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Posted Feb 03 2011 6:47am

Question by Bird of Paradise:
How could a vegan diet be safe and practical for infants and small children?

This girl was put on a strict vegan diet, and ended up with a degenerative bone disease that left her with the spine of an 80 year old:

I comprehend the philosophy of veganism, and I am interested, BUT people do come first. How could this girl’s diet have been structured safely and still be considered vegan?


Answer by Evelyn D
it is difficult, if not impossible for kids to grow in a normal and healthy manner when following a vegan diet. they simply cant get enough nutrients. even with supplements, diets that are vegan are extremely hazardous for young children

in my opinion, kids should be fed well rounded diets that are healthy, and then be granted to make their own choices later when it is safe to cut out meat and animal products. its not fair for a parent to subject their child to poor growth and ill health because of their stance on animal rights (what about human rights ??)

Answer by tb!
I have a 4 year vegan old girl who started walking at 9 1/2 months. She was breast feed until she was 19 months. She can walk almost five miles. She has superior than average dexterity and balance than her peers. She does not want to be carried or go places in the car. She wants to walk or go on bikes. We are very aware of what she eats. We have talked with her physician about her diet.

There are 1000′s of cases of malnutrition of kids that eat meat.

Do you think formula is good for infants?

What parents that feed their kids McDonald’s and fried foods everyday?

The easy fact is you are not comfortable with my lifestyle because you are ignorant of it.

Have you ever posted on the fact that in the USA that over 50% of the population is overweight?

Are concerned that this major health concern is now effecting kids and infants?

I doubt that you post on these facts.

Are you aware of any other cases besides the one you site here? These cases are very rare. A good parent takes the time to make sure their child(ren) get what they need. Stay out of my life.

Answer by Jess
A well-balanced vegan diet is absolutely safe for children.

The girl in this article suffered from rickets, a condition that is caused by a lack of vitamin D. The main source of vitamin D for all humans (vegan, vegetarian, or omnivore) is the sun. Not fish liver, THE SUN. Very few foods actually contain vitamin D.

In areas such as Scotland (where this girl lives) many people do not get enough sun exposure to make adequate amounts of vitamin D. For this reason cows milk is often fortified with vitamin D. Vegans do not drink cows milk; however, there are many other fortified vegan products available such as margarine and non-dairy milks. If fortified cows milk is an acceptable dietary source of vitamin D, then it follows that fortified soy milk is also an acceptable source. Fortified foods provide most of the vitamin D in the American diet.

Ruling out the possibility of a genetic condition which prevents vitamin D absorption, the fact that this girl developed rickets might be a result of bad parenting BUT it is not a result of a vegan diet.

Vegan parents, just like other parents have a responsibility to ensure that their kids eat well and get all the nutrients they need. And, yes… in this case it appears the poor child’s parents failed to do this. However, the majority of vegan parents are careful to ensure their kids eat a healthy diet.

To keep things in perspective: There are many more omnivore kids with diet related health issues than vegan children. You only need to look at the rising statistics of obese kids worldwide. I wonder how many of those kids are vegan?

What do you think? Answer below!

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