The child was losing weight and vomiting. At the hospital, doctors discovered that he was starving from an almond milk diet.

baby bottle


  • Pediatric nutritionist Marina Chaparro described the dangers of not feeding children properly.

  • She has seen a child develop ketoacidosis, which is a sign of starvation, due to an almond milk diet.

  • Doctors say diluting infant formula can also lead to life-threatening lethargy and seizures.

Pediatric nutritionist Marina Chaparro He was working at a children’s hospital in Miami about five years ago when a child was admitted with symptoms including weight loss and vomiting.

was the child ketoacidosisa potentially fatal condition that occurs when the body begins to break down fatty acids for energy, releasing ketones and making the blood dangerously acidic.

At first, Chaparro and her fellow doctors, who worked in the pediatric endocrinology unit, thought the child had type 1 diabetes, a common cause of ketoacidosis.

But after a slew of tests, the providers learned that the child’s condition was not caused by diabetes, but by hunger: His mother had been feeding him a diet of almond milk, presumably based on unsound medical advice she found online.

Chaparro, who She now runs her bilingual family and children’s feeding practicesShe said the story stuck with her over the years because it illustrated the dangers of medical misinformation—something it has become more famous In the last years.

Hazelnut milk is not a safe substitute for infant formula

While nut milk can be incorporated into most toddler diets, it does not contain the nutrients suitable to replace breast milk or infant formula for infants under one year of age, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics. No cow’s milk or other milk alternatives.

Chaparro said in a webinar she hosted California Strawberry Commission. “Not to mention the risk of transmission and infection” when making your own formula.

Chaparro added that the baby’s mother was “doing the best she could,” and may have thought that since almond milk was good for her, it was good for her baby.

The baby became fine, Chaparro said, and he came out a few days after being fed an appropriate formula.

But that experience made Chaparro realize “how deeply embedded these nutritional messages are in our culture sometimes, and we listen to them and sometimes translate them to our children and families,” she says. “This is the case for me, this could be really dangerous.”

Doctors say the diluted formula can also be dangerous

Other parents have recently turned to the internet’s recipes for homemade formulas, in light of Deficiency in last year’s formula.

Dr. Owais Durrani, an emergency room physician in East Texas, formerly Talk to the Insider About the consequences, such as lethargy and seizures, he testified first hand.

In some cases, he said, parents dilute their formulas to try to make them last longer, but this upsets the electrolyte balance, which can lead to low sodium in infants. This, in turn, can reduce the children’s blood volume, It causes low blood pressure and life-threatening low levels of circulating oxygen.

“The formulation is as closely regulated as any prescription medicine when it comes to the ingredients in it to make sure that a child’s kidneys, liver, electrolytes are developing – and everything else is in a very good balance,” he said.

“They’re not as resilient as an adult who might be out in the sun for 12 hours and get dehydrated — we’ll mostly be fine, but for a child, that’s not the case,” Durrani added. “Every electrolyte, every ingredient, every mineral in this formula is incredibly important.”

Faced with a shortage, Durrani recommended that parents switch to other brands available, if possible, or ask their pediatrician or local hospital for samples of formula.

“We’re here to help,” Durrani said. “We’re not going to turn a hungry child away from the emergency department. We’re going to make sure when that child comes out of the hospital, some kind of plan is in place.” “But please don’t use any of those other options because that can lead to life-threatening problems.”

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