One method for providing food for an infant is for a caregiver to chew some food and then to feed the masticated mess to the child.


Premastication of food for an infant tends to occur:

(1) based on cultural norms (as a means of intimate sharing)

(2) when a pureed baby food is not available (traveling, after a disaster, etc)

(3) poverty

(4) a young child insists on eating what an adult is eating but is unable to do so

(5) sharing a dessert or other desirable food that does not exist as a pureed food


The frequency of premastication may range from once or twice to all of the time.


Premastication exposed the infant to pathogens in the caregiver (such as Helicobacter pylori and viral hepatitis B) and in the foods being consumed (which may or may not be cooked).


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