Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results


Neocate Junior with Prebiotics Now Available in Canada

Posted 4.13.11 | Sarah O'Brien

We’re excited to announce that those of you in Canada can now purchase our newest product — Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. As many as 55 percent of children don’t get enough fiber and if they are on a restricted diet, it can be even more difficult!

This is why we have added prebiotic fiber to our Neocate Junior formula. Why is prebiotic fiber important? Prebiotics promote digestive health by supporting healthy bacteria in the gut and inhibiting bad bacteria. Studies have shown that prebiotics can help decrease constipation, diarrhea, gas and vomiting.

If you want to learn more about how prebiotics work and the importance of fiber in your children’s diet, be sure to check out this blog entry.

- Sarah


constipation  |  diarrhea  |  fiber  |  gas  |  Neocate Junior  |  prebiotics  |  vomiting

Toddlers & Fiber: Prebiotics 101

Posted 4.13.10 | Mallory West

You may have heard that we recently launched a new product: Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. You may wondering, “what exactly are prebiotics?” so I wanted to take the opportunity to explain in this blog post, which I’ll call “Prebiotics 101”.

Understanding Fiber:

Prebiotics are a special form of fiber but before we get into the details, let’s start with an overview of fiber in general. Dietary fiber is a carbohydrate that our bodies can’t digest. It is found in plant foods that we eat each day such as fruits, vegetables, grains, and legumes. Among its many important functions, fiber adds bulk to the diet, makes us feel full, aids in digestion and prevents constipation.

There are two types of dietary fiber: soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber is highly fermentable and dissolves in water, forming a gel during digestion. Insoluble fiber is not generally fermentable and does not dissolve in water, traveling through the GI system unchanged.

Soluble Fiber:

Prebiotics are a special kind of soluble fiber that is resistant to digestion and selectively feeds the “friendly bacteria” in our digestive tracts. These bacteria are beneficial to our health. By nourishing the growth of friendly bacteria, prebiotics inhibit the growth of the “bad bacteria”. Studies show that prebiotics can help:

  • Promote normal bowel function
  • Strengthen the protective layer of the GI tract and help restore a healthy gut
  • Decrease the incidence of diarrhea, constipation, vomiting and gas

The Difference Between Prebiotics & Probiotics:

Many people are confused about the difference between prebiotics and probiotics. Probiotics are live strains of beneficial bacteria that increase the number of beneficial bacteria in our guts when we consume them. Prebiotics, on the other hand, are a special type of fiber that support the growth of the beneficial bacteria already present in our guts.

It helps me to think about it with this analogy: You can increase the growth of your lawn in two ways:

1) you can plant grass seedlings, or
2) you can add fertilizer to stimulate the growth of the present grass.

If we think of the beneficial bacteria as grass, probiotics would act like seedlings and prebiotics act like the fertilizer.

Still confused about prebiotics? Ask away! That’s what we’re here for.

- Mallory

My Nothing-But-Neocate Diet

Posted 5.12.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

From time to time, clinicians and parents of children with allergies ask me if I’ve ever tried the Neocate formulas. We here at Nutricia have certainly tasted them all, but tasting and consuming are not the same. After lots of questions from parents about what their little one is feeling and whether or not it’s normal, and given my indiscriminate palate, I decided it was time to really give Neocate a try.

My plan? To go on a nothing-but-Neocate diet for two days. What, exactly, would be allowed? Neocate: specifically any of the Neocate products and a few allergen-free artificial flavors. I decided I could still have plain tea (lack of caffeine could be a real problem for me!). I also decided that, given my usual fiber intake from foods, I would also supplement my all-Neocate diet with prebiotic fiber.

Some folks might say that adding fiber is cheating. However, we already include fiber in Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. I took the guidance that I (as a Registered Dietitian) would give anyone: to avoid a sudden and drastic change in fiber intake, up or down. I was able to find a fiber supplement derived from inulin. Inulin is the plant source of the prebiotic fiber that’s included in Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, so this would be similar. And the use of other allergen-free artificial flavors? I figured that was okay too, because dietitians who work with children and adults with eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) allow these when the patients follow an amino acid-based (or "elemental") diet.

What wasn’t allowed? Anything else! 

With these rules in mind, I used my approximate calorie needs to design a “meal plan” and dove right in.

Day 1 Menu

Day 1 Experience:

Day 1 started with Neocate Infant DHA/ARA. Does this taste like standard infant formula or milk? Nope. Because Neocate products have amino acids instead of whole protein, Neocate Infant DHA/ARA has a different taste and a thinner consistency (it's more watery). To me it has an herbal undertone, which isn’t so bad, and is something most infants either don’t notice or get used to after a day or two.

Smaller amounts were fine, but a full 350 calories of plain Neocate Infant DHA/ARA was a bit much, even for me! By my last “meal” of Neocate Infant DHA/ARA at lunch I decided to try adding some artficial lemon-lime flavor. So far, so good. I was surprised that I wasn’t ravenous later in the day – I had my doubts that an all-liquid diet would keep me satisfied, but it really did! I managed to go to bed without any food cravings that day. No stomachaches and nothing out of the ordinary. Day one, done!

Day 2 Menu:

  • Morning Snack: Neocate E028 Splash, Tropical Fruit
  • Breakfast: Neocate E028 Splash, Orange-Pineapple + Neocate Junior, Unflavored + artificial strawberry flavor ("Fruit Salad")
  • Lunch: Neocate Junior, Tropical
  • Dessert: Neocate Nutra + Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Unflavored + artificial cherry-vanilla flavor (“Chocolate-covered Cherry Pudding”)
  • Snack: Neocate E028 Splash, Tropical Fruit
  • Appetizer: Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Unflavored + artificial strawberry flavor
  • Dinner: Neocate E028 Splash, Orange-Pineapple + artificial strawberry flavor + Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Unflavored
  • Dessert: Neocate Nutra + Neocate Junior, Chocolate + artificial strawberry flavor (“Chocolate-covered Strawberry Pudding”)

Day 2 Experience:

Day 2 started with some definite hunger, but the morning snack took care of that. When I arrived at work I found a donut on my desk from a coworker – enter the cravings for solid food! It was definitely tough to avoid the snacks around the office that day, but I made it through. The toughest part was probably dinner time. I usually make dinner in our house, so cooking and not eating the food was difficult. (No french fries?!?)

By the end of the day all of the different flavors began to taste pretty similar to me, probably because I tried so many flavor mash-ups. I will say that I definitely found the Neocate E028 Splash an easy option. It seems silly, but it was so easy to grab a Splash instead of having to prepare a meal. I really see how convenient this can be for kids and families on the go, not to mention adults like me!

All things considered, the all-Neocate diet wasn’t nearly as difficult as I thought, and in some ways it actually made life easier. (I'm terrible at meal-planning, which makes for some very last-minute dinners!) I really appreciated having all of the different flavor options and the ease of Splash in a ready-to-go format. That said, a third day might have gotten a little routine, so I have a lot of respect for the children and adults who have to stay on an amino acid-based diet for a long period of time. It has to be especially those who have had “real” food, know what it tastes like, and must give it up for a period of time.

And the question many parents would like to ask: How did I feel after two days of Neocate? Pretty normal, actually! There are rumors that amino acid-based diets cause constipation, but that's not true. My stomach felt a bit more “active” at times, but I never felt queasy, had diarrhea or constipation, or really felt any different than I usually do. I didn’t have any big swings in hunger or fullness, and it was nice not worrying about whether or not I was getting a balanced diet: Neocate took care of that for me. For parents of children who are going from a solid food diet to Neocate (such as those with EoE who are starting an elimination diet) you may want to check with your child’s healthcare team about using Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, which has fiber to help maintain gut health. 

Update, 2014: Neocate now offers Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, VanillaNeocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry, and Neocate Splash, Unflavored! I look forward to trying this experience again soon with the full Neocate portfolio!

Feel free to share any questions you have about my experience! How about you, parents: have you ever tried a full serving of Neocate? If so, what did you think?

- Rob

Probiotics and Food Allergies

Posted 5.26.11 | Mallory West

In recent years, there has been a lot of attention on gut flora, the good bacteria that live in your digestive system and play a role in proper digestion, nutrient absorption, immune function and bowel health. Research has shown that infancy and childhood are critical periods in the development of a healthy gut environment that includes this good bacteria.

Health Benefits of Probiotics:
One way to alter the gut flora is with probiotics. Remember that probiotics are live “friendly” bacteria that naturally live within the human GI tract and provide health benefits to the host. Certain foods, such as yogurt, contain probiotics and when you eat these foods, you can add more friendly bacteria to your system. Note that PRObiotics are different than PREbiotics, which are a type of fiber that feeds the friendly bacteria already living in your GI tract. Probiotics and prebiotics are sometimes used together, a mixture known as “synbiotics”.

Scientific research shows that probiotics may help reduce certain diarrheal diseases such as antibiotic-associated diarrhea and acute gastroenteritis (stomach viruses). In addition, probiotics have been found to lower the risk of food allergy and improve colic in infants. Many parents choose to add probiotics to their child’s diet, either with natural sources like yogurt or with supplemental probiotics.

Probiotics and Food Allergies:
Because of the role probiotics plays with allergies and digestive health, a lot of Neocate mom and dads have questions about whether probiotics might be helpful for their child with food allergies or digestive problems. This is complicated because many probiotic foods are off limits for children with food allergies. Most of the clinical studies on the health benefits of probiotics were done with the strains Lactobacillus GG, L. casei, B. bifidum and S. thermophilus, all of which are traditionally used in dairy foods.

The good news is that it is possible to find allergy-friendly sources of probiotics, such as pickles, sauerkraut and kombucha tea. Probiotic supplements may also be a good option, but use caution when choosing one to be sure it is safe for your child’s food allergies.  Ask your child’s doctor or nutritionist about whether a probiotic supplement is appropriate and see if they can recommend an allergy-friendly brand.  If they don’t know of a particular brand, do your research, check labels, call the manufacturers and then discuss what you find with the doctor to decide upon the most appropriate one.


Readers, do your children with food allergies take a probiotic supplement? Have you found an allergy-friendly kind? Has it been helpful for your child?


- Mallory


Photo source: Flickr User

Is There a Fiber Supplement for Kids with Allergies?

Posted 8.11.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Child Holding Empty GlassWe’ve written a few blogs in the past relating to fiber and prebiotics. One of them discussed what fiber is, and why it’s good for us and another touched on prebiotic fiber. In a previous blog that I wrote, I mentioned that I decided to supplement my all-Neocate diet with fiber. If you feel your child might benefit from a fiber supplement, we have some tips to help you choose the right one!

Know what your child needs

Before exploring the options, make sure to check with your child’s health care team to be sure that additional fiber is needed. As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, fiber can help to improve gut health. For many folks, adding fiber can mean being more “regular,” which would be a decrease in constipation, diarrhea, or both. Your child’s health care team will consider the symptoms your child has, his or her medical condition, the amount of fiber he or she is getting, and whether or not more fiber might be helpful. Nutricia already has the only amino acid-based formula with fiber (Neocate Junior with Prebiotics), which can help meet your little one’s fiber needs.

Know what’s available

Fiber comes in MANY different forms, and is found in a variety of foods. The best sources of dietary fiber are fruits, vegetables, beans (or “legumes”), nuts, and whole grains. However, many children on an elemental diet are limited in one or more of these food groups. They may be especially limited in processed foods, or foods that might include fiber but also have an allergen (such as whole grain bread, which can often have dairy or egg ingredients). Again, be sure to check with the health care team to see if the foods your child is eating meet his or her fiber needs.

While there is a lot of variety in the types of fiber in whole foods, the types of supplemental fiber tend to be an isolated single type of fiber. For instance, many fiber supplements are bran-based. They use the outer husk of a grain to provide both soluble and insoluble fiber. Since insoluble fiber tends to speed digestion along, it may not be the best choice.

Another common form of fiber supplement is an isolated fiber, either soluble or insoluble fiber. Soluble fiber dissolves easily, so it mixes well into Neocate Junior, E028 Splash, or Neocate Nutra. It can help slow movement through the gut, and can help add bulk to stool. This is the type of fiber we include in Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. Many of these isolated fiber supplements are inulin, which is derived from the root of the chicory plant, which poses low risk for most children with allergies.

Know what questions to ask

One of the best questions to ask is what the source of the fiber is. For children with a wheat allergy, a fiber source which is derived from wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oat might not be appropriate. For those, a parent should look for a “gluten-free” claim or contact the company for more information.

Some fiber supplements carry the label “non-allergenic” or “hypoallergenic.” It’s always best to contact the company and ask them exactly what they mean with these terms. Also be sure to ask what the source of the fiber is and whether or not the product poses any risks for your little one’s specific allergies or sensitivities.

If your child’s health care team recommends supplementing fiber, make sure to ask how much to add and how to start using it. It’s best to introduce more fiber to the diet slowly and increase it gradually instead of adding the full dose all at once. This gives the body time to adjust to the change. Fiber should also be spread out throughout the day.

Do you have questions about choosing the right fiber supplement?  Let us know in the “Comments” section below.

- Rob


[Image Source – D Sharon Pruitt]

Video: How to Mix Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla

Posted 4.19.12 | Nutrition Specialist

Many Moms and Dads come to us with questions about how to properly mix Neocate products.  This is why in addition to the preparation instructions on our website, our nutrition specialists have created videos explaining how to properly mix Neocate products for our blog and NeocateUS YouTube channel

We are excited to share with you our most recent mixing video for Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla.   

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla 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 many children 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.

Also, if you’re interested, we have different vanilla recipes in our Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla cookbook!

Have you tried Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Vanilla?  Do you find this video helpful? What other mixing videos would you like to see? Let us know by posting a comment in the comment section!


Neocate Product Series – Neocate Junior with Prebiotics

Posted 5.1.12 | Nutrition Specialist

Today, as part of our Neocate Product Series, we will take a look at Neocate Junior with Prebiotics.  As you saw in our previous series posts about Neocate Infant DHA ARA, Neocate Nutra, Neocate Juniorand  E028 Splashwe will be taking a look at the product description, preparation instructions and the nutrient/ingredient profile.

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics is a nutritionally complete, powdered amino acid-based medical food for children over the age of one for the dietary management of cow milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance(MFPI) and food-allergy-associated conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD), eosinophilic esophagitis(EoE), short bowel syndrome(SBS), malabsorption and other GI disorders.

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics contains prebiotic fiber to help promote digestive health and extra vitamins and minerals especially helpful for children with GI-related malabsorptive conditions.  Also, it is available in unflavored and vanilla, which happens to be the first and only flavored amino acid-based medical food with soluble prebiotic fiber!

How to prepare Neocate Junior with Prebiotics

How much Neocate Junior with Prebiotics you give your child should be determined by a healthcare professional and is dependent on the age, body weight and medical condition of the patient. 

For oral or tube feeding:

  1. Measure the required amount of warm or cool water into a container.
  2. Add the prescribed amount of Neocate Junior to the water.
  3. Cover and shake until the powder has dissolved.

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics is best served chilled.  Once prepared, the formula should be stored in a refrigerator and kept no longer than 24 hours from the time of preparation.  Shake or stir Neocate Junior with Prebiotics immediately before use.

The recommended dilution is 30 kcal/fl oz.  This can be achieved by mixing the following amounts of powder and water.  The scoop provided weighs 8.2 g.

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics Powder

Amount of
Water to Add

Final Volume


3 scoops or 24.6 g

3.5 fl oz

4 fl oz

6 scoops or 49.2 g

6.5 fl oz

8 fl oz

18 scoops or 147.6 g

20 fl oz

24 fl oz


4 scoops or 32.8 g

4 fl oz

5 fl oz

7 scoops or 57.4 g

7.5 fl oz

9 fl oz

20 scoops or 164 g

21 fl oz

25 fl oz


Store unopened can at room temperature.  Once opened, reseal can and store in a cool, dry place (not in a refrigerator) and use within one month of opening.

Nutrient and Ingredients profile

Nutrients Per 100 kcal






Protein Equivalent, g



Fat, g



Carbohydrate, g



Fiber, g



Linoleic Acid, mg





Vitamin A, IU (mcg RE)

250 (75)

261 (78.3)

Vitamin D3, IU (mcg)

43.5 (1.1)

45.3 (1.1)

Vitamin E, IU (mg a TE)

1.7 (1.1)

1.7 (1.1)

Vitamin K, mcg


4 .2

Thiamine, mg



Riboflavin, mg



Vitamin B6, mg



Vitamin B12, mcg



Niacin, mg



Folic Acid, mcg



Pantothenic Acid, mg



Biotin, mcg


2 .1

Vitamin C, mg



Choline, mg



Inositol, mg





Calcium, mg



Phosphorus, mg



Magnesium, mg



Iron, mg



Zinc, mg



Manganese, mg



Copper, mcg



Iodine, mcg



Molybdenum, mcg



Chromium, mcg



Selenium, mcg



Sodium, mg



Potassium, mg



Chloride, mg






Corn Syrup Solids (53%), Fractionated Coconut Oil (8%), Canola Oil (8%), High Oleic Safflower Oil (8%), L-Arginine (2%), L-Glutamine (2%), L-Lysine L- Aspartate (2%), and less than 2% of each of the following: Tripotassium Citrate, L-Leucine, L-Phenylalanine, Calcium Phosphate Dibasic, Fructooligosaccharide , Inulin, L-Proline, L- Valine, Glycine, L-Isoleucine, N-Acetyl-L-Methionine, Tricalcium Phosphate, L-Threonine, Mono And Diglycerides, L-Histidine, L-Serine, Sodium Chloride, L-Alanine, Magnesium Acetate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosine, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono & Diglycerides, M-Inositol, L-Ascorbic Acid, L-Cystine, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, DL-Alpha Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phylloquinone, D-Biotin, Vitamin D3,Cyanocobalamin.


Corn Syrup Solids (45%), Refined Vegetable Oil (Palm Kernal and/or Coconut Oil (7%), Canola Oil (7%), High Oleic Safflower Oil (7%)), Sugar (8%), L- Arginine (2.4%), L-Glutamine (2.3%), L-Lysine L-Aspartate (2%), and less than 2% of each of the following: Tripotassium Citrate, L-Leucine, L-Phenylalanine, Calcium Phosphate Dibasic, Fructo-oligosaccharide, Inulin, L-Proline, L-Valine, Glycine, L-Isoleucine, N-Acetyl-L- Methionine, Calcium Phosphate Tribasic, Artificial Flavors, L-Threonine, L-Histidine, L- Serine, Mono and Diglycerides, Sodium Chloride. L-Alanine, Magnesium Acetate, Choline Bitartrate, L-Tryptophan, L-Tyrosine, Diacetyl Tartaric Acid Esters of Mono & Diglycerides, M-Inositol, L-Ascorbic Acid, L-Cystine, Artificial Sweetener: Sucralose, Propylene Glycol Alginate, Taurine, Ferrous Sulfate, L-Carnitine, Zinc Sulfate, DL-a-Tocopheryl Acetate, Niacinamide, Calcium D-Pantothenate, Manganese Sulfate, Cupric Sulfate, Thiamine Chloride Hydrochloride, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Acetate, Folic Acid, Potassium Iodide, Chromium Chloride, Sodium Molybdate, Sodium Selenite, Phylloquinone, D- Biotin, Vitamin D3, Cyanocobalamin.


Neocate Junior – Neocate Fan Favorite Election

Posted 10.10.12 | Nutrition Specialist

 Hi everyone, I’m Neocate Junior, candidate for the upcoming Neocate Fan Favorite election!  

I am a hypoallergenic, 100% free amino acid-based, and nutritionally-complete medical food for children age 1-10!  I provide an excellent source of nutrition for kids with food allergies and related gastrointestinal conditions. I can be used as the sole source of nutrition or as a supplement to a limited diet!

Best of all, I come with or without prebiotic fiber and I’m available in 4 different flavor varieties!

Say NO to allergens! Say NO nutritional inadequacy! And say NO to boring flavors! Vote for me, Neocate Junior, for the Neocate Fan Favorite election!

-I’m Neocate Junior and I approved this message

Coming Soon: Neocate Junior With Prebiotics Strawberry Flavor

Posted 2.25.14 | Nutrition Specialist

We are very excited to announce the launch of Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, STRAWBERRY in the United States! Strawberry is a flavor that kids love! This great tasting new product will be available starting March of 2014! Our strawberry flavor is a NEW addition to our existing and popular Neocate Junior with Prebiotics product line, which includes options in great tasting Vanilla or Unflavored.
The new Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is a powdered medical food for individuals over the age of one year. It is indicated for the dietary management of cow and soy milk allergy, multiple food protein intolerance, eosinophilic esophagitis, short bowel syndrome and conditions of gastrointestinal tract impairment and malabsorption requiring an elemental diet. Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry will be available as a powder in 14.1 oz cans.
Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry is coming soon! Over the course of the next several weeks, we will be sharing more information on this great tasting new product online at, including details on how to purchase it. Stay tuned for more information soon. 
Nutricia looks forward to bringing you the best clinical nutrition products. For more information on Neocate Junior with Prebiotics, Strawberry and our family of amino acid-based medical foods, please visit or call our Customer Service Department toll-free at 1-800-365-7354, Monday - Friday, 8:30 am - 7:00 pm EST. 
UPDATE: Neocate Junior with Prebiotics in Strawberry Flavor is now live and available. Learn more.

Neocate Junior with Prebiotics

Posted 3.25.14 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

Families ask every now and then: What’s the difference between Neocate Junior and Neocate Junior with Prebiotics? Which one should I choose?

Main Differences

The key differences between these two products are basic. One version has added prebiotic fiber, the other does not (more on prebiotics below). They are also available in different flavors. Neocate Junior (without added fiber) is available in Unflavored, Chocolate, and Tropical flavors. Neocate Junior with added prebiotic fiber is available in Unflavored, Vanilla, and Strawberry flavors. We offer multiple flavors of each version to give our customers options. For children especially, growing evidence suggests they may leave less in their cup if given a choice between flavors.(1)

Benefits of Prebiotics

The next logical question is ‘Which version of Neocate Junior is right?’ There are a few things to consider about fiber, and parents and caregivers should always discuss this with the healthcare team.

1) Most children don’t meet their fiber recommendations.(2,3) This data is based on children with typical diets, who don’t need a formula like Neocate. For those on a more restricted diet, meeting fiber needs is often even more difficult.

2) Similar to fiber in our diet from fruits, vegetables, nuts and whole grains, added prebiotic fiber may help support normal bowel function.(4,5) Part of what we consider "normal bowel function" is regularity, and regularity can be an occasional problem for those who depend on elemental formula.

3) Added fiber has been suggested for individuals who depend on elemental formula, like Neocate, for long periods of time.(6)  In fact, recent research into children who require amino acid-based nutrition found them to be at risk for low fiber intake.(7) As healthcare teams look to help their patients meet fiber recommendations, a formula like Neocate Junior with Prebiotics that already has fiber added offers a simple solution!

After hearing about the benefits of prebiotic fiber, some families ask us when someone might not choose Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. For most individuals, a formula with added prebiotic fiber is probably a better option, unless they prefer the Tropical or Chocolate flavor. However some individuals have rare conditions or follow restricted diets in which certain types of fiber should be avoided. Again, it’s best to discuss this with the healthcare team.

What questions do you have about prebiotic fiber?


1. Brandt KA, et al. J Acad Nutr Diet. 2013;113:A-95.
2. Butte NF, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 2010;110:S27.
3. Hampl JS, et al. J Am Diet Assoc. 1998;98:1418.
4. Saavedra JM, et al. Br J Nutr. 2002;87S2:S241.
5. Waligora-Dupriet AJ, et al. Int J Food Microbiol. 2007;113:108.
6. Girten M, et al. In: Eosinophilic Esophagitis. 2011:323.
Robbins KA, et al. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2014;134:1463.

Neocate Syneo Infant – NEW Hypoallergenic Formula for Food-Allergic Infants

Posted 11.1.16 | Neocate Admin

We are excited to announce the launch of the latest addition to the Neocate line of products: Neocate® Syneo™ Infant. This is the first and only hypoallergenic formula with prebiotics and probiotics, specifically designed for food-allergic infants.

Who Is This Formula For?

Neocate Syneo Infant is specially formulated for the dietary management of infants with cow milk allergy (CMA), multiple food allergies (MFA) and related GI and allergic conditions, including food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and gastroesophageal reflux. Neocate Syneo Infant is specially formula - a medical food, to be exact - and should only be used under medical supervision. It's important to always contact a healthcare professional before making any changes to your baby's diet.

To learn more about the product, please go to

Prebiotics vs Probiotics – Part 1

Posted 12.20.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Many people are confused about the differences between prebiotics and probiotics. Do you think they mean the same thing? I know I thought that for a while! Which one is better for me? How do I know if I have a prebiotic or a probiotic? We'll have a series of two blog posts that will help to define prebiotics and probiotics and explain why it may be beneficial to have both! This first post in the series covers prebiotics, with an "E"!

So, what are prebiotics?

Prebiotics, sometimes referred to as “prebiotic fibers,” are non-digestible fibers that act as a food source for the bacteria that naturally live in our gastrointestinal (GI) tract. You can think prebiotics as fertilizer for “good” gut bacteria. Examples of prebiotics that you may see on food labels include inulin, fructo-oligosaccharides (FOS) and polyols, including lactulose (1).

Prebiotics can also be found naturally in many foods including human breast milk, whole grains, bananas, garlic, onions, artichokes and honey. This list is not all-inclusive but will give you an idea of what foods contain prebiotics. Of note, it is ok to cook foods that contain prebiotics without losing many of the benefits of prebiotics.

While everyday foods – fruits, vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds – contain fiber, we tend to think of prebiotics as specific fiber-like ingredients that are added to foods or formula. Many different everyday foods now have prebiotics added, and some nutritional formulas have prebiotics added. Prebiotics can also be taken as a supplement to the diet, for example a powder that you stir into foods or beverages.

How do you define prebiotics?

While all prebiotics act like fibers, not all fibers are prebiotics. Here is a list of characteristics that have been used to define which molecules are prebiotics: (2)

  1. a non-digestible food ingredient (meaning that our digestive enzymes can’t break it down)
  2. that beneficially affects the host (that’s us!)
  3. by selectively stimulating the growth and/or activity of one or more of a limited number of bacteria in the colon that can improve the host health

So, in essence a prebiotic is something that we add to food or nutritional formula for the benefits it offers. The benefits come from the fact that only certain “good” gut bacteria tend to digest the prebiotic, meaning that they grow and thrive while other less-helpful bacteria may be crowded out.

Why should I consider taking prebiotics? How will it benefit me?

While prebiotics are basically different types of fiber, not all fiber is the same. Various prebiotics have been shown to have a variety of health benefits (3,4). Prebiotics may help to support normal bowel function. Some studies have also shown that certain prebiotics may help with nutrient absorption, such as the absorption of calcium. And some prebiotics can help to support normal levels of “good” gut bacteria if those levels are low for some reason.

Since most prebiotics can be found in small amounts as part of the fiber in the foods we eat, you are probably already getting prebiotics in your diet and don’t even know it! So if you’re eating your fruits and veggies, you’re already getting the benefits of prebiotics!

People who take prebiotics might have low amounts of fiber in their diet, or might be looking for specific benefits. The best thing to do if you have questions about the possible benefits of prebiotics is to talk to your healthcare team. They can help you to understand the possible benefits of adding prebiotics to your diet, and may be able to help you choose the best source or type.

Why are prebiotics in some nutritional formulas?

For breast-fed infants, breast milk naturally contains molecules – human milk oligosaccharides (HMOs) – that behave like prebiotics. They are essentially a form of fiber that supports certain types of bacteria. Multiple health benefits have been attributed to HMOs for breastfed infants. For this reason, many infant formulas have added prebiotics to try to bring some similar benefits to those seen with HMOs. The prebiotics added to various infant formulas are:

  • Short-chain fructooligosaccharides (scFOS, a.k.a. fructooligosaccharides)
  • Long-chain fructooligosaccharides (lcFOS, a.k.a. inulin)
  • Galactooligosaccharides (GOS)
  • Polydextrose (PDX)

The diets of typical toddlers, children and teenagers contains foods that are sources of fiber. When the diet is supplemented with a formula or made up of mostly or only formula, the level of fiber in the diet is often lower. Choosing a formula with added prebiotics can make up for some of the lower fiber in the diet. The prebiotics added to various nutritional formulas for children include:

  • scFOS
  • lcFOS
  • resistant starch
  • pectin

In the Neocate family of products, Neocate Syneo Infant (for infants) and Neocate Junior with Prebiotics (for children) are the two formulas that are supplemented with prebiotics. Both formulas contain scFOS and lcFOS, but in different amounts and in different ratios.

Now that you've learned about prebiotics, check out the second post in this two-part series about probiotics, with an "O"!
What questions do you have about prebiotics?


Ellen Sviland-Avery joined the Nutricia team during the summer of 2014. She has extensive experience in pediatrics, metabolics and tube feeding. Prior to coming to Nutricia, she worked in home infusion. She has been a registered dietitian for more than 12 years. Her passion in pediatric nutrition started when she was in Birmingham working with children with neurodevelopmental disabilities and has continued throughout her career.

1. Slavin J. Nutrients. 2013;5(4):1417-1435.
2. Gibson GR. J Nutr. 1999;129(7 Suppl):1438S-41S.
3. Saavedra JM, et al. Br J Nutr. 2002;87S2:S241.
4. Waligora-Dupriet AJ, et al. Int J Food Microbiol. 2007;113:108.

Which should I choose: Neocate Junior or Neocate Splash?

Posted 4.19.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Originally posted 04/19/16, Updated 09/11/17

Choosing the right formula when you have several options can sometimes be a difficult decision.

In the Neocate range of products for children over 1-year-old, you certainly have options! The Neocate Junior and Neocate Splash products are very similar, with a total of 10 (TEN!) options.

So how do you know which is the best option for you or your child?

In this post, we’ll walk you through some of the differences between these products, which might help you with this decision. As always, consult your healthcare team before making any formula switch, or if you or your child are ready to start using one of these formulas.

Supplement or Sole Source?

For some children, a Neocate product is used as a supplement to the diet, whereas for other children it is the sole or primary source of nutrition (meaning little or no nutrition comes from “regular” foods). If you’re not sure whether you or your child will use a Neocate product as a supplement or a sole source of nutrition, ask your healthcare team!

(Healthcare professionals can help here, as nutrient needs are different for every person, and vary based on age, weight, activity level, and medical conditions).

Neocate Junior and Neocate Splash products both provide some of every nutrient. Technically, any one of these products can meet 100% of a child’s nutrient recommendations. The healthcare team should help decide which product is the better fit.

Formula Format

Are you looking for a formula that doesn’t require mixing? If so, then Neocate Splash may be a better fit. Neocate Splash comes in a convenient drink box and do not require adding water or mixing before consuming, just shake well! Another convenience? No refrigeration required before opening.

On the other hand, if mixing formula isn’t a problem, our Neocate Junior products may be a better choice. This product is also ideal when you’re traveling and want to carry a lot of formula in a little space. In some cases, a healthcare team may recommend that you have formula that’s more concentrated (e.g. when someone can’t consume a large volume of formula at once). In that case, Neocate Junior products can be concentrated, by adding less water based on the healthcare team’s guidance.

In some cases, families find that both products fit into their lifestyle! Neocate Junior products work well in the home, and Neocate Splash products are helpful on the go.

Flavor Variety

What flavor does your child prefer? Both formulas come in a variety of flavors because we want you to be able to find one that works best for you and your child! In some cases, you may be able to use a few flavors to help with variety. Here’s a rundown of the flavor options:

Fiber, Fiber, Who Wants Fiber?

Fiber is an important part of a typical diet. However, many people who need Neocate have very few foods in their diet that are sources of fiber. For that reason, we offer Neocate Junior with Prebiotics. Are you not sure if you should choose a Neocate product with or without prebiotic fiber? Your healthcare team can help! Here’s the breakdown of which Neocate products contain fiber for children older than 1 year:

We hope this has helped you choose which Neocate product may be best suited for your child’s nutrition needs!  If you have any questions, contact your healthcare professional to help you decide. For questions about Neocate products, please contact our Nutrition Specialists at 1-800-Neocate.

How did you decide which Neocate product(s) were the best fit for you?


The gut microbiota and its link with food allergies

Posted 1.18.18 | Nutrition Specialist

Lately, we can’t seem to get away from talk about microbes. With terms like good bugs, bad bugs, fermented foods, probiotics, antibiotic resistance being used often – it’s enough to make your head spin! The good news is, we’re learning more and more on these topics and our knowledge is growing. With so much information available around you, where do you start? Let us help you out with some basics on these topics.

What is the gut microbiota?

The best place to start in answering this question is to define the word “microbiota.” Simply put, a microbiota is the community of microbes in a given area. Microbes include bacteria, viruses, and other very small (‘micro’) organisms. When it comes to humans, bacteria usually come to mind when we think about microbes. Bacteria are incredibly diverse, and almost every type of environment on earth can support certain bacteria. Bacteria are basically everywhere!

In fact, trillions of bacteria live with humans. The number of bacteria in and on a human body can outnumber human cells by up to 10 times, because they’re so small and numerous.

By far, most of the bacteria that live with humans are in the digestive tract. These bacteria are part of the gut microbiota. Types and amounts of bacteria change as you go through the digestive tract. The large intestine, or colon, has the most density and diversity of bacteria in the entire human gut.

The bacteria in our guts are extremely diverse. Just like fingerprints, the composition of your gut microbiota is unique to you (although we share some similar features). You have unique amounts and types of bacteria in your gut and, unlike fingerprints, the gut microbiota can change because the types and amounts bacteria shift over time.

Gut bacteria are very complex, but most are harmless. We sometimes think of certain ones as “good” (beneficial bacteria) and others that can be potential pathogens if the circumstances are right as “bad.” Some factors that impact the bacteria in our gut include genes, age, environment, health, antibiotics, and diet. This is why your gut microbiota can and do shift over time.

How is the gut microbiota important?

A long time ago, medicine didn’t think much of bacteria. In fact, there was a time when it was believed they were mostly harmful, or at least not helpful. Times sure have changed! We’ve learned a lot about the importance of gut microbes in both gut and immune health. The gut microbiota plays an important role in the normal function of the body, including:

  • Helping the body digest certain foods
  • Producing some vitamins
  • Defending against harmful pathogens
  • Playing a role in metabolism
  • Sending signals to the immune system

Since the gut microbiota can shift, and it’s composed of a range of “good” and “bad” bacteria, the more balanced the gut microbiota is - with more “good” microbes - the better it can perform the above roles in the body.

The gut microbiota is important in early life. In fact, the gut microbiota is more flexible in the first few years: It isn’t until about three years of age that the gut microbiota becomes relatively stable. The types and amounts of microbes in the gut in those first few months and years are influential, and have been linked to later health.

The development of a “healthy” and balanced gut microbiota in infancy is a key episode in early life. It’s hard to define what a “healthy” gut microbiota is, but the goal for infants is what the gut microbiota typically looks like for healthy, breastfed infants. For those infants, a balanced gut microbiota is typically dominated by bifidobacteria. Breast milk can be a source of bifidobacteria for breastfed infants, and provides nutrition that supports the growth of bifidobacteria.

What can happen if the gut microbiota isn’t in balance?

This has been tough to answer because gut microbes are so diverse, unique, and can shift. However, a growing body of research highlights the link between health and the gut microbiota. Scientists came up with a clever way to explore this. They’ve looked at the gut microbiota of infants and watched the health of the infants as they grew up. This let them look for clues that could link gut microbes with various health conditions.

Scientists have looked at lots of different health conditions, but we’re going to focus on the link between the gut microbiota and allergies. Here is a summary of some of what the research has found:

  • A link between the gut microbiota in infancy and later food allergies
  • A link between the gut microbiota in infancy and some later food allergic conditions
  • A link between the gut microbiota in infancy and atopic dermatitis later in childhood

This body of research suggests that imbalances in the gut microbiota - a.k.a. “gut dysbiosis” - in early infancy may come before immune conditions, including food allergy and atopic dermatitis. It’s important to note that we don’t yet know the full extent of the link between the gut microbiota and these allergies. For example, we don’t know if one can cause the other, or if they just tend to occur together.

How does nutrition influence the gut microbiota?

You might be interested to know that what we eat and drink has a huge effect on the types and amounts of microbes in our gut. The reason is that every microbe has to “eat” – or consume – something. Let’s call this their “food.” Most of the food available to our gut microbes is the leftovers of the foods that we eat. In other words: after our gut digests and absorbs what it can from our snacks and meals, most of the rest is eaten by our gut microbes.

But every microbe prefers specific foods. When the food that a given microbe likes is available, that microbe grows and thrives and is present in high numbers. When that microbe’s preferred food isn’t around, the microbe may be in our gut, but in very low numbers. Many good microbes grow best on various fibers, whereas other microbes might grow well on fat or protein compounds.

For adults, eating a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and whole grains – all sources of fiber – can support a diverse gut microbiota. For infants, research has shown that human breast milk contains fiber-like compounds – human milk oligosaccharides – that support bifidobacteria. Bifidobacteria are the most common gut microbes in healthy, breastfed infants, but are much less common in older children and adults.

The gut microbiota in infants with food allergies

Research has found that infants with cow milk allergy and multiple food allergies can have an imbalanced gut microbiota. That means that there are differences when compared to infants without food allergies. Specifically, infants with cow milk allergy and multiple food allergies have been found to have fewer bifidobacteria in their gut compared with healthy, breastfed infants.

Infants with milk allergy and multiple food allergies who need formula to supplement or replace breast milk must use a hypoallergenic formula. Research with older hypoallergenic formulas found that they helped resolve food allergy symptoms, but didn’t shift the imbalance in gut microbiota.

Neocate® Syneo® Infant is the first and only hypoallergenic formula that is shown to help balance the gut microbiota of food-allergic infants to be closer to that of healthy, breastfed infants. That’s because Neocate Syneo Infant contains both prebiotics and probiotics, specifically designed for allergic infants.

A diagram explaining the difference between prebiotics and probiotics:

Who Is This Formula For?

Neocate Syneo Infant is specially formulated for the dietary management of infants with cow milk allergy (CMA), multiple food allergies (MFA) and related GI and allergic conditions, including food protein-induced enterocolitis syndrome (FPIES), eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and gastroesophageal reflux (GER). It's important to always contact a healthcare professional before making any changes to your baby's diet. Neocate Syneo Infant should be used under medical supervision.

Read more about Neocate Syneo Infant.


Rob McCandlish is a member of the Medical team at Nutricia North AmericaRob McCandlish is a registered dietitian nutritionist (RDN) who joined the Nutricia team in 2010. Rob has years of experience at Nutricia following food allergy research, working with Neocate products, talking with Neocate families and learning about the science behind Neocate and food allergies. Rob has two nephews who both used Neocate for their cow milk allergies!

Nutricia North America supports the use of breast milk wherever possible.

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.