Forcing your kids to be vegan could land you in JAIL in Italy
Parents who feed their children 'inadequate' diets could face jail sentences of up to four years in Italy.
The new legislation has been proposed by Elvira Savino, of the Forza Italia party, in light of a number of cases in Italy where children were found to be malnourished after their parents fed them a strict vegan diet.
Savino says that, while many people in Italy believe vegetarian and vegan diets are the healthier choice, without careful supervision they can leave teenagers and children "deficient in zinc, iron, vitamin D, vitamin B12 and omega-3".
“There is no objection if the person making this choice is an informed adult. A problem arises when children are involved.” she says.
Savino wants to see parents punished when their children become ill and her proposed law aims to “stigmatise the reckless and dangerous eating behaviour imposed by parents ... to the detriment of minors”, according to Italian newspaper La Repubblica.
Parents and carers who are found to be insufficiently nourishing a child would face one year in prison, with further jail time threatened if the child is aged under three-years-old.
Last month a one-year-old boy was taken into care in Milan after he was found to weight just 5kg. Earlier this summer a strict vegan diet left a two-year-old girl in hospital suffering malnutrition in Genoa.
Last year an Italian court ruled that a mother who had been feeding her son a macrobiotic diet must serve him meat at least once a week.
The HSE recommends that children raised in vegetarian households eat a balanced diet rich in pulses, such as peas, lentils and beans, milk and milk products, such as yoghurt and cheese, eggs, soya foods, such as hummus or tofu and Quorn, which is a source of protein that can be used instead of meat.