It’s a long and hallowed tradition that parents can force their views and lifestyles on their unwitting offspring, who have little to no choice in the matter considering they can neither talk back nor run away. Yes, the annoying little mites who vomit on us, take away our sleep, and generally offer no use to society for a few years, get their own back as parents choose exactly how they’re going to raise them.
I was lucky enough to be born to parents who entertained no delusions of grandeur for their ‘bruiser’, as my father so lovingly described me upon my birth. I blissfully slept through my early days, chugging back milk and snuggling into warm bodies, being pushed around in a stroller and playing with a multitude of teddies. I was a fat baby, but by all accounts, I was a happy one too.
Flash forward to 2015 and everything has changed. Parenting is no longer just about which kitchen utensil we use to reprimand our offspring, or how long you can manage to keep your kid happy with re-runs of The Land Before Time.
Babies have their own Facebook pages and need to look good all the time in case some bitchy mum tags them on Instagram with their gut sticking out and their nappy full.
In light of such events, it’s actually incredible how few babies I’ve seen engaging in appropriate physical exercise, like lifting weights, running marathons and engaging in other Crossfit endorsed activities. You hardly even see the kids picking up their own toys.
Who cares that they can’t walk – maybe if they ate better they could get off their nappy clad asses and help around the house.
I have it on good authority* that’s exactly what Pete Evans was thinking when he stopped chowing down meat for a second and came up with another cookbook.
Enter: Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way For new Mums, Babies, and Toddlers.
It’s a hot new recipe/lifestyle book that reminds us that whilst we can’t talk to babies like they’re regular adults, (Bubba Yum Yum, seriously?) we can feed them like the meat hungry grownups we know they’ll wind up being.
Now I think in the interests of fair reporting I should take a moment to tell you something. I think the Paleo diet kinda sucks. In fact, why anyone wants to eat Paleo is beyond me. From my general historical knowledge, I’m aware that Paleo people died younger, looked generally fucked up (have you seen those recreations of ancient skulls) and were more likely to be eaten by a lion or hit over the head with a club. I concede that a diet of McDonalds and Hungry Jacks might not be the best thing for us, but hey, that’s not what we feed babies anyway. For as long as humans (and many animals too) have been around, we’ve been feeding our kidlets breast milk, or baby formula.
But Pete Evans, smug with the knowledge that a) his body is a temple, b) his name is two first names and c) he’s a C-list celebrity, wants to change all that. Him and his crew – made up of equally enlightened mummy blogger, Charlotte Carr, and naturopath Helen Padarin – want to us to realise that we’ve been doing it wrong all along. What our little bubbas want is a bit of our steak.
Hey, it’s a free world and everyone has the right to an opinion, right? Nevertheless, one opinion that probably won’t be emblazoned across the back cover is that of Heather Yeatman (president of the Public Health Association of Australia) who told the press: “In my view, there’s a very real possibility that a baby may die if this book goes ahead.”
But that’s just Heather, right?
The Australian Federal Health Department also had their say during the week, publicising their concern over the “inadequate nutritional value of some of the recipes, in particular the infant formula.”
Oh, yes, the infant formula. A potent mix of apple cider vinegar, chicken bones and chicken feet is just what blogger Carr claims to have been feeding her poor child since he was just a few weeks old. Lucky him.
Now, like all smug people must do, she wants to force the misery on the rest of our kids. After all, is a diet really a diet if you don’t brag about it on social media and any other means possible?
In the wake of all the bad press proving that not all publicity is good publicity, Publisher Pan Macmillan Australia has now decided to pull the book, stating that:
“The authors of Bubba Yum Yum: The Paleo Way – for new mums, babies and toddlers have decided to release a digital version of the book very shortly, and will, therefore, no longer publish the book, in any format, with Pan Macmillan Australia.”
*I made this up and have no idea what Pete Evans might be thinking at any moment, except meat, meat, meat, and boy do I look good on television in these tight jeans.
Words by Naomi Russo. Photo by Hayley Jones.