best things to start with are roasted veg sticks, i.e. carrot, butternut squash, sweet potato, cut into chip shapes, roasted in the oven with olive oil and rosemary. Do a batch, they keep in the fridge for a few days. V tasty!
any type of vegetable or fruit really. experiment with different sizes and shapes, e.g. sometimes half a pear is easier for a baby to grasp and bite than a small cube, chip shapes are usually good.
roasted veg - either root veg or mediterraeab (aubergine, cherry toms etc.) - are easy for them to eat and a great way of introducing new tastes like olive oil, garlic, pepper, herbs etc. as you can do some different flavours each time.
sandwiches are brilliant
My DS loved pasta from a very young age - we found the spiral shapes like fusilli easier for him to grasp than penne.
pancakes are very soft, and a good way of getting carbs and dairy and eggs (when you introduce those) into them. yorkshire pudding is similarly appreciated!
it's really not, babies choke on purees as well. As babies move the food into their own mouths rather than having it placed at the back of their mouths with a spoon, they are more in control of what is in their mouth and how to manage it.
Mrs J - interested in why not apple? We didn't do it as first food as we cooked most stuff at first, but by 7mo he was having raw grated apple without problems. Grating is a good way of giving them some harder fruits actually.
I do agree with Mrs J on choking risk - it is as much a risk with puree as anything else. Most of what you think of as 'choking' (coughing, spluttering, gagging) is not choking (when you can't breathe due to a blockage) - it is a perfectly natural response to food being moved to the back of the throat a bit too quickly, and something they need to learn to do. Can seem a bit scary, but a proper choking event is much much rarer than gagging, coughing etc.
I think when we wanted to 'fend off' our DD we gave her little pieces of bread - started off breaking them off what we were eating then eventually brought her her own slice along with our breakfast.
Little bits of cheese?
Can't help really I forced myself to be as unconcerned as possible by the gagging noises. It helped when I realised she did it when she had got a piece of food near the back of her mouth that was insufficiently 'gummed' and wanted to move it forward.
I've also heard (and please someone correct me if I'm wrong) that coughing while gagging is a good sign as they have some control over the food and can cough it back up.