Eating and Drinking Skills For Your 2 Year Old

What are the eating and drinking skills of your 2 year old?

Review the list below and see if you need to provide more or different food opportunities to your child.

By 24 months (2 years), your child will:

·       Swallow well from a cup with good lip closure around cup and no loss of liquid

·       Swallow food well with good lip control and no loss of food

·       Chew with jaw movements that go round and round, as well as up/down and side to side

·       Know the difference between food and non-food items

·       Scoop foods with a spoon, with some spills

·       Start to stab food with a fork and get it to her mouth

Start to show clear likes and dislikes of some foods

How did your child do?  If they are right on track, good job!  You encouraged your child’s eating skills well.  If your child has not mastered all of the above skills, do not worry.  Now you are more educated on what to encourage when eating and drinking.  Spend the next couple months encouraging your child to use their mouth muscles to eat and drink well.  Encourage your child to only eat appropriates items – food versus nonfood items.

Be sure to encourage your child to use a spoon on their own.  Praise their successes!  Do not point out spillage.

Offer a fork and model how to use one.

Offer a variety of foods.  It is ok to dislike some foods as long as you try everything.  Be careful accepting too many foods that your child will not eat.  This then becomes a controlling behavior.  Offer your child control in other areas of their live….pink socks or white socks.  Red shirt or blue shirt?  Or give your child a choice in the vegetable for dinner.  However, be sure to let your child know that all of the vegetables that you bought have to be eaten this week.  They just get to pick which day each is eaten.

Reach out to your pediatrician for advice if your child does not reach the above milestones.  Visit for more information on how we can help.

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Developmental Checklist

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