Posted by Deborah Pujoue on April 6, 2012
“Clueless” star Alicia Silverstone recently discussed her unique (or, dare I say it, nasty) technique for feeding her baby, 11-month-old son Bear Blu, in an interview. The frenzy that followed made me wonder if there is anything at all to justify what she’s doing.
This questions stems from a recent video Alicia posted that shows herself feeding her son his breakfast. What made this video so controversial is that she is “bird feeding” it to him, meaning that she chews the food in her own mouth then feeds it to her son in a mouth-to-mouth manner. This video was posted on her health food website TheKindLife.com just this past weekend. Um…. okay?
On her website, Alicia wrote: “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!”
This mouth-to-mouth transfer of food has experts weighing in on the medical and nutritional value of feeding children this way.
“There are those who think that a mom chewing a baby’s food provides helpful enzymes from her mouth but it doesn’t seem like a hygienic practice. Various viruses and bacteria, but especially herpes virus, may be passed from mother to baby,” says Dr. Jennifer Landa, M.D Chief Medical Officer of BodyLogicMD told FOX411’s Pop Tarts column. “These microbes present a challenge that the infant’s immune system may not be ready for. So the practice is questionable for safety, and then, there’s a certain ick factor here that needs to be considered.”
However, family therapist Melody Brooke is more concerned with how appropriate that type of behavior is from the child (i.e. diving into his mother’s mouth for food). And at least one expert, Mira Jacob, deputy editor of parenting site Babble.com, admits that it’s just plain “odd.”
While some experts will stipulate that there may be benefits to feeding your children in this manner, I can’t help wondering what that will do to the child’s psychological development. Not to mention the fact that it’s just plain nasty. The “ick” factor just doesn’t seem to get the point across well enough for me. While the process may work wonders for birds, seeing this in person… say… at a restaurant would make me want to hurl. I’m curious what other parents out there think of this practice. Would you even consider doing this with your own children, or am I just too “old school” to keep up with modern parenting techniques?