LOS ANGELES (CBS) — Would you feed your child food you've chewed first from your own mouth?
Many mothers and experts would say a resounding no -- and maybe add a few emphatic expletives -- but actress Alicia Silverstone has proudly posted video of herself doing just that with her son, Bear Blu, on her blog, The Kind Life.
The actress, best known for her role as Cher in the film "Clueless," is on record as an advocate of veganism and animal rights. But is feeding her 10-month-old son from her mouth going a bit too far?
"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," Silverstone wrote on her blog.
The practice of pre-chewing food is called premastication. Across the web, mothers are debating the practice, thanks to Silverstone's video.
A BabyCenter.com commenter named Meggles said: "What Alicia is doing is called pre-chewing. It is practiced by mothers in developing countries who don't have access to food processors. Some of these mothers inadvertently pass on diseases to their babies through pre-chewing. While I seriously doubt this is a concern for Alicia and her child, I do wonder why she's doing it."
"I think it's patronizing to adopt practices from developing cultures simply because they're from a more "natural" people. You know what I bet a mother from Africa would do if she had access to a food processor? I bet she'd use it," she added.
According to Wikipedia, the practice does have some health benefits. Pre-chewing food lubricates it for better infant digestion, and also passes on disease-fighting immunities in the mother's saliva. However, pre-chewing food also puts baby at risk for any diseases the mother might have, as well.
What do you think of pre-chewing your baby's food?
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