Would you judge a parent if they decided to raise their child on a vegan diet?

Would you judge a parent if they decided to raise their child on a vegan diet?

We have spoken about this on the show in the past but to no surprise it is back in the news today.

Parents who are considering raising their baby as a vegan, are being urged to seek professional advice before cutting all animal products from their child’s diet.

The British Nutrition Foundation has issued the advice after presenter Holly Willoughby was criticised for claiming that babies as young as six months old can be weaned onto a vegan diet.

Willoughby, who has three children with her husband Dan Baldwin wrote in her second book called ‘Truly Scrumptious Baby’ that “it is possible” for a baby to adopt this lifestyle straight away, but added that it is a bit tricky.

She wrote “Weaning a baby on a vegan diet does require a little more planning,”

She went on to write that “Energy density of food can be a concern as vegan food is often high in fibre but not very energy dense.”

Willoughby has been criticised for sharing nutrition advice when she herself is not a dietician, however she did seek advice from a dietician when writing the guide to weaning.

Many people on twitter expressed their anger at her advice in her book. Have a listen to this particular tweet that one angry person wrote.

Holly Willoughby & her vegan baby cookbook with no dietary qualifications. Potentially causing serious malnutrition harm to someone’s baby

Many others tweeted with the same concerns.

Many healthcare professionals will tell parents that if they are adamant on raising their young children vegan that they must be on supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients needs for a young child.

However, as many news stories have shown, there are many parents out there who ignore that advice and simply could all animals’ products from a baby’s diet.

Sadly, this has led to some children losing their life as a result.

A 7-month-old baby in Belgium tragically died as a result of the strict diet his parents fed him, which exclusively consisted of gluten-free and lactose-free foods, as well as quinoa milk.

A judge sentenced two parents to a suspended six-month jail term over the death of the child. He died weighing nine pounds, which is at least seven pounds underweight according to CDC numbers, and had organs that shrunk to half their normal size.

Granted this is an extreme case but many people believe that these extreme cases come from the fact that people are giving unprofessional advice on vegan diets in books and online.

Tonight I want to know if you think it is cruel to force a vegan diet on a child or if you think parents should be allowed to make that decision without fear of being judged.

Maybe you are a vegan parent – I would like to hear from you. Maybe you can shed some light on why you want to raise your child vegan.

Here’s the question tonight –

Is it cruel to raise a child vegan?

Remember you can find more stories on the Niall Boylan Facebook and Twitter pages and remember #IrelandTalks4fm

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