Despite growing evidence about the health benefits of going vegans, some shy away from the idea of because “they are uneducated and [have] ill-informed opinions.”
A TikToker has come under fire for wanting to raise her baby on a vegan diet.
It all started after user Tasj Rose posted a video of herself with her adorable 7-month-old baby Oak, declaring that she planned to raise her daughter vegan.
Her account has more than 14000 followers and the video quickly grabbed eyeballs. Online trolls started attacking Rose for forcing her dietary choices on her baby.
“This has absolutely nothing to do with what’s best [for your baby] — it’s you being selfish,” wrote one user.
“If that baby ever develops any health issues because of that, you’re guilty of child abuse – you’re incriminating yourself,” another commented.
“I don’t agree with this. Just because ur vegan u don’t have to force your baby to be vegan too,” a third added.
One comment even wanted to involve Child Protective Services and get them to take Oak into their custody for fear she’s malnourished.
However, Rose, a stay-at-home mom and video content creator from Newcastle Upon Tyne in England, remained undeterred and posted several clips to fire back at the vegan baby diet sceptics.
She captioned one video: “She’s well cared for, happy and healthy and that’s all that matters.”
In another clip she wrote: “There’s nothing she needs from meat that she can’t get from something else”.
Rose also addressed a comment that asked whether or not she’d give her daughter the option of choosing her diet when she’s older. She said: “Of course! She can decide for herself when she’s old enough.”
What does the baby eat?
Describing her daughter’s eating habits, Rose said that Oak’s daily regimen consists of fruits, vegetables, beans and seeds.
“I love animals and don’t agree with using them for our own means,” the 25-year-old told The Post.
Rose has also breastfed Oak since birth. “I believe cow’s milk is for baby cows, and human milk is for baby humans,” she said.
“I am able to consent to who drinks or takes my milk from me, animals are not.”
And, is Rose affected by the negativity she has received? Absolutely not! She intends to continue eschewing animal products from her daughter’s diet.
She said: “My honest reaction to people who threaten [me and my daughter] because I choose to follow a plant-based diet is that they are uneducated and [have] ill-informed opinions without evidence or research to back them up.
“I hope to educate people about plant-based diets.
“I want to show them that it is healthy, and possible to do for themselves and also for their children.”
Vegan diets and kids
There is ample evidence that debunks the myth that children need animal-products in their diet in order to ‘thrive’.
A 2021 study by Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics stated that “well-planned vegetarian and vegan eating patterns can be healthful and appropriate for all stages of the lifecycle, including for infants and toddlers.”
Moreover, a separate study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition in June 2021, indicated that “children on vegan diets have a healthier cardiovascular profile and less body fat than their omnivore peers.” However, it also claimed that vegan kids are also at greater risk of health issues that “affect growth, bone mineral content and micronutrient status.”
The latter claims has been countered by several health experts whilst stressing that parents must make sure that their children are getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals.
According to the nonprofit medical organization Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM), a vegan diet supplemented with vitamin B12 provides excellent nutrition for all stages of childhood, from birth through adolescence. Children who consume nutritious vegan diets not only grow up to be strong and healthy, but they also lower the risk of developing obesity, high cholesterol, hypertension, heart disease, and type 2 diabetes.
The NHS also concurs that babies and young children on a vegetarian or vegan diet can get the energy and most of the nutrients they need to grow and develop.
Heather Russell, a dietitian at the Vegan Society-UK, said: “It’s certainly possible to look after your bones on a well-planned vegan diet, but people need information to make healthy choices.”
Ayelet Goldhaber, a registered dietitian at Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone also echoed Rusell’s opinion. She said: “A well-rounded vegan diet is definitely safe for babies.
“The baby will certainly thrive and grow just as well as a nonvegan baby as long as the parents are intentional about making sure baby is getting foods high in iron, calcium and protein like spinach, lentils, tofu and vegan-friendly dairy products like almond — or oat-based yogurts.”
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