An Australian couple whose child daughter had serious health problems following a strict vegan diet pleaded guilty for failing to care for a child and cause serious injury.
Parents aged 32 and 34, who can not be named for legal reasons, found that the 19-month-old girl had fed a cup of oatmeal with rice milk and half a banana for breakfast, followed by a piece of toast with jam or peanut butter for lunch. The girl then ate tofu, rice, or potatoes for dinner, but because she was a "fussy eater," she sometimes had only oats, according to The Daily Telegraph.
The girl's restrictive diet developed rickets, a degenerative bone disease caused by malnutrition, mainly due to vitamin D deficiency. The Downing Center District Court in Sydney heard that doctors did not seek medical attention until after a seizure had to undergo strict diet. The doctors described how the girls' bones were so fragile that they feared they could break through "normal handling," Mail Online reports. The girl also had fractures throughout the body.
The court heard how the doctors felt the girl's vitamin D levels were "undetectable." A doctor described her physical condition as a "floppy". Tests showed that the girl was severely deficient other vital nutrients such as calcium, vitamin B1
The police questioned the father at the hospital why he was not worried that his daughter weighed a little over ten pounds. Hardly twice as much as when she was first born. "[He] thought she was a girl and different from boys – she was short," the court documents say. An examination of the girl's medical history also revealed that she had no vaccinations, no follow-up and no birth certificate
The mother told the hospital staff that the entire family, including the girl's two older brothers, aged four and six All vegan diets are taken away: All three children were taken from their parents and taken to care facilities Their health has improved in recent months, and the girl was finally able to stand alone after she had gained more than 13 pounds.
The couple returns to the Downing Center District Court on January 16, 2019.
According to the UK National Health Service, it is safe to feed babies and children on vegetarian or vegan diets to make sure they get all the right nutrients at every stage of their development.
Parents should ensure that their children receive adequate amounts of iron, protein, calcium, vitamins A, B, C and D, and omega 3 According to NHS, it's also important to ensure that children get enough calories to keep their bodies growing to refuel. For more information, contact a nutritionist or a physician.
This article has been updated to include more information on a healthy vegetarian and vegan diet for parenting.