breakfast with bear

Earlier this week, The Kind Life mommy and “Clueless” actress Alicia Silverstone gave the world an inside look at one of her favorite ways to feed her ten-month-old son.  Silverstone posted a video of herself pre-chewing baby Bear Blu’s food and feeding it to him from her mouth.  She writes:

I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi with nori wrapped outside, and some grated daikon. Yum! I fed Bear the mochi and a tiny bit of veggies from the soup…from my mouth to his. It’s his favorite…and mine. He literally crawls across the room to attack my mouth if I’m eating. This video was taken about a month or 2 ago when he was a bit wobbly. Now he is grabbing my mouth to get the food!”

It’s obvious why this video went viral.  It’s not normal to feed a baby this way.  It’s gross, right?  Or is it?  For those who were unaware, pre-mastication really does exist in this world.  In fact, throughout the course of human evolution until recent times, pre-mastication of foods for infants was crucial to ensure nutritional adequacy and to support infant immunity.  It’s apparent now that modernized agricultural systems and food technology has deemed pre-mastication unnecessary.

Since the video, experts have weighed in on the concern that pre-mastication can potentially transfer harmful bacteria from mom to baby.  A quick rush to judgement of Alicia’s parenting ways by everyone and anyone blew up the mainstream news programs this week.  Day and night-time talk shows, celebrity gossip websites, twitter feeds, and Facebook pages all posted, shared, and commented on the breakfast with Bear video.

When I saw the video, my first reaction was that of amazement.  While I probably wouldn’t choose to feed my babies this way, I am not alarmed, concerned, or disgusted.  Alicia seems like a health conscious, nurturing parent and it’s her choice how she feeds her child.  Let’s not forget that she obviously does not feed him like this ALL the time.  I know for certain in the past I have pre-chewed food for my kids and put it in their mouths using my hands (how clean are those?).  I’ve also sanitized pacifiers that fell on the floor by spitting on them and/or licking them.  I didn’t do it all the time, but I did do it.  Hasn’t every mom done this at one time or another?

What was your reaction to the video above?

dr. lisa