Last month we reported that the British Nutrition Foundation was encouraging vegan parents to check with a GP before bringing up their children on a strictly vegan diet.  While agreeing that it was important that children should receive the correct nutrition, we admit to being slightly sceptical about their assertion, as we believe that the vast majority of vegan parents are well-read and clued-up on the importance of nutrition for all following a vegan lifestyle.

But now an Australian couple has escaped imprisonment as their feeding of a strict vegan diet to their toddler resulted in her being so malnourished that her teeth fell out and her bones fractured.  The mother and farther pleaded guilty in 2018 to failing to provide for their child, and were sentenced to 300 hours of community service.  Sadly, their three children were taken awat from them after police in Sydney found their 20 month-old daughter, who had not been vaccinated either, sufferin from rickets and a preventable bone disease as a result of her diet in early 2018.

According to the Independent newspaper, the judge, Sarah Huggett, condemned the couple’s “reckless failure to provide the necessities of life”, and said “This is not an isolated act or a momentary decision that caused danger to the child.  The child was seriously underweight, underdeveloped and undernourished.  That would have taken time to occur.”

Following our report last month, it would be remiss of us to fail to encourage all parents who are, or are considering, feeding their young children a vegan diet, to ensure that the child receives the required balanced nourishment for healthy growth.  Yes, most vegans are well-versed in all things nutritional, but it is vital that if there are any doubts, a specialist nutritionist or a GP is consulted to ensure that the child is receiving the correct nutrition to ensure full health.  So the moral quite clearly is, if in any doubt whatsoever, speak to a specialist and have regular check-ups for their child.

27th August 2019

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