Ethan has turned 6 months, and in turn, we are now feeding (or trying to feed) solids! From my observation, I would not say that Ethan is a picky eater, but rather picky in the way he eats and in the way things are prepared.
My first intention was to make ALL of Ethan's food. Then I discovered Baby-Led Solids. Then we discovered that Ethan likes jarred baby food.
Lets start with homemade food. When I make food in the Baby Brezza, it's totally pureed. I even strain it through a sieve. But it just doesn't get to that reeeeaaallly smooth consistency....and he gags... a lot. Thankfully, I only took about an hour of my time to prepare and store the foods I did puree. I started to do this before he was eating so I'd have it all ready (and was just excited to start using a new kitchen gadget!)
So then I decided to go the Baby-Led route. Now he LOVES, LOVES, LOVES anything we put in front of him. But again, the gag reflex comes into play and it seems to scare a lot of people if we feed him in front of them (Grama's!!)...so for that sake, we go back to purees during family dinners. However, at home we let him feed himself... tonight for example he sucked on a piece of steak (no seasoning) and an asparagus. He was way tired, so I held it for him, but usually we wouldn't do that, but it kept him quiet and mom and dad could eat with Ethan as a family :)
In the mornings, I have been doing the purees....from a jar. At first I was really upset that I went that route, because I really wanted to make all of his food, but in all honesty, he just doesn't like the texture. Plus, the jars I buy are organic and contain only fruits or veg (or meat) and no preservatives other than lemon juice. Plus I don't think it will be a long term thing. I also said I wasn't going to do cereal, but I found oatmeal and I thought it would be good for breakfast time and something a bit different and better than rice. Aside from jarred, I also give him a banana at breakfast. He loves banana (and I don't blame him!)
We are not very strict with solids. His main source of nutrients is breast milk. I don't think solids make him sleep any better (although.....he has been sleeping very well lately - but I don't think the two are related. We are lucky if he gets even a tablespoon into him). Every day he gets a bit better with the solids but if he doesn't want it, the spoon goes down and we go play. He gets solids only after a feeding - we treat it as "dessert" so he doesn't fill up on them. Eventually I'll replace a nursing session with solids but for right now, it's not necessary.
My intention is to get him onto Baby-Led Solids 100%, but for now, I'll mix the two. I read that you shouldn't do that because it defeats the purpose, but he enjoys being spoon fed - never bats the spoon away and never shuts his mouth or turns away (unless he's had enough of course). He also likes whole foods (like broccoli - can you believe that!).
All in all, it's an adventure but I'm loving it and I think Ethan is too (or will in the near future). He is SO interested in what we eat and wants a little taste of everything. I guess I'm really going to have to cut down on my salt on food (like omit it) if he is going to be tasting off our plates. :)