When starting Neocate, you might have a lot of questions. To put your mind at ease, we have compiled the top questions we hear from families who are new to Neocate. It is important to note that every baby is different, so if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to contact your healthcare professional or the dietitian on our Nutricia Clinical Care Line.
What is the role of Neocate in the dietary management of food allergy?
Your healthcare professional recommended and prescribed a Neocate product for your child because it was considered the correct dietary choice for managing your child’s condition. Neocate plays an important role in the dietary management of cows’ milk allergy and other allergic conditions and it provides essential nutrients to support normal growth and development of allergic infants and children.
Neocate products are specifically designed to meet the nutritional requirements of infants (from birth to 12 months) and children (12 months and over). It is formulated to be used as a complete source of nutrition or as a supplement to breastfeeding or solid food. The Neocate products are hypoallergenic and contain amino acids, which mean that it is completely free of cows’ milk protein. For this reason the Neocate product range is an effective option in the management of cows’ milk allergy and other allergic conditions.
Why amino-acid formula?
Only amino acid-based formulas are made from 100% non-allergenic amino acids. Amino acid-based formulas (AAF) are classified as hypoallergenic because they do not contain any milk protein or protein fragments which can cause an allergic reaction in sensitive infants and children.
Neocate formulas are all amino acid-based and therefore contain 100% non-allergenic amino acids. This makes the products unlikely to cause an allergic reaction. In addition to the amino acids, Neocate products also contain all of the other essential nutrients that your child will need to grow and develop.
Neocate seems to have a watery consistency, is that normal?
You may have noticed that Neocate formulas seem thinner in consistency than other standard, milk-based formulas and this is because of the type of protein used, amino acids, which causes the consistency to be thinner. Before you make up Neocate for your little one, be sure that you follow the mixing guide on the Neocate can carefully. If your healthcare professional gives you special mixing instructions, please follow their advice instead.
Neocate smells and tastes different, why is that?
Neocate is made with amino acids which have a unique smell and flavour. Some parents report that their baby does not notice the change in taste, whereas other babies have taken a little time to get used to the change in taste. Our top tips to get your baby started on Neocate are:
- Mix Neocate with breast milk or previous formula if possible, then gradually decrease to only use Neocate, or
- Add 1 teaspoon of golden syrup or 1-2 drops of pure unpreserved vanilla essence (contains no sorbate) to 240ml of Neocate for the first few days and then gradually reduce to only use Neocate, or
- If your baby is taking solids, try adding Neocate to suitable foods, for recipe ideas visit the recipe section or use the Neocate Village App
Persistence is key; Research has shown some babies can take at least 15 tries before they accept a new taste (Ventura & Worobey. Current Biology. 2013; 23(9): R401-R408).
If you are concerned that it is taking too long for your little one to adjust to Neocate, please talk to your healthcare professional for guidance.
Can Neocate formula cause changes in bowel patterns?
Neocate is described as elemental, which means the ingredients are broken down to their simplest and purest form so they are easier for the body to process and digest. This is important for allergic children who may experience inflammation and irritation of their digestive system due to their condition. As a result of the elemental nature of Neocate formula, it is perfectly normal to see a change in your baby’s bowel movements while they are using Neocate.
Your baby may experience the following:
- It is completely normal to notice a change in stool colour ranging from green or dark green. This is because of reduced bile digestion, and so more bile ends up in the stool, which makes it greener in colour. Discuss this with your healthcare professional if you are concerned or if stools are black.
- Some babies may have fewer bowel motions while on Neocate, which may cause some parents to worry that their child is constipated. However the frequency of passing a stool is not as important as the consistency of your baby’s stool e.g. if the stool is a hard consistency and your baby struggles to pass a bowel motion, this is suggestive of constipation. Your baby’s bowel motions will often return to normal within a few days once their digestive system adjusts to the formula. Discuss this with your healthcare professional if you are concerned.
Persistence is key – Research has shown some babies can take at least 15 tries before they accept a new taste
If you have any other questions about using Neocate, find more information in the Tips & Resources section or