Raising your kids vegan

Hot Button: Raising Your Kids Vegan

I don't eat meat. Or milk or eggs for that matter. I'm a vegan, but I came to that decision as an adult, and am in control over exactly what goes in my mouth, even if some days it's largely chardonnay and French fries.

Choosing not to eat certain foods is a big nutritional decision. Is it fair then, for parents to make firm diet choices like this for their kids?

A recent example of this controversy surfaced in 2007 when a vegan couple in Atlanta was sentenced to life in prison after their six week-old baby died of starvation after subsisting on a diet of apple juice and soy milk. To suss out the whole controversy, please read more.

While blame seems easy to hang on the vegan detail of this story, the Physician's Committee for Responsible Medicine clarifies the situation by saying this,

"Crown [the child] was not killed by a vegan diet; rather, he died of complications from starvation. His parents had fed him the wrong food—soymilk and apple juice—for any infant, vegan or not. But, the real problem was that he was not given enough food of any sort."

A baby not getting enough food is a crime, to be sure. But is the choice to raise the child vegan, really germane to the argument? Many cultures thrive on diets with little to no meat, and with childhood obesity on the rise, is it wrong to steer our kids toward diets that emphasize fruits, veggies, and plant protein? Why are we hung up on making sure our kids get their Happy Meals? Do you think a vegan lifestyle is appropriate for kids?
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