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Soft food textures fact sheet

Soft food textures

Children with cerebral palsy may have difficulties eating and drinking. Problems with muscle strength, movement, coordination or sensation may affect the muscles of the mouth, face and throat. This can cause difficulties with biting, chewing, controlling and swallowing certain foods. Modifying the texture of certain foods may assist your child to eat more easily and safely. A Speech Pathologist can assist you with finding the most suitable food texture for your child.

Soft foods                                                                                           

  • Include naturally soft foods or foods that can be softened by cooking.
  • Are very easy to chew, so can help to avoid fatigue during mealtimes.
  • Require minimal cutting and can be broken up easily with a fork.
  Soft foods to encourage Foods to avoid
Breads and cereals Soft sandwiches with very moist fillings, e.g. egg and mayonnaise.

Breakfast cereals that can be softened and moistened with milk, e.g. Weet-Bix.

Soft pasta, noodles and rice (well   cooked).

Dry or crusty breads, breads with hard seeds or grains, hard pastry, pizza.

Sandwiches that are not thoroughly moist.

Course or hard breakfast cereals that do not moisten easily, e.g. toasted muesli.

Cereals with nuts, seeds and dried fruit.

Fruit and vegetables Well cooked vegetables served in small pieces or that are soft enough to be mashed/broken up with a fork .

Soft canned vegetables, e.g.carrots.

Legumes that are well cooked (the outer skin must be soft), e.g. baked beans.

Fresh fruit pieces that are naturally soft, e.g. banana, well-ripened pawpaw, avocado.

Small pieces of stewed and canned fruit.

All raw vegetables (including chopped and shredded).

Legumes and vegetables that are hard, fibrous or stringy e.g. sweet corn, broccoli stalks.

Large/round fruit pieces that pose a choking risk, e.g. whole grapes, cherries.

Dried fruit, seeds and fruit peel.

Fibrous fruits, e.g. pineapple.

Dairy products Yoghurt (may contain soft fruit).

Soft cheeses.

Yoghurt with seeds, nuts, muesli or hard fruit pieces.

Hard cheeses, e.g. cheddar and hardened/crispy cooked cheese.


Meat and meat alternatives Casseroles with small pieces of     tender meat.

Moist fish (easily broken up with a fork).

Eggs (all types except fried).

Legumes that are well cooked (the outer skin must be soft), e.g. baked beans.

Dry, tough, chewy, or crispy meats.

Meat with gristle.

Fried eggs.

Legumes that are hard or fibrous, e.g. hard chick peas.

Desserts Puddings, dairy desserts, custards,
ice-cream (may have pieces of soft fruit), moist cakes (extra moisture such as custard may be required).
Dry cakes, hard pastry, nuts, seeds, coconut, dried fruit, pineapple, hard bases, crumbly or flaky pastry and coconut.

Dietitians Association of Australia and The Speech Pathology Association of Australia Limited, (2007). Texture-modified foods and thickened fluids as used for individuals with dysphagia: Australian standardised labels and definitions. Nutrition & Dietetics, 64, (Suppl. 2): S53–S76

Contact us

Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service
Queensland Children’s Hospital
Level 6, 501 Stanley Street, South Brisbane 4101
t: 07 3068 2950
t: 07 3068 1111 (general enquiries)
f: 07 3068 3909

In an emergency, always call 000.

If it’s not an emergency but you have any concerns, contact 13 Health (13 43 2584). Qualified staff will give you advice on who to talk to and how quickly you should do it. You can phone 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Resource No: FS206. Developed by the Queensland Paediatric Rehabilitation Service, Children’s Health Queensland. Updated: February 2016. All information contained in this sheet has been supplied by qualified professionals as a guideline for care only. Seek medical advice, as appropriate, for concerns regarding your child’s health.