Although almond milk is thought to be one of the most nutritious alternatives to dairy milk, health researcher are warning parents against feeding it to their babies reports news.com.
An 11-month-old child in Spain developed scurvy after being solely fed an almond milk-based formula specifically designed for babies.
Scurvy is caused by a vitamin C deficiency and causes bulging eyes, bleeding gums and stunting of bone growth. Although it was once a common disease of sailors with no access to fresh produce it is now very rare in the developed world.
The child in question was born at a healthy weight, and then his parents switched him to the almond based formula after a skin rash caused a doctor to suspect an allergy.
All appeared normal until 8-months when, according to the hospital report, “he showed less interest in interacting and was more unstable when sitting”.
The baby would cry when his limbs were moved and x-rays showed fracture in his legs and spine due to a lack of bone mass.
The researchers are now warning parents about feeding their young children a diet solely comprised of supposedly healthy plant-derived drinks, such as almond milk.
“When plant-based beverages are the exclusive diet in the first year of life and not consumed as a supplement to formula or breastfeeding, it can result in severe nutritional problems,” Dr Vitoria said.
“Manufacturers should indicate that these beverages are inappropriate for infants who consume a vitamin C deficient diet”.