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October 19, 2005

Vegan parents on trial for baby's death

by flowermama

There is a current heartbreaking news story about a mother and father on trial for the death of their sixth month old baby girl. They followed a "living foods lifestyle," and their wee babe "allegedly" died from malnutrition.

Here are a couple links to articles about it. . .

Vegan parents on trial for baby's death, allegedly from malnutrition

Parents Accused of Starving Infant to Death

Edited to Add this link:
Baby's diet focus of trial (article dated 10/17/05)

First of all, I do not wish to judge the parents' alternative lifestyle. In fact, I applaud those who take the time and effort to learn about alternatives and don't blindly follow what the mainstream says is right. Our family has researched and prayed about many options in our efforts to find the best ways for our family to live, and, from reading the articles, it appears that we have made some of the same alternative choices this family did. They didn't eat animal products, and the kids and I don't eat them. They homebirthed, and I birthed three of our babies at home. They did not vaccinate, and we do not vaccinate. These choices themselves are not scary or bad and can be very good and wonderful.

Good parents make the choices they do because they feel they are best for their children, and with any choice it is crucial to reevaluate our choices in light of the current needs of our children and our whole family. If our children aren't thriving on the choices we've made, some type of changes are in order. We may need to modify what we are currently doing or, in some instances, even be willing to make a complete lifestyle change. Sometimes what we need to do is seek out help when we need it. Our top priority should be to protect our children.

With the little information I've read in these articles, it sounds like these parents somehow lost their sites on what was important in life. I believe that a raw foods vegan diet was not to blame for what went wrong.

On the page linked-to above, it says,

Prosecutors say the Andressohns starved Woyah to death by restricting her to a raw food diet, also known as a vegan diet or a "living foods lifestyle," feeding her only wheat grass, coconut water and milk made from almonds.

First of all it needs to be clarified that a raw food diet is not "also known as a vegan diet." There are many vegans (those who choose to eat a diet without animal products) who don't eat a raw foods diet. A raw foods diet can be vegan, but it wouldn't necessarily be vegan, and the two are not one and the same.

It also needs to be clarified that a raw foods diet can be very healthy, and, also, a vegan diet can be very healthy. For it to be said that she died because her parents restricted her diet to a "raw foods diet" would be incorrect. As we can see from the articles there were other factors beyond that, and, raw food or not, I can't see how what they fed her (according to the article) would provide adequate nutrition for an infant.

From the limited information we have available to us, it does sound to me very likely that their diet was inadequate. However, I don't believe their diet was inadequate because it was vegan or because it was raw foods. It may have been a too restrictive diet, but neither a raw foods diet or a vegan diet are inherently unhealthy or too restrictive.

Let me reiterate that a vegan diet can be very healthy for infants and children. Most of us have experienced this with our own infants, because most babies are vegan or vegetarian for at least the first six months of their life.

Resources for Raising Vegan Children

Growing Vegans... Birth through Adolescence excerpt from Becoming Vegan: The Complete Guide to Adopting a Healthy Plant-Based Diet by Brenda Davis and Vesanto Melina

The Vegan Diet for Infants and Children by Reed Mangels, PhD, RD and Sandra Hood, BSc (Hons), SRD

Vegan Nutrition in Pregnancy and Childhood by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. and
Katie Kavanagh-Prochaska, Dietetic Intern (on The Vegetarian Resource Group website)

Feeding Vegan Kids
by Reed Mangels, Ph.D., R.D. (on The Vegetarian Resource Group website)

Vegetarian Baby and Child

Posted by flowermama at 10:55 AM | Comments (1)


September 07, 2005

First Weekly Meal Plan

by flowermama

Sometimes when people hear I am vegan they ask, "What do you eat?" Well, here are some things our family eats. ;) This is the first time I've ever written down a full week of meals like this in advance. I wrote the list out at the end of last week, and I have been tweaking it as necessary. I am going to try write out weekly meal plans for at least four weeks.

I know there are many areas we need to improve on, one being that we need to eat less soy, so hopefully writing it down will help. Also, hopefully our meal plans might be helpful to someone reading this! :)


Breakfast (in van on way to church)

  • glass of almond milk before leaving for church
  • sesame seed butter and fruit spread sandwhiches on Sasquatch bread
  • plums

    Snack (in van after church)

  • leftover sandwhiches from breakfast
  • sesame sticks
  • energy bars
  • water from bottle


  • veggie meat sandwhiches on "Seed" bread
  • raw vegetables with tahini spread - red pepper, cucumber
  • avocado
  • pickles
  • apple slices
  • weekly dessert: soy vanilla ice cream -- toppings: slivered almonds, mango sauce


  • Mama's Best Noodles -- brown rice noodles mixed with a sauce made from crumbled soft tofu, garlic powder, Earth Balance whipped buttery spread (EB), Liquid Aminos (LA), vegetarian chicken flavored broth powder, and one cup of water blended together in a blender until very smooth and creamy
  • lettuce salad, tomatoes, cucumbers with dressing
  • fruit salad (pineapple, sliced banana, mandarin oranges mixed together)



  • homemade granola, Nancy's plain soy yogurt, and blueberries parfait


  • Tofu Pups on hotdog buns (multi-grain), potato wedges baked covered with olive oil and baked in oven
  • ketchup, Vegenaise
  • lettuce salad
  • fresh blackberries (grandma picked them)


  • We weren't at home at snacktime, so some of us ate energy bars in the van.


  • whole wheat tortillas with melted Tofutti American Soy-Cheese Slices
  • bean salad (red kidney beans, garbanzo beans, & white kidney beans, and diced red peppers mixed together and left in refrigerator to marinate in olive oil, rice vinegar, sucanat, and maple syrup.
  • grapes
  • bananas with peanutbutter on them (they were from snacktime that we didn't have) and five dark chocolate chips on them (not something we usually do *blush* lol)



  • raisin bran and Joe's O's cereal with rice milk
  • blackberries

    1st Snack

  • smoothie - rice milk, bananas, rest of blackerries, rest of yogurt, rest of soy ice cream from Sunday, carob, peanutbutter, and spirulina (yes, it's a funny mixture, but tasted fine lol)


  • potato pie - layer tvp (flavored with vegetarian beef flavored broth powder and garlic powder, and a little olive oil added) on bottom, corn in the middle, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes mashed together and spread on top (EB and plain rice milk mixed in with the potatoes)
  • lettuce salad
  • applesauce

    2nd Snack

  • tortilla chips with salsa
  • leftover bean salad
  • avocado
  • raisins and dried cranberries


  • brown rice with Earth Balance and Liquid Aminos
  • sliced pears



  • leftover brown rice with almond milk, maple syup, and cinnamon added (eaten like cereal), or brown rice with EB and LA (may drink a cup of almond milk if not poured over on rice)
  • sliced apples

    First Snack

  • leftover things from Sunday -- cut up leftover potatoes and tofu pups, mixed them together, and warmed them on the stove in olive oil; used rest of Seed bread with peanut butter, etc., on top; used two hot dog buns and put Vegenaise and soy cheese slices on them.


  • enchilladas (easy to make - jarred spaghetti sauce on bottom, six corn tortillas in next layer, then crumbled soft tofu mixed with vegetarian chicken flavoring in the next layer, then six more corn tortillas, then spaghetti sauce on top) with soy sour cream available for those who like to add that on top
  • lettuce salad


  • smoothie - vanilla rice milk, 3 bananas, frozen cherries blended together
  • toast or bread untoasted with fruit spread, EB, and peanutbutter to choose from to put on top (or as a sandwhich)
  • raisins and dried cranberries
  • carrot sticks and tahini spread to dip them in


  • baked potatoes with lime and Earth Balance on them (and pepper for me... I love pepper)



  • oatmeal with diced apples, cinnamon, maple syrup, sliced almonds, and rice milk


  • brown rice with Earth Balance and Liquid Aminos and cubed tofu
  • lettuce salad with dressing
  • cucumber with tahini sauce
  • pineapple rings


  • sandwhiches made on kamut/spelt bread with soy cheese slices and leftover veggie meat and Vegenaise lettuce
  • smoothie


  • Mom brings dinner this day. :D



  • Joe's O's, raisin bran, or granola + rice milk


  • banana and carrot French toast with Earth Balance and maple syrup


    Snack with Movie

  • popcorn with Earth Balance and sea salt
  • sliced apples with peanut butter and raisins on top



  • banana bread
  • any extra fruit we have leftover from the week
  • rice milk


  • Daddy's Best Noodles
  • lettuce salad


  • sesame sticks
  • energy bars
  • water from bottle


  • stuffed green peppers -- leftover brown rice mixed with spaghetti sauce with soy cheese on top
  • sliced raw green peppers

    Posted by flowermama at 01:28 PM | Comments (5)

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