A 7-month-old baby named Lucas sadly passed away after his ultra-healthy parents fed him only gluten-free and lactose-free foods, including quinoa milk. His Belgian parents had self-diagnosed him with an array of food allergies, but never sought a medical professional’s opinion before deciding on his diet.

“The parents determined their own diagnosis that their child was gluten intolerant and had a lactose allergy,” lawyers said in court during the trial for the child’s 2014 death. “Not a single doctor had a dossier about Lucas and child protection services did not know about them.”

At the time of his death, Lucas weighed less than 10 pounds, which is only half the size of an average baby his age.  An autopsy later found that his stomach was completely empty when he passed away, and his official cause of death was dehydration and malnutrition.

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In court, the parents noted that they never took him to a doctor because they didn’t noticed that anything was wrong. The mother added that sometimes Lucas would gain a little weight and then lose it, and apparently they thought such weight fluctuation was normal. However, they did eventually take him to a homeopathic doctor, who insisted they take him to a real hospital. By the time they did, it was too late. The hospital pronounced him dead upon arrival.

In addition to quinoa milk, they also fed Lucas oat milk, rice milk, buckwheat milk and semolina milk from the natural foods store they own. While doctors warn that such a diet will not sustain an infant that age, the parents’ lawyer argued that wasn’t the case and that Lucas passed away for another reason.

“Lucas had an eating disorder. He got cramps when he was fed with a bottle and his parents tried out alternatives,” their attorney Karine Van Meirvenne said.

The parents’ trial began this week, and they both face up to 18 months in jail for contributing to the infant’s death.

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A malnourished baby died after his health-nut parents fed him an insanely strict diet Tim Clayton/Corbis via Getty Images
Carlin Becker About the author:
Carlin Becker is an Associate Content Editor at Rare. Follow her on Twitter @_carlbeck.
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