Facebook groups, consisting of thousands of vegan parents offering each other nutritional advice for their babies, are worrying doctors after seeing some mothers and fathers being asked to ignore the doctors' advice.
The Daily Telegraph and Storyful Dozens of Australian parents have reported on their children's vegan diets – some only six months old.
Earlier this year, a mother asked for alternate advice from other vegans. Parents told their doctor about "some things I really do not believe" about their six-month-old son.
"She said he was not old enough for meat substitutes like tofu, but I really feel like vegetables and beans would be a big enough iron source for him," she wrote.
"But if I do not feed him for another few months until he's ready, will he actually have iron (or anything)? I thought … eating before lunch is just for fun, and breast milk is enough for them? ? "
On September 6, another mother wrote about her six-month-old baby and said she had begun to plan his diet after breastfeeding.
"A big gap is iodine," she wrote. Algae alright, B12 seems to be made from yeast flakes at this age – any other ideas? "
The Facebook group Vegan Baby Led Weaning has more than 7,700 members and its description states that it concerns "vegan mothers, fathers, and anyone who practices baby weaning with their small vegans."
Last year, another mother asked another member of the family for a week-old baby
"Can anyone give me a suggestion: We have a 9-week-old healthy baby. We are vegans and our family doctor recommended that our baby stay on milk formula until we introduce solids," the mother wrote.
"Of course, we're in favor of switching to soy and just want to find out how other babies are doing."
Another mother responded to the post and recommended a rice milk formula, a completely vegan product.
The advice to change to rice milk formula came a year before a Sydney couple was deprived of the three children after the police found that their 20-month-old girl was severely malnourished and suffered from rickets.
Rickets is a preventable bone disease that affects babies and toddlers and causes soft and weakened bones. In children, rickets are usually diagnosed due to a lack of vitamin D, calcium or phosphorus.
The parents first went to court in May, two months after their toddler suffered a seizure at home.
After her seizure, the sick infant spent a month in a hospital where doctors and nurses worked frantically to give her the food she needed.
Since her time in the hospital and in the foster family, the infant has gained 6 kg.
The police claim this father, 34, and her mother, 32 years old, fed her 20-month-old girl on a strict diet "that lacked much nutrients to thrive."
Court documents show that the little girl had a vegan diet and ate breakfast for a cup of oatmeal, rice milk and banana while later eating bread with peanut butter and potatoes, rice and tofu for dinner.
The two older brothers of the toddler at the age of six and four years are also in state custody and were also fed vegan.
The couple is sentenced on January 16 after a guilty plea to failure to care for a child and cause serious injury.