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Vegan Parents Forced Infant Daughter To Follow Strict Diet, Leaving Her Severely Malnourished

Vegan Parents Forced Infant Daughter To Follow Strict Diet, Leaving Her Severely Malnourished

Earlier this month, two Australian parents, aged 32 and 34, pleaded guilty to "failing to provide for a child and causing serious injury" after the strict vegan diet they chose for their 19-month-old daughter resulted in severe malnourishment as well as several other illnesses.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the parents allegedly kept their daughter on a strict regimen:

"...a cup of oats with rice milk and half a banana for breakfast, followed by a piece of toast with jam or peanut butter for lunch. The girl would then eat tofu, rice or potatoes for her evening meal, but because she was a "fussy eater" she would sometimes just have oats again."

The lack of vitamin D in the young girl's diet led to rickets, a degenerative bone disease that left her so "brittle" that doctors were afraid to handle her. She had suffered small fractures throughout her entire body.

Authorities also revealed that the girl had negligible levels of "calcium, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron and zinc," and that she did not crawl or speak during the month they kept her in their care.

When questioned by police at the hospital, the girl's father said he was previously unconcerned that she weighed just 10 pounds because he assumed "she was a girl and different to boys—she was petite."

Investigators also quickly discovered that the young girl had received no vaccines or immunizations, had no appointments booked with a physician, and that she wasn't issued a birth certificate.

The young girl has two older brothers, which the parents admitted were also on a strict vegan diet. All three children have been removed from their parents' custody and placed in foster care, where, with proper nutrition, the girl has already gained 13 pounds and is able to stand on her own.

Nutritionists are quick to note that a vegan diet can be healthy for a child as long parents are careful to include all the vitamins, minerals, and calories needed to support a rapidly growing body. "Iron, protein, calcium, A, B, C, and D vitamins, and Omega 3," as well as a high level of caloric fuel, are all essential to growing into a healthy young child!

The vegan couple will appear in Downing Centre District Court in January for sentencing, at which point they might be forced to adhere to a strict diet of their own: whatever's being served in prison.