North Carolina Early Learning and Development Progressions: Birth to Five

Domain: NC Foundations for Early Learning: Health and Physical Development (HPD)

Subdomain: Self-Care

Goal: Children develop independence in caring for themselves and their environment.

Skill Progression: Eating/drinking

Age: 48-54 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 48-54 Months.

Holds fork in fingers rather than fist

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child during mealtime.

Elicitation Strategy

Provide a child-sized knife and fork. Serve cooked vegetables or a similar soft meat or fruit.

Behavior Observed

The child curls fingers around the fork and stabs the food.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

Rather than offering only one utensil, provide all utensils in a child-sized version and encourage appropriate use. Children learn which utensils are appropriate for which foods and how to combine tools (a fork and knife) by trial-and-error Rather than automatically cutting foods into bite-sized pieces, adults should demonstrate cutting and let the child try.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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