Parenting

7-Month-Old Dies After Being Fed Gluten-Free Diet

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A 7-month-old baby in Belgium has died and his parents are currently on trial, charged with allowing their baby to become malnourished. Little Lucas weighed only 9 pounds when he died, about half of what he should have weighed at seven months of life. His parents thought that he had some kind of eating disorder, assumed that he was gluten and lactose intolerant, and proceeded to feed him “alternative milks.”

Peter and Sandrina (whose last names have been withheld) fed Lucas a diet of quinoa milk, oat milk, rice milk, semolina milk, and buckwheat milk—all of which are sold at the parents’ natural food store, and none of which provide the needed nutrients for an infant. In his final days of life, Lucas was gasping for air. His parents drove across the country to seek the help of a homeopathic doctor, who told them to get him immediate medical care. When they arrived at Hospital Virga Jesse Ziekenhuis in Hasselt, Lucas had already died of dehydration and malnutrition. His stomach was completely empty, and a prayer card was found in his diaper.

The Daily Mail has more:

In court, the parents defended themselves and the boy’s father Peter S said: ‘We never went with Lucas to a doctor because we never noticed anything unusual.’

Mother Sandrina V said in tears: ‘Sometimes he gained a little weight, sometimes he lost a little. We never wished for the death of our son.’

According to their lawyer Karine Van Meirvenne the parents thought Lucas had an eating problem.

Van Meirvenne said: ‘Lucas had an eating disorder. He got cramps when he was fed with a bottle and his parents tried out alternatives.

‘Oat milk, rice milk, buckwheat milk, semolina milk, quinoa milk. All products which they also sell in their store.’

Yet according the public prosecutor ‘this equals intentionally denying food’ to the boy.

Prosecutors are seeking 18-month sentences for each parent. A ruling on the matter is expected in on June 14.