Mix It Up With Mixed Textures

mix it up with foodThis week we’re continuing our exploration of textures with mixed texture foods. A mixed texture is simply a combination of two or more foods that are different textures. A lot of favorite foods are mixed textures because they offer infinite flavor combinations, but mixed textures can be difficult to chew and swallow and difficult from a sensory perspective.

Mixed textures can be difficult in a purely mechanical sense because you have multiple foods in your mouth at once that require different amounts of chewing before they’re ready to be swallowed.

I consider a thin liquid mixed with any other texture challenging to manage. You can think of this mixed texture challenge when you eat soup. You either hold some of the liquid in your mouth while you chew the larger chunks or you swallow the liquid first (holding the chunks in your mouth) so you can better chew the chunks.

Mixed textures can also be difficult on a sensory level. For kids whose sensory systems are over-responsive it can be overwhelming to feel or taste one food at a time. Often these kids don’t like foods touching on their plate and they keep textures and tastes very separate. This week we’ll explore fun ways to learn how foods feel as they break apart and mix together and work up to tasting them together.

People who have an under-responsive sensory system often really like mixed textures because they give more feedback. They may like crunchy coatings or flavorful sauces to help them feel, taste and enjoy food.

Mixed textures allow us to pair foods together in delicious combinations. Classic sandwich combinations are mixed textures, as is ice cream with chocolate chips. Once you start thinking about the mixed textures you enjoy, the list seems endless!

I hope you enjoy exploring some of my favorite mixed textures with me this week and the ideas here spark some fun with food!

Happy food play!

 

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