow them to stop the TPN. Check out our previous post on how Neocate can help children with SBS wean off of TPN sooner.

Researchers are studying ways to help the gut adapt quicker and function better. You can check out some of the research being done on SBS online at

To view a true story about a little girl with SBS who is in the adaptation process, check out this video, Elizabeth's story,fromJohns Hopkin's Children's Center.

I hope this post helps you to better understand SBS and how gut adaptation works. If you have any personal experiences, please share them with us!


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!

How Are We Doing?

Posted 3.3.11 | Sarah O'Brien

We hope everyone is enjoying the articles and information we share here on Food Allergy Living. We are always looking for ways that we can be even more helpful to you and your family. How do you think we are we doing? Please leave us your feedback so that we can continue to make this a useful resource for the food allergy community.

  • Which blog posts have you liked the most and the least?
  • What topics would you like to see more of in the coming months?
  • What do you like and dislike about the blog in general?
  • Anything else would you like to see on the blog?

We really appreciate you taking the time to give us your comments. Thank you very much!


Understanding Short Bowel Syndrome

Posted 3.1.11 | Mallory West

The bowel is made up of the small and large intestines. The small intestine includes three sections—the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum. As we’ve discussed in previous posts, short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a malabsorption syndrome that occurs in patients who have had a significant portion of their small intestine removed. In this post, I will explain a little more about how nutrient absorption works and why malabsorption is a problem for patients with SBS.

What exactly is Malabsorption?

Malabsorption is a difficulty in absorbing nutrients from food. There are 2 requirements for proper nutrition: 1) you must consume nutrients from food, supplements, formula etc. and 2) your body must absorb these nutrients from the digestive tract so that it can be used throughout the body. Without absorption, your body is not able to access any of the nutrients found in food that you consume.

The Small Intestine: The Absorption Hub of the Digestive Tract

The small intestine absorbs about 90 percent of the nutrients and fluids your body needs to function.Although it is smaller in width compared to the large intestine (hence the name small intestine), it is actually the longest portion of the digestive tract and composed of three sections: the duodenum, the jejunum and the ileum.

So what makes the small intestine so good at absorbing nutrients? The answer is its high quantity of surface area. Believe it or not, the small intestine has the surface area of a tennis court! The lining of the small intestine (known as the epithelium) is not flat; it has folds of skin called “mucosal folds”. It also has villi, which are small finger-like projections and microvilla, which are tiny, hair-like structures. The combination of these 3 features results in the small intestine’s vast quantity of surface area and its ability to absorb nutrients so well.

Short Bowel Syndrome, Intestinal Adaptation and Nutritional Stability

Since the small intestine is so important for nutrient absorption, removal of even a small portion can cause malabsorption, such is the case with SBS. The severity of malabsorption depends on how much and which portion of the small intestine was removed. There are two main goals in treating a patient with SBS:

  • Intestinal Adaptation: The hope is that over time, the remaining small intestine will adapt by growing longer and increasing its ability to absorb nutrients. With successful adaptation, the patient will eventually be able to digest and absorb foods normally.
  • Nutritional Stability: During this adaptation period (which may take years), amino acid-based formulas, such as Neocate, are used to provide nutritional stability. Because the nutrients in Neocate are in their simplest form, they are easiest to digest and absorb. Neocate provides all the necessary nutrients required for a child’s growth and development to support health and wellness until the small intestine adapts and begins to function properly. (Interestingly, children with SBS are more prone to food allergies which is another reason why Neocate may be used with children who have SBS).

Hopefully this explanation helps you to understand the underlying problem with SBS and how an elemental formula such as Neocate is used to manage SBS. Do any of your children have SBS? What has been your experience with adaptation and nutritional stability?


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 and Israel's video on YouTube

Rare Disease Day, February 28, 2011

Posted 2.1.11 | Mallory West

The European Rare Disease Organization (EURORDIS) established the first Rare Disease Day in 2008. Then, in 2009, EURORDIS asked the US-based National Organization for Rare Disease (NORD) to join the initiative and sponsor Rare Disease Day in the United States.

February 28, 2011 will mark the fourth Annual Rare Disease Day and there will be over 46 different countries participating! The goal is to raise awareness about rare diseases and the many challenges encountered by those affected.

This day is special for us at Nutricia because so many of our families are touched by rare disease. You are probably aware that we make medical foods for infants and children with food allergies and gastrointestinal conditions, but you might be surprised to know that we also make products for people with metabolic disorders, such as Phenylketonuria (PKU) and neurological conditions, like intractable epilepsy.

Our GI/Allergy Division (Neocate) makes medical foods for infants and children with food allergies, gastrointestinal disorders and various types of allergic diseases. There are several rare diseases that fall under this category, such as Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (FPIES), Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE) and other types of eosinophilic conditions.

Our Metabolic Division makes medical foods for infants, children and adults with inborn errors of metabolism. Inborn errors of metabolism, also known as metabolic disorders, are rare genetic disorders in which the body cannot properly turn food into energy. People with these conditions must remain on a special, protein-restricted diet for their entire lives.

Lastly, our Neurology Division makes a formula called KetoCal, which is used by patients on a Ketogenic Diet (KD). The KD is a strict, high fat and very low carbohydrate diet that is used to manage intractable epilepsy, a form of epilepsy that cannot be controlled with anti-epileptic medications. Certain rare seizure disorders, such as Dravet Syndrome, are difficult to control with medication but often respond well to the KD. In addition to patients with epilepsy, the KD is also used by patients with rare metabolic disorders in which the body is unable to process carbohydrates for energy, such as Glut1 Deficiency and Pyruvate Dehydrogenase Deficiency.

In honor of Rare Disease Day, Nutricia would like to recognize our families that are coping with rare diseases, which may include:

This year, families are encouraged to share their story via video! For more information or to get involved on Rare Disease Day, visit

Rare Disease Day is extra special to me because my younger sister, Caroline, has a rare condition called Alternating Hemiplegia of Childhood. Is your child affected by a rare condition? Tell us your story!


Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS), Total Parenteral Nutrition and Neocate

Posted 1.11.11 | Mallory West

Short bowel syndrome and TPN can be overwhelming at times for parents and caregivers. If your little one is struggling we hope that the following information will be helpful for both of you.

Short bowel syndrome (SBS) is a digestive disorder that occurs when a significant portion of the intestinal tract does not function properly. It usually occurs as a result of surgery to remove a significant portion of the intestinal tract. In infants, this surgery may be needed due to necrotizing enterocolitis (a condition that occurs in premature infants and leads to the death of bowel tissue) or congenital bowel defects (such as midgut volvulus, omphalocele or gastroschisis).

Total Parenteral Nutrition (TPN)

Infants with SBS cannot absorb enough water, vitamins, and other nutrients from breast milk or formula to live. The main treatment is nutritional support. At first, total parenteral nutrition or TPN (where nutrition is delivered directly into the blood stream) is usually required because nutrients can’t be absorbed in the GI tract. There are many risks and complications associated with TPN so its best to minimize the amount of time spent on TPN. The hope is that with time, the gut will adapt by growing longer, increasing its ability to absorb nutrients and digest formulas and foods normally.

Gut Adaptation

Gut adaptation is required in order to wean off TPN. It's crucial to introduce enteral nutrition (where liquid food is delivered to the GI tract rather than the blood stream) as early as possible. Patients may receive enteral nutrition or begin normal eating even though most of the nutrients are not absorbed and they continue to get most of their nutrition through TPN. Beginning enteral nutrition and normal eating stimulate the remaining intestine to function better. As the GI tract adapts and begins to function better, patients can be gradually transitioned off TPN. TPN cannot be totally stopped until the patient is able to tolerate enteral feeds and/or normal eating in quantities that can sustain all their calorie and nutritional needs.

Neocate Helps to Wean Off TPN Sooner

Because Neocate is an elemental formula, it is easy for the gut to digest and absorb. Studies show that beginning enteral nutrition using Neocate allows babies to come off of TPN sooner[1],[2]. This is important because the longer a patient remains on TPN, the greater the risk for serious complications, such as life-threatening infections or liver dysfunction. Once off TPN, the special formulation of Neocate provides all the nutrition that a baby/child with SBS needs to grow and develop properly while their guts continue to adapt.

Do any of you have little ones with SBS who use Neocate? We’d love to hear your stories!


[1] De Greef E, Mahler T, Janssen A, Cuypers H, Veereman-Wauters G. The Influence of Neocate in Paediatric Short Bowel Syndrome on PN Weaning. J Nutr Metab. 2010;2010.

pii: 297575. Epub 2010 May 31.

[2] Bines J, Francis D, Hill D. Reducing parenteral requirement in children with short bowel syndrome: impact of an amino acid-based complete infant formula. J Pediatr Gastr Nutr. 1998;26(2):123-128

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

Cream of Broccoli Soup

Posted 11.17.10 | Food Allergy Recipes

Need your child to eat more vegetables? Give this healthy cream of broccoli soup a try.


  • 1 chicken thigh
  • 1 cup apple juice
  • 1 broccoli head
  • 1 potato
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 cauliflower
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup – 1 cup Neocate prepared (optional)


Cook one chicken thigh in crock-pot. Remove cooked chicken. Add apple juice to the remaining fat/chicken oil. Mix well and use as chicken broth.

Add the remaining ingredients in the chicken broth. Make sure all the veggies are well covered with broth. Cook on medium heat on stove top until veggies are tender. Place veggies and liquid in blender and blend for one minute. Add Neocate to make creamier!

Nutrition Information:

Makes ~ 4 servings Per Serving:

  • Calories 150
  • Protein 9g
  • Carbohydrates 32g
  • Fat 7g

Submitted by: Sophie Jakovich

To get more food allergy recipes, be sure to download our new Food Allergy Cookbook!

[Image Source]

Nutricia Product Coverage Navigator

Posted 11.5.10 | 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!

Baby Poop: What’s Normal and What’s Not?

Posted 10.28.10 | Mallory West

During the first months of life, parents pay close attention to their baby’s bowel movements. Any variation from what they perceive as a “normal poop” can cause a lot of anxiety for a parent. So what exactly is a “normal poop or bowel movement”? The answer is complex; every baby is different so what is considered “normal” will vary from baby to baby.

The color, consistency and frequency of bowel movements may differ. It will depend on if the baby is breast-fed or formula-fed, as well as the mom’s diet or the type of formula used. Below are some general guidelines to help you with your diaper expectations.

Color & Consistency:

  • Breast-fed babies: An exclusively breast-fed baby’s stools will be a light mustard color and often will have seed-like specs. In terms of consistency, stools may range from very soft to loose and runny.
  • Formula-fed babies: For a baby consuming standard (milk or soy-based) infant formula, stools are generally tan or yellow in color. When it comes to consistency, a breast-fed baby will have comparatively firmer stools but usually not firmer than a peanut butter consistency.
  • Neocate babies: If your baby is on an elemental formula, like Neocate, stools may be greenish in color and are often relatively dark (but not black, black can indicate blood in the stools so always contact the doctor if you see this). This is completely normal and is due to the special composition of Neocate and the way it is digested in the body.

Regardless if your baby drinks breast milk or formula, blood in the stool is not typical so if you see this, you should let the physician know right away.


The frequency of bowel movements varies greatly from baby to baby. Some newborn babies may have a bowel movement after each feeding and others may go once a day or even once every two days. During the first weeks of life, before you have learned your baby’s pooping pattern, it is generally advised to call the physician if the baby goes three or more days without a bowel movement.

  • Breast-fed babies: After the first month, breast-fed babies usually have fewer bowel movements than before. It some cases, it is normal for a baby to have only one bowel movement a week. Breast milk leaves little solid waste so bowel movements are less frequent However, as long as the stools are soft (no firmer than peanut butter) and the baby is healthy and growing, there is no reason for concern.
  • Formula-fed babies: Formula-fed babies typically have one or more bowel movement a day. If you are concerned that your baby has infrequent bowel movements or notice that he/she is straining to pass a bowel movement, this may indicate that he/she is constipated so check with the doctor.
  • Neocate babies: Because Neocate is so broken down, it is very easily digested and there is very little waste leftover. Therefore it’s normal for bowel movements to decrease in frequency once you switch to Neocate. As long as stools aren’t overly hard and dry and the baby doesn’t seem to have trouble passing them, this is perfectly normal.


Regardless if your baby is breast-fed or formula-fed, hard or dry stools that are difficult to pass may indicate constipation. Talk with the doctor about what you can do to help. Sometimes the solution is as simple as providing additional fluids. Other times, the doctor will prescribe a laxative to make it easier for your baby to pass bowel movements.


Because a newborn’s stools may be soft and slightly runny, it may be difficult to tell if they have diarrhea. A significant increase in frequency or an extremely liquid bowel movement are signs to look for. Severe diarrhea can cause dehydration so if you are concerned that your baby has diarrhea, contact the physician.

With Baby Poop, Normal Depends on the Baby

The general message for this post is that every baby has their own “normal poop” and what’s normal for one baby may not be normal for another. The key is to look out for any sudden change in your baby’s normal bowel movements. Keep in mind that occasional variations are normal, especially once a baby begins taking solid foods.

Hopefully this gives you some guidance for what to expect at diaper changing time. Keep in mind that you know your baby best, so if you’re ever concerned about your baby’s bowel movements, contact the physician just in case. What have you experienced? What advice would you share with other moms?

Food Allergies and Multivitamins: Are Phlexy Vits Appropriate For Your Child?

Posted 9.2.10 | Mallory West

The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) doesn’t recommend the use of multivitamins for all children because eating a balanced diet (with iron-fortified foods) is usually sufficient to meet a child’s vitamin and mineral requirements. However, for a child with a restricted diet, a multivitamin may be necessary. We’ve been getting a lot of inquiries about Phlexy Vits, our powdered micronutrient supplement, so I wanted to use this blog post to provide some more information on it.

Phlexy Vits are a powdered micronutrient supplement containing vitamins, minerals and trace elements. They were designed to meet the nutritional needs of older children (11+) and adults. Occasionally Phlexy Vits are used in children but the dosage must be adjusted and this should only be done under the direction and supervision of a healthcare professional.

Phlexy Vits were actually originally developed for patients with Phenylketonuria or PKU, who require a restrictive, low protein diet. However, they may be useful for anybody with a medical condition that requires them to follow a restrictive diet. We have received inquiries about the use of Phlexy Vits for patients with multiple food allergies because many popular multivitamin brands contain hidden allergens.

Hidden Allergens in Children’s Vitamins

Below is a list of popular children’s multivitamins and the food allergens that they contain:

  • Centrum Children’s: contains milk, soy and wheat (as well as lactose)
  • Flintstones Complete and Flintstones Plus Immunity: contain soy
  • Flintstones Gummies: contains wheat and tree nuts
  • One-A-Day Scooby Doo Gummies: contains wheat and tree nuts

Vitamins for Children 11 and Older with Food Allergies

For older children (11+) with food allergies, Phlexy Vits may be a great option because they are free of milk and soy proteins, gluten and the sugars lactose, sucrose and fructose. There are no corn proteins in Phlexy Vits; however, certain nutrients are derived from corn so discuss this with your health care provider if your child is very sensitive to corn derivatives. Keep in mind that Phlexy Vits were developed for individuals over 11 years of age so do not use for younger children unless advised by your health care professional. The daily intake will have to be adjusted for a younger child.

For those of you with children on Neocate products, a multivitamin probably isn’t necessary. Neocate products are nutritionally-complete and were designed to meet all nutrient needs: protein, fat, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals.

- Mallory

Our Neocate Video Contest Winners!

Posted 8.11.10 | Sarah O'Brien

We are excited to announce the winners of our Neocate Video Contest. Thank you to those that participated and helped raise awareness about food allergies with their touching videos!

Our first place winner is “Matthew’s Story”. Check out his video to find out how EO28 Splash keeps him movin’ right along.

Our second place winner is “Joshua’s Story”. His video shares his journey with eosinophilic esophagitis and life without food.

Has anyone else made videos to raise awareness about food allergies? We’d love to see them – be sure to post a link in the comments!

- Sarah

Lights, Camera, Action! Submit Your Stories for the Neocate Video Contest

Posted 6.9.10 | Sarah O'Brien

In order to raise awareness about the impact of food allergies, we’ve decided to hold a Video Contest so that you can share your personal stories. Our hope is that your videos will help educate others and bring about a new understanding of food allergies.

We’re asking you to share your family’s allergy story by posting a short 1-2 minute video on YouTube. Video Contest Submission Requirements: Please post all video submissions to YouTube by June 20, 2010.

  • Use the following format for your video title: “Neocate Video Contest – (FAMILY/CHILD NAME)’s Story”.
  • Share your family’s story and experience with food allergies. Of course we’d also love to hear how Neocate has helped your little ones!

Once we receive everyone’s submissions, we will select the first, second and third place winners and award them with Visa gift cards for $100, $50 and $25 respectively. The winning videos will also be posted here on Food Allergy Living and on Neocate’s Facebook page.

We can’t wait to see your videos! Lights…Camera…Action!

- Sarah

Understanding Food Labels – Ingredient Series – Carbohydrates 101

Posted 6.1.10 | Sarah O'Brien

This month we will be continuing with our ingredient series, focusing on carbohydrates and understanding food labels. In this post, I wanted to give you all an overview of carbohydrates, what they are and why they are an important part of our body and everyday life.

Carbohydrates are found in most foods. The body takes in carbohydrates from what we eat and then breaks them down into simple sugars, which are a major source of the body’s energy. There are two main carbohydrates found in foods: simple and complex.

Simple Carbohydrates

Simple carbohydrates are also known as simple sugars. Your body finds simple sugars in processed sugar, such as the sugar in candy.

However, simple sugars are not just found in sugary treats – they also exist in many nutritious foods! Fruits and milk both contain simple sugars which provide your body with vitamins and other important nutrients.

Simple sugars are often processed by the body quickly which can leave you feeling hungry sooner. This is why complex carbohydrates are so important.

Complex Carbohydrates

Complex carbohydrates are also known as starches. Grains, such as bread, crackers, pasta, and rice, are all starches. Much like simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates can exist in different forms, such as refined grains and unrefined grains.

Refined grains are processed, which removes much of their nutrients and fiber. Some examples of refined grains include white rice or white bread.

Unrefined grains, such as brown rice or whole grain bread, are not processed and still have plenty of healthy vitamins, minerals and fiber. Fiber is not only important because it fills you up and doesn’t leave you hungry, but it also helps to regulate your digestive system.

The body processes complex carbohydrates at a slower rate than simple carbohydrates. This is why you feel satisfied and have energy over a longer period of time.

Your body needs carbohydrates, but it is important to remember to limit carbohydrates with lots of simple sugars. This is because simple sugars can cause your blood sugar level to jump quickly and over an extended period of time may lead to health problems, such as diabetes and heart disease. So don’t forget to focus on complex carbohydrates.

Now that we know the basics of carbohydrates, look out for Christine’s blog next week when she will continue this topic to discuss the carbs found in Neocate!

- Sarah

South Dakota Covers Neocate Due to Grassroots Efforts of Parents! [Part 1]

Posted 5.27.10 | Guest Blogger

Our post today is a special 2 part guest blog entry from Brenda Eich. Brenda was instrumental in getting several insurance companies in South Dakota to sign an agreement guaranteeing coverage of amino acid-based formulas. We would like to thank her for sharing her story with us. This is part 1 of her 2 part story.

The Initial Food Allergy Diagnosis

You have just left the doctor's office with your infant in your arms. Now you have those doctor's words circling in your mind. "Your child has multiple food allergies and will need a special amino acid-based formula like Neocate. You can't feed your child anything that has milk, soy, oats, citrus, wheat or nuts in it. Start reading labels with a microscope. "If you are lucky, you are only avoiding two or three foods. For most children with protein intolerances, IGG or IGE allergies, you are avoiding many foods.

The first few years of our little guy's life were really a blur. I spent countless hours in the kitchen trying to make meals out of a short safe-foods list.He was very small (and still is) so my main “job” was to feed him. That sounds a lot easier than it is. Most allergic children have food aversions. We continued to visit the allergist, pediatrician, GI specialist and nutritionist. All of the sudden, this little bundle of joy became a huge job like I have never known (and he is our third child). I am blessed to be a stay-at-home-mom but could it really be THIS hard??

It’s More Than Just Dealing with Food Issues

In addition to the food issues,we also had social issues. Can we really go to church, Bible study, MOPS, storytime and the park where other children are running around with frosting or cheesy crackers on their fingers? Scary! I found myself quarantining ourselves off during this journey. My main goal was to keep him safe while increasing his weight ever ever so slightly each month.

The expenses of Neocate, pediatric doctor's appointments, GI specialist appointments, allergists andmedicine (reflux) were more than we could bear. After several years of purchasing Neocate out of pocket, I started submitting letters to our insurance company. All of them came back with a standard “Request Denied”.

How My Grassroots Effort for Insurance Coverage Started

Then I met a wonderful family who has three boys. Their oldest is five and has eosinophilic esophagitis (EE). He desperately needs Neocate but with no insurance coverage, the cost is too high. His mother actually works for the hospital and the hospital insurance plan wouldn't cover Neocate. This little guy is the tiniest little five year old you have ever seen. It breaks my heart to know that he isn't the only little person who isn't getting the nutrition he needs. Many children who need Neocate don't get nearly enough or don't get it at all.

Then I heard of one family who tube feeds their child because if you tube feed, it is covered by insurance. Unbelievable! They said they hope when he doesn't need Neocate, he can be weaned off tube feeding and not have food aversions. This is just unacceptable. Neocate needs to be covered by insurance.

My blood began to boil...

After about three years of dealing with food allergies and purchasing Neocate, I decided to reach out to any others and see if they were receiving insurance coverage. We have a website where moms meet in our local area. I got back two responses from other moms who were purchasing Neocate for their little food allergy people also.

I chatted with those moms and the more I chatted, the more determined I got!

Stop back for the second half of Brenda Eich’s story about how she started a grassroots campaign to win medical insurance coverage in South Dakota for amino acid-based formulas.

Medical Insurance Reimbursement: States Requiring Coverage for Amino Acid-based Formulas

Posted 5.20.10 | Sarah O'Brien

With the help and hard work of many families, there have been several states that have mandated legislation for medical insurance coverage of amino acid-based formulas such as Neocate. This is fantastic news that will help to provide financial relief for families.

The current states that require coverage for amino acid-based formulas:

  • Arizona
  • Connecticut
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Minnesota
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New York
  • Oregon
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Texas

Every state and every law/agreement is different so be sure to read thoroughly to understand the limitations before contacting your medical insurance company. For example, the Maine legislation only pertains to children under the age of 2. In the state of Minnesota, there is no law requiring coverage, however, the state’s six largest insurance plans have agreed to reimburse families for amino acid-based formula. We have a full list of the states that reimburse and information on each law at

Tips for Amino Acid-based Formula Reimbursement

A few tips to keep in mind when pursing reimbursement in each of these states are listed in the reimbursement section of For instance, most of the mandates/agreements only require coverage of amino acid-based formulas for the diagnosis and treatment of certain medical conditions (i.e. eosinophilic gastroenteritis or multiple food protein intolerance).

If your state is not listed and you would be interested in joining the fight for coverage in your state, check out the guidebook for enacting legislation from Children’s Magic. Children’s Magic is an organization committed to promoting reimbursement for elemental formulas. They have put together this guide to help point you in the right direction.

Stay tuned for a guest blog post from Brenda Eich next week. We are honored to have her share her story on her successful fight for medical insurance reimbursement in South Dakota! Does anyone else have success stories or tips to share with getting insurance coverage for Neocate?

- Sarah

Eosinophil Awareness Week – Two Brothers Living with EE

Posted 5.19.10 | Sarah O'Brien

In honor of National Eosinophil Awareness Week, I thought I would take the opportunity to highlight thisvery compelling video about two courageous boys living with eosinophilic esophagitis (EE). You can also read about their story on We would like to thank Carson and Jake's Mom Chanda for allowing us to share her family's story and for all the hard work she has done to create awareness for EE. Watch YouTube video

- Sarah

Guest Blog: Living with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EE): Norman's Story

Posted 4.15.10 | Guest Blogger

We would like to thank Kendra Tiedemann for guest blogging for us and sharing her family’s allergy story. In case you missed it, be sure to read last week’s entry about her other son Paulie.

This is Norman. He is three years old and has the spirit of a child who sees the world as his playground. He also sees much of the world through a looking glass. When he hears the ice cream truck, he runs to watch children gather with dollars in hand for treats that he may never taste. Norman is a boy with eosinophilic esophagitis, known as EE or EoE for those averse to tongue twisters.

Eosinophilic esophagitis is a condition of the gastrointestinal tract caused by an immune system gone awry. Eosinophils, white blood cells charged with fighting off parasites, mistake food proteins as foreign invaders. They flock to the esophagus to attack “invading” food proteins and remain there long after the food has passed through to Norman’s stomach. The eosinophils cause inflammation and other damage to the esophagus. The inflammatory process interferes with the body’s ability to properly utilize food that is taken in, causing a variety of symptoms that can make eating difficult or even impossible. Some EE patients must exclude just a few foods from their diets. Some, like Norman, react to every food and must rely on elemental formulas as the sole source of nutrition if they are to avoid life-long steroid treatments. Most are somewhere in the middle.

“But he looks so healthy!” That is the universal response to the above explanation for why Norman drinks formula rather than eating with the rest of us. That is true when he is on a diet consisting only of Neocate One Plus, Neocate Nutra and cane sugar. Those who have known Norman since birth know that it is complicated.

As an infant, Norman rarely slept more than 20 to 30 minutes at a stretch. He screamed in pain every time he soiled his diaper which, for many months, was more than a dozen times each day. His skin was burned and blistered despite our attempts to protect it with creams. Skin infections were not uncommon. When he wasn’t taking a cat-nap or screaming in pain, Norman was nursing. He pulled away frequently, arching his back and turning his head at an awkward angle. Seizure-like shaking was another indicator of severe reflux that was unresponsive to prescription medications. Despite the constant feedings and extreme modifications to my diet, Norman failed to thrive. The introduction of solid foods to his diet was disastrous. He delighted in each new food…until the pain of eating overcame the joy. Food trial after failed food trial, we could do nothing to ease his pain.

The day of Norman’s diagnosis was a day of celebration. We stopped giving him food and switched him to an elemental formula. Within a few days, he was sleeping longer and crying less. For the first time in his fifteen months, he began to thrive!

To those who say that Norman looks healthy, I say this: “Yes, he is healthy, but his eosinophils are still poised for attack. He is healthy because he doesn’t eat food."

- Kendra Tiedemann

The Latest on BPA

Posted 4.6.10 | Sarah O'Brien

We’ve posted before about concerns over the effects of bisphenol-A or BPA, chemical used to make many plastics. In case you haven’t heard, some recent research suggests that BPA can leach into liquids packaged in bottles and cans made of polycarbonate plastics and could be unsafe for infants and young children.

The FDA is conducting more research on the safety of BPA, but in the meantime we wanted to share some recent articles we’ve read that help shed some light on what it is, why the government is concerned and why you may want to limit your family’s exposure to it. (If your child is taking Neocate, no need to worry – we have already taken the extra step to protect your little ones and all of our powdered formulas now come in cans with a BPA-Free lining.)

The FDA recently revised its guidelines for BPA, recommending that parents take precautions to minimize infants’ exposure while they carry out more tests. This article has some good tips on how to limit exposure at home.

The FDA isn’t the only government agency concerned about BPA – the EPA recently announced that they will also be investigating its possible environmental and health impacts.

As scientists get better at detecting the levels of chemicals like BPA in our bodies, they are discovering the potentially serious impact of even a small quantity on our health. Be sure to check out the full list of “household toxins” that accompanies the article.

States like California and Minnesota have banned BPA from food and drink containers, especially ones for children. See if your state has any legislation in the works.

We hope you find these articles helpful. We will be sure to keep you posted on the latest happenings and research findings on BPA. More information about BPA, including frequently asked questions and resources, is available on our website as well. Have you taken any steps to avoid BPA? If you have any tips, be sure to share in the comments!

- Sarah

Understanding Food Labels: Ingredient Series – Fats in Neocate

Posted 3.23.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

This blog is a follow-up to Nita’s informative blog “Fats 101”. If you haven’t already, I encourage you to read it first to gain a better understanding of all the different types of fats out there.

When reading the ingredient label, you may notice all the different types of oils used in Neocate. Why are there so many types? Each one is a source of a different type of fat, and a variety of fats are needed to maintain a balanced blend of fatty acids to help your baby develop and grow properly.

Sources of fat found in Neocate products include:

*Keep in mind that all of the proteins from these ingredients have been extracted. Since proteins are generally what cause an allergic reaction, Neocate should still be an appropriate choice for your little one – even if they have a soy, coconut or sunflower allergy.

 Take a look at this very helpful chart which compares different sources of fat:


I have this chart near me at all times to help me understand what exactly each fat ingredient contains.

You will notice how some ingredients have a very specific ratio of polyunsaturated, monounsaturated, and saturatedfats. Each fat found in Neocate was specifically chosen to ensure there is a balanced blend in order for your child to get the right amounts of essential fats needed to grow and thrive.

You may also notice that Neocate Infant, Neocate Junior and Neocate One+ all have different percentages of fat. This is because children need different amounts of fat depending on their age and medical conditions. For this reason, it is important to pick a formula that is tailored to your child’s specific needs.

Infants need plenty of fat for proper growth and development, so Neocate Infant contains 41percent fat. Once children get to be a little bit older, fat should be taken in moderation, so Neocate One+ has 32 percent fat. If your child has a GI or allergy disease, they might have issues with malabsorption of certain nutrients. Neocate Junior is specially formulated to account for this with 45 percent fat and higher amounts of other important vitamins and minerals.

Mallory will be diving deeper into the fatty acids DHA and ARA at the end of the month, so be on the lookout for that blog!

I hope this helps a bit with understanding the ingredients in the Neocate Infant formula. If you still have questions about these or any other ingredients, ask away!

- Christine


What does “Nutritionally Complete” Mean?

Posted 3.11.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

I often get asked whether our Neocate® formulas have all the vitamins and minerals a child would need to thrive for all stages throughout their lives. The general answer is "Yes" - with caveats - but I thought I should explain further what the term “nutritionally complete” really means.

"Nutritionally Complete" is Undefined

First, "nutritionally complete" is not a regulated term. That's a fancy way of saying that the federal government hasn't set a formal definition for the term. You also won't find "nutritionally complete" in the dictionary! So, that gets us off to a tough start in answering this question.

The term "nutritionally complete" is often used by healthcare professionals, and is often used to describe nutritional formulas. So, let's assume that the experts in food and nutrition - Registered Dietitians - would be best positioned to answer this question.
Dietitians interpret "nutritionally complete" to have the following meanings: 
  1.  It can be used as a sole source of nutrition to provide approximately 100% of recommended levels for essential nutrients when used to meet energy needs (all carbohydrates, protein, fat, vitamins and minerals a child needs to grow and thrive)

  2. to indicate that a product contains some of every essential nutrient, though not necessarily at 100% of recommended levels for all nutrients (this may be better as a supplement, and may not necessarily be suitable as a sole source of nutrition).
Despite these two possible interpretations, most healthcare professionals assume that "nutritionally complete" means the first thing: that you can survive and thrive on this formula, and nothing else.

Products Labeled "Nutritionally Complete"

A nutritional product or formula that has "nutritionally complete" on its product label should ideally be age-appropriate and provide all the nutrients a child would need for that specific age. For example, infant formulas are designed specifically to meet the nutritional needs of infants. Infants have different nutritional needs than toddlers and older children, so age-specific nutritionally complete products are needed to ensure all the nutrient needs of the target population are met. (Note: every person is different, so it's important that healthcare teams check the needs of every patient to see if they have unique needs and make sure they're all met by the diet, formula, and supplements, if needed.)

Having complete nutrition is important for children who are on very restrictive diets due to conditions such as food allergies, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and short bowel syndrome (SBS). When children cannot eat a wide variety of foods, it is common for them to have nutrient deficiencies as a consequence. One study (1) found that in children with food allergies, many were not receiving enough vitamin D, calcium, iron, vitamin E and zinc. This is a serious problem because inadequate nutrition in children could have long-lasting implications such as poor growth, delayed development, and failure to thrive.

One of the best ways to avoid nutrient deficiencies is by having a registered dietitian involved in your child’s care – they can assess your child’s nutritional status, assess the diet, and give recommendations on what options may work for you and your family. Your chosen nutritionist can also help you to properly read food labels and really understand what is being put into your child’s food. Just as important, finding a nutritional formula that has adequate (and even higher) amounts of important nutrients (such as calcium, iron, vitamin D, phosphorus and zinc) can help you ensure your little one is receiving proper age-specific nutrition to grow and thrive.

Neocate Formulas are Nutritionally Complete

As I mentioned, all of the formulas in the Neocate family are nutritionally complete. Neocate Syneo and Neocate Infant DHA/ARA are designed to meet the nutritional needs of infants. For toddlers, older children and teenagers, Neocate Junior and Neocate Splash are designed to be nutritionally complete.

If you are also using Neocate Nutra - our semi-solid amino-acid based medical food - don’t forget that it is meant to supplement formula or breast milk, and not replace it. Neocate Nutra contains lots of important nutrients like protein, fat, calcium, and vitamin D, but just not enough to be the only source of nutrition.

Are there any vitamins and/or minerals you are worried your little one may not be getting enough of due to a restricted diet? Let us hear about it!

Christine & Rob

1. Salman et al, Dietary intakes of children with food allergies: comparison of the food guide pyramid and the recommended dietary allowances, J Allergy Clin Immunol 2002.

Getting the Right Nutrition at the Right Age

Posted 2.18.10 | Sarah O'Brien

Making sure your little one is getting the nutrition he/she needs is critical - especially when dealing with food allergies and GI issues. As your baby grows, nutritional needs change and different types of diets are required. Knowing what the different stages are is key so you can make sure your baby is happy and healthy.

0-6 months

If you’re breastfeeding a baby with allergies, be sure to:

  • Eat a healthy, 2,500 –2,800 calorie diet of fruits, vegetables and plenty of protein.
  • Check with your physician to see if you should be taking any supplements. Some women have difficulty getting essential vitamins like calcium, folic acid and zinc while breastfeeding.
  • Remove all allergens from your diet. Usually a milk protein is the culprit, so you you’ll need to remove all dairy products but watch out for items with hidden dairy like salad dressing and nutrition bars.

If you choose to feed your baby formula:

  • Consider an elemental formula like Neocate that is made up of individual amino acids and is easier for babies with allergies to digest.
  • Think about choosing a formula that contains DHA and ARA, two fatty acids that are important for infant eye and brain development (both naturally present in breast milk).

6-12 months

This is when you want to start introducing your baby to solid foods.

  • Start adding texture to your baby’s diet with an elemental semi-solid like Neocate Nutra. Mixed with water, it has a similar consistency to pudding. Once your baby begins to get used to the texture of the Nutra and to eating from a spoon, you can introduce pureed or strained fruits and vegetables like banana and carrots. You may want to even mix them into the Nutra. Definitely consult with the doctor about how to safely test new foods if your child has allergies.
  • Don’t wait too late to introduce solids. If you do, it can be difficult for your child to learn important oral skills like chewing.

1-3 years

By this time, your baby will probably have a few teeth and be ready to take on crunchier foods.

  • Cereals and raw fruits and vegetables cut into very small pieces are good at this age. But, again consult with the doctor about safely testing new foods.
  • The nutrient profile at this age is different than for an infant. If your little one is still on an amino acid-based formula, be sure to switch to one that is specifically formulated for kids over the age of one.

Hope you find these tips helpful. What have you done to make sure your kids are getting the right nutrition for their age?

- Sarah

Attention Texans: Insurance Companies to Reimburse for Amino Acid-Based Formula!

Posted 1.7.10 | Nutrition Specialist

Great news for Texans – A new law, effective January 1st, requires insurance companies to reimburse families for amino acid-based formulas like Neocate. You can read the bill here.

The new insurance reimbursement law in Texas applies to health plans that are delivered or renewed after January 1, 2010 and covers formula used to manage:

  • IgE and non IgE-mediated allergies to multiple food proteins (i.e. milk protein allergy);
  • Severe food protein-induced entercolitis;
  • Eosinophilic disorders; and
  • Impaired absorption of nutrients caused by disorders affecting the absorptive surface, functional length, and motility of the gastrointestinal tract.

The insurance reimbursement is required whether the formula is taken orally or via a feeding tube. Plus, it covers the entire Neocate product range, including Neocate Infant, Neocate Junior, and E028 Splash.

Other states with reimbursement legislation for amino acid-based formulas include Arizona, Connecticut, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Oregon and Rhode Island. However, each state’s laws are slightly different – Check out a copy of a specific state's legislation.

This is exciting news for families in Texas and we hope it will provide them with some economic relief. If you have any questions about how the new Texas legislation will affect your family, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-NEOCATE.

And don’t forget to share the news with others too! You can tweet the news, post a link on Facebook or share it with your support groups.

- Nita

New Neocate Cans with BPA-Free Lining

Posted 12.22.09 | Nutrition Specialist

In light of parent concerns about Bisphenol A (BPA) in infant formula packaging, Nutricia announced that we’re taking the extra step to protect your little ones by packaging our powdered products in cans with BPA-free lining.

Nutricia has provided a complete list of BPA-Free powdered Neocate products that will come in the new cans.

Our hope is that this change will help provide extra peace of mind to the many families with children with milk allergies and other gastrointestinal, metabolic and neurological conditions that require specialized nutrition. If you have any other questions about the new BPA-free lining, give us a call or ask us in the comments section.

- Nita

Lessons from Developmental Psychology

Posted 12.3.09 | Mallory West

Recently I was volunteering at a local organization which provides respite care to families of children with special needs. There was a baby in the center who had recently been switched from a milk-based formula to a soy-based alternative. The caregiver was explaining that the baby didn’t seem to like the formula and that she didn’t blame him because it tasted awful. Everybody smelled the formula and made disgusted faces, making a huge deal about how terrible it was that the baby had to drink it. And all I kept thinking was, well of course the baby doesn’t like it! How many of us would want to eat or drink something when everyone around us thinks it’s gross.

I wanted to share this with you because parents often call us for advice on transitioning their baby to Neocate. Hopefully, this entry will provide some helpful guidance if you are making that switch.

First and foremost, it’s important to remember that if your baby is prescribed a special formula, it’s because of a medical condition which makes him or her unable to tolerate typical formula. The special formulation of Neocate makes it taste different from standard formulas, but it’s also this special formulation which provides relief and allows your baby to grow, thrive and be healthy. So how can you help make the transition smoother?

The answer is a lesson of developmental psychology! Research shows that although children are born with predispositions for certain food preferences, the majority of food preferences are shaped by experience1. A child’s food acceptance and preference are strongly influenced by the way their parents present these foods. Children learn to accept and prefer foods which are presented repeatedly and in a positive manner. At the same time, if a food is presented in a negative context, the child is likely to dislike and reject the new food (which is the most likely reason for the baby I described above not wanting the formula).

Therefore, if you present the new formula positively, even tasting it yourself and showing a pleasant response, your child is much more likely to accept and even like it. Likewise, if you display your distaste for the formula in front of your baby (for example making a disgusted face and exclaiming “this formula tastes gross!”), your baby is likely to learn to dislike it as well.

So, the takeaways are:

  1. When introducing a new formula to your baby, remember to keep a positive and supportive demeanor. Try not to make unpleasant facial expressions or negative comments in front of the baby.
  2. Remember that children learn to accept foods which are presented repeatedly so don’t be discouraged if your baby doesn’t accept the new formula right away.

Keeping these tips in mind will hopefully make the formula transition much more pleasant for your baby and as a result, much more pleasant for you too!

Do any of you have tips for helping with the transition to Neocate? We’d love to hear them!


1. Birch, LL. Development of Food Acceptance Patterns in the First Years of Life. Proc Nutr Soc. 1998 Nov;57(4):617-24.

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.