>have some friends I wanted to take with me as well
>I would like the food to be fairly soft, if possible
Now here is the thing. There is a reason imho, why most prepared meals are either powdered, ground, or dried somehow. Soft condition often means not a great shelf life, unless it's a fluid to begin with. Maybe when stuff is frozen stiff, but that is another thing. At least that's how I get it.
This is why you can get milk powder, or some syrups you need to mix with water. Also why ppl usually recommend solid fats over oils.
What you can do is soak whatever you take with you, and/or cook it. So extra water, will do magic. If you can prepare a rich soup or stew this would be best I guess. Does not take long either. You could use canned food as a base (veggies like beans a.o.), add cut stuff from packs for taste (e.g. dry sausage, meat, spices), let it soak well and soften. Something warm gives a good feel in your tummy. Stove, pot, water, heat tablets (as fire starters) take up space, keep that in mind, but you can use the pot as container, an advantage I guess. If you are a group everyone can pack a bit more, too. And it should come way cheaper than buying fancy processed foods. I consider such emergency foods, rather for when you really have the need.
For onnaway rations when you cannot/don't wanna stop, crackers and muesli/candy bars is good to give an energy boost. Even without decent dentures your rascals should be able to munch them. Just don't get extra hard to bite ones, e.g. with whole nuts. They can keep them packed, break pieces off and just suck. When dissolved in the mouth, swallow. Is how I do it too.