Children’s instincts to feed themselves kick in early, when they first put a hand out for the bottle or breast. When we fully learn how to feed ourselves we barely give it a second thought, but self-feeding skills are a complex dance of motor, fine motor, planning, spatial, sensory, and oral and swallowing processes. Difficulties in any of these areas can make self-feeding a challenge – but one that can be overcome with help.

Occupational therapists determine where a breakdown may be occurring in self-feeding skills and work to develop the area of need or adapt the activity to meet the child’s level of skill.