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The treatment of cows’ milk allergy involves eliminating all cows’ milk protein from the diet1. However, all children require protein for growth and development. Therefore, when cows’ milk protein is removed from the diet, it is important to include a dietary substitute that provides the same nutrition. For breastfed infants, treatment may involve removing cow’s milk protein from the mother’s diet.

Formulas that provide a low allergen (hypoallergenic) dietary substitute can include partially digested or broken down cows’ milk protein, known as extensively hydrolysed protein. Alternatively hypoallergenic amino acid-based formulas can also be used. These contain the basic building blocks of protein (amino acids) and are completely cows’ milk protein free.  To find out more about these types of specialised formulas click here.

Amino acid-based formulas and extensively hydrolysed protein formulas are regarded as hypoallergenic. They provide a well-balanced diet for infants and children with cows’ milk allergy and other allergy induced disorders. These formulas are hypoallergenic and are specially developed for children with cow’s milk allergy to ensure they get all the nutrients required. It is important to note that extensively hydrolysed formulas still contain very small cows’ milk protein fragments. Amino acid-based formulas are 100% free of cows’ milk protein.

If your child has been diagnosed with cow’s milk allergy and is successfully eliminating cows’ milk protein from their diet, then they should be well on the road to recovery. Symptoms, however, may take some time to settle.

It is important to allow time for your baby to adjust to the new feeding regime recommended by your healthcare professional. After commencing a cow’s milk protein free diet, cows’ milk allergy symptoms should improve within 3-14 days2-4*.

First 14 Days Journey Week 1

First 14 Days Journey Week 2


Even when your baby’s symptoms have disappeared, they should continue with a cow’s milk protein free diet for as long as recommended by the doctor or dietitian. If you are worried your child is still experiencing symptoms, it is best to discuss these concerns with your healthcare professional. To learn more about what to expect after being diagnosed with cows’ milk allergy and commencing a cows’ milk protein free diet such as Neocate, register for the First 14 days Support Program.

To help you through the first 14 days we have put together key articles that will assist you in knowing what to expect when using an amino acid formula and getting your baby started on Neocate.  For more information about cows’ milk allergy and other topics related to food allergy, discover our “Understand food allergy” menu and also visit the live food allergy “Blog & News” for up-to-date tools and resources that may help you and your child along their allergy journey.  Alongside this, the First 14 Days Support Program is an email support service that provides you information at key times during the first 14 days of using Neocate as well as tips, tools and resources that you can access to help you along the way.

While it may seem like an impossible task to get your baby started on an amino acid formula, it is important to remember that it is normal to expect some babies may take a little longer than others to get used to the taste at first. It just takes a little patience and persistence from you and your little one.

Persistence is key; Research has shown some babies can take at least 15 tries before they accept a new taste5.  It is important to allow time for your baby to adjust to the new feeding regime recommended by your healthcare professional.

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.


*Important: This information is to serve as a guide only. A cow’s milk protein free diet should only be commenced under the direction of a healthcare professional. If symptoms are unresolved after 14 days, please contact your healthcare professional.

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  1. ASCIA, 2016,  Cow’s milk (dairy) allergy Australasian Society of Clinical Immunology and Allergy, viewed 6 May 2016,
  2. Hill DJ et al. The natural history of intolerance to soy and extensively hydrolyzed formula in infants with multiple food protein intolerance. J Pediatr. 1999; 135:118-121.
  3. Vanderhoof JA et al. Intolerance to protein hydrolysate infant formulas: An unrecognized cause of gastrointestinal symptoms in infants. J Pediatr. 1997; 131:741-744.
  4. de Boissieu D et al. Allergy to extensively hydrolyzed cow milk proteins in infants: Identification and treatment with an amino acid-based formula. J Pediatr. 1997; 131:744-747.
  5. Ventura AK & Worobey J. Current Biology. Early influences on the development of food preferences. 2013; 23(9): R401-R408