Belgian parents who make their kids eat vegan could face prison time after new findings about the potential health impact on their health…

A study conducted by Belgium’s Royal Academy of Medicine could see parents who make kids eat vegan sent to prison. The study found that the diet is ‘unethical’ and lacks vital nutrients which could cause deficiencies and growth delays.

A Big Responsibility

The Belgian government requested the study after a number of deaths in the country’s schools, nurseries and hospitals.

“It is unsuitable for unborn children, children, teenagers and pregnant and lactating women,” the paper says. “It is not medically recommended and even forbidden to subject a child, especially during periods of rapid growth, to a potentially destabilising diet, requiring frequent supplementation and control.”

Professor Casimir, who carried out the study, says that the vegan diet is comparable to ‘non-assistance to a person in danger’ which carries a sentence of up to two years in prison. Children will only be permitted to eat a vegan diet if their parents seek medical advice, take them for regular blood tests and ensure their child takes vitamin supplements. Those who fail to comply, and whose children experience health issues, will face prison, fines and the possible removal of their child from their care.

Seeking Advice

The Sydney Children’s Hospital network says that parents whose kids eat vegan should seek the advice of their family GP. “To grow and develop appropriately, children need to eat foods from all of the food groups,” they said. “The vegan diet is low in iron, B12, and potentially protein and total energy. It will need additional consideration and it is recommended that you seek advice to ensure your child is eating an adequate diet.”

We think sending parents to prison for how they choose to feed their children is excessive, with the obvious exception of extreme cases. That being said, the vegan diet can be quite restrictive so it’s definitely worth considering the potential health implications for young children.

Do you think parents who feed their young children a vegan diet should be prosecuted? Let us know in the comments.

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  • Wow. I wouldn’t force my kids to go vegan or vegetarian. When I was vegetarian for a while I didn’t eliminate meat from the house, I still cooked it for my kids. When they’re old enough, they can choose to eat what they want. I do see how parents would want their kids to eat the best they can, especially when they see meat as harmful to humans, not just about hurting animals. It’s a hard one.

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  • Ooh, torn on this. That is extreme however… I can’t imagine why anyone would consider it okay for their child to be on a vegan diet before their full growth. We keep hearing what we need to fuel our bodies, so is this not neglect or non-duty of care to feed your children what they need for a healthy body?

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  • I think as long as they make sure their child is getting enough nutrients it’s ok. Maybe they need expert help from a dietitian or Dr to make sure though.

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  • I have also heard that giving vitamin supplements still may not be enough and that children need the nutrition from meat at least once a week and fish twice a week. I think this is a good law that Belgium is proposing.

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  • Far out, this is just getting out of control!

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  • I think prison is taking it a bit too far. Maybe education on what extra nutrition is needed for children.

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  • I don’t think that they should be feeding children a vegan diet but prison time is getting a bit out of control.

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  • A bit extreme. I’m by no means in support of the vegan diet but have a friend who is and she’s very vigilant and careful that her son gets what he needs and I’ve never seen a more healthy kid. She’s also pregnant with triplets and doing well.

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  • I agree that children shouldn’t be vegan, but parents should not be prosecuted.there should be a lot of education on the subject.

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  • Well I looked after 4 vegan children the girls looked wealthy but the 4 year old boy so underweight and looked pale he was still wearing size 1 and 2 size clothing. When I looked in refrigerator they lot food out of date and in cupboard mostly tin stuff. Rather be non vegan as I have fresh vegetables and meat my son doesn’t eat much fast food or junk . My mother was vegan and ate pretty Healthy with nuts , beans and even the pretend cheese but almond milk . But always felt tired and sick felt b much better when after 8 months vegan going back to eating just a little amount of meat

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  • This is just plain ridiculous, it is not the vegan diet it is what the parents have or have not been feeding them! Just like any diet, if you don’t eat enough calories or nutrients you will have issues. I believe this study is definitely flawed and have not compared “healthy” vegans who have been healthy for decades, and there are many children too. How on earth is locking them up in jail going to help?

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  • educate them, not lock them up! Maybe with antenatal classes there could be nutrition classes, show people how much and what types of foods, compare the two diets so they can see exactly what would be considered a meal for both vegan and omnivorous meals, let people make an informed decision and if there is still a problem then take it further

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  • No I don’t think parents that feed their children a vegan diet show be sent to prison, there are worse people out there.

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  • It’s not good for their development and can even be unsafe under a certain age. You got to make your choice, kids should be allowed to do the same!

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  • No, parents who feed their young children a vegan diet shouldn’t be prosecuted.
    I agree that ALL parents should receive nutritional advice and have the growth of their kids monitored, not only parents who feed their kids a vegan diet.
    Many parents now a days feed their kids all kind of junk and the amount of kids that are obese is still on the rise…maybe those parents need to be prosecuted ?!

    Reply

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