A seven-month-old baby weighing 9lbs has tragically died following reports his parents fed him a gluten-free diet, including quinoa milk.
The baby, named Lucas, was taken to hospital in Hasselt in June 2014 after a homeopathic doctor urged his parents to seek immediate hospital care.
His parents, Peter S, 34 and Sandrina V, 30, from Beveren, ran a natural food store and are said to have self-diagnosed Lucas as gluten and lactose-intolerant.
As a result they are said to have fed the baby a restricted diet, with quinoa milk reportedly being his main source of nutrients.
Lucas sadly died in 2014 and the autopsy revealed his stomach was totally empty amid reports he had been gasping for breath in the days previously.
According to local news reports the day before his death Lucas weighed 9.47lbs, which according to experts is just under half the expected weight of a baby his age.
The trial against Lucas’ parents begins this week, with Belgian prosecutors seeking an 18-month jail sentence.
According to the Daily Mail Karine Van Meirvenne, who is the lawyer acting on behalf of Lucas’ parents, said her clients believed their son had an eating problem.
“Lucas had an eating disorder. He got cramps when he was fed with a bottle and his parents tried out alternatives,” she said.
“Oat milk, rice milk, buckwheat milk, semolina milk, quinoa milk. All products, which they also sell in their store.”
However experts say these kinds of milk are ‘unsuitable’ for infants.
“These kinds of milk, which you can buy in a supermarket, do not contain the necessary proteins, minerals and vitamins,” Elisabeth De Greef from the University Hospital of Brussels explained to Daily Mail.
“They are not adjusted to infants and thus unsuitable.”
It isn’t the first time news of parents feeding their children an alternative diet has made headlines.
Last year in Milan, Italy a 14-month-old baby was taken to hospital after a vegan diet left him severely calcium deficient and weighing little more than a three-month-old.
And last October a mum from was charged with endangering the welfare of a child after practicing extreme veganism, and feeding her 11-month-old baby only small amounts of fruit and nuts.
Earlier this year we reported on the case of a vegan mother who was ordered to give her sons routine vaccinations after the High Court overruled her objections to allowing her son to receive the immunisations.
Before putting children on an alternative diet parents are urged to seek medical advice from their GP or health visitor. The NHS website has some advice for parents wanting to bring their children up on a vegan diet.
The trial against Lucas’ parents continues.
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