Typical Feeding Progression in Young Children
|FOOD TYPES/TEXTURES||ORAL MOTOR MATURATION||SELF FEEDING||FEEDING BEHAVIOURS|
|0-3 months||Formula or Breast milk||Able to latch onto nipple and coordinate breathing with sucking; mild leakage from side of mouth is common.||Held and fed by adults.||Cry and fuss when hungry. Turn towards and maintain brief eye contact with mom/feeder when fed.|
|3-6 months||Formula or Breast milk||Longer nursing time and better seal on the nipple.||Held and fed by adults.||Maintain longer eye contact with feeder; may smile out of content.|
|5-6 months||Thin semi-solid foods (baby cereals) introduced along with formula or breast milk||Will open mouth to accept semi-solids from a spoon.||Spoon-fed by adults.||Sit on high chair with support.|
|6-8 months||Thicker semi-solids with some lumps (cereals and fruits); quick melt puffs and crackers; formula or breast milk; can introduce water or diluted juice.||Start developing munching pattern and can mash thicker semi-solids with small lumps. Can strip food off spoon effectively; lean forward to anticipate spoon coming.||Lap at liquids from cup held by an adult. Pincer grasp emerges close to 8 months.||Begin to show anticipation for feeding when put on high chair or sees feeding utensils. Shake head or make noises to indicate being full.|
|8-10 months||Fork mashed or finely chopped foods; bread; pureed meats; formula/breast milk; water/ juice.||Develop more mature chewing (diagonal chewing)||Holds bottle or sippy cup and tips over. Improved Pincer grasp. Explore food with fingers; does not always aim right to the mouth.||Show interest in feeding by grabbing utensils and food in sight- lots of food play! Typical mealtime is around 15-20 minutes.|
|10-12 months||Finely chopped foods including meat; egg yolk; formula/breast milk; water/juice||Mature rotary chewing develops. Can drink 2-3 oz from sippy cup or straw at a setting.||Improved finger-feeding self; may try out feeding self with spoon.||Will fuss if parent is slow with feeding; drops or throws food off tray when full.|
|12-18 months||Most table foods cut-up to bite sizes; may switch to whole milk. Eats some items per food group: proteins, carbohydrates, fruits, and vegetables.||Can manage bite- size cooked foods and crunchy, quick dissolve foods.
Use straw cups or open cup.
|Assert more independence by grabbing and using spoon/fork, but more efficient in using fingers to self-feed.||May ask for “more” and indicate full by saying ‘done’. Mealtime should around 30 minutes and does not exceed 45 minutes.|