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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Every time New Yorkers have seen this in mass media before, it has generally been a gross-out joke, played for laughs.
Mario Batali and Jon Stewart did it on “The Daily Show.” “Saturday Night Live” has done it twice: once with Bill Murray, Brian Doyle Murray and Chevy Chase. Years later, Julianna Margulies, Will Ferrell and crew took up the pre-chewing bit.
But now, actress Alicia Silverstone has released a video that may make people wonder if she’s really clueless when it comes to feeding her children.
Silverstone posted a video in which she pre-chews the food of her toddler son Bear Blu and then discharges it into his mouth, like a bird.
The video was posted on her site, “The Kind Life.” Her site is an extension of her book, “The Kind Diet.”
“I will be sharing all kinds of tasty morsels with you,” Silverstone wrote on the site, explaining it’s mission. “By the time you’re done with your visit, your mouth will be watering and you will surely want to crash here forever.”
“This website is fantastic resource for those who want to delve deeper into the world of healthy, green, eco friendly living,” she wrote.
The post that caused a ruckus is entitled “home video: breakfast with baby bear.”
“I just had a delicious breakfast of miso soup, collards and radish steamed and drizzled with flax oil, cast iron mochi and 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,” Silverstone posted.
“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,” she posted.
Commenters on Silverstone’s site seemed to not make much of an issue of it.
“That is sweet. Who are we to judge? It’s not like she is showing a video of herself eating in front of her child while he is starving. She is feeding him like a mother should, and they are both adorable,” posted user Amber Harvey.
“Oh, for goodness sakes people, Alicia is feeding her child, not shooting up,” posted Jacqueline Pascarl.
The National Institutes of Health has published studies on “premastication.”
Just in February, the NIH published a report that documented three cases of HIV transmission attributed to the practice of pre-chewing. According to the report’s conclusions, “public health officials and health care providers should educate the public about the potential risk of disease transmission via premastication.”
Another report from September 2011 concluded “Education should include advice to avoid premastication and to seek health advice for oral conditions in the caregiver and child. More studies are needed to better define the extent and risks of premastication, including its possible role in increasing HIV-1 transmission.”
The practice of pre-chewing food for infants is more common in other parts of the world.
What do you make of the practice of pre-chewing food for toddlers? What do you make of the video? Sound off in our comments section below.