Premasitcation - chewing for your baby... The benefits.
Advantages - Wikipedia
Premastication is complementary to breastfeeding in the health practices of infants and young children, providing large amounts of carbohydrate and protein nutrients not always available through breast milk and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and vitamin B12which are essential nutrients present mainly in meat. Compounds in the saliva, such as haptocorrin also helps increase B12 availability by protecting the vitamin against stomach acid.
Infant intake of meat nutrient
Meats such as beef were likely premasticated during human evolution as hunter-gatherers. This animal-derived iron source is shown to confer benefits to young children (2 years onwards) by improving growth, motor, and cognitive functions. In earlier times, premastication was an important practice that prevented infant iron deficiency.
The infant can benefit from immunological resistance to infections and immunological hypersensitivity such as asthma can be inhibited through the antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory, growth factors, and nutrient transporters in the mother's saliva. Premastication may itself promote the development of infant immune systems through antibody generators in the mother's saliva, which help prevent the development of allergies in the infant.
Premasticated foods allow for better infant digestion through the presence of saliva enzymes lacking in infants. Alpha-amylase from maternal saliva aids in digestion of starches fed to a baby. This may be important in the developed nations since "...milk supplements containing starch are used frequently and if these are introduced into feeds at an early stage, digestion of the starch will require the action of salivary amylase..." Children being fed mainly plant based diets by vegetarian parents also benefit from the more prevalent and different types of digestive enzymes in premasticated food. Fat digesting lingual lipase in adult saliva can also help infant digestion and fat absorption since infants generally do not produce enough of these enzymes in their digestive tracts to efficiently process the fats they consume.
Early infant feeding of premasticated foods such as eggs and nuts alongside breastfeeding, could help promote immune tolerance help moderate allergic responses. The practice of premastication is postulated to play an important role in the development of oral immunotolerance and help prevent the occurance of autoimmune diseases in the infant. Although the rise in allergic and autoimmune diseases in Western societies have not been directly linked to the decrease of premastication in these same societies, researchers believe that these two phenomena are related.