Is the Paleo diet dangerous for babies?
The Paleo diet has become a controversial topic as some health and wellness experts have wholeheartedly endorsed the grain-free, legume-free and dairy-free diet, while others disagree.
But, should babies try a Paleo diet?
“A child’s diet should not be restricted unless there are known food allergies or celiac disease, but should be limited in processed foods and sugars,” says Barbara Fine, registered dietician with Advocate Children’s Hospital in Park Ridge, Ill. “Dairy, whole grains, legumes, fruits, vegetables, and lean protein foods are essential for children to receive all of the adequate nutrients needed to grow.”
Australian celebrity chef Paul Evans is an advocate for the diet and has developed a “kid-friendly” Paleo cookbook, sparking heated debate among health and wellness experts.
“In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead,” says Heather Yeatman, president of the Public Health Association of Australia, in a statement.
In the cookbook, traditional formula, which Evans says uses additives and chemicals, are replaced with “Baby Building Broth” made with chicken liver and bone broth.
Yeatman says the recipe contains more than “10 times the safe maximum intake of Vitamin A,” which has been linked to impaired development and stunted growth in infants.
The cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way, was pulled from production by the publisher earlier this month. The authors have announced that they will independently publish a digital version sometime in April.
Fine recommends a variety of foods from each food group following the MyPlate guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture. The model encourages children to fill half the plate with fruits and vegetables, a quarter with lean protein, and a quarter with starch.
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