My son is coming up to 10mo and seems reluctant to self feed. He's interested in food, smearing all over himself, will grab the spoon and flick food over the walls, will drop the dish on the floor (full of food of course) but I can't get him to actually do anything constructive. I'm not sure how others do this. Is it simply that you have to allow them to cover everything in mashed veggie bake for a while. There must be something "clever" that I'm missing, surely???? Obviously some food does need to reach his stomach..... Any advice welcome......
Have you tried giving him some finger foods rather than mashed or puréed food? Something like cucumber sticks, steamed veg, toast or soft fruit like banana. These might be a bit easier to manage than spoons of food - at 12 months my DD can still only really manage quite sticky things off a spoon, like thick porridge.
Sadly it is very messy until they get the hang of it! Splash mat on the floor and as little clothing as possible worked for us, they do get better, these days if it's something she likes virtually none ends up on the floor! It sounds like your DS is interested so if you keep offering different things he'll get there.
If you look up Baby Led Weaning you'll find loads of ideas for interesting finger foods. My babies are only six months and we are doing a mixture of purées (me feeding / them wiping it around their faces / in my hair) and finger foods. They're not great with holding stuff, but gradually get the hang of it. They struggle with anything slippery like mango, but I left a bit of the skin on recently and encouraged the baby to hold that end while sucking the fruit end. Seemed to help, just had to keep a close eye so she didn't eat the skin.