Parents Found Guilty For Causing Baby's Death After Feeding Him Vegetarian Milk
A Belgian couple was found guilty for causing their baby´s boy death after feeding him with vegetable milk for months.
For a lapse of 4 months, the parents gave Lucas, a 7-month-old baby, milk made from oats, buckwheat, rice and quinoa. The pair ran a health food shop near Antwerp and said they set the baby's diet because he was lactose and gluten intolerant.
The baby weighed just 9.5lb and was found malnourished and dehydrated before his death.
"We never went with Lucas to a doctor because we never noticed anything unusual." Lucas's father, identified only as Peter S, said in court.
The baby's organs were shrunk to half the average size and were not insulated by fat.
"Sometimes he gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little. We never wished for the death of our son," said the mother, according to The Independent report.
The parents had been warned by doctors that the alternative diet was not healthy for a child that young.
The court gave both parents a suspended six-month sentence Wednesday because they failed to take adequate action to take care of their son.
Vegetable milk is considered as a healthy option for adult intake, but it lacks the nutrients essential for infants in their first year of development.
Cow milk consumption in childhood has been associated with increased height, which is an important measure of children's growth and development. Many parents are choosing noncow milk beverages such as soy and almond milk because of perceived health benefits. However, noncow milk contains less protein and fat than cow milk and may not have the same effect on height.