A video of a little girl trying wasabi for the first time went viral in early March, and now some people are calling the incident an act of child abuse. In the 30-second clip, an unnamed woman assumed to be the toddler’s mother is heard asking her if she’d like to try the spicy topping. The baby says no multiple times, but the woman insists and feeds it to her with a chopstick anyway. The messy-faced kid stares at the cameraperson with sad eyes and simply says, “Help.”
The video was uploaded to Unilad’s Facebook page on March 4. It has garnered over 14 million views and has been shared over 211,000 times. Many people in the comments section opined that the video was hilarious, but others are calling it child abuse and asking for legal action to be taken against the child’s mother.
"Someone needs to turn this video in to authority for CHILD ABUSE!" Cheryl Klepper exclaimed.
“That poor child. You could see the look of distrust when her mother was trying to coerce her into eating the wasabi. How is that child supposed to trust her mother if she feeds her wasabi?! I just hated seeing this,” Kim Kidd wrote.
“I’m sorry, I don’t typically get offended by this kind of stuff but wasabi is freaking hot - not something I’d give a child - And then the poor baby says help at the end,” Evie Burk said.
But others thought nothing of it.
“Kids need to explore different tastes and textures of things not only to find out what they like and don’t like but they also won’t have allergies to it once prone to it! It’s not child abuse,” Manda Keller declared.
“I gave my children lemon slices as toddlers for my amusement, all parents do it. It’s not battery acid!” Rachel Lennon wrote.
Giving your kids a sour face via lemon seems to be considered an acceptable practice among parents. In this video posted to YouTube by BuzzFeed, many commenters called the compilation “pure gold,” “EPIC!” and “too funny.”
While it might be rude to blindside your baby with tart and pungent flavors, registered dietician Andrea Carpenter told Global News that it’s OK to introduce mild spices, such as ginger and dill, to babies six months and older — which is not to say parents should immediately offer ghost peppers to their tiny tots. Carpenter says to avoid hot spices including capsaicin because the heat sensation can be interpreted as pain.
Doctors at Plattsburgh Pediatrics in Plattsburgh, New York, told The Daily Meal that as a rule of thumb, families should only feed their young children things they’re also eating.
“If it’s a part of their culture, that’s fine. But if it’s just to see what reaction that child might have, that’s frowned upon,” the spokesperson said.
On the other hand, fully grown adults can make their own decisions. Studies say that men with a taste for spicy food are manlier than those with a modest palate — so any dudes looking to test that theory are free to do so by eating the world’s spiciest foods.