Michael offers this "whatever works" hack for making hypoallergenic formula palatable:
Our son, Curious Boy, has Bovine Protein Intolerance and so could not consume anything with any beef, dairy or soy products. My wife breastfed him exclusively until he was about 10 months old. This was tough on her because she had to avoid these foods as well. When it came time to begin the weaning process our choices were limited to either Nutramigen or Alimentum, the only two OTC hypoallergenic formulas available. We went with Nutramigen first because we liked the portability of a powder. The thing is… (and this goes for Alimentum as well) Nutramigen is vile. Like day-old vomit on a pillow. And not cute breastfed baby spit-up. [Cute spit-up? Hmm. — Ed.] Remember when you were 18 (or 16 in my case) and woke up the day after a party that you don’t remember and find your face in a pillow full of puke? Yeah. The stuff is nasty.
Needless to say, the CB refused the formula at first. The hack we found is Nesquik chocolate syrup. It has no dairy or soy. Use tons. Like two tablespoons in a 6oz bottle and spread the syrup on the nipple of the bottle. Once you get your kid taking the formula consistently, you can begin to reduce the amount of chocolate. CB has been taking it for about three weeks and we are down to 1 teaspoon in a 6oz bottle.
I asked Michael if the caffeine in the chocolate posed a problem, and here was his response:
According to our pediatrician, the caffeine in 1 tbsp of Nesquik might have a minor effect on kids, but it is unlikely. Once the amount is reduced, to say 1 tsp, there is no significant effect. It is also a case of balancing potential problems of over-excitement with serious nutritional problems and eating disorders. We haven’t noticed any changes in our son’s behavior.