Baby death: Parents convicted over vegetable milk diet

Image caption,
A baby needs more nutrients than those contained in vegetable milk

A Belgian court has given six-month suspended jail terms to the mother and father of a baby boy who died after being fed a diet of vegetable milk.

They were found guilty of causing the baby's death unintentionally.

The baby, Lucas, weighed just 4.3kg (9.5lb) when he died aged seven months, dehydrated and malnourished.

The parents, from Beveren near Antwerp, ran a health food shop and fed him for four months with milk made from oats, buckwheat, rice and quinoa.

The mother did not produce breast milk and the baby had refused infant formula.

Lucas died on the way to hospital in Hasselt in June 2014, after a homeopathic doctor had advised the couple to call an ambulance.

Vegetable milk lacks the nutrients essential for infants in their first year. The parents said they had resorted to it because they believed Lucas was lactose- or gluten-intolerant.

The parents' lawyer told the court that the mother had been getting up several times a night to feed Lucas - evidence that she had tried to look after him.

More on this story

Related Topics