Actress and vegan diet enthusiast Alicia Silverstone has a strange way of feeding her 11-month-old son Bear Blu. In a video posted on her healthy living website thekindlife.com, Silverstone chews a bite of food and then passes it straight into her little boy's mouth mama-bird style.
"I just had a delicious breakfast…" writes Silverstone introducing the video, "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."
Though pre-chewing babies food is common cultural practice around the world, especially in underdeveloped countries where people might not have access to modern conveniences such as blenders, not everyone thinks it's a healthy idea. Speaking with Fox News, Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD warned, "Various viruses and bacteria, but especially herpes virus, may be passed from mother to baby." She added, "These microbes present a challenge that the infant's immune system may not be ready for.
See Silverstone feading Bear Blu.
Two studies published in journal Pediatrics cautioned that pre-chewing food for toddlers and infants was a risk factor for the transmission of HIV. "Most [parents and caregivers] probably didn't know the possible risks involved," Dr. Elke Maritz, lead author of one of the studies, told Reuters. "Due to its long history and cultural acceptance, pre-mastication seems to be considered so harmless and natural by caregivers that they tend not to mention it during health interviews, or suspect that there could be something wrong with this feeding method."
Comments on Silverstone's website are generally positive about her quirky way of giving Bear Blu his breakfast. "That's so precious and bear looks so happy!" wrote one fan. "I am sure this is a way to ward against picky eater in your future!!" added another. Mira Jacob, deputy editor of the parenting website Babble.com isn't quite so enthusiastic: "A lot of moms chew a portion of their baby's food; it's often a very natural transition," she told Fox. "But this just looks really funny, like Alicia is making out with her son."
Silverstone is no doubt convinced she is doing something natural and healthy for her child. But do you think the star is a bit "clueless"? Please let us know in the comments below.