A couple who fed their baby a vegan diet was arrested after the child suffered a severe seizure.
The parents are now facing up to 5 years in prison.
When their youngest child had a seizure, doctors found out the 20-month-old girl was severely malnourished, suffered from rickets and had no teeth. She had not been taken to a doctor since she was born.
The child also hadn’t been vaccinated and didn’t receive a Medicare number and birth certificate.
The Centers for Disease Control recommends that children around the girl’s age should weigh 17 to 30 pounds. Unfortunately, the girl weighed less than 11 pounds.
For legal reasons, neither the mother nor father are named in reports.
News.com.au reported that parents fed their baby “one cup of oats with rice milk and half a banana in the morning and a piece of toast with jam or peanut butter for lunch.” The mother would serve the baby rice, potatoes or tofu for dinner.
“This diet resulted in severe deficiencies in nutrients across the board for the infant, including a lack of calcium, phosphate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, iron and zinc,” the news outlet reported. “Her levels of vitamin D — which can cause bone disease if found to be too low — were ‘undetectable.’”
The vitamin D, phosphorus and calcium deficiencies led to rickets, which weakens the bones.
The attorney for the child’s mother claimed that the mother was depressed after giving birth to the child. She said the woman suspected her partner was cheating on her that she started questioning her motherly skills. The attorney also said the mother would not buy groceries.
The father’s attorney said the man was not vegan nor anti-vaccination. However, the man claimed he was helpless to save the girl even though he did everything – from shopping to cooking.
The child spent one month in the hospital and was brought to a foster caregiver, who was shocked that the girl could not even roll over. The baby finally managed to crawl after six months away from her parents.
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