Looking for a top-quality formula for a baby with a sensitive tummy? EleCare and Neocate might both seem like a perfect solution. But there are some small yet crucial differences between them you should know about before placing your order. I’ve tried both and decided to write this EleCare vs Neocate comparison to help you make the best decision for you and your baby.
Problems like milk allergy, lactose intolerance, colics, or reflux are nowadays very common with infants, and resolving them as fast and efficiently as possible is every parent’s priority. But finding the solution that really works is sometimes difficult.
EleCare and Neocate are two of the most popular baby formulas prescribed or recommended to babies with digestive issues – and they surely have many similarities.
Some pediatricians and nutrition specialists even claim they are totally interchangeable. Still, many parents state that one of these formulas worked for them while the other didn’t. How is it possible?
Let’s begin with the main differences between these products.
- 1 Main Differences Between EleCare vs Neocate
- 2 EleCare vs Neocate – The Formulas Compared
- 3 EleCare – In Depth
- 4 Neocate – In Depth
- 5 Elecare vs Neocate Alternatives
- 6 Nutramigen
- 7 Alimentum
- 8 FAQs
- 9 The Verdict
Main Differences Between EleCare vs Neocate
The main differences between EleCare vs Neocate are:
- EleCare contains a little bit less fat and calories, whereas Neocate contains more fat and calories.
- EleCare provides babies with more manganese, zinc, iron, and other minerals, whereas Neocate contains smaller doses of these vital ingredients.
- EleCare does not state to be GMO-free, whereas Neocate boasts to be GMO-free.
- EleCare is usually slightly cheaper, whereas Neocate standardly costs a bit more.
- EleCare contains corn syrup and soy oil, whereas Neocate is free from both.
EleCare vs Neocate – The Formulas Compared
For a fair and sensible comparison (and to avoid any confusion), we’ll be discussing and reviewing only EleCare and Neocate infant formulas (0-12 months) in this article. Before we focus on each of them in detail, let’s summarize the things they have in common:
Both of these products are promoted as hypoallergenic amino acid-based formulas specifically designed for infants with digestive problems. Their unique ingredients can help babies with painful colic or excessive gasses, or even improve their good night’s sleep. Thanks to their rich nutrients, these formulas also perfectly contribute to an infant’s overall wellbeing and growth.
Now let’s explore them one by one in detail:
EleCare – In Depth
EleCare is a popular hypoallergenic formula produced by Abbott Nutrition, a reputable American manufacturer with a long tradition. Besides the infant formula, we’ll be discussing today, Abbott also produces EleCare as a Junior formula intended for babies older than 1 year (it comes with various flavors too).
Both of these products are focused on relieving sensitive tummies from symptoms associated with various food allergies.
Finding out the exact reason for your little one’s digestive problems can be difficult. Moreover, most of these problems are, fortunately, only temporary, so performing rigorous tests might sometimes feel a bit unnecessary. As a result, a good medical formula should ideally accommodate various possible diagnoses and intolerances at once.
EleCare is this kind of an all-rounder – the ingredients it contains are thoughtfully chosen to make the digestion as easy as possible. This formula uses proteins broken down to the tiniest possible particles – the amino acids. This makes it much easier for the infant’s tummy to get the nutrition it needs from the food without excessive effort.
If your baby has problems with lactose, rest assured that EleCare is completely free from any dairy- or lactose-based ingredients. The formula is proven to relieve symptoms of various other food allergies too, which is the main reason why it’s reportedly the most commonly recommended product by American pediatricians.
Of course, EleCare must also ensure that babies get all the standard nutrients, minerals, and vitamins for their healthy development. Its ingredients include vitamins A, D, B, K, and C, folic acid, calcium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, iron, zinc, selenium, and many other important additives.
The formula is also enriched with ARA and DHA, which are linked to brain and eye development.
But besides all these useful ingredients, the formula also contains some less desirable things such as corn syrup, which some parents try to avoid.
Although EleCare claims to contain no soy proteins, it does contain soy oil, which can be problematic too. Also, the product is most likely not completely GMO-free, because otherwise the producer would surely advertise this information as one of its key assets. The formula is reportedly halal, and it is also suitable for tube feeding.
Taste and smell
Modern baby formulas try to mimic the qualities of natural breastfeeding to the tiniest detail. Nevertheless, when it comes to their taste and odor, they usually leave quite a lot to be desired.
This is particularly true for hypoallergenic formulas like EleCare, which use various special ingredients and additives. To put it short, the products usually taste and smell really unappealing – and EleCare is no different.
Some parents state it smells like sour expired milk. Speaking for myself, EleCare’s odor always reminded me of yeast with a pinch of something rotten. What is even worse is the formula’s cardboard-like taste, which is often not tolerated even by the babies themselves.
If you’re dealing with an older baby, you can overcome this problem by choosing a flavored formula or flavoring it yourself by adding a pinch of vanilla extract or some safe fruits. But since we’re focusing on infant formula today, you probably won’t have this luxury.
Packaging and prices
A standard can of EleCare Infant Hypoallergenic formula contains 14.1 oz of the powder. When mixed, this should be enough for about 85 to 95 oz of the final product.
How long does it last? That is highly individual since babies can have very different appetites based on their age, built, health state, gender, and many other factors. Nevertheless, most of the parents report that they use up a can of this formula in about 3-4 days.
Hypoallergenic formulas are, in general, significantly more expensive than their standard counterparts. Their production simply involves many special ingredients, and the approval procedure is more complex for them too.
EleCare is usually praised for being really effective when it comes to various digestive problems. Some parents claim the improvement was visible almost immediately, others warn it requires some patience to see the results.
My personal experience is that it took about 3 to 4 days until my little one has adjusted to the formula and began to show some signs of improvement.
What parents regularly criticize in their reviews is the foul smell and taste of the formula, which we have already addressed earlier. Luckily, my baby didn’t really mind this at all, but I know that many parents struggle with this greatly.
Other common complaints related to this formula include its high price and occasional issues with the consistency of the delivered product (sometimes it apparently arrives too hard, not as fluffy and powdery as it should be). Some babies can also react to the corn-related ingredients in the product.
- Hypoallergenic formula for babies with lactose intolerance, milk allergy, and colics
- Amino-acids based formula (proteins are broken down into the smallest particles)
- There is an infant version (1-12 months) and a junior version (12+ months)
- It contains corn syrup
- It’s full of vitamins and minerals
- The formula is enriched with DHA and ARA
- Efficient relief from various digestive problems
- Full of vital minerals and vitamins
- Completely lactose-free
- Amino acid-based for easier digestion
- Its price is relatively high
- Its taste and smell is not very pleasant
- Corn syrup and soy oil can trigger some reactions
- It’s most likely not completely GMO-free
Neocate – In Depth
Neocate is another popular solution for babies with digestive problems and various related issues such as eczema, colics, restlessness, and so on. The formula is produced by Nutricia – a subsidiary company of the Danone group specializing in therapeutic baby food.
Just like EleCare, Neocate also comes in both Infant and Junior versions. This allows you to stay on the product for much longer if you find it suitable for your baby.
Just like the EleCare formula we’ve explored in detail previously, Neocate strives to provide its users with the most comprehensive and versatile blend of ingredients that suit all types of medical conditions and diagnoses. Besides that, it’s also full of nutrients that allow your baby to grow and thrive.
This is another amino acid-based formula, so it’s perfectly suitable for babies who have issues with natural or hydrolyzed proteins. It’s also completely lactose-free, so if your baby suffers from milk intolerance, this formula should provide the relief you’re looking for.
Moreover, this formula is produced completely away from the environment where standard lactose-based products are made, so cross-contamination is not even possible.
This formula is also full of other good ingredients – there’s a whole range of vitamins, various minerals, and it’s also enriched with ARA and DHA. Most of these nutrients and additives, however, appear here in slightly smaller doses than you’d be able to find in EleCare. On the other hand, Neocate contains slightly more fat and calories, so it might fill your baby up a bit better.
Where I really see the greatest difference is that Neocate claims to be 100% GMO-free. As a parent who tries to avoid any genetically modified ingredients, I was glad to find an alternative like this on the market.
In addition to that, Neocate is also free from corn syrup and soy oils, which is a key difference if your baby has issues with any of these ingredients. EleCare is kosher and halal, and it also has no artificial colors, flavors, or sweeteners in it.
Taste and smell
As we’ve repeatedly discussed above, hypoallergenic formulas are infamous for their specific, almost synthetic-like smell and taste. Neocate is no different, although I personally found it a tiny bit more appealing and milder in comparison with EleCare (but beware that this is probably highly individual).
What I haven’t previously mentioned is that amino acid-based formulas are also specific in their thinner, almost watery texture.
If you’re not used to it, you might feel the urge to add more and more powder into your mixture, but this is completely unnecessary – just stick to the instructions on the box and you’ll be fine. After all – the thinner the formula is, the easier it should be for your baby to process it.
On the other hand – I’ve noticed that my little one initially spitted out more after this formula than he used to before. I’ve read that this could be linked to the different consistency of the formula. Fortunately, it settled down quite fast.
Packaging and prices
Just like EleCare, Neocate is also standardly sold in 14.1 oz cans. However, unless you come across some good deals and discounts, Neocate usually costs a bit more in comparison with EleCare. For the latest price quote click here. If you want a more affordable solution (or you simply want to stock-up), you can also buy Neocate in a convenient 4-can package.
When it comes to resolving colics and food intolerances, Neocate usually works really well.
If you search online, you’ll be able to find dozens of satisfied reviews from parents of babies with milk allergy, egg allergy, lactose intolerance, serious colics, and many other digestive problems, who state this product finally helped them after numerous unsuccessful attempts with other formulas.
After trying both of the formulas in this comparison myself, I must say that I found them equally effective. Honestly, it seemed like my little one hadn’t even noticed the difference. Nevertheless, I personally found Neocate’s smell and taste better, and I was also more pleased with its improved set of ingredients (GMO-free, soy-free, corn-free).
Parents are usually a bit unhappy about Neocate’s higher price, and it’s totally understandable. If your baby needs this premium formula for months or even several years, it will cost you a fortune.
But did you know that your insurance can in some situations cover this formula for you? Although it’s not possible in all cases, it’s definitely worth checking with your pediatrician and the insurance company.
- Hypoallergenic formula for infants with various food allergies and intolerances
- It’s completely dairy- and lactose-free
- It’s also GMO-free and contains no synthetic colorants, preservatives, and artificial sweeteners
- This formula doesn’t contain any soy- or corn-related products either
- There is an infant version (1-12 months) and a junior version (12+ months)
- It contains many minerals, vitamins, ARA, and DHA
- It works great for a wide range of allergies and intolerances
- Full of vital minerals and vitamins
- Completely lactose-free, GMO-free, corn- and soy-free
- Modern amino acid-based formula for the most sensitive tummies
- It’s even more expensive than most of the competition
- Its taste and smell is not pleasant
- It contains slightly smaller doses of minerals and vitamins
Elecare vs Neocate Alternatives
Here are some other popular solutions for babies with sensitive digestion:
Enfamil Nutramigen is another popular formula for sensitive babies. Besides the wide range of vitamins, minerals, and other vital ingredients, this formula is also enriched with a good bacteria called Lactobacillus rhamnosus.
This probiotic helps establish a harmonious and healthy environment in the baby’s intestines and prevents future allergies or intolerances.
Interested to find out more about this product? We’ve discussed this formula further in our Nutramigen vs Alimentum comparison.
Just like EleCare, Similac Alimentum is produced by Abbott Laboratories. This hypoallergenic formula is a popular solution for various types of digestive problems – it perfectly suits babies who struggle to process proteins, and it also provides great relief from painful colics.
It’s also slightly cheaper than some other hypoallergenic formulas, and, as a bonus, it’s also available as ready-to-feed bottles – a perfect solution for traveling families or busy moms.
Here’s our full Similac Alimentum review for more details.
This hypoallergenic formula starts reducing excessive crying due to protein sensitivity within 24 hours. Lactose-free formula has broken down proteins that are easier to digest for babies with food allergies.
Answer: First, wash your hands, as well as all surfaces and tools you are going to use. Then pour the required amount of water into a clean bottle based on the ratio indicated in the manual.
Add about one scoop of powder to each 2 fl oz of the liquid. Put the scoop away. Close the bottle and shake it well. Attach the suction nipple to the bottle and feed the baby.
Answer: Reflux is one of the most common issues babies have to deal with.
Although this problem usually resolves itself naturally as a baby grows, introducing a hypoallergenic amino acid-based formula in nutrition can help a lot. EleCare and Neocate formulas are both standardly recommended to parents of babies suffering from reflux.
Answer: Standardly, it should take only about 48 hours for the first results of relief to show. Nevertheless, sometimes it takes a bit longer for the baby to adjust to the new formula.
We suggest giving it at least two full weeks while watching the development of the baby’s symptoms closely. If you see no results after 14 consecutive days, it may be a good time to try something else.
If you’re looking for the best formula for a baby who suffers from a food allergy or other digestive problems, prepare for a long and often strenuous journey with numerous dead ends.
Nevertheless, there are several really good hypoallergenic Elecare vs Neocate alternatives on the market that might work great for you right from the start. EleCare and Neocate, both highly sophisticated and reliable amino acid-based formulas, are definitely among them.
So, how to choose the one that will work for you better? If you’d ask me, I prefer Neocate. It contains fewer potentially problematic ingredients (no GMO, no corn, no soy, etc.), and I also found its taste and smell less repulsive.
Although it does contain a bit smaller amounts of nutrients and minerals, the difference is too small to pose any real problem. The same applies to its price – although Neocate costs a bit more, I believe that this small difference is worth the improved ingredients.
Curious to learn about some other options you have? Check out our list of The 7 Best Hypoallergenic Formulas currently on the market.