Update 2/16, 4 p.m.: Publisher Pan Macmillan Australia released a statement to 9News.com.au saying that the authors have decided to release a digital version of the book, and therefore, Pan Macmillan will no longer be publishing it.
An Australian cookbook co-authored by celebrity chef Pete Evans, blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Pandarin is being held back from publishing while health officials investigate safety concerns with some of the recipes and suggestions. The book was supposed to be published March 13.
“Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way for New Mums, Babies and Toddlers,” gives recipes and tips for how to put your babies on a Paleo diet. Australia’s Department of Health has (thankfully) raised a red flag about how healthy it could really be to put your kids on a diet without grains or dairy, People magazine reported. The dairy-free aspect is what really set off alarms for health experts–not to mention a recipe for DIY baby formula made from bone broth and chicken liver.
But health officials aren’t just saying it may be ill-advised; they’re actually saying this “nutritional” advice may be fatal for babies.
“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, told Australian 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.”
Health officials are also concerned about the lack of some important nutrients in the diet that infants need. And on the flipside, the recommended meals could cause an overload of other vitamins.
Feeding a baby comes with its own set of rules and restrictions. It’s absurd to think that a diet like the Paleo diet could or should translate the same way to babies as it does in adults. Last year, the New York Times reported on the emerging trend of feeding kids a raw food diet. Doctors were not applauding this practice, citing how a growing child’s nutritional needs and limitations are quite different from those of a grown adult. Kids’ bodies have different capabilities when it comes to processing some foods and nutrients.
There’s a reason healthcare professionals sit down and write up scientifically based guidelines and books on what to feeds your babies and when. It’s alarming to see a celebrity chef and other “experts” with no medical experience trying to capitalize on a popular diet trend and give moms “advice” on how to feed their babies.