Food Allergy Living Blog Tagged Results


“Food Safety, One Pistachio at a Time”

Posted 4.16.09 | Nutrition Specialist

The recent peanut butter and pistachio scares have got me thinking more about food safety lately. Of course, I’m always very cautious of food labels and safety because of the families I work with who are dealing with food allergies on a regular basis. However, it’s easy to forget that food safety is something that affects everyone, and we all need to be careful about checking labels, expiration dates and watching for product recalls.

I came across an interesting editorial the other day in the New York Times. The article, “Food Safety, One Pistachio at a Time,” discusses what the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has done recently with food warnings - and what they still need to work on. As soon as the pistachio contamination was found, the FDA advised consumers to store or throw out all pistachios while they determine what items are truly contaminated. They’re goal they said was to try and stop people from getting sick in the first place, as opposed to waiting until someone is sick or dead before taking action.

While this is good news, the writer points out that for consumers to truly be safe, at a minimum Congress needs to increase the FDA’s staff and recall authority and in the long term, the federal government should establish one agency to coordinate and enforce food regulations.

To read the entire editorial, just click here.

For a food allergy safety update, check out the entry I recently wrote on this topic.

How do you feel about the recent food scandals and regulation issues?

- Nita

Neocate BPA Update

Posted 11.29.11 | Rob McCandlish, RDN


Over the past few years, a lot of attention has been paid to bisphenol A, or BPA – which was commonly used in food packaging.    As we’ve mentioned in previous blog posts, BPA is still out there due to a lack of suitable replacements, though is a lot less common as a result of public concern.  Many manufacturers have been able to remove BPA from their food packaging materials as well as from plastic dishes and containers.  You may have recently seen items like baby bottles and water bottles labeled as being BPA-free.

Even though some of the chatter on this topic has died down, we here at Nutricia still often get questions about whether Neocate packaging contains BPA.  It’s normal for parents of children who use Neocate products to be more aware of things that other parents might not think to look for.  So, we wanted to briefly remind you and any new Neocate parents that the package linings for Neocate products do not contain BPA.

Our first blog on BPA in 2009 discussed the fact that all of the powdered Neocate products are packaged in cans that have a BPA-free lining.  But we still got questions from parents about E028 Splash, the ready-to-feed liquid elemental formula in the Neocate family.  In early 2010 we confirmed in a second blog that Splash is packaged in cartons that have a BPA-free liner.  More great news!

If your little one uses any of the Neocate products, you can rest assured that there is no BPA in the package linings.

- Rob

Allergy Tattoos

Posted 12.5.13 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

How often have you been worried about sending your little one with food allergies out unsupervised? It can be terrifying! We’ve written in the past about allergy alert apparel, such as t-shirts and bracelets. But recently we heard about an idea that we didn’t see coming: allergy tattoos!

The folks at SafetyTat, who developed other write-on tattoos, have come up with very simple, yet very effective tattoos for communicating food allergies. We should clarify: they aren’t permanent! You can see examples of their nut allergy tattoo as well as their general allergy tattoo. Each one has space to write in a short message, which might include a phone number.

The team at SafetyTat suggests that you can apply one of these food allergy tattoos on the first day of school or camp, when sending your little one to a birthday party or picnic, or just in case. We think they’d also be a great idea to use for the first week of day care or for play dates with new friends. Another idea would be to use the general tattoo to notify hospital staff of drug allergies during a hospital stay.

What ideas do you have on when or where you might use one of these clever tattoos?


Image: SafetyTat


Your Hands and Your Baby’s Formula

Posted 1.22.15 | Nutrition Specialist

by Kathleen Smith, RDN, LDN

In your daily rush to take care of your baby along with all your other responsibilities, sometimes we take shortcuts to accomplish everything or just forget about certain safety steps that will decrease your baby's risk of foodborne illness and exposure to allergens.

Germs and allergenic proteins can easily be transferred from hands to formula and food. One of the best ways to help decrease the risk of foodborne illness and allergic reactions is for mothers and caregivers to wash their hands with soap and water before preparing baby formula and food. 

Healthcare providers are concerned about hand washing because of a study by the Food and Drug Administration and Center for Disease Control about the infant formula feeding practices of 1,533 mothers. The study found that over half of the mothers, of even young infants, did not always wash their hands with soap before preparing formula for their babies (1). 

How should you wash your hands?(2)

·         Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.

·         Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Be sure to lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

·         Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the "Happy Birthday" song from beginning to end twice.

·         Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

·         Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Hand-sanitizers will not get rid of food protein residues and do not eliminate all types of germs. Washing hands with soap and water is the best.

When should you wash your hands? (2)

·         Before, during, and after preparing food

·         Before eating food

·         Before and after caring for someone who is sick

·         Before and after treating a cut or wound

·         After using the toilet

·         After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet

·         After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing

·         After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste

·         After handling pet food or pet treats

·         After touching garbage

We hope you find this helpful!


(1) Labiner-Wolfe L, Fein SB, Shealy KR. Infant Formula-Handling Education and Safety. Infant Formula – Handling Education and Safety. Pediatrics 2008; 122; S85

(2) Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Hand Washing: Clean Hands Saves Lives.  Available at: Accessed on July 25, 2014

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Does the Expiration Date Really Matter? Your Neocate Expiration Questions Answered

Posted 11.17.16 | Nutrition Specialist

I am generally a thrifty person.  Re-using or re-purposing old items, hunting for bargains, and attempting to stretch the use of my clothes, household items or even food I have purchased are all common practice for me.  My philosophy in life about finance is that you can always use more money than you have, no matter which socioeconomic category you and your family belongs to. So I might as well get the most enjoyment and use out of the things I have.

When I find something that is nearing, or just past its expiration date the thought “does this expiration date really matter?” passes through my mind every time.  I know many of you have the same thoughts and questions when it comes to Neocate, as I hear this question from those of you who call or email us almost every week. And this makes sense to me. I know Neocate is likely an important part of your little ones’ nutrition, and often times their only nutrition or the only thing that works for them. And it is an important question.

Let me take a few minutes to answer those questions I hear often from parents just like you to help give you a better understanding. 

What Does the Expiration Date Mean?

The expiration date on any product is intended to be the last date when the product should be used. Many times you will see this noted as the expiration date, as it is on the bottom of your Neocate cans with “EXP” followed by a calendar date, or as the “use before” and “best before” date as it is noted at the top of our Neocate Splash drink boxes. 

Many people are surprised to learn that expiration dates are not generally federally required on most foods. In fact, Infant formula is one of the only items required to have a “use by” date according to the FDA regulations. When a date is included, it is required to have a full calendar date including the month, day and year according to the FDA. Some states do have requirements for dating of foods, although those requirements would be unique to that particular state. 

How Are Neocate Expiration Dates Determined?

Here at Neocate, we put customer safety first. We want to ensure your loved ones receive the nutrition they need to grow and thrive when living with food allergies and related conditions. We keep this primary focus in mind when determining the expiration date for Neocate, and actually test our Neocate over the shelf life under a variety of conditions to determine the expiration dates for all of our Neocate products and not just our infant formula, as is required by federal regulation. 

The most important factor considered is ensuring the nutrients are at the levels intended and noted on the label. Some nutrients, and particularly vitamins, naturally break down over time. Because many individuals use Neocate to provide all or most of their nutrition, it is very important that the nutrients are at the levels indicated on the label. Your healthcare team takes this information into consideration when directing you on how much Neocate your loved one should be consuming, and so we conduct extensive testing under a number of conditions to ensure the nutrients will hold up throughout shelf life and through the expiration date.

Other factors that are taken into consideration when companies such as Nutricia determine the expiration date include the durability of the packaging materials and quality of the product over the recommended shelf life. We want to ensure that the cans or drink boxes remain sealed and keep the Neocate inside safe until the expiration date. Neocate quality is also just as important. As ingredients break down this can also affect the smell or taste. As you may know, taste and smell are particularly important to some little ones, so testing is also done to ensure the quality of Neocate is maintained through the expiration date.

How Do I Know if My Neocate is Expired?

This is a question that I get quite often. And there is a lot of information printed on Neocate products, so it is not surprising that many of you wonder this same thing.  The expiration date can be located on the bottom of every can of Neocate. You will find that the expiration date is the full calendar date with a month, day and year after the letters “EXP”. The expiration date is usually the first item listed, but always has “EXP” in front of it. Other dates you might notice is the date of manufacture, which is also a full calendar date and has the letters “MFD” or “MAN” in front of it.

On drink boxes such as Neocate Splash you will find the expiration date noted on the top of each drink box. It is the first date printed, and you will see a printed key just above the date with the “use before” and “best before” dates noted on the key. You may also notice that we list the date as a full calendar date with month, day and year all included.

What Happens If I Use My Neocate After the Expiration Date?

This is a question that I am asked nearly every time someone calls or emails to discuss our expiration dates. With all the factors that we consider when determining the expiration date, we do not test what will happen if someone takes Neocate after the expiration date. This is just something we would not do as we keep you and your loved one's safety in mind first here at Neocate. While the decision is best made by you and your healthcare team, we cannot recommend using any of our products after the expiration date. My best recommendation if you have further questions is for you contact your loved one's healthcare team for more direction.

What questions do you have about Neocate & expiration dates? Let us know in the comments below so we can answer your questions.

-Kristin Crosby

Benefits of Early Epinephrine

Posted 3.9.15 | Rob McCandlish, RDN

We like to share important research that we learn about related to food allergies. Here’s a study we heard about recently through Kids with Food Allergies (KFA) related to the use of epinephrine in cases of food-induced anaphylaxis. You can read KFA’s original post here. You can actually read the full article (for free!) on the website for the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice. For those of you who don’t want to take the time to read it, we’ll be happy to provide a summary!

The primary author, Jude Fleming, MD, is associated with Hasbro Children’s Hospital in Rhode Island. Dr. Fleming and the rest of the researchers examined the association between early use of epinephrine and hospitalization. Basically, they wanted to know if people who get epinephrine sooner in a case of food-induced anaphylaxis end up admitted for a longer stay at the hospital any more or less often. The previous research on this topic had been inconclusive. The research team looked through six years of medical records for patients who came to the emergency department (ED) at Hasbro Children’s Hospital with food-induced anaphylaxis.

The team found 234 cases of patients visiting the ED for food-induced anaphylaxis who received epinephrine at some point. They grouped the patients based on whether they got epinephrine before they arrived to the ED or after. Then they looked at how many patients in each group were admitted for a longer stay at the hospital.

Dr. Fleming and the team found that the patients who got epinephrine before they arrived to the ED were much less likely to be hospitalized. They concluded that it’s better to give epinephrine promptly in cases of food-induced anaphylaxis versus waiting for the epinephrine to be given in the ED.

If you aren’t sure what this means for you or your loved one, make sure to discuss it with your healthcare team.


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Corn Allergy 101

Posted 4.9.15 | Nutrition Specialist

As a Nutrition Specialist here at Nutricia North America, I spend a lot of time talking to patients, parents, and healthcare professionals. Some of the questions I receive most often are “Do Neocate products contain any ingredients derived from corn?” and “Are Neocate products safe for an individual with a corn allergy?” I want to explain a bit more about corn allergy, and then discuss the corn ingredients used in Neocate products.

Corn Protein Allergy

True allergic reactions to corn are rare, and often difficult to diagnose using standard skin or blood tests. True corn allergies are usually the result of the body being unable to tolerate the protein in corn, so you could call them a corn protein allergy. Some individuals seem to have a sensitivity to the carbohydrate in corn, which is even more difficult to diagnose, and not well understood.

Because a true corn protein allergy can be difficult to diagnose through traditional methods, if your allergist suspects a corn allergy, he/she may recommend a food elimination diet in which you avoid corn and any derivatives of corn for a specific period of time (normally two to four weeks). During this time, symptoms will be monitored, specifically to determine if there is an improvement in symptoms while corn is eliminated from the diet.

The next step might be to reintroduce corn foods to your diet to see if symptoms reoccur - this is termed an "oral food challenge," and if you've had severe allergic reactions to food in the past, the allergist may want you to do it in her/his office (called a "supervised trial"). Adding corn foods back into your diet may seem excessive if your symptoms improved on a corn elimination diet, but it's the best, most reliable way to confirm that the corn was the true culprit. If a corn allergy is identified by the allergist, managing the allergy would involve completely avoiding corn and many ingredients derived from corn.

Avoiding Corn

Corn is not among the top eight food allergens in the United States, for which special label information is required by the Food Allergen Labeling and Consumer Protection Act (FALCPA) of 2004. Because corn is not required to be called out on a food label, it is important for an individual with a diagnosed corn allergy to ask the allergist specifically what ingredients to avoid. Some ingredients, which are more refined and contain trace or undetectable amounts of corn protein, may be acceptable for some patients with a corn protein allergy. Ask your allergist for guidance on what corn ingredients to avoid, but here are some common ingredients in foods that are or can be derived from corn:

  • Corn starch
  • Corn syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Vegetable oil
  • Cellulose
  • Caramel

Please note, these are just a few examples and not a comprehensive list of ingredients derived from corn. If you are ever unsure as to whether an ingredient is derived from corn or if you should avoid it, it is best to contact the manufacturer to ask if the ingredient is derived from corn.

Neocate Corn FAQs

Now that we've covered a basic understanding of a corn protien allergy, let’s address these frequently asked questions as mentioned earlier. The primary carbohydrate source in each of our Neocate products is derived from corn:

  • The primary carbohydrate source in powdered Neocate products is corn syrup solids
  • The primary carbohydrate source in liquid Neocate products is maltodextrin (from corn)
  • Both corn syrup solids and maltodextrin are derived from corn starch
  • Maltodextrin is structurally similar to corn syrup solids, with slight differences in the degree of refinement
  • An individual who is intolerant to corn carbohydrates would probably not tolerate either maltodextrin or corn syrup solids better than the other
  • Some of the carbohydrate in liquid Neocate products comes from sucrose (table sugar) that comes from beets, so there is less overall corn-derived carbohydrate in these products compared to Neocate powdered products, calorie-for-calorie

Carbohydrates are essential for life, so carbohydrate ingredients are used in almost every nutritional formula.

  • Formulas that do not contain any carbohydrate are used for rare disorders where extremely specialized diets are needed.
  • Corn-derived carbohydrates are used in nutritional formulas as a carbohydrate source because they offer a blend of both simple and complex carbohydrates.
  • Simple carbohydrates are absorbed rapidly, whereas complex carbohydrates are digested and absorbed more gradually.
  • In Neocate products, the carbohydrates are in balance with amino acids (the protein source) and fat to provide a balanced nutritional profile.
  • No Neocate products are completely free of corn-derived ingredients.

That being said, the carbohydrates used in all Neocate products undergo extensive refinement in a multi-step process that includes purification, distillation and drying. This process is designed to remove impurities, including protein and fat that are naturally present in corn. As proteins are what the body responds to in a typical allergic reaction, this removes the trigger for patients with a corn protein allergy. With that said, we cannot make the claim that our Neocate products are completely “corn protein free.” In order to make such a claim, we would need to regularly test for the presence of corn protein, which we do not do. (At this time, there is no validated lab test for corn protein.)

We cannot say with certainty that Neocate is “safe” for you or your child – that’s a question for your healthcare team. It is important to note that leaders in food allergy diagnosis and management indicate that true corn protein allergy is rare, and find a majority of patients with corn protein allergies tolerate refined corn syrup solids with no allergy symptoms. In practice, these healthcare teams do not counsel patients who are allergic to corn to restrict corn syrup solids from their diet. If you have questions about the safety of the corn syrup solids or maltodextrin in Neocate, it would be best to discuss this with your healthcare team, especially your allergist, to see if they recommend a supervised trial of a corn elimination diet or other testing to see if Neocate is appropriate.

Since we’re on the topic of corn, I figured I would mention two facts that are of importance to many Neocate families. The corn from which Neocate's carbohydrate ingredients are sourced is certified by the suppliers not to be genetically modified. In addition, the corn syrup solids used in Neocate products would not be expected to contain fructose and are not the same as “high fructose corn syrup” or “HFCS”. HFCS is produced from corn starch in which about half of the glucose molecules have been chemically converted to fructose. Many consumers prefer to avoid HFCS for a number of reasons, and we do not use this ingredient in Neocate products.

-Kendra Valle, RDN

Image source: Liz West


Food Allergies and Cross-Reactivity – Do You Have to Avoid Related Foods?

Posted 6.8.17 | Nutrition Specialist


Learning that you or your loved one has an allergy to a food often sparks a long list of questions. One common question that many families have is “If my child is allergic to one item, what else are they allergic to?” Another common question is “Where should I start when either trying new food items or adding foods back into my diet?” If you are facing these questions, you are not alone!! Before we tackle some of these questions, remember: Each of us is unique and there is no substitute for individualized guidance and recommendations from your healthcare team. Now, let’s take a look at something called cross-reactivity to help you get the conversation started with your healthcare team if you are facing these questions.

Finding the Food Allergy?

An allergy to food is allergic reaction, or overreaction by your immune system, to the proteins in the food. For example, many children have a milk allergy, which more specifically is a cow milk protein allergy. The body's immune system "recognizes" that the protein in the food is not the same as the protein in our own body. For most people the immune system is able to ignore these "foreign" proteins. But for people with a food allergy, their immune system mounts a response to that protein.

The proteins found in one food item can be similar to the proteins in other foods, especially related foods. Sometimes the body's immune system cannot tell the difference between the proteins in two foods and has an allergic reaction to both of them. The question becomes, If you are allergic to one food item, will you also be allergic to the protein in a related food? This concept is called “Cross-Reactivity”.  But what does this mean for you?

Food allergies can involve many types of responses; you may get a rash when eating a certain food or it could be life threatening, like anaphylaxis.  The most common immune response in a food allergy is when your body makes something called IgE (immunoglobulin E) antibodies to the protein of the food allergen. This results in a variety of physical reactions or symptoms such as skin itching, hives, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, breathing difficulty such as wheezing or coughing, or the life-threatening reaction called anaphylaxis. 

As you likely well know, diagnosis of food allergies is not an easy process. Experts at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute in New York recommend that diagnosis of food allergies include careful interpretation of a variety of factors including physical examination, skin test or RASTs, detailed patient history, and oral food challenges or elimination diets. No single test on it's own is a perfect predictor of an allergy to a given food. This extensive testing and the possible conflicting results are just one of many reasons why individualized treatment and recommendations are needed, and why there is no substitute for the individual guidance you will receive from your healthcare team.

What is Cross-Reactivity?

So where should you start when either trying new foods or adding foods back into your diet? To help allergists identify related foods of concern, research was conducted into how likely people with a given food allergy are to react to other related foods. This was done using tests that are predictive, but not 100% accurate, so they're just indicators. Family allergists may use this data to help determine what advice to give their patients about where to start when either trying new foods or adding food items back into the diet. (If you really want to read the review of the clinical data, the full reference is noted below.)

In some cases, the data reveals a significant chance of having an allergic reaction (or at least a strongly positive allergy test) to a new food when the protein is related. For example, if you are allergic to cashews, you have a pretty high likelihood to also be allergic to pistachios and/or mango.1 There are many families of foods that may be linked, so it is best to consult with your healthcare provider to determine the extent of your food allergy and the potential for cross-reactivity. As noted above, your healthcare team will offer guidance for you specifically after all the information has been collected and evaluated.

How to Spot Foods That Might Cause Cross-Reactivity?

The table below shows some of the potential cross-reactivity revealed by this research review, and was developed by an allergist at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. Clinicians might use a table like this when determining where you might start when either trying new foods or adding food items back into your diet.

A clinician would look for your known food allergen in the left column. The column on the right gives an indication of the risk that there will be an allergic reaction to one of the foods that are listed in the center column. For example, for a patient allergic to cow milk, the available research shows there is a 92% chance the patient will have a positive allergy test to goat milk, but only a 4% chance of a positive allergy test to mare (horse) milk and a 10% chance of a positive allergy test to beef and beef products. Remember, a positive allergy test is NOT the same as an allergic reaction, but it can help the allergist gauge how likely an allergic reaction is. Depending on the results of the test, the allergist might recommend avoiding the food, may suggest having an in-office food challenge, or they may say that an allergic reaction is very unlikely.

What is the best way to introduce new foods to the diet?

Once your healthcare team has a plan for you, the next step is trying the food items suggested. Again, your healthcare team will likely have a very specific plan for you.  They may say to just introduce the food normally. They may suggest that you try foods at home, starting with a small amount and then waiting a few days before trying the food item again or even moving on to the next food item.

If you have had sever food reactions in the past and/or a test result in the middle of the range, then they may only recommend new foods be tried as an oral food challenge. This should only be done under strict medical supervision (e.g. in a doctor’s office) and involves trials with small amounts of the food causing the allergy or a potential cross-reactive food.  Depending on your results, the healthcare team will guide as you continue to explore and try new food items.

In closing, it's very important to discuss any questions with your healthcare team. A lot of the latest research in food allergies suggests that, for some people, avoiding foods in early childhood may actually INCREASE the likelihood of developing an allergy to that food. So don't make these decisions on your own, but be prepared to ask your healthcare team the questions you have about introducing new foods so that you're prepared with the knowledge you need!

Oringally published  12/22/15 by Ellen Avery, MS, RD, CNSC2.
Updated 6/8/17 by Kristin Crosby MS, RDN, LDN.

Sicherer SH. Clinical implications of cross-reactive food allergens. J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2001;108(6):881-90.




When does Neocate actually expire?

Posted 12.30.11 | Nutrition Specialist

Q: I’ve found a few cans of Neocate at the back of my pantry that I’d forgotten about. The expiration date was last week, but they’re still okay to use, right?

A: We get questions about using Neocate past the expiration date often. Here’s what you need to know:

The expiration date

For our powdered Neocate products you can find the expiration date on the bottom of the can. If you’re looking at a drink box of Splash, you can find the expiration date on the top of the drink box. The expiration dates on the Neocate family of products follow the standard North American format, which is Month/Day/Year. Technically, the product is good to use through midnight on that date.

How are your expiration dates determined?

The expiration date on any product, not just Nutricia products, is based on several factors. One is the integrity of the packaging materials. We want to ensure they will keep the contents fresh until the expiration date. Another is the stability of the ingredients. For instance, some fats lose quality faster than others – think fresh walnuts versus vegetable oil for cooking. We want to ensure that the product is fresh for the full shelf-life.

A related factor is to ensure that the nutrients in the product are going to be present at the levels printed on the label. Many nutrients, particularly vitamins, have a tendency to naturally break down over time, some faster than others. Especially since many children use Neocate to meet their full nutritional needs, it’s very important that the right amount of each nutrient is in the product. We conduct extensive testing under a number of conditions to ensure that the nutrients hold up until the expiration date.

What we recommend

The ultimate intent of an expiration date is to ensure our customers receive quality products containing the nutrients they're supposed to. We cannot recommend using any of our products past the expiration date. Period!

If you have further questions about this, we’d recommend discussing this with your health care team. It may help to provide them with the above information to get their informed opinion.

17 Products with Hidden Dairy Ingredients

Posted 4.14.16 | Nutrition Specialist

Grocery shopping for a family with food allergies can be extremely challenging. It’s even more difficult when you are shopping for someone with a cow milk allergy because dairy ingredients can get lost in the food labels.

It’s very important to know where dairy is hiding. The FDA labeling laws require that foods containing milk must be labeled that they “contain milk.” This has to appear near the list of ingredients. However, several food and non-food products are not covered by FDA labeling laws, and small-batch “local” food producers aren’t always aware of the law. For that reason, it is extremely important to know how to read labels for milk products. Below are several products that you might not have realized contain milk that you should be on the lookout for:

Store-bought crackers- Several brands of store-bought crackers contain butter and/or milk powder. Make sure to check the ingredient label to be safe!


Granola mixes- Before picking up a granola mix, make sure the mix does not contain any butter. You can find granola mixes that are oil-based and do not contain any dairy. It’s always the safest to make granola mixes yourself so you know exactly what is in them.


Canned tuna- Several brands of canned tuna have casein in them, which is a milk protein. You might not think it, but some canned-tuna brands include hydrolyzed caseinate to enhance flavor.


Instant potatoes- It’s very important to read the ingredient label of instant mashed potatoes! Several manufacturers add butter and milk before they dehydrate the potato mix.

Flavored chips- The flavoring that is added to potato chips may contain milk. To avoid this hidden dairy ingredient, we recommend snacking on regular chips or completely eliminating them.


Deli meats- Meat manufactures often use the same slicers for meat and cheese products. The deli meats also sometimes contain casein, which is a milk protein.


Broths and stocks – Some brands include milk proteins or solids into their mixes. This applies to both ready-to-use versions as well as dry and canned bouillon.


Medications and vitamins- When checking the labels, watch out for ingredients that contain milk proteins like whey.


Beauty products – This is a big category. Items that you use on a regular basis like shampoo, conditioner, soap, makeup, etc. may contain milk. While you need to ingest these proteins to trigger an allergic reaction, using products that contain these ingredients topically (i.e you’re your skin) might spark a skin reaction,  like a rash or hives, for some people with a cow milk allergy.

Other items we came across in our searches that have popped up with the potential to contain milk proteins:

  • Dustless chalk
  • Chewing gum
  • Bread
  • Ready-to-eat meals
  • Instant iced-teas
  • Instant coffee/hot chocolate
  • Latex items, like gloves
  • Nail polish

To help you find hidden milk ingredients, here’s a great chart that Kids with Food Allergies put together. It provides a comprehensive list of terms that can indicate milk-derived ingredients that you should keep an eye out for on product labels.


If you are uncertain whether or not a product contains milk, it’s always best to call and inquire with the manufacturer of the product. If they are unable to guarantee that the product is dairy free, lean on the side of caution and stay away. And make sure to ALWAYS check: a brand or food that was dairy-free yesterday could change any time!

For more information, check out our comprehensive list of foods with dairy ingredients. We also have a Recipe Booklet full of delicious dairy-free Neocate recipes.

Have you recently found any foods that have hidden dairy ingredients?

Settle Back to School Jitters with Adorable Printables

Posted 7.28.16 | Nutrition Specialist

It’s countdown time to back to school! Can you believe how quickly the summer flew by? Preparing for school is an exciting time. It might sound geeky, but nothing beats getting brand new school supplies. Although it is a fun and exciting time for some kids, for others, it can be a bit anxious. Fear of the unknown is real and impacts both adults and their children. So how do you deal with the back-to-school jitters?

As parents, we strive to protect our children from harm. We want nothing but the best for them. However, when they leave for the first day of school, children might feel a bit anxious to navigate the school environment on their own. You can help take some of this anxiety off their shoulders with a bit of loving encouragement.

How, you might ask?

One way is by adding a fun, cute or encouraging note into your child’s lunchbox. You don’t even have to be very creative for this one! The beauty of the internet is that you can find printable notes for any age or school stage. We did some initial digging for you and found adorable printables that you might enjoy using this school year.

P.S.: You can even find printable lunch notes for your significant others!

Jitter Glitter for Night Before School Starts

The first day of school incites nerves for many young students, but including a jitter glitter card might help relieve some of that anxiety. This idea comes from a very creative teacher that sends little care packets to her future students to help deal with school jitters.

First Day of School - Photo Ops

Photo opportunities for the first day of school have become increasingly popular. A cute and easy way to remember how your child grows over the years is by taking a picture of them on their first day of school. By making this photo a special event, you can help your child focus on the fun activity of taking a picture, rather than feel anxious about what’s to come.

Chalkboard Printables

20 Additional First Day of School Printables

Not a fan of signs? No problem! Check out this clever idea from The Journey of Parenthood. This mom printed a t-shirt with the year of her son’s graduation date and plans take a picture of him in it every year on the first day of school to capture the milestone in a photo.

Backpacks and Lunch Boxes

To ensure your child's safety during lunchtime at school, try printing food labels that remind them, and others, of the kinds of foods they can and cannot have. 

Here’s just an example of some unique labels we found:


This website offers coloring sheet ideas for backpacks, lunchbox love notes and much more!

Allergy Cards

Last, but certainly not least, is remembering to include information about your child’s food allergy. As parents, we always want to protect our children. Realistically speaking, we can do our best to get them ready and armed with education to deal with situations that might arise. When it comes to food allergies, remember to pack additional vital items into your child’s backpack. Make sure to review The ABCs of Back to School with Food Allergies and print out an Allergy Card you create with the Neocate Footsteps app:

Neocate Footsteps app.

Do you have a new or favorite back-to-school jitter buster? We’d love to hear about it.

About Us

Food Allergy Living is a resource for parents of children with food allergies, brought to you by Nutricia, the makers of Neocate. For more in-depth information about our purpose & authors, see our About Food Allergy Living page.