Toddler Eating Development Milestones

Below are some of the typical milestones to expect as your child grows. 

Between 12-18 months, your child will:

Eat ground, mashed, or chopped table foods (including soft pieces of meat) by 15 months
Use her tongue well to move food from side to side in the mouth
Lose a bit of food or saliva out of the mouth while chewing
Bite foods well
Eat coarsely chopped table foods, including meats and raw vegetables by 18 months
Sometimes chew with lips closed
Drink from a cup well without losing liquid out of her mouth by 18 months
Feed herself using a spoon, dropping some food off the spoon
Start to refuse some foods

By 24 months (2 years), your child will:

Swallow well from a cup with good lip closure around cup and no loss of liquid
Swallow food well with good lip control and no loss of food
Chew with jaw movements that go round and round, as well as up/down and side to side
Know the difference between food and non-food items
Scoop foods with a spoon, with some spills
Start to stab food with a fork and get it to her mouth
Start to show clear likes and dislikes of some foods

Between the ages of 2 and 3 years of age, your child will:

Eat the same foods as the rest of the family
Feed himself well with a spoon and fork
Have definite food likes and dislikes
Refuse certain foods
Possibly start to become a “picky eater”
Wipe his own mouth and hands with a napkin or cloth
Start to serve herself at the table with some spills

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