My boys got there teeth pretty early, but even those first molars aren't really used for chewing, so if your little ones don't have teeth yet, don't worry. They all just gum stuff anyway.
Also, your kiddos can likely handle more than you would like to think. I was much more worried with my first. By the time my second came along he wanted whatever the first had so he was eating much more than my first did at the same point, and much larger chunks. I think more important than the size of the item, is how many the shove in their mouths. If they have too much in there the risk is that one could slide down while chewing on others and then they could choke. If they only have one chunk they are much less likely to choke.
Here are some things that my boys loved:
*Shredded cheese. We shredded our own cause it is much better than the pre shredded stuff.
*Peach, and pear chunks. I dried them off on paper towels so they wouldn't be so slippery.
*Grapes, sliced in very tiny peices (sliced into about 12ths if they were big grapes) I sliced them lengthwise twice and then width wise a couple times depending on the size of the grape. I was more diligent with grape because of the peels and the fact that they loved them so much that they shoved huge handfuls in at a time. This is still my ds2s favorite food.
*Diced veggies or peas (I squashed these with a fork to break the skin)
*Toast with spread which I diced into pieces
*Any type of pasta and sauce. I just cut it into small pieces and let them go to town. Note -- Marinara sauce really stains. I learned this the hard way
*Rice -- alone or in a casserole mixed with something such as cream of mushroom soup.
I hope this gives you ideas. If I think of any more, I'll let you know. It's been a while since we've been there (my youngest is nearly 2 1/2) and I forget things so quickly.