This week in the media, a case from over a year ago was dredged up in what appeared to be a case of the media ‘vegan bashing’. The story was of a neglected and malnourished child whose parents had put on a vegan diet. The problem with the story was that it focussed on the fact that the child was on a vegan diet, even though the issue was not that a vegan diet cannot provide adequate nutrition for a child this age, but instead that the parents had neglected to take the appropriate care of the child. Had this child been a “non-vegan”, it would be hard to believe its dietary preferences would have been raised. The media on this case was biased and designed to ‘bash’ the vegan diet and scare of new parents from thinking about adopting it.
After seeing the media on this issue, we decided it was a good time to take a look at the question, can you raise a child on a vegan diet?
According to the federal government’s National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Dietary Guidelines, you can.
They do of course recommend seeing a dietician and ensuring you are getting adequate nutrients, which is something that all new parents should do. As with adult vegans, careful planning is important to ensure these nutrients are being supplied through the diet.
As you can also see in the above picture, a b12 supplement is recommended to vegans to ensure they are receiving this nutrient, as this is one that can be difficult to get on a vegan diet.
But the important point in the above information is that it states, a vegan or vegetarian diet is suitable at all stages of life. With our Australian guidelines stating that it is perfectly healthy to raise children on a vegan diet and also most of the global health organisations, you have to ask the question…why is the media so invested in bashing the vegan diet?