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Infants » Sleeping, Feeding, Eating

Developmental Stages of Readiness to Progress in Feeding Behaviors

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Age Sequnce of Development Appropriate Foods

Rooting reflex – turns head toward touch near mouth and roots for nipple

Suckling reflex – tongue moves forward and back to milk the nipple, followed by swallow reflex

Gag reflex

Breast milk or iron-fortified formula (continue throughout the first year)
4-7 Months

Head and trunk control is stronger

Rooting and bite reflexes fade

Sucking strength increases – tongue moves up and down to create suction


Munching patterns (up and down chewing) begin

Palmar grasp and brings objects to mouth

Infant cereals from a spoon
Strained foods from a spoon
7-9 Months

Gag reflex is weaker

Tongue laterally transfers food in the mouth

Voluntary and independent movements of the tongue and lips

Can drink from a cup when it is held to lips

Sitting posture can be sustained

Holds bottle alone

Beginning of chewing movements (up and down movements of the jaw)

Develops pincer grasp

Soft, mashed table foods: tuna fish, mashed potatoes, well-cooked mashed vegetables; ground meats  in gravy and sauces; fruit such as applesauce, mashed bananas; yogurt; cottage cheese, cooked, mashed dry beans.
10-12 Months

Reaches for and grasps objects with scissor grasp

Brings bottle and food to mouth

Voluntary release (refined digital grasp)

Rotary chewing pattern begins

Bites crunchy foods

Improved lip control during cup drinking

Table foods and easily chewed finger foods: toast, teething biscuits, cheese sticks, peeled Vienna sausage, dry cereal, peas, well-cooked chopped meats, cooked vegetables and canned fruit, diced, peeled fresh fruit, potatoes, macaroni, spaghetti, scrambled eggs
12 Months  

Cooked whole egg

Whole milk from a cup



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