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: 8-10 Months

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Opens mouth as spoon approaches

Situations for Observation of Skill

Observe the infant during mealtime and when being breast or bottle fed.

Elicitation Strategy

Have the adult offer mashed food or ground food. First present the food on a spoon, then place some on the high chair tray.

Behavior Observed

The infant anticipates the spoon of food, leans forward and opens her mouth.

Routines-based Intervention (Embedded Instruction)

The infant is able to use the smaller muscles in the fingers and in the lips to make more precise moves. Early childhood educators and parents can give infants practice by giving them small items, such as Cheerios, small pieces of crackers, etc. Picking up small items helps refine the pincer grasp. When feeding from the spoon, adults can tip the spoon up when pulling it out of the mouth. This encourages the upper lip to go into the bowl of the spoon.

 North Carolina Department of Public Instruction, 2015

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