Food Textures of Thanksgiving for Picky Eaters

by | Nov 22, 2021 | Feeding Therapy

With Thanksgiving right around the corner, let’s talk about the different food textures we may come across and how to incorporate them into your meal. Food can be presented as a puree, meltable, soft chewy, crunchy, hard chewy, liquid, or mixed consistency. Below you can find examples of all of the different food textures and how to offer them as appetizers, during the main course, or as dessert.


  • Butternut squash
  • Gravy
  • Mashed potatoes (smooth)
  • Cranberry sauce
  • Pumpkin pie
  • Applesauce
  • Cheese spread
  • Hummus
  • Ranch
  • Cool whip


  • Ritz crackers
  • Ice cream

Soft Chewy:

  • Mashed potatoes (with chunks)
  • Rolls
  • Stuffing
  • Cheese squares
  • Mac n cheese
  • Steamed vegetables (carrots, squash)
  • Turkey
  • Pepperoni


  • Raw vegetables (carrots, celery)
  • Crackers
  • Crispy onion straws

Hard Chewy:

  • Brussel sprouts
  • Raw broccoli
  • Fruit (pineapple, strawberries, melon)
  • Turkey


  • Apple cider
  • Hot chocolate with milk

Mixed Consistency:

  • Green bean casserole
  • Mashed potatoes and gravy
  • Turkey and gravy
  • Mac n cheese
  • Fruit and cool whip
  • Pies
  • Sweet potato with marshmallows 

Now it’s time for you and your family to become food scientists. Together, you can explore how to mix different foods, how some foods can be in different categories of textures, and how they feel and taste in our hands or mouth. For appetizers, cheese, cheese spread, pepperoni, and crackers are always an easy option that offers different textures to mix together. Additionally, raw vegetables with a ranch or hummus dipping sauce offer more textures to explore before the meal. The main course can incorporate all food textures and presents your child with a great opportunity to learn about food similarities and differences. Mashed potatoes and butternut squash are both in the puree category but look and taste very different. Dessert, including pie, fruit, cool whip, and ice cream also encompasses a wide variety of textures and flavors to explore with your child in a fun and exciting way. It’s important to allow your child the opportunity to create their own plate and brainstorm how some foods can go together like gravy on mashed potatoes. Giving your child the control to touch some foods, lick others, and eat the rest will allow them to feel the confidence to explore foods without the pressure of having to eat everything on their plate. Thanksgiving is a great opportunity to learn about food in a fun way and to bring the whole family together.  


Kayla Warren, SLP-CF