A paleo cookbook for infants co-authored by My Kitchen Rules chef Pete Evans has been delayed over grave concerns about a recipe for baby formula made from liver and bone broth.
The cookbook, Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way, has been slammed by the Public Health Association of Australia as having the potential to stunt the growth of babies and impair development.
One recipe is a do-it-yourself baby formula made from liver and bone broth - one of Evans' signature Paleo creations.
"In my view, there's a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead," said Professor Heather Yeatman, president of the PHAA.
The cookbook is the joint venture of celebrity chef Evans, a long time advocate for the paleo diet, baby-blogger Charlotte Carr and naturopath Helen Padarin.
Evans has previously released two best-selling cookbooks through publisher Pan MacMillan, including titles Family Food and Healthy Every Day, and Carr, the wife of Australian Idol contestant Wes Carr, runs the popular Bubba Yum Yum website.
Bubba Yum Yum: the Paleo Way was marketed as "simple, delicious paleo recipes for new mothers, babies and toddlers" by "health crusaders" Carr, Padarin and Evans, who "have seen firsthand the positive impact a paleo way of eating has had on their families' wellbeing".
The greatest concern, especially given that none of the authors have medical qualifications, lie with the do-it-yourself baby formula, which is made primarily from liver and bone broth, reported The Australian Women's Weekly.
The broth reportedly contains ten times the recommended daily intake of Vitamin A for infants, but lacks other basic nutrients needed for sustenance.
Professor Yeatman said that while adults have the choice to follow the paleo diet, which excludes dairy and grains, parents are responsible for the diet of their children and that it would be unfair for parents to force "unproven" beliefs on them.
"That's the really troubling thing: the infant is totally at the whim of their parents when it comes to feeding. If the wrong decision is made, they may be seriously affected," she said.
Further concerns have been raised about the inclusion of runny eggs and added salt in the recipes, which contradicts national health guidelines.
Federal Health Minister Sussan Ley has allegedly been contacted regarding the issue, and publisher Pan Macmillan has reportedly held off on the scheduled release date of the cookbook of March 13.
The Federal Department of Health released a statement regarding the concerns that had been brought to its attention.
"The Department of Health is aware of this publication and has concerns about the inadequate nutritional value of some of the recipes, in particular the infant formula, and has been consulting with experts and will continue to investigate this matter," the statement said.
In July last year, the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) criticised the paleo diet, with the association's chief executive officer Claire Hewat labelling the Paleo diet was 'potentially dangerous' and evidence of its benefits "just doesn't stack up".
The Paleo diet requires people to cut out "grains, legumes, certain dairy products, conventionally-raised meats, non-organic produce, and genetically modified and processed foods", which Ms Hewart says is not practical for many Australians.
A disclaimer at the back of the cookbook states that the co-authors "in good faith" the recipes will lead to 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."
Despite this, the book has been described as "a treasure trove of nutritional information and nourishing paleo recipes that are guaranteed to put you and your little one on the path to optimum health."
Evans, who is currently on a national tour promoting the paleo lifestyle, has long been a passionate advocate of the diet, and has come under fire for some of his more controversial claims about the Australian food industry.
Evans posted a 2,100 word rant on social media in October last year claiming that the modern Australian diet is behind the rise in autism, taking aim at the Heart Foundation and the Dietitians Association of Australia (DAA) as he promoted the so-called benefits of the paleo diet.
His fiery rant, which was motivated by a comment from a dietician on his Facebook page, challenged the idea of the Heart Foundation's tick and also questioned some of the beliefs held by the DAA - both of which have spoken out against the paleo diet.
Pan MacMillan has been contacted for comment.
- Daily Mail