Parents who force their children to eat a vegan diet could face prison under a proposed new law in Italy.

Forza Italia MP Elvira Savino wants parents who give children under the age of 16 a diet “lacking essential elements for a healthy growth” to spend up to two years in prison, the UK Telegraph reports.

The centre-right politician put forward the proposal as a means to protect minors from “radicalised” parents after Italy saw an increase in adults adopting vegetarian and vegan diets.

She believes vegan diets leave children lacking qualities of iron, zinc and B12.

Under the proposed law, parents would face up to one year behind bars and up to two and a half years if the vegan diet leads to their child “getting permanently sick or hurt”.

If a child given a vegan diet was to die, their parent may face up to six years behind bars.

Ms Savino’s proposal follows a number of cases in which young children were found to be malnourished because of a poor vegan diet.

Last month, a 14-month-old baby was taken to hospital with the expected weight of a three-month-old.

It emerged he had been subjected to a vegan diet, leaving him dangerously malnourished and with low calcium levels.

A healthy vegan diet

Vegans – exclude red meat, offal, poultry, fish, eggs and dairy products. Obtain protein from beans, legumes, pulses, nuts and soy products like tofu.

To make sure your child gets enough of all the nutrients needed for a growing child, their diet must include:

•Protein alternatives such as nuts, legumes and tofu
•Energy for growth and development
•Iron to prevent anaemia
•Vitamin B12
•Vitamin D and calcium to prevent bone disease
•Suitable fats from non-meat sources
•Food in the correct form and combination to make sure nutrients can be digested and absorbed.

•Vegans, use non-dairy milks e.g. soya milk that are fortified with calcium, vitamin D2 and vitamin B12

•Spread breads with avocado, or seed/nut butters to increase calories

More info available on The Vegan Society page.

Share your comments below.

Image via shutterstock

  • Interesting reading. I am not sure about a vegan diet for children. They are developing so quickly that they need all the nutritional requirements of a well balanced diet.


  • Typical idiotic political knee jerk reaction. Lets punish everyone for the sake of some doing wrong. How dangerous it is to feed kids actual food instead of the over processed, swimming in fat, loaded with salt fast food junk the “normal, caring and nurturing” parents FORCE their kids to try to survive off.


  • I think this is shocking since a vegan diet (correctly done with B12 supplementation) supplies everything needed for health and is in fact MORE healthy in many ways than the ‘standard diet”.. so long as you’re not eating just chips and coke veganism in fact eliminates many toxic products, at least the salts, sugar, fats etc. that processed food has. I find it exceptional that a law would be considered… if it is I think it should include parents who feed their children junk, giving them nutrient poor, calorie dense foods that endup costing the health care system lots to fix.


  • wow just wooowww! how silly and superficial! parents should be charged


  • I guess they have a good point, even if the penalties seem a bit harsh, we need to keep our kids safe and healthy. I am amazed sone parents are so ill educated on a healthy diet for growing kids


  • Parent should be educated on how to feed their child the correct balance of nutrients


  • I would like to see more information on this issue and in this article. People with traditional, vegetarian and vegan diets may all suffer from being malnourished if not eating the right foods. Qualified dieticians should be consulted and a GP to ensure all nutritional value is being sourced from foods.


  • It is not the vegan diet that is the problem it is the parents not providing the right type of vegan food, you can’t just cut food out and replace it with vegan ‘junk food’, it has to be healthy. My son is 15 and has been vegetarian all his life and mostly vegan since 10 years old. He never get’s sick and is strong and healthy. But we make a lot of effort to eat lot’s of healthy nourishing vegan food.

    • Yep – It is about education and ensuring you know what is required in any diet; traditional, vegetarian, vegan and so on…..


  • I don’t understand why parents are not taking better care of their children. Let them decide later in life if they want to be vegan. Poor bub.


  • so educate people on what a vegan child would need in a day to be healthy. Vegan and vegetarians have to have a lot more than a regular diet


  • Not sure about this law. You start with vegan and then? One day there will be a law against vegetarian people or who knows what else?

    • Babies and young children are likely to not like the flavour of a lot of foods that contain the nourishment they need with just vegetables. e.g. would you feed a baby or very small child on food like spinach to get the nourishment content they need from it. Most little ones don’t like the flavours of dark green vegetables that contain a large % of some vitamins, minerals etc. It is not safe to give a child nuts until they are able to chew properly when they have all their teeth – preferably permanent front teeth. If you don’t want your your child to have ordinary dairy products- in some genuine cases people of all ages are allergic to them – you can get lactose products in place of dairy.


Post a comment
Like Facebook page

LIKE MoM on Facebook

Please enter your comment below
Would you like to include a photo?
No picture uploaded yet.
Please wait to see your image preview here before hitting the submit button.
Your MoM account

Lost your password?

Enter your email and a password below to post your comment and join MoM:

You May Like


Looks like this may be blocked by you browser or content filtering.

↥ Back to top

Thanks For Your Star Rating!

Would you like to add a written rating or just a star rating?

Write A Rating Just A Star Rating