Baby Dies After Parents Feed Him Gluten-Free And Lactose-Free Diet

May 20, 2017
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A decision to feed their baby an alternative diet turned out to be a deadly one, for a Belgian couple.

The parents, who have only been identified as Peter and Sandrina, are in court for the malnourishment of their 7-month-old baby, Lucas.

The couple, who ran a natural food store, fed him a gluten-free and lactose-free diet.

Lucas died on June 6, 2014, weighing only 9 pounds, while the 50th percentile weight for male infants his age is about 18.5 pounds.

Media reports say that the autopsy showed Lucas’s stomach was empty and he suffered from dehydration. Prosecutors are blaming the parents for diagnosing their child as gluten intolerant with a lactose allergy, even though no doctor had examined the baby. The alternative diet they fed him included rice milk, quinoa milk, oat milk, buckwheat milk and semolina milk.

Prosecutors also said the parents drove to a homeopathic doctor an hour’s drive away – instead of going to the nearest hospital. The practitioner then immediately sent them to the hospital – where Lucas was pronounced dead.

The parents, who have 3 other children, thought Lucas had an “eating problem.”

He got cramps when he was fed with a bottle and his parents tried out alternatives,” said Karine Van Meirvenne, the parents’ lawyer.

Sometimes he gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little. We never wished for the death of our son,” said the mom, as translated by The Independent and Global News.

The American Academy of Pediatrics’ recommendation is for infants be fed breast milk for the first 6 to 12 months. The only acceptable alternative for this is iron-fortified infant formula.

Whole cow’s milk and low-iron formulas should not be used during the first year of life.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture also has a child feeding guide based on their age.

“Milk and dairy products are an important part of a young child’s diet. They are a good source of energy and protein, and contain a wide range of vitamins and minerals, including calcium, which growing children and young people need to build healthy bones and teeth,” They also say:”Babies under a year old should not be given condensed milk, evaporated milk, dried milk or any other drinks referred to as milk, such as rice, oat or almond drinks.”

If you suspect your baby or child may have an allergy, experts recommend that you don’t change his or her diet without consulting your physician first.

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