It's funny that in our culture we are instructed to offer babies difficult to digest processed grain cereals as a first food. With my first I never thought about it, I just did the 'normal' things everyone else was doing, right down to the dry cheerios for snacking. By the time she was 2, she was waking up begging for marshmallows and cookies and having violent fits that lasted up to 45 minutes. That's when I first started learning about nutrition. I knew I didn't want to live that way, and I didn't want my children living that way either.
Still, information on good starter foods for babies is somewhat difficult to come by. There is a very small section in Nourishing Traditions, and they have some helpful articles on their website http://www.westonaprice.com/. I don't think it should be complicated and there's certainly no need for bottled and prepackaged baby foods.
My youngest son loved mashed bananas and sweet potatoes with lots of butter or coconut oil and sometimes cinnamon. What could be easier than mashing up a banana with a fork? He loved to have a bowl of homemade chicken soup (drained a bit) and pick through it with his fingers (I often kept broth or gravy aside to mash with his veggies later as well) . He ate tons of yogurt and berries or raw cheese pieces, and loved black olives. Basically he ate what we ate modified a little for his convenience or age if necessary, and there really wasn't much he wouldn't eat! And he had a crazy big appetite, still does.
My youngest is 7 months old today and up until today, not particularly interested in any foods I've offered. I've tried banana several times, sweet potato pureed with butter, and cooked apple. While she accepted the food she made many faces and gagged over and over. I think she still swallowed some but it didn't appear she particularly enjoyed eating it. I haven't been really persistent, just trying every few days to see if she's ready. She seems to be hungrier so it seems like she might want to eat something!
Today I had the sudden idea to try feeding her some coconut milk, I thought the texture would be perfect. She absolutely loved it! I've been trying to find out whether this is a good baby food (I can't think why not) and all I could really find was that coconut jelly from young coconuts is the first solid food given to Thai babies. So I'll watch and see how she reacts to it, but so far so good.
I think I will try the soft boiled egg yolk next, something none of my other babies really cared for. I also hope to make some homemade chicken broth and soup and try pureeing that for her, perhaps she'll be more interested in real hearty food like that, especially if she takes after me. Oh, and I'm going to get a little more adventurous than I generally have been and try to pick up some grass fed chicken and/or beef liver at the farmer's market within the next week.
Here is a good link on learning more about the many health benefits of coconut. If anyone out there has more information on feeding babies coconut, I'd love to hear it, thanks!