A viral video of a mom letting her 16-month-old baby eat what can only be called an interesting idea of baby food has set off controversy on social media over whether the mother in the video is actually committing an act of child abuse or if it’s just a silly joke.
“Anybody who actually enjoys causing an innocent toddler pain and discomfort for their own amusement or to make a hoped for ‘viral video’, ought to have their freakin’ head examined,” wrote one commenter on the video, which can be viewed above.
“This is child abuse,” wrote another. “If she had reached for a weapon would you let her pull the trigger? What a Dumb A** Parent.”
What did this mom in England do in the video to stir up allegations of child abuse — or at least stupidity? Well, check out the video and you’ll see that when the baby girl reaches on to her mom’s dinner plate, she picks out probably the one item that a parent would generally think twice about sharing with a baby.
A jalapeño chili pepper.
As soon as the little girl puts the powerful pepper in her mouth, she has a pained reaction and starts to cry. She then tries eating the pepper again and breaks into tears of pain again.
“Check out her mixed emotions as she tries the extremely spicy pepper,” wrote the YouTube user Rumble Video, who posted the viral clip. “Does she strangely enjoy it since she goes back for more?”
“Strangely enjoy?” Is it even possible to a baby barely over a year old to “enjoy” the intense burning sensation caused by a spicy pepper?
“Children are more sensitive to spicy food and I would suggest this was most unwise. They also don’t have the ability to say if they don’t want it or not,” pointed out Dr. Mike Smith, a general practitioner interviewed about the video by Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper. “I would say don’t do this at home.”
Among pediatricians and nutritionists, there is actually quite a bit of debate over whether babies should be given spicy foods. But there is a difference between aromatic spices — such as cinnamon, garlic, or ginger — which are considered acceptable for even very young children by most experts, and hot spices, such as a jalapeño pepper.
“The hot part is not a taste, but rather involves stimulation of pain receptors, and infants might have a stronger and novel reaction to it, possibly creating an aversion,” said pediatric gastroenterologist Dr. Anca Safta in an interview with Live Science.
But not every expert agrees. Vandana Sheth of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics notes that “when you look at the cultural history of other countries, children are exposed to chili peppers.”
How do you see this viral video? Is a mom who feeds a jalapeño pepper to a 16-month-old baby committing abuse?
[Image: YouTube Screen Grab]