I lived in Asia for over a decade where I often saw women making baby food. In the US, baby food come conveniently pureed and packaged in cute baby-sized servings. Many Asian moms, however, simply chew the food for their children and then spit it into their mouths — much like a mother bird feeds her chicks.
I remember doing this for my first child at a restaurant in Washington, D.C.. It wasn’t until I noticed lots of people staring that I asked my then-wife, “Oooops, they don’t do that here, do they.” “Nope,” she said, “they don’t.”
I looked around once more and then said, “What the hell.” and kept feeding my hungry child.
To give some substance to this post, I poked around:
- A 2008 Pediatrics paper indicated rates of premastication in the United States might be as high as 14 percent.(this and this article were con)
- 63% of Chinese university students received premasticated food as infants (this article was pro)
- Non-human primates premasticate too.
Note: We are a weird family: co-sleepers, slow on vaccinations, no sweets in the house, no comercial TV and a premasticator to boot!
Questions to readers:
Did you give or receive premastication?
What do you think about premastication?