M's first food was rice cereal. I learned after that rice cereal can actually cause constipation, thankfully it didn't and that sweet potatoes is actually a great first food too! I knew after a couple of days of rice cereal he was ready to eat so I made his first puree of butternut squash. For the first month or so I offered him food during breakfast and/or lunch depending on his awake hours that day. I waited 4 days before introducing a new food, once I saw he didn't have a reaction to certain ones I started making my own blends.
At around 7.5 months there was a serious regression in eating solids when his first tooth wanted to come out. He went from finishing a bowl of food to eating a few bites and then just wanting to breastfeed. I questioned if purees was the right approach so I tried BLW and he wanted nothing to do with whole piece of food unless they were puffs. Once his tooth broke through his appetite increased a lot. He went from 1 meal a day to 3 meals a day almost overnight, this is when his love affair with food began.
M will be 11 months and he eats 3 meals a day plus snacks, he self feeds for dinner and lunch. It was a gradual process but one my husband and I are both comfortable with. My husband is not completely comfortable giving him whole pieces of food because he kind of shovels it all in his mouth and gags often. We have modified our approach by giving him a very limited amount at a time on his high chair tray. Over this past week we have seen a huge improvement in his pace and more chewing before attempting to swallow. Feeding him what we eat is sssooo much easier than pureeing, I haven't stopped purees all together but slowed down significantly. I like to keep apple and pear puree on hand to add in with his oatmeal in the morning.
M's favorites are yogurt, oatmeal, squash, chicken, beans, tortillas, spinach, peas, sweet potatoes and pears. I truly believe that it is best to go with the approach you are most comfortable with.