little girl eating with a fork

Can my child start eating independently and tackle new milestones?

blog kinedu

Between the excitement of achieving new milestones and the fear of messy floors and tables in the nearby future, figuring out when your child is ready to start eating by themselves can seem complicated. In this article, we’ll talk about some of the independent feeding skills and table milestones that are usually met between 3 and 4 years of age.


According to doctor Tiffany Hays, director of Pediatric Nutrition at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, allowing your kid to be independent early on during mealtimes is crucial because it will not only foster a sense of autonomy, but also make it easier for them to respond to their natural hunger and fullness cues. Remember that some spills and accidents will inevitably happen, although with decreasing frequency, but you can safely start working toward the following skills with your 36 to 48-month-old:

  • Pour liquids from a pitcher using a cup.
  • Use the fingers and hand to hold a fork, apply the correct amount of pressure to pierce and pick up soft foods with it, and accurately direct it into the mouth.
  • Wipe mouth with a napkin when prompted or reminded to do so.
  • Take notice to swallow the food before taking another bite.
  • Pour and scoop with minimal spilling.
  • Open different kinds of food containers, like jars, food bags, juice bottles with a straw, etc.
  • Drink from a small open cup using only one hand.

If you want to read more about independent feeding skills for your toddler, you can check out this link: Helping your child to be independent

Do you want to receive
amazing content like
this for free?

Subscribe to our newsletter and join Kinedu’s community

Related articles

Woman introducing solids to babies

A speechy start to solids

Introducing solids to a baby is very exciting. And since we use the same parts of our mouth for eating

Toddlers sharing crayons

Is it mine or is it yours?

At around 29 months, your little one will reach a very interesting milestone: understanding that some things are theirs and

babies in a play date

Play date tips & tricks

1. Activity Prep I always recommend preparing at least one structured activity –especially for our younger friends. Some simple ideas

Leave your comment here!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.