Sydney Toddler Malnourished After Being Fed Vegan Diet
A baby girl fed a vegan diet by her parents was so neglected that by the time she was 19 months old she didn't have any teeth and looked like she was just three months old, a Sydney court has heard.
The toddler's parents - who can't be named for legal reasons - have pleaded guilty to failing to provide for her, causing danger of serious injury.
The couple faced a sentence hearing at Downing Centre District Court on Thursday.
The girl, who was taken to hospital after she suffered a seizure in March 2018, was fed a strict plant-based diet which left her malnourished and suffering from a preventable bone disease.
Both her height and weight were markedly low for her age, the court heard.
The toddler's former foster carer, in a victim impact statement, said when she first met the little girl she couldn't sit up, roll over or hold her own bottle despite being almost two.
She had no teeth and couldn't speak.
“She was so weak she couldn't sit up.” That's what a court heard today about a toddler, left severely malnourished by her parents. The girl's father has now turned on her mother, who was vegan, claiming he just followed her orders. @KellyFedor #9News pic.twitter.com/wBJrCC9AZc— Nine News Sydney (@9NewsSyd) May 9, 2019
The foster carer told the court she saw the toddler lying on a hospital bed connected to tubes.
"I remember thinking how terrifying this must be (for her)," she said.
The toddler continues to stand out as different because of her parents' crime, the carer said.
"When she meets new people socially they always ask her age and are shocked how small she is."
The pre-schooler, now almost three, is currently technically obese because her height - that of a one-year-old - is so disproportionate to her weight.
"It's like her body is storing calories in case she needs them in the future," the carer said.
After leaving hospital, the little girl had to attend an appointment every single day with a medical professional. She also needed to have her blood tested at least once a month.
"As she gets older she is becoming more traumatised by (the blood tests)," the carer said.
"She now begins to scream."
AAP and 9NEWS.