Developmental deficits: vegan mother receives complaint about child welfare
Although vegan nutrition has long been a trend and is considered healthy, it is often advised against growing up small children completely without animal products. A vegan mother was now reported because her eleven-month-old baby was found to have developmental disorders that were due to diet.
Developmental disorders due to vegan diet
Vegan nutrition is the trend. The offspring of parents who eat a purely plant-based diet often live without animal products. Nutrition and health experts have many tips on what parents should consider when eating vegan foods for their children, but some people generally see a problem when the little ones grow up vegan. A recent news from the United States confirms the critics: In the state of Pennsylvania, developmental disorders were found in an eleven-month-old child, which may be due to the vegan diet that the baby was forced on by the mother.
Baby only got berries and nuts
According to media reports, the 33-year-old mother was a staunch vegan; she wanted her son to grow up as well. But now Elizabeth Hawk has been reported for child welfare. According to a report by the Washington Post, the woman was said to have only fed her eleven-month-old child with berries and nuts.
The father, separated from the mother, took the baby to a child and youth welfare center. The child suffered from a rash all over the body, which caused the skin to be partially scratched off. According to the court records, the father said his former partner was "obsessed" with veganism. An ointment had been prescribed for the rash, but the mother had refused to give it to the baby.
Child could not crawl yet
According to the newspaper report, a pediatrician examined the child in a hospital in neighboring West Virginia and found that the boy was lagging behind in development due to his poor nutrition, for example, he could not crawl yet.
According to the Washington Post, the mother blamed allergies for her boy's skin condition, not diet. The woman was released and a trial is scheduled for November. The son now lives with his father. "He's fine," his aunt told the local CBS television station.
Position of German experts
In the "Position on Vegan Diet" of the German Nutrition Society (DGE), a purely plant-based diet for infants, children, adolescents, pregnant women and breastfeeding women is not recommended. Basically, an adequate supply of energy, protein, long-chain n-3 fatty acids, iron, calcium, iodine, zinc, riboflavin, vitamin B12 and vitamin D must be ensured. However, this requires special knowledge of the selection and preparation of food or the provision of enriched food or supplements.
Risk of severe neurological disorders
"If breastfeeding are vegan or macrobiotic and do not take any supplements, there is a risk of serious neurological disorders and developmental delays for the child," writes the DGE in a specialist information. "The risk is still higher if the child's diet is continued without animal food," it continues. "According to the European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (ESPGHAN), toddlers and children should not be vegan."
Balanced nutrition could be taught in school
The German Federal Minister of Food Christian Schmidt (CSU) has also spoken out against vegan nutrition for children. He called for a school subject that teaches balanced nutrition. In Italy, a draft law was even known, which includes long prison terms for the parents of vegan-fed children. (ad)