We’ve heard of putting kids in time-out for not eating their vegetables, but in Italy, parents could be jailed if they force their kids to eat only vegetables.A newly proposed Italian law would criminalize forcing a vegan lifestyle on kids without their consent. Although the law is still in the drafting stage and would need to be voted on, it’s already garnering a high profile following four deaths of malnourished children who were fed vegan diets, according to BBC.
Imposing a “diet devoid of essential elements for [children's] healthy and balanced growth,” would be banned under the new law that will be discussed later this year by the Italian parliament before going to the floor for debate. Parents could be punished with up to six years in prison for neglect.
According to the U.K. National Health Service, kids can grow and thrive normally under a vegan diet, but special precautions must be taken in order to ensure that they don’t become malnourished. Parents need to ensure that their children are getting enough iron and vitamins D and B12 — which are found in abundance in meat products — by giving them alternatives such as legumes and fortified breakfast cereals.