Oh, did I miss a word? Oh yes, the Metro published an article 11 May 2017 which actually said Vegan diets…… On the same day the Daily Mail ran with the headline “Trendy vegan diets can wreck a child’s health” saying “Fashionable vegan diets can be damaging to children’s health … can lead to ‘devastating’ health effects and, in the worst cases, death.” Whilst acknowledging within the article “Experts note that vegan diets can be perfectly healthy” (when proper advice and precautions are taken)
These are the latest of a number of vegan bashing articles which are saying vegan diets are potentially dangerous for children. In one way or another, they suggest the ‘diet’ is extreme and can put children at risk of malnutrition.
Quoting the work of Professor Mary Fewtrell et al – the overwhelming tone of the article is that vegan ‘diets’ can be potentially harmful to children. Although interestingly Professor Fewtrell is funded by the baby food industry according to babymilkaction.org. And as a vegan parent myself, I have been amazed by the lack of vegan options for baby food – so many products contain meat or dairy. Hmm, any connection?
The original academic study that this all arose out of, does indeed say that those adopting vegan diets for infants should seek medical advice first. However, it is also a small section out of a much much larger report on complementary feeding for breastfed babies. So any of these articles COULD have run with any of the other findings which were much more substantially dealt with in the paper, such as timing of solid food introduction, allergens and gluten – but no, lets get on with vegan bashing – when even the report actually says it is fine when done properly…. hello… doesn’t that apply to ANY diet?!
My response to this is clear – just take the work VEGAN out of these articles and we can probably agree on much more of the content.
ANY diet which is extreme or excludes various foods can be harmful to people and especially children, who need to get a healthy balanced diet to meet nutritional needs. So for example, a diet of only fish and chips, or sausage rolls, or beans on toast, or burgers – will be unhealthy and imbalanced.
It is important that we all have a balanced diet, regardless of specific food choices. So why not take a little time to make sure you know what you eat and ask yourself, is this balanced and healthy overall? Especially for those feeding children, I believe special attention should be made to ensure kids get all the nutrients they need to grow. If for any reason you or your child doesn’t eat certain things, find out what they can eat that will meet any nutritional needs that may otherwise be lacking.
Image from: http://www.healthcaredailyonline.com/