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.


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?


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!


Introducing Rob, Our Newest Blogger

Posted 11.11.10 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Hi everyone! My name is Rob McCandlish. I’m new to Food Allergy Living and wanted to take a minute to introduce myself and tell you a little about me. I’m a Nutrition Specialist with Nutricia North America and I work with Christine, Mallory and Sarah. Among other duties, I get to talk with folks like you when you call us with questions about Neocate.

What to tell you about myself? I grew up in Winchester, VA, not far from the nation’s capital. Growing up, I had several family members who had Celiac disease (which means they can’t eat foods with ANY wheat, barley, or rye) so was always familiar with “special” foods, reading ingredient labels closely, and changing recipes to ensure nobody got sick from food.

I earned a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Mary Washington College. From there I started my first “career” coordinating organ donation and transplantation, eventually relocating to northern Virginia. I was fortunate to work both at the United Network for Organ Sharing as well as the Washington Regional Transplant Community. The best part of the work was that it allowed me to help to improve the lives of others, both directly and through speaking publicly about the importance of organ donation.

I then went to James Madison University to complete a Bachelor of Science degree in dietetics. That was followed by my dietetic internship at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While at NIH, I got to work with many patients, including those with allergies. Other patients had undiagnosed diseases which involved unexplainable food allergies and sensitivities. Still others had metabolic disorders that limited the types of food they could eat.

All of those great experiences lead me to Nutricia. I’ve been here for a couple of months now and love working with families such as your own. I recently passed the Registration Examination for Dietitians, meaning I’m a full-fledged Registered Dietitian and can add the R.D. credentials to my business card! I enjoy cooking, experimenting with food, writing, and I look forward to being a contributing member of the nutrition team at Nutricia North America.

- Rob McCandlish, R.D.

Nutrition, Brain Development and Food Allergies: Can Food Allergies Affect Proper Brain Development?

Posted 8.26.10 | Mallory West

Brain development is most sensitive to a baby's nutrition between the last trimester of pregnancy and the first two years life. The brain is rapidly growing during this period; in fact, an infant’s brain increases in size by 175% during the first year of life and by another 18% during the second year[1] Children who are malnourished during this period do not grow and develop properly so adequate nutrition is of utmost importance[2]. Although all nutrients are important for health and development, certain nutrients play especially important roles. If your LO has food allergies, his/her limited diet can make it more difficult to get enough of these nutrients. Therefore, it is important to understand which nutrients are key so that you can make sure your LO’s needs are met.

  • Protein and Calories

    True malnourishment occurs when there is a prolonged inadequate intake of protein and calories. Studies show that grossly malnourished infants and toddlers suffer both short and long-term consequences, which may include delayed motor and language development, as well as poorer intelligence schools and school performance[3].
  • Fat

    Myelin is a fatty substance that covers and protects nerves. Myelination (the development of myelin around nerve fibers) occurs at a very rapid rate during the first 2 years of life and this is a key part of brain growth and development. Because myelin is composed mostly of fat, fat is an important component of nutrition for infants and toddlers and fat intake should not be restricted during this period.
    • DHA and ARA:

      DHA and ARA are fatty acids found in breast milk. Research shows that DHA and ARA are important for brain and eye development, especially during the first year of life. The levels of DHA and ARA in breast milk and formula has been linked to better visual acuity and cognitive performance1.
  • Iron

    Iron deficiency during the first 2 years of life can result in irreversible cognitive deficits[4]. Bottle-fed babies should receive formula that contains iron and breast-fed infants should receive some form of iron supplementation at around 6 months of age. Most infant starter foods (such as rice cereal and Neocate Nutra) are fortified with iron to meet these needs.
  • Other Nutrients

    Like iron, iodine deficiency during infancy and toddlerhood can have long-term cognitive consequences. Fortunately, iodine deficiency is very rare is developed countries. Research also shows that zinc, choline, Vitamin B12 and Vitamin D play important roles in brain development but there is less concrete knowledge about the specific roles they play.

Nutrition and Brain Development for Children with Food Allergies

For most children, milk and milk products are key sources of calories, protein and fats, all of which are critical for proper brain development. For infants and children with milk allergies, its critical that they receive alternate sources of nutrition so that their brains have all the ingredients necessary for proper brain growth and development. This is why its so important to work with a health care provider to develop an allergy-safe, nutritionally-adequate diet.

  • Breast milk or a nutritionally-complete infant formula provides a full range of nutrition for infants
  • If your LO is formula fed, consider a formula supplemented with DHA and ARA to support brain and eye development
  • If your LO is breast-fed, be sure to supplement iron after 6 months of age and if formula-fed, be sure to choose a formula with iron. Starter foods like rice cereal or Neocate Nutra are fortified with iron to meet these needs
  • Once children transition to solids, be sure to provide a balanced diet to ensure all nutrient needs are met. For children with a restricted diet, a wide variety of foods may not be possible so talk with your health care provider about appropriate medical foods or supplements, which can be helpful for filling in the blanks


[1] Abad-Jorge, A. “The Role of DHA and ARA in Infant Nutrition and Neurodevelopmental Outcomes”. Today’s Dietitian Vol. 10 No. 10 P. 66.
[2] Zero to Three: The National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families.
[3] Benton, D. The Influence of Dietary Status on the Cognitive Performance of Children. Mol. Nutr. Food Res. 2010, 54, 457-470.
[4] Beard J. Iron deficiency alters brain development and functioning. J Nutr. 2003 May;133(5 Suppl 1):1468S-72S.

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

How can Duocal Nutritional Supplement Help My Child Gain Weight?

Posted 2.16.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Duocal for:

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

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

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

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

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

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


Vitamin Series – How Vitamins K, C, E & A Affect Your Child’s Health

Posted 1.26.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

Fruits and Veggies

January is coming to a close (I can’t believe January is almost over!), so we will end our Vitamin Series with a run through of the vitamins we haven’t discussed yet. We have already covered Vitamin D, Calcium, and all of the B vitamins. (Calcium snuck its way into the Vitamin Series even though it is a mineral because it is very closely linked with Vitamin D).

As you may recall, the B vitamins are all water soluble. Vitamin C (also known as ascorbic acid) is also water soluble and acts as an antioxidant. In addition, vitamin C is important for wound healing. A deficiency in vitamin C, results in a disease called scurvy.

  • Good sources of vitamin C are colorful fruits and veggies such as red peppers, broccoli and strawberries.

You may notice lots of fruit juices out in the market have added vitamin C, as a result deficiencies in this vitamin are rare in today’s world.

Vitamins can be either water soluble or they can be fat soluble. Vitamins D, E, K, and A are all fat soluble vitamins. These vitamins are absorbed into the GI tract with the help of fat. They are also easier to accumulate in the body vs. the water soluble vitamins. Vitamin E and Vitamin A are both useful antioxidants. Vitamin A also plays an important role in eye sight.

  • Good sources of vitamin A are broccoli, carrots and most fruits or vegetables that are orange or yellow in color.
  • Good vitamin E sources are asparagus, avocado and eggs.

Lastly, we will discuss Vitamin K (also known as phylloquinone). This vitamin is interesting because it helps for wound clotting and coagulation. Any scab you may get is a result of vitamin K at work! It is rare to be deficient in this nutrient, unless there is significant damage to your intestine.

  • Good sources of vitamin K are leafy green vegetables.

When a child is on a restricted diet due to allergies, ensuring they are getting adequate amounts of each nutrient can be tricky. This vitamin series was developed to help families understand these nutrients and find ways to ensure your little one is getting the amounts they need to thrive. If your little one is on a very restricted diet, it may help to look for nutritionally complete amino acid-based formulas, like Neocate Infant or Neocate Junior, that will ensure these vitamins (along with minerals and macronutrients) are being taken in adequate amounts.

Do you often find it hard to ensure your little one is getting all the vitamins he/she needs? What have you done to help this?


Vitamin Series – The B Vitamins

Posted 1.19.10 | Sarah O'Brien

When you or your child has food allergies, looking at food labels and ingredients is essential. Have you ever looked at an ingredient list of one of your favorite foods and been unsure about some of those “big” words, like cyanobalamin or pyridoxine? What about the nutrient chart, when you see pantotenic acid or niacin listed, ever wondered what those really were? Surprisingly to some, these are all B vitamins. There are actually a total of 8 B vitamins in all which many refer to as the vitamin B complex. The vitamin B complex includes:

  • Thiamine (B1)

  • Riboflavin (B2)

  • Niacin (B3)

  • Pantothenic Acid (B5)

  • Pyridoxine (B6)

  • Biotin (B7)

  • Folic Acid (B9)

  • Cyanobalamin (B12)

As a whole, these 8 vitamins provide overall good health including, the maintenance of healthy skin, hair and eyes. Each B vitaminis also important individually.

  • Niacin (B3) is not only important for healthy skin, it also plays a role in the health of our nervous and digestive systems.
  • Pyridoxine (B6) is needed in the production of red blood cells which carry oxygen throughout our bodies
  • Thiamine (B1) helps breakdown carbohydrates into simple sugars called glucose which gives us energy.
  • Some of the B vitamins like Folic Acid (B9) and Cyanobalamin (B12) also work together to make DNA which is important for all of our cells. Another interesting fact about Cyanobalamin (B12) is that it is stored in our livers, typically enough is stored to sustain a person for several years!

All of the B vitamins are water soluble and will disperse throughout the body. Most B vitamins should be replenished often since any excess is excreted in the urine. The B vitamins can be found in several different foods such as whole grain cereals, rice, meats, fish, fruitslike bananas, potatoes, milk and leafy green vegetables.

Now when you read those ingredient list and nutrient charts you can be armed with a little more knowledge and comfort knowing that these are vitamins and not any hidden allergens you or your little ones may not be able to tolerate. Do you ever wonder about any other “big” words on food labels? Let us know, we’d love to tell you about them!

- Sarah

Vitamin Series: Calcium & Your Child’s Diet

Posted 1.12.10 | Mallory West

Continuing with our Vitamin Series, my post today will focus on the importance of calcium (although technically, we’re having a “Nutrient Series,” since calcium is a mineral)! Calcium is best known for its role in bone health. In fact, the body stores more than 99% of calcium in bones and teeth to keep them strong[1]. However, calcium also plays a critical role in many bodily functions including muscle contraction, hormone secretion and nerve transmission[2].

The body must maintain constant levels of calcium in the blood, muscles and cells in order for the body to function properly. Although the level required for this is small (less than 1% of total body calcium), if you aren’t getting enough calcium from your diet, the body will use calcium stored in bones to maintain these processes, resulting in bone loss.

Calcium intake throughout childhood and adolescence sets the stage for your little one’s lifetime bone health because the development of peak bone mass during these years will reduce the risk of fractures and Osteoporosis later in adulthood.[3]

The recommended intake of calcium for infants and children are[4]:

  • Birth-6 months: 210 mg per day
  • 7-12 months: 270 mg per day
  • 1-3 years: 500 mg per day
  • 4-8 years: 800 mg per day
  • 9-13 years: 1300 mg per day

The best sources of calcium are milk and milk products, soy products like tofu, leafy greens and of course, the extra calcium-rich sardines! For children with milk and soy allergies, its critical to supplement calcium with fortified foods or nutritional products (unless your kids are big sardine eaters! J). It’s also important to get enough Vitamin D because it plays a key role in the body’s absorption of calcium.

For those of you with Neocate-drinkers, you’ll be relieved to know that the Neocate products exceed the calcium requirements for infants and children up to age 13 when age-specific calorie intakes are met!

Another important factor for bone health is regular exercise and weight-bearing activities. So make sure that your children get adequate calcium and Vitamin D and encourage them to be active. They will thank you for a lifetime of bone health!


[1] Weaver CM, Heaney RP. Calcium. In: Shils ME, Shike M, Ross AC, Caballero B, Cousins RJ. Modern Nutrition in Health and Disease. 10th ed. Baltimore, MD: Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, 2006:194-210.
[3] PEDIATRICS Vol. 117 No. 2 February 2006, pp. 578-585 (doi:10.1542/peds.2005-2822).
[4] Institute of Medicine, Food and Nutrition Board. Dietary Reference Intakes for Calcium, Phosphorus, Magnesium, Vitamin D, and Fluoride. Washington, DC: National Academy Press;1997.

Vitamin Series - Vitamin D

Posted 1.5.10 | Christine Graham-Garo

I hope everyone’s New Year is off to a great start! We are excited to begin 2010 with our Vitamin Series. Each week we will highlight interesting facts about a different vitamin and provide tips to help you make sure your kids are getting enough of each one. This week we are going to focus on vitamin D.

Vitamin D has been in the news lately due to a recent study that showed that as many as 70% of children have a deficiency in this vitamin! ( A second study found that children with low levels of vitamin D are more likely to have high blood pressure and lower levels of high-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as “healthy” cholesterol — two issues that are considered major risk factors for heart disease later in life. A deficiency in vitamin D also results in Rickets.

In October of 2008, the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics) increased their recommendations for vitamin D by 100%, from 200 IU/d to 400 IU/d for infants, children, and adolescents.

So how come so many children are not getting enough vitamin D? One theory has to do with how our bodies get vitamin D. While you can get it from certain foods such as oily fish and egg yolks, the majority of our vitamin D is derived from sun exposure. And in today’s world with computer technology, TVs galore, Xboxes and Wiis; children are just not playing outside as much as they used to.

Not to worry! Here are a few ways to make sure you and your family are getting enough vitamin D.

  1. Try to eat more foods that are high in vitamin D. Unfortunately, if your little one has a cow’s milk allergy, vitamin D can be trickier to get from food. Because of this, you may want to…
  2. Take supplements such as a multivitamin. Whichever vitamins you choose, be sure to check with the manufacturer to ensure they are allergen-free and will be tolerated by your little one.
  3. Look into formulas, like Neocate, which meet the new AAP guidelines if they are taken as a sole source of nutrition and meeting the child’s calorie needs.
  4. Send your little ones out to play in the yard for about 10-15 minutes (without sunscreen) to get the vitamin D amounts they need. Make sure to time them! You don’t want them to get a sunburn!

What do you think of this new finding? How do you make sure that your family gets enough vitamin D?

- Christine

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

Why I Am Thankful – Part Three

Posted 11.19.09 | Christine Graham-Garo

You may have read Sarah and Mallory’s “Why I’m Thankful” posts over the last couple weeks. In case you missed them, we are sharing what we are most thankful for in our lives. Here are my reasons for being thankful this Thanksgiving!

First and foremost I am thankful for my family and friends. I am fortunate to have such a supportive and loving family.

Another important thing I am thankful for is my health When I was just 8 years old I was diagnosed as a type 1 Diabetic. At the time it was a very new and frightening thing. The fact that I had to live with diabetes for the rest of my life (and give myself insulin injections on a daily basis) was a big adjustment for me and my family to deal with.

Although I have been diabetic for about 20 years, I have made it my goal to make sure my diabetes is controlled. Besides the fact I have this condition, I am fairly healthy otherwise. I always feel it could have been much worse for me, and I am thankful that it wasn’t. With the future of medical science, more and more tools are being introduced to help diabetics control their sugars (as well as help manage other conditions). I make sure to eat a balanced meal and exercise daily (although that may be easier said than done!). With the help of my family I have been able to live a full life regardless of my condition.

Finally, I am thankful for the fact that I can help families in need. As a nutrition specialist for Nutricia North America, specializing in infant nutrition, I am able to help many families by educating them about our formulas. Everything from explaining to parents and caregivers how to use and mix the formula correctly, what to expect when their child is on it, and how to make sure they are doing everything correctly, has truly helped Neocate families and it’s extremely rewarding to know that I’m a part of that process. I have always wanted to use my knowledge of nutrition to help people make the best decisions for their health. Being a nutrition specialist has helped me to do that and I am so thankful for it.

- Christine

Resources for Your Elimination Diet

Posted 6.14.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Mother and baby breastfeedingSome little ones, like Rachel’s son Baby E from our guest post last week, are allergic to the dairy proteins passed along in their mother’s breast milk.  This can often result in a cow’s milk allergy and a confused mom.  Fortunately this doesn’t mean the end of breastfeeding, but rather the start of an elimination diet.

When starting an elimination diet the breastfeeding mom removes all dairy including “hidden” dairy from her diet.  Because this can be such an adjustment, it’s important to make sure both mom and baby get the nutrition they need, so we recommend having the supervision of your doctor for this diet.

Keep in mind, children being not breastfed will also need to go on an elimination diet if diagnosed with a food allergy.  Any elimination diet will need to be supervised by a Registered Dietitian to ensure all the important nutrients are being met in the diet.  Studies show that children on elimination diets are often lacking in Protein, calories, Vit D, and Calcium.1

In addition to our blog and cookbook, once you begin your elimination diet we recommend checking out these great websites for more information and recipes. 

  • Kids With Food Allergies: In addition to helping families cope with dietary restrictions and lifestyle adjustments, they also host a breastfeeding with food allergies forum which provides support for mothers on allergy elimination diets.  
  • Go Dairy Free: Is an informational website for dairy-free living and the goal is to provide honest, unbiased information about going dairy free. 
  •  AllergyMoms: Provides support for parents of kids with food allergies.  They provide dairy-free allergy recipes as well as the latest news and research on breast-feeding, eczema, reflux and anaphylaxis.
  • KellyMom: This site is run by an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant who provides lots of helpful information and articles on breastfeeding. 
  • The Food Allergy & Anaphylaxis Network: Provides educational information, recipes and support for the many parents who need help managing food allergy.
  • CoFAR(Consortium of Food Allergy Research): Provides a wealth of information for families and HealthCare professions.  This consortium was provided by a grant from the NIH.

Hopefully you’ll find these resources helpful and not just for eliminating dairy but also for eliminating the top eight allergens including egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat.

If you’re already on an elimination diet what do you think of these websites?  Do you have any other websites you’d recommend?

- Christine


1. Henriksen C, Eggesbø M, Halvorsen R, Botten G. Nutrient intake among two-year-old children on cows’ milk-restricted diets. Acta Paediatr. 2000;89:272–278 

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 

How to: Mix Neocate

Posted 7.19.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Hi everyone! 

Many Moms (and Dads) come to us with questions about how to properly mix Neocate Infant DHA ARA.  This is why in addition to the preparation instructions on our website, our nutrition specialist and bloggers have decided to create a video about How to Mix Neocate for our NeocateUS YouTube channel

Also, if you enjoy receiving information from Neocate via video please let us know by posting a comment on our YouTube channel.  We are continuing to work on more videos and we would love to hear from you!

So, what kind of other videos would you like to see on our channel?  Is the mixing Neocate video helpful?


Traveling with Neocate - Ready, Set, Go!

Posted 8.2.17 | Nutrition Specialist

Whether your child is out of school for summer break or you are getting ready to visit family for the holidays, we all get an urge to take a break from our regular yearly routine and go out in the world exploring. 

There is always a lot to consider when planning a trip. Where will you go, how will you get there, who will join you in your adventure? Traveling with a food allergy adds yet another caveat to the plan: What will you eat and how much Neocate will you need to bring?

Some parents wonder about the best way to bring Neocate along on their vacation, whether it’s a road trip or flight. Many parents are concerned about the high temperatures during summer months and whether this will be a problem when transporting Neocate. We also get questions about obtaining Neocate in other countries.

Let us here help you get ready, set and go for a successful trip planning.


Planning is the key to success in so many areas of life and planning for travel is no exception. Lodging and transportation plans are always on top of the list. For those of us in the food allergy community, food and formula plans are also a top priority.

You will want to be ready for your trip to know restaurants in the area that can accommodate your food allergy needs. A good place to start is by reviewing our recent blog on Food Allergies and Dining Out to help you prepare for your travels. 

You will also want to calculate how much Neocate you will need for your trip, and this is not the time to be conservative. When calculating the amount of formula you will need for the entire trip, it’s best add extra for any unexpected delays you might encounter. For example, we once heard from a family that was stuck in another country with their flight being delayed by couple of days. Without a buffer of formula, they had to look for a local pharmacy to get a refill. Save yourself the stress and headaches by planning.

Example how to calculate how much Neocate you might need on your trip:

First start with the number of ounces of formula your baby drinks each day. Multiply this by the number of days you will be gone, including the travel days. For example, if you’ll be away for seven days total, including travel days, and your baby drinks 20 fl oz per day, you’ll need 140 fl oz over the course of the trip. Each can of Neocate Syneo yields about 95 fluid ounces (at the standard dilution of 20 calories per ounce), so you divide 140 by 95 and round up. This example baby would need about two cans of formula for the trip. Once you know the number of cans you will need, I recommend packing an extra can just in case travel plans change unexpectedly.

If you are like me and take a bit of time to return to your usual schedule after a vacation, then you may also want to consider how much Neocate you will need to carry you through the following week or even 2 weeks after your vacation as well.


Now that you know how much Neocate you will need for your trip, time to plan how you will travel with your formula. The decision to make at this stage is, should I pack it or ship it?

If your travel plans make it possible, you can pre-order Neocate ahead of time and have it shipped to your desired destination. Did you know if you order directly from our website orders over $25 get free ground shipping? View available Neocate products.

Shipping product ahead of your arrival may help lighten the load of what you will need to pack and carry with you, which can be especially helpful when traveling by plane. If you decide to go with this route, consider packing some emergency supplies with you just in case. Going this route will also require for you to call your destination to alert them that you are expecting a package, ask how it should be addressed, and provide any other instructions that are needed for storage.

If you decide to pack and travel with your Neocate products, make sure you check the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) guidelines for what you can carry on board and through security and onto your flight. TSA has regulations about flying with liquids for you or your family member. Formula, breast milk and juice for infants or toddlers are permitted to be brought on board the aircraft. Older individuals (older child, teen or adult) may also travel with Neocate.

Travelers must tell the TSA officer at the beginning of the screening process that they wish to bring formula, breast milk and juice in excess of 3.4 ounces in their carry-on bag. (These liquids do not have to fit within a quart-sized bag like other liquids.) The formula, breast milk and juice are typically screened by X-ray, and any of these liquids in excess of 3.4 ounces will receive additional screening. Ice packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are also permitted through the screening checkpoint but may be subject to additional screening. 

Some Neocate families have told us that they’ve met TSA officers who aren’t used to seeing an older individual requiring a medical food like Neocate before. If you or your loved one is older, it may also help to bring a doctor’s note explaining that Neocate is medically necessary.

TSA recommends that if you plan to travel with large quantities of medically necessary liquids you should coordinate your screening by contacting a Passenger Support Specialist prior to your flight. Since guidelines for traveling can change at any time, it's best to review TSA guidelines for traveling with medications including liquids and TSA guideline for traveling with children to have a clear understanding of traveling with breast milk and formula such as Neocate. 

When packing, make sure to bring enough formula for the flight in your carry-on bags and some extra just in case your checked bags get lost. Neocate formulas can be prepared ahead of time and kept in a refrigerator for up to 24 hours. It can be stored at room temperature for up to 4 hours. So if you have a long flight, consider bringing a little cooler for your bottles. Some parents prefer to not bring all of the Neocate in their checked bags and instead ship most of it to wherever they are heading ahead of time. If you do this, make sure to confirm that the product has arrived before you leave for the trip so that you don’t arrive to find that the package did not get to your destination.

Are any extended family members or other friends included in your travel plans? If so, don’t hesitate to enlist their help in packing the Neocate you will need to keep on hand while traveling. No need for you to carry your Neocate all by yourself if other family is available and willing to lend a hand, or even a suitcase!

Whether traveling by plane, train, car, bus or boat you want to pack some Neocate with you to ensure you have what you need with extra just in case.

Want more tipcs for packing? Here are some tips and a check list of items you will want to include:

Packing Checklist:

  • Epinephrine & Medications - Make sure to keep medications and your epinephrine auto-injector with you in case they are needed during transit. This will also ensure that, should something either delay or inhibit your luggage from meeting you at your destination, you have medications on hand. If your child has epinephrine, make sure it isn’t expired and consider packing an extra just in case. Have it handy at all times and get an insulated carrying case to prevent it from getting too hot or cold.
  • Allergy Cards - Having allergy cards ready for those who might want or need them such as airline staff, restaurant staff, or even family members can help provide a clear outline of the types of foods that will cause your little one to have a reaction. Our Neocate Footsteps App can help you create an allergy card if needed.
  • Antibacterial Wipes
  • Allergy-friendly snacks - Snacks are always a good idea when you travel as you never know when a delay or change in plans may happen and you will need a snack. Traveling with food allergies makes this even more important as you may not have access to items that are appropriate for you. Check out the TSA Guidelines for Food allowed if you plan to fly for the most up-to-date information on regulations.
  • Games, reading material, or entertainment. (Parenting hack: One of the mom’s on our team likes to wrap old toys and games in gift wrap paper to make her toddler feel like they are getting a present)
  • Diaper Bag (If you need a separate checklist of items for packing an Allergy-Friendly Diaper Bag)
  • Wallet, purse, cash, ATM cards, any other financial documents you will need
  • All travel documents including your ID, passport, and IDs for your children if needed
  • Printouts of all reservations and itinerary (for when you can’t find that Wi-Fi connection)
  • Neocate

Craving additional prep tips? We have ideas from friends who can help. Get more tips by reading a firsthand account from a mom Gina Clowes, founder of, who has traveled with food allergies herself. Read her Food Allergy Travel Tips.

You can also view the following free webinar from Kids with Food Allergies featuring guest speakers Laurel Francoeur, JD, and Matthew Greenhawt, MD, MSc. The presentation covers legal restrictions, disability issues, TSA regulations, peanut dust and inhalation studies, and how to prevent allergic reactions on airplanes.


Finally, time to get out and enjoy your trip.  You are all set, prepared for the unexpected, and ready to enjoy time away with your loved ones. Should you find that you need more Neocate along the way, use this Find a Pharmacy tool from our website to help you located the Neocate you need, also available in the Neocate Footsteps App. Please call the pharmacies that are listed in your search to be sure they have Neocate in stock, and especially the Neocate option you are looking for particularly. If not, keep in mind that Neocate products can be special ordered with doctor’s recommendation.

Keep in mind that all unopened Neocate should be stored at room temperature in a cool dry place and avoid extreme temperatures. Once Neocate powder has been prepared or a Neocate Splash drink box has been opened, it should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 24 hours or discarded. Prepared Neocate or opened drink boxes are safe at room temperature for up to 4 hours, at which time any unused formula should be discarded. Once your loved one starts to drink their Neocate from a bottle, cup, or drink box it should be consumed or discarded within 1 hour.                                                                                                                    

In case you are concerned about the safety of your Neocate while in transit, perhaps this will help put your mind at ease for your pending travel. Short term exposure to temperature such as those you might encounter on your travels, like time in the airplane cargo hold or the warm summer temperature in your car, do not pose a risk to product quality or stability. Those extreme temperatures do not become a concern unless a product is left at those temperatures for an extended period of time, for example several days or weeks.

Lastly, if your travel plans include flying out of the country you might be wondering whether Neocate can be purchased in other countries. The short answer is "maybe." Neocate is sold around the world, however, it is not available everywhere, not all products are available in all countries that have Neocate, and every country has different processes for obtaining it (through a doctor, pharmacy, mail, etc). You should not assume that it is easily obtainable and in most cases, it is easiest to just bring along enough formula for your trip. If you are going to another country for an extended amount of time and don’t think you can bring a big enough supply with you, call Nutricia’s global office or the office of the country where you are heading to see if you can purchase Neocate locally. If you can arrange this, be sure to bring as much formula as possible with you just in case there is a delay in obtaining the formula locally once you arrive.

What other Neocate questions or concerns do you have when you prepare for your family for Summer travel?  How do you prepare to travel with Neocate?

Share your stories, tips for others, or even pictures in the comments below. 

--Kristin Crosby MS, RDN, LDN


All About Splash

Posted 9.1.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Nutricia Neocate E028 Splash

NEW! As of September 2017, E028 Splash is now Neocate Splash! Learn more at


If you’re used to preparing powdered Neocate formula, you might be wondering if there is an easier way. It’s tough enough getting yourself and/or your family dressed in the morning, much less having to measure out and prepare powdered formula for daycare or school or work. Fortunately another option is E028 Splash!

What is E028 Splash?

E028 Splash, or just “Splash” for short, is part of the Neocate line of hypoallergenic formulas. The “E028” is a unique product code that stuck! The "E" stood for "elemental" and the "28" represents the 28 essential vitamins and minerals added. Splash is technically a “medical food,” which falls somewhere in the middle of a food, a drug, and a supplement. Orange-Pineapple Splash has been available in the US since 1995, and in 2006 we introduced 2 new flavors: Tropical Fruit and Grape.

Splash, just like Neocate Junior, was designed for individuals over a year old and contains some of all of the nutrients growing bodies need, like carbohydrates, fats, proteins, vitamins, and minerals. Splash is used by children, teens, and adults. Splash is unique because the protein source is free amino acids, which are safe for kids with food allergies and other medical needs that require an elemental diet. It’s also gluten-free and casein-free.

What makes Splash so great?

The number one reason families love Splash is because it’s so convenient. Splash is the only ready-to-feed, hypoallergenic, amino acid-based formula there is! It goes into a backpack, purse or briefcase just as easily as any other drink box. No more measuring powder, measuring water, and shaking! Not only is this convenient for daycare, day trips, work or school, but it also takes the guesswork out of the equation for babysitters, family, and other parents if you have a child on Neocate that visits on a play date.

Children love Splash for a number of reasons. Severe allergies may mean they need a special formula, but who says it has to LOOK like a special formula? Not us! Splash is packaged to look like other juice drinks, so allergic kids don’t have to feel “different” from everyone else. For some, the novelty of getting to drink their formula through a straw instead of from a cup can make a world of difference. And don’t tell your little one that we said this, but the drink box keeps the distinct smell of formula wrapped up. And to top it all off, Splash comes in 3 great flavors, which can help anyone stick to an elemental diet by adding variety.

Splash has been a blessing for so many families that it has even appeared in a few news stories: here’s a video of Splash helping Matthew Bernard!

- Rob

Neocate Cookbook Lunch Recipe Round Up

Posted 9.20.11 | Mallory West

My Top 5 Lunch Picks from our Neocate Food Allergy Cookbook:

  • Cream of Broccoli Soup (Page 8)
    As a cream of broccoli soup enthusiast, I love this allergy-friendly (and far healthier) variation of the original. This is a very well balanced meal and a great way to sneak some vegetables into your child’s menu. 
  • Hamburger Harvest Soup (Page 9)
    Naming a soup after a hamburger is a great way to entice your kids to eat it! This recipe is full of flavor and nutrients. It’s especially high in protein; Each serving provides 12 grams!
  • Vegetable/Cracker Dip (Page 10)
    Serve with raw veggies and/or crackers (see cracker recipe on page 18!) and this is a healthy lunch. This would be a great option to send to school or have with you on-the-go. 
  • High Calorie Neocate Shake (Page 22)
    This may not be an appealing lunch for everyone but since we so commonly hear from parents who have trouble getting their child to eat and gain weight, I thought this would be a great idea for some of you. A parent sent this recipe idea to us and said she uses it for sick days or when her child needs to gain weight. One shake provides a large amount of nutrients, healthy fats and of course, calories. You could easily use this as a meal replacement.
  • Macaroni and Cheese (Almost) (Page 20)
    Mac & cheese is one of the most popular foods among kids. Thanks to this dairy-free recipe, children with milk allergies can have their mac & cheese too! You can also add some pureed butternut squash to this recipe for some added flavor, nutrition and to make the color more similar to standard mac & cheese.

Remember that you should always check the ingredients of these recipes to make sure they are appropriate for your little one’s food allergies.

What are your favorite allergy-friendly lunch recipes?  They can be from the cookbook or some of your own!




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The NASPGHAN 2011 Annual Meeting & Postgraduate Course

Posted 10.11.11 | Nutrition Specialist Next week, from October 20 – 23, we will be attending the  North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) Annual Meeting and Postgraduate Course in Orlando, Florida.  

NASPGHAN is the only professional society for pediatric gastroenterologists in North America, with a membership of over 1600 clinical gastroenterologists and scientists from the United States, Canada and Mexico with expertise in digestive, liver, pancreatic and nutritional diseases.

This is a great opportunity for us to connect with key decision makers and industry leaders, while also learning about the latest advances in pediatric gastroenterology, hepatology and nutrition.

To learn more about NASPGHAN and the annual meeting and post graduate course, check out their website and for the latest news updates, announcements and events follow them on Twitter (@NASPGHAN).

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Introducing Neocate® Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla!

Posted 10.18.11 | Nutrition Specialist

We’re excited to introduce you to our newest product — Neocate® Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla!  This is the first and only flavored amino acid-based medical food with soluble prebiotic fiber for children with GI conditions.  Neocate® Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla will help fight flavor fatigue and provide digestive support for a balanced gut for manychildren who suffer from milk or soy allergies, multiple food allergies or allergy-induced gastrointestinal disorders.

Just like Neocate® Junior, Chocolate and Neocate® Junior, Tropical, Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla is an aspartame-free, hypoallergenic and nutritionally complete medical food for children over the age of one.

Children who use Neocate Junior should be under the care of a healthcare professional. Families with questions about Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla or the whole Neocate family of nutritionally complete amino acid-based medical foods, please visit or call the toll-free number at 1-800-365-7354, Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 7:00 pm EST.  

What Makes Neocate so Special?

Posted 10.24.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Q: My son has severe allergies and his pediatrician recommended Neocate. I see that it’s expensive and isn’t available at the store. I’ve also been online and see that similar products exist. Can you tell me what makes Neocate so special?

A: We get this question often. Not only have most parents never heard of Neocate, there are still some health care professionals who aren’t familiar with Neocate either.

Setting the Bar

Neocate was the first of its kind, and we set the bar high. The Neocate products are amino acid-based formulas, which by nature makes them special. The fact that Neocate is made with amino acids instead of protein is what sets it apart and allows it to help so many children to feel better. With Neocate, Nutricia is committed to producing the best amino acid-based formulas possible.

First, we ensure that our customers get a product that will not cause a typical allergic reaction. To start, none of the Neocate ingredients are derived from milk, and we mix the Neocate powders in a facility that is 100% dairy protein-free: no cows allowed! We also test every batch of Neocate for dairy, just to be sure. And with E028 Splash, we also test for gluten to ensure it’s gluten-free.

Specialized Products for Special Kids

Because many children need Neocate for more than just a few weeks, we want their Neocate experience to be as easy as possible. We do this by offering more options. For instance, Neocate Nutra is the only amino acid-based semi-solid food available. We also make Splash, the only ready-to-feed (no mixing needed) amino acid-based formula. On top of this, we offer lots of flavors in Neocate Junior, E028 Splash, as well as Flavor Packets. To top it off, Neocate Junior with Prebiotics is the only amino acid-based formula available with prebiotic fiber, which can help improve regularity. We think all of these make Neocate great and help children to stick with an elemental diet.

Extensive Research

Lots of work has gone into making Neocate the best product possible. Since the 1980s, we’ve supported dozens of studies involving Neocate. In fact, Neocate products have been studied or used in over 70 publications in scientific journals! In fact over 1,000 people, mostly infants and children, have participated in research that involved Neocate. And while Neocate has been extensively studied in cow milk allergy, we’ve also supported research with Neocate in other conditions such as eosinophilic esophagitis(EoE), short bowel syndrome(SBS), multiple food protein intolerance(MFPI), food protein induced enterocolitis syndrome(FPIES), and others.

We’ve gotten to work with lots of researchers, many of whom are leaders in their field. And not just in the US – plenty of research with Neocate has taken place internationally on six continents! This research has helped to improve the way medicine is practiced, including diagnosis and treatment. We’re pretty proud of that! We even have a team of researchers based here in the US working on current Neocate studies. This is just one example of our dedication to advancing medical research.

Customer Support

Neocate wouldn’t be Neocate if it didn’t come with a lot of great “add-ons” for our families. For instance, we have great resources for parents on our website, blog, twitter, YouTube channel, and Facebook page. We (the Nutrition Specialists) also are available to answer questions for parents, caregivers, and health care professionals by phone, by email, and online. We even get to help develop new recipes to keep things interesting.

Finally, families new to Neocate often feel like they’re in unfamiliar territory. This is why we offer lots of reimbursement support, which is incredibly helpful for many of our customers.

The most important factor that makes Neocate special? Neocate kids! We love getting to talk to parents about their little ones every day, especially when they tell us how helpful Neocate has been and share good news. Hearing how special they are just makes our work that much more important.



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.



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.

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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

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Headband organizer

[Image by The Organized Housewife]


[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!

Festive Allergy-Friendly Holiday Recipes

Posted 12.22.11 | Nutrition Specialist

On behalf of all of us here at Nutricia North America the makers of Neocate, we want to wish you and your families a very happy, healthy holiday season!  We hope these festive allergy-friendly recipes brighten your holiday!

Milk-Free Hot Chocolate

Heat water on the stove or in the microwave. Remove from heat, allow to cool and add Neocate powder and sugar. Stir well. Top with marshmallows (check the label to be sure the brand is appropriate for your child’s dietary restrictions).

Calories: 170
Protein: 5.2g Fat: 7g
Carbohydrate: 22.5g
Calcium: 183mg
Vitamin D: 1.8mcg

 Gingerbread Cookies:

  • 3 3/4 cups flour
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup molasses
  • 2/3 cup canola oil
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp ground ginger


Over medium heat combine molasses, oil and sugar in a saucepan and bring to a boil while stirring constantly. Set aside. Combine flour and other dry ingredients in a mixing bowl and add molasses, sugar and oil and pour into mixing bowl and then add egg and blend together to form a thick dough ball. Wrap dough in plastic and chill for 1 hour (if dough is too dry, add drops of canola oil, if too sticky to roll out, add flour). Preheat oven to 350°F. Divide dough in half and roll out on floured surface. Use cookie cutters and place cookies on a greased cookie sheet. Bake 10-14 minutes and let cool.

  • Calories190
  • Protein 2g
  • Carbohydrates 31g
  • Fat 7g

Makes 2 dozen cookies

Submitted by: Marie Bedard

Milk-free Peppermint Shake:

Add all ingredients except Neocate powder into the blender and mix until smooth. Next, add Neocate powder and mix on low setting until blended. Pour and serve. Makes 1-2 servings. If your child drinks smaller servings, pour half and store the remaining shake in the refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Tip:Remember using the Old-fashioned peppermint sticks as a straw? Try using it with this shake! Check ingredients because brands will vary. Alternatively, you could use candy-striped straws, which you can find at most party stores!

Calories: 409
Protein: 8g
Fat: 18g
Carbohydrate: 54g
Calcium: 295mg
Vitamin D: 206mcg



Allergy-Friendly Breakfast Ideas

Posted 12.31.11 | Nutrition Specialist

This winter try out our allergy-friendly French toast and pancakes. 

 French Toast 

  •  2 Pieces of spelt bread
  • 1/4 cup of soy milk
  • Dash of cinnamon

Combine milk and cinnamon.  Dip and coat the bread lightly in the soy milk mixture.  Place on preheated skillet on low-med heat.  You will have to cook it longer to ensure the soy milk dries and the toast isn’t mushy.

Per 2 pieces

Calories: 250

Protein: 10g

Carbohydrates: 44g

Fat: 5g

Submitted by: Katherine Kennedy


  • 2/3 cup of rice flour
  • 1/4 cup of water
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp of sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tsp of baking soda

Mix all ingredients together.  Heat oil in a skillet on stovetop.  Pour about 1/2 of mixture onto hot oil.  Cook a few minutes until firm then turn over. 

Makes up to 4 pancakes

Per 1 pancake

Calories: 120

Protein: 1g

Carbohydrates: 26g

Fat: 0g

Submitted by: Sophie Jakovich

Please check each recipe to be sure all ingredients are safe for your child.  If you have any questions, please consult with your physician.
Please note that spelt is a relative of wheat, so may not be appropriate for individuals with wheat allergy or gluten sensitivity.

Also, to get more food allergy recipes, download our Food Allergy Cookbook






Mendel Thrives on E028 Splash

Posted 1.1.12 | Nutrition Specialist

At eight months, Mendel was a healthy, happy baby and began eating solid foods without a problem. Surprisingly, at twelve months, Mendel developed a severe stomach virus causing his parents to admit him to the hospital.  From this point forward, Mendel was unable to consume solid foods.     

“It was very strenuous for the family not knowing what was wrong with him,” said Mendel’s mother Yitty.

After staying in the hospital and being put on IV fluids for a few days, Mendel returned home.  However, over the next few weeks, he lost a significant amount of weight as he refused to eat solid foods.  

Yitty spent months going from doctor to doctor to try to get a proper diagnosis for Mendel.  All the while he was slowly falling off of the growth chart. 

Mendel was showing signs of a milk allergy, eczema and overall gastrointestinal (GI) issues, but no one could give him a definite diagnosis.

Finally, Mendel’s doctor recommended E028 Splash, a nutritionally complete amino acid-based drink for children with GI issues. Mendel began drinking E028 Splash as his sole source of nutrition.

“Once Mendel was able to consume the amount of the E028 Splash he needed to fulfill his calorie intake, he started to gain weight,” explained Yitty.  “A year and a half later, Mendel still relies on E028 Splash as his primary source nutrition and is continuing to gain a healthy amount of weight.” 

Mendel has been on E028 Splash for the last year and a half.  He recently started school and is able to carry his E028 Splash drink box easily in his lunch bag.

“Mendel feels great on E028 Splash.  Not only has he gained weight, but he is now behaving better too!” said Yitty.  

Allergy-Friendly Ideas for Easter Baskets

Posted 4.14.17 | Nutrition Specialist

Easter is days away and if this is a holiday you celebrate, we want to ensure you have plenty of allergy-friendly holiday ideas! When dealing with food allergies, the Easter bunny has to be especially careful to bring safe, fun treats.

With a bit of creativity, it’s possible to have an exciting holiday for all to enjoy. Here are several ideas for how you can fill an allergy-friendly Easter basket for your little one. Several of these treats can even be done as a fun Easter crafts.

Milk-Free and Egg-Free Treats

If you do decide to include candy in your Easter baskets, we recommend referring to Kids With Food Allergies’updated list of allergy-safe candies.

Just because your little one has dietary restrictions, doesn’t mean they can’t indulge!

Allergen-Free Cupcakes

Gluten-free, allergen-free AND vegan cupcake recipe from cookbook author, mom and food-allergic person, Cybele Pascal.

Egg-Free Decorating

Traditions are part of what make holidays so exciting, and we know how much kids can enjoy arts and crafts. If you live in an egg-free home, there are alternatives for egg decorating that you can explore to make sure that your children have the full “holiday experience.”

Several families use plastic Easter eggs for decoration, while others may defer to ceramic options. With these faux-egg choices, you can ensure that your children get to safely enjoy the little traditions, without feeling left out.

Easter Crafts

Another fun way to have the whole family involved in Easter activities is to encourage craft making! By keeping little ones busy with some of these artsy options, you can establish new customs for your family to follow each year.

If you’re interested in a chick-themed Easter, you can craft hatching chicks with some egg cartons, or reuse wine corks to make chick designs on paper!

Paper Bunny

For many children, the Easter Bunny is the most popular figure of the holiday. Why not create your own Easter bunny with kids using a bit of paper and  glue? Check out this super adorable craft idea from Andreja from Easy Peasy and Fun.

Funny Bunnies

How adorable are these little guys!? We can’t stand the cuteness. If you have a bit more time this weekend and are looking for ways to use a brand new cutter/stamper, this might be the perfect project for you.

Easy Bunny Treat Cups

Don’t have a lot of free time for a craft project but still want to do something? Check this fun cup decorating idea from Keri. It’s sure to make any snack ready for your festivities.

Bunny Mask

It wouldn’t be Easter without a cute bunny! Create an easy bunny mask that the kids will love to make and play with.

Easter Chick Craft

A fun handprint craft idea from a stay-at-home mom that your whole family will enjoy. You can even give these out as a party gift!

Easter Mason Jars

What kind of list would this be if we didn’t include at least one Mason jar project?! 

For more fun Easter basket ideas, check out our Neocate Pinterest page. We have an entire board dedicated to Spring/Easter where you will find more crafts and allergy-friendly recipes.


If you are looking for a fun allergy-friendly activity you can do this weekend, check out 6 Allergy-Friendly Easter Egg Hunt ideas.

Regardless of your preferences, there are plenty of options for crafts for families to enjoy. We would love to see what you and your family come up with. Don't forget to share your holiday traditions with us on our Facebook page


Taking a Leap to Try New Food

Posted 1.19.12 | Mallory West

As we enter the new year, which just so happens to be a leap year, it’s a great time to take a “leap” (pun intended) and resolve to add new foods to your little one’s diet.

When your child has multiple food allergies, you have to work within the range of safe foods so as always, if you are unsure if a certain food is safe or not, always consult with your child’s healthcare professional first.

Be persistent!

One important thing to remember is that if you don’t succeed with a certain food, don’t give up on it or assume that your child doesn’t like it. A certain degree of “neophobia”, or fear of new foods, is normal for toddlers and young children. According to Angela Haas, a speech language pathologist and feeding therapist with over 18 years of experience, children may need up to 20 exposures to a new food before they will accept it. So, if the first try fails, continue to present the food occasionally in a non-forceful manner and eventually, you might be surprised to find that your child accepts and even enjoys it.

Give choices!

Another tip for introducing new foods is to always provide choices so your child feels in control of what they are eating. Instead of saying “You are going to try sweet potatoes today!” ask “Would you like to try sweet potatoes or squash today?”

You may choose to present a small amount of several different foods (only those which are allergy-safe of course). Include a few familiar, preferred foods and a few new ones that they can choose from. Again, this makes them feel in control of what they are eating and less resistant to try new things. You may think that children would be overwhelmed by multiple foods at one time but a recent article reports that on average, children prefer a plate with 7 different items and six different colors (while adults prefer a plate with 3 different items and 3 different colors)[1].

Baby steps!

With toddlers and young children, its important not to pressure them to eat a certain food. Give them the option to say “no, thank you” (but not, “eww gross”) if they aren’t ready to try it. Depending on how resistant the child is to new foods, there are different levels for gradually getting them to accept them. You can start by presenting a new food, along with other familiar foods. They don’t have to eat it but they have to allow it to remain on the plate throughout the meal. Continue to present a new food along with familiar foods and allow your child to get acquainted with it. This might mean smelling it, touching it, playing with it and once they are ready, tasting it. We’ve always heard “don’t play with your food!” but for very young children at this stage, the goal is get them comfortable and familiar with a new food, however that may be.

For more tips on expanding your child’s diet, here are some resources which might be helpful:

Please remember that these are general guidelines for expanding your child’s diet. Always ensure that you only introduce foods that are safe for your child’s specific food allergies and when unsure, consult with a healthcare professional.

What challenges do you have with expanding your child’s diet? Any tips for other parents?




[1] Zampollo F, Kniffin KM, Wansink B, Shimizu M. Food plating preferences of children: the importance of presentation on desire for diversity. Acta Paediatr. 2012 Jan;101(1):61-6.

Photo: Flickr user

Conditions where Neocate is used - FPIES

Posted 3.1.12 | Christine Graham-Garo

Based on clinical research, Neocate has shown to be successful in the management of a number of GI and food allergy

related conditions including:

·         Cow and soy milk allergies

·         Multiple food protein intolerance

·         Short Bowel Syndrome (SBS)

·         Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)

·         Malabsorption

·         Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)

·         Other GI disorders

We have blogged about each of these conditions, but one area we wanted to focus on was the “Other GI Disorders” section. Other GI disorders can include conditions such as Colic and Failure to Thrive.

One ‘other GI disorder’ that has been getting a bit more notice recently is a condition called Food Protein-Induced Enterocolitis Syndrome (or FPIES pronounced ‘F- pies’ for short). FPIES can be a serious condition if not managed properly. Unfortunately, FPIES is a condition that is often under-recognized and misdiagnosed despite studies suggesting that the prevalence of FPIES may be increasing.

Management of FPIES is to avoid the offending protein (which is usually milk or soy) and supplement with a hypoallergenic formula, such as Neocate (if breast milk is not available).

There is a strong need for more healthcare professionals to be educated on this condition. Happily, there are doctors out there who are striving to do just that. The hope is to reduce prolonged suffering of patients, reduce hospital admissions, and to save money and time.

If your little one has FPIES, check out the International Association for Food Protein Enterocolitis (IAFFPE). This can be a great forum to learn more and connect with other families managing FPIES.

Does your child have FPIES? What resources helped you to best manage the condition? We would love to hear so we can share with other families!

-          Christine


PS. Feb 29, 2012 was Rare Disease Day! We would like to send a special recognition to those with rare diseases including FPIES.


Jean-Christoph Caubet & Anna Nowak-Węgrzyn, Current understanding of the immune mechanisms of food protein-induced Enterocolitis syndrome. Expert Rev. Clin Immunol.2011.7(3). 317-327

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.