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: 15-18 Months

Click here to go to all skills for ages 15-18 Months.

Feeds self with spoon, turns in mouth, spilling

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the child eating with a spoon.

Elicitation Strategy

Provide the child’s typical food in a stabilized bowl with a spoon.

Behavior Observed

The child firmly grasps the spoon, gets the spoon in the mouth, and then turns it. Food often falls out of the mouth.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

The child is now able to successfully eat and drink with little assistance. Encourage parents to have the child eat with the rest of the family rather than at a separate time. This way the child observes others eating, eats the same food, and participates in the mealtime talk.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

©2015 by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. To view a copy of this license, visit