I never did rice cereal at all - no purees, no baby foods either. I did Baby Led Weaning (doesn't mean coming off BM, just introducing sold foods). I nursed my DD until she was 18mo, but I started her on solids at around 6.5-7 months by just giving huge pieces of things to man-handle and suck on, including 1/2 a piece of fruit (or whole), an entire poached ckn tender (gripped it in her hand and sucked on it), broccoli florets with the stalk attached (raw or cooked - but cooked only a bit so it retained its firmness), scrambled eggs (supposed to wait til after a year old but we gave her a little and watched for reactions, of which she had none), and cheese... and a few other things that I can't recall right now actually...lol. Even without teeth, they can eat these foods, and you'll want to be right there with them and watch them while they explore and taste their new foods. My DD never choked even once, but there's a learning curve for a few months while she learns about her new menu items. Because of doing it this way, I'm totally convinced it's why my kid will eat ANYTHING you put in front of her. ANYTHING.
I think food issues with kids is far more a texture thing than a taste thing, so when I read up on Baby Led Weaning (BLW), it all made sense to me. I thought I'd try it and the worst that could happen is that I go back to my original plan of making my own baby food. Well, it worked and I never looked back. Google Baby Led Weaning and at the very least, it'll give you some good ideas on first foods. Have fun!
ETA: don't think there's a set age to start them on solids. Some kids are ready when mine was, some kids are ready much later (I know of a few women who EBF only until their DC was about 11mo). Test the waters and if he's not into the food, then wait a few weeks and try again. He's obviously growing big and strong just off of your alone!