First taste of solids
We also didn't ever give our kids rice cereal. It has no nutrition and isn't needed. There is a myth that babies who start rice cereal at 4 months will sleep longer. This is not true and in fact, because the cereal is a carbohydrate, they are likely to feel full before getting their needed nutrition (breast milk) and wake up earlier and more hungry. At 6 months our kids were reaching for food. They had already mastered picking everything up to put it in their mouths. After a lot of research, we decided to start with avocado.
By the second time we fed them, we remembered the bibs
The research I read said avocado's taste is the closest to breast milk. I did not test this theory in any way. It's very difficult to choke on avocado. Avocados have a lot of nutrition and are high in good fats, which all babies need. The kids had a lot of trouble trying to pick up the slippery avocado. We let them hold some and we mashed some (with breast milk when we needed to make it smoother) to feed them from a spoon.
This was sweet potato and banana
We introduced sweet potato and banana after that and just continued introducing vegetables and fruits. We introduced a new food every 4-5 days always watching for any possible allergic reaction. Because we always gave our kids large pieces of food to hold - avocado, banana, etc - they quickly learned not to bite off more than they could chew. This is important to teach and teaching it with foods that are almost impossible to choke on seemed like a good idea.
Green beans and pears
We also never purchased baby food. We did the math and baby food is expensive. Buying real food is much cheaper, especially when you are feeding two at a time. This was really only inconvenient when we traveled, but even then knowing we were giving our kids nutritious, real food made it worth while. We also didn't have to trash, store, or re-purpose any baby food containers because we didn't have any. Yes, it is messy when our kids eat, but that's part of the fun!
Blackberries are messy