FOOD

Couple creates paleo diet-friendly baby food, nutritionists concerned

Paleo dieter and advocate, Serenity Heegel, co-founded Serenity Kids with fiancé, Joe Carr, after not being able to find pouched baby food that she felt was nutritious enough.

“I just couldn’t believe that nothing existed that would be something I would want to feed my own baby,” Heegel told Food Navigator.

The couple began marketing a line of pureed baby food that offers the highest amount of protein of any liquid baby food.

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The food line launched this month and has pouches that come in three different flavors – uncured bacon with organic kale and butternut squash, chicken with peas and carrots, and beef with kale and sweet potato. The organic and free-range offerings are sold in packs of six 4-ounce pouches for roughly $27.

However, her formula for cave babies – as they are called in the paleo community – is making some waves with adults who question the health and safety of this fad-diet.

Paleo, eating food that would have been available to Paleolithic humans – like non-processed foods, free-range meats and abstaining from grains, dairy, and most sugars – caught on in 2002 with Loren Cordain’s “The Paleo Diet.” Since then, many adults looking to lose weight, combat certain ailments, or just feel healthier have adopted the food style.

Though, studies revolving around the benefits of the paleo diet have only been done on adults.

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“There’s no research that shows a child needs a high-protein diet,” Stephanie Di Figlia-Peck, a registered dietitian at Northwell Health, tells Moneyish.

“A child who’s growing and developing needs a balance of carbohydrates that come from fruits, vegetables and grains; protein and healthy fat. There needs to be a balance so you get the correct nutrient profile,” she adds.

The concern for many is if a growing child is not getting proper nutrition, complications could arise including a weaker immune system, compromised growth, among others.

In Australia, a children’s paleo cookbook was pulled because it recommended feeding infants bone broth as baby formula.

The controversy surrounding feeding children a strictly paleo diet hasn’t affected Serenity Kids’ sales, though. Heegel’s company sold 1,800 pouches during their online pre-sale and is anticipating a grocery store launch in the near future.