Feeding & Swallowing Milestones

Children develop feeding and swallowing skills at different paces, yet they typically follow a natural progression in mastering these abilities. Here are the general stages of feeding and swallowing development:

General Feeding & Swallowing Tips

  • Encourage your child to try a new food multiple times to help them figure out if they like it.
  • Offer different types of food to your child and keep trying, even if they don’t seem to enjoy it at first.
  • Involve your child in cooking. Experiencing new smells and flavors together can make trying new foods more fun, especially when they’ve helped make the meal.
  • Use play to introduce new foods. Making mealtime fun, like having a picnic or playing with food, can help your child become more interested in trying new things.
  • Expand on foods your child already likes. For instance, if they enjoy chicken nuggets, you might introduce a chicken patty next.
  • Encourage, but don’t force, your child to try new foods. Pressuring them too much can lead to negative feelings about eating.
  • Teach your child to recognize when they are hungry or full. This helps develop good eating habits and a healthy attitude towards food.
  • If your child struggles with breastfeeding, bottle-feeding, or eating solids, don’t hesitate to seek help. Early intervention can address eating issues and support a positive food experience for both of you.