Belgian doctors recommend against vegan diet for children and mothers

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Belgium's Royal Academy of Medicine has recommended that children, teens, pregnant women and nursing mothers do not follow a vegan diet.

That goes against recommendations from both the British Dietetic Association’s as well as that of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in the US.

The Royal Academy said the eating plan is ”restrictive” and creates “unavoidable” nutritional issues.

However, last year VGN spoke to Dr. Milton Mills, a vegan doctor, at Dublin VegFest who said that a well planned plant-based diet IS suitable for children.

He said:

"[Young] children have very small digestive systems and they have a perfect food designed for them and that is human breast milk. Those children should be fed human breast milk. It's designed for their digestive system as it is high in calories, has the right amount of protein, fat and sugar to sustain the child.
"Children should not be weaned from mother's milk until they are more than a year old. Once the child is past one year's old, you can start to introduce things like cereal grains into the diet, but it should still be a supplement not the primary diet.
"Once they are 2-3 years they can transition to more of a plant-based diet, but you want to make sure you are feeding the child grains, root vegetables, legumes, high calorie foods that are nutritionally dense that will give them the nutrients they need.
"You don't want to be feeding those kids mainly salads or water containing vegetables like broccoli and so forth, that should be a part of the diet, but it can't be the whole diet as it is mainly roughage, water and fibre and that's not enough calories for those kids."

These quotes give a different take on the subject but are not from Belgium's Royal Academy of Medicine.

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