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

7 thoughts on “breakfast with bear

  1. I preferred to “pre-masticate” with a blender and feed my babies with a spoon, but meh. Everyone has their own way of doing things. I agree with you. It sounds as if she’s trying to do her best.
    Posting this video may have been a bit short-sighted on her part, however. She must have known it would create all kinds of controversy. Of course it’s entirely possible that was her purpose- to get dialogue going.

  2. I think it’s fantastic as well….
    I will admit to doing this with both my kids before they had lots of teeth! My daughter LOVED almonds and I did the mother bird thing all the time with those ;)

    I think it’s a beautiful example of a nurturing, close contact Mama-Baby relationship!

  3. I think it’s so funny that we, as a society, would choose to get our panties in a bundle about this. Really? Moral decay is all around us, gas and food prices are becoming so high that people aren’t able to afford to eat in a healthy manner. And yet, we choose to get upset that this woman chooses to pre-chew her baby’s food? Unbelievable. The first thing I thought when I heard this story is, “Yes, and people have done this for many hundreds of years… What’s the big deal?” Sure, there might be some bacteria swapped. Let’s be reasonable though… First, in comparison with generations ago, we have far superior dental hygene. Our teeth aren’t rotting out of our heads. Second, a baby/toddler puts all sorts of things in his/her mouth that are far dirtier than whatever momma has in her mouth. I agree with Bejazled. It’s a beautiful, practical example of nurturing. I think that like breastfeeding, it’s a personal choice.

  4. Pingback: peace, love, no more mommy wars | Mommy OM

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