Parents always want the best for their children, especially when it comes to their health. However, this mother might have gone overboard when she put her 11-month-old on a strict vegan diet.
He was eating only fruits and nuts
Elizabeth Hawk was so obsessed with veganism that she went so far as to give her baby a strict vegan diet consisting of only fruits and nuts, which left him severely malnourished. The baby was so malnourished that he started developing rashes throughout his body.
Photo from: wikimedia commons
Jerry Hawk, the child’s father, told child welfare officials that his son’s rash became so bad that he began “scratching skin off in places.” According to a report from KDKA-TV, the baby wasn’t able to crawl and has also been found to have some developmental delays as a result of the strict diet.
The father adds that the mother’s child had been given a cream that’s supposed to be used to treat the child’s rash, however, she refused to use it on her son, which put him at risk for septic shock due to the rashes.
“She was going to live on water and sunlight”
According to her sister-in-law, Brandy Hawk, Elizabeth’s extreme advocacy of the vegan diet reached a point when she said that she was going to “live on water and sunlight.”
She also posted vegan recipes on social media, as well as the health benefits of being a vegan. She was also very vocal against killing animals for food.
Doctors have said that her son’s extreme fruit and nut diet pushed the child to physical deterioration.
She has three children with her estranged husband, and that all three of the kids are now in their father’s custody. Elizabeth was arrested and charged with child endangerment because of what happened.
Is a vegan diet really healthy for children?
According to the American Dietetic Association, “appropriately planned vegetarian or vegan diets are healthful, nutritionally adequate, and may provide health benefits in the prevention and treatment of certain diseases.”
The important thing to make sure is that you’re providing your child a balanced diet. Growing children especially need vitamins and minerals such as vitamin B12, which can be found in animal products such as milk and eggs.
Babies also need a good source of protein, which is supplied by eggs, chicken, turkey, fish, seafood, and milk. Protein also helps children develop muscle mass and strength.
From a report published by The Guardian, a problem with a pure vegan diet for children is that it isn’t particularly rich in energy. Adults usually need to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables in order to get enough energy for the day. However, kids don’t typically eat as much as adults, so you will need to supplement their diet with oil.
Should you decide to feed your child with a strictly vegan diet, you should do so with the help of a pediatrician or a nutritionist. For growing children, it shouldn’t matter whether their diet is vegan or not, the most important thing is that they are getting all of the nutrients that they need, in the right amounts. Because at the end of they day, their health is always the number 1 priority.
READ: Vegan two-year-old rushed to the hospital severely malnourished
Sources: insideedition.com, parentherald.com
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