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Yikes! What the Paleo Diet Could Mean for Baby

ByAnisa Arsenault
Associate Editor
Updated
March 2, 2017
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Image: Johner Images

Some scary health concerns are putting the publication of a new cookbook for new moms, babies and toddlers on hold. Specifically, health officials are worried paleo recipes might actually kill babies.

Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way is the latest cookbook from Australian celebrity chef Pete Evans. It’s a collaboration with mom blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin. Recipes include runny eggs and extra salt, but it’s the bone-broth milk formula that really has people concerned. The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) says it lacks essential nutrients while having way too much of others, like 10 times the amount of vitamin A appropriate for babies.

“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” PHAA president Heather Yeatman tells Australian publication Women’s Weekly. “Especially if [the DIY formula] was the only food a parent was feeding their infant, it’s a very real risk. And [I consider that] the baby’s growth and development could be impaired.”

The paleo diet avoids all grains, dairy and legumes. While this could work for adults, Yeatman warns it’s unsafe for infants. “That’s the really troubling thing: the infant is totally at the whim of their parents when it comes to feeding,” she says. “If the wrong decision is made, they may be seriously affected.”

The cookbook does include a disclaimer in the back:  “Although we in good faith believe that the information provided will help you live a healthier life, relying on the information contained in this publication may not give you the results you desire or may cause negative health consequences.” But at the same time, the forward implies the paleo diet can help prevent birth defects and autism. Sound fishy to you? Publisher Pan Macmillan has delayed the release, originally set for last Friday.

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