Typical Progression

Typical Feeding Progression in Young Children
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.