Feeding Developmental

Feeding Developmental Checklist

Developmental milestone charts don’t always recognize every child’s unique journey. Your child may exhibit one or more signs of developmental delays listed below, but that does not necessarily mean they are off-track. However, occupational therapy could be a valuable tool to support your child’s continued growth & development.

Across the Lifespan:

Displays signs of hunger and desires to interact with age appropriate foods and liquids.

Maintains appropriate weight and growth trajectory.

Participates in mealtimes with caregivers.

Enjoys meals time and does not display anxiety around engaging with foods or attempting to sample new foods or textures.

Develops feeding routines and mealtimes that provide nutrition and positive experiences with food

Baby (6-12 months):

Develops the ability to sit and maintain alignment in a feeding seat.

Demonstrates good head control during feeding.

Maintains appropriate weight and growth trajectory.

Eats a good variety of pureed and age-appropriate soft mechanical foods.

Starts to use fingers to grasp and bring small food items to mouth.

Shows interest in self-feeding with soft finger foods.

Toddler (12-24 months):

Gradually transitions to a variety of textures and types of foods.

Demonstrates chewing with a circular jaw movement for a range of foods.

Displays increasing independence in self-feeding and learning to use utensils.

Drinks from a sippy cup, straw, or regular cup.

Preschooler (2-5 years):

Masters self-feeding with utensils independently.

Enjoys a varied and balanced diet, incorporating different food groups.

Demonstrates chewing with a circular jaw movement for a range of foods.

Demonstrates the ability to drink from a regular cup without assistance.

Chews and swallows foods of varying textures without difficulty.

School-Age (6-12 years):

Eats a diverse range of foods, including fruits, vegetables, proteins, and grains.

Maintains a healthy, positive attitude toward food and eating habits.

Recognizes and communicates feelings of hunger and fullness appropriately.

Participates in mealtime routines, including simple meal prep, setting the table and cleaning up.

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