DS is 5 1/2 and he's been gnawing on fruit for 2 or 3 weeks. Apples, cucumbers, nectarines, watermelon, and licked raspberry juice off my fingers. At this point its a sensual thing - textures, tastes and it all seems to really sooth his teething. DS has never been spoon-fed anything and I'd like to wait for him to be able to do that himself. I think this week I will get some peas ready to see how his pincer grip is coming along.
I was worried about introducing food too soon too, then I realized that at most he's getting some juice in his body. You're not feeding him whole meals, just letting him discover a new world!
I say go for it!
(But i'm no expert!!)
1) DS doesn't get anything cooked yet (i just feel best about raw food right now), but I don't think it needs to be avoided.
2) I gave DS banana but he just chomped off a big piece and then didn't know what to do with it so we had to fish it out of his mouth. I think the mushier stuff needs to be mashed or held off until baby is really ready to use gums in a mashing way.
3) Have FUN!
I say give it a try.
DD is 5 and a half months, and sits up and seems interested in my foods. I gave her some banana and she eagerly grabbed it and put it in her mouth, but them made the most horrified expression you have ever seen and spit it out! We have been occasionally offering her things to see if she wants it, mostly she likes the grabbing part, but the eating part, not so much.
With my first, I started only very cautiously a bit past 6 months. She gagged and spit stuff out at first, and so we went very slowly.
With my 6 month old, we started about 3 weeks ago. At dinner, she would sit on my lap and try to grab the spoon, was very interested in what we were eating, could sit (mostly unassisted and now definitely), etc. So we went for it and I have never seen a kid take to solids like her. She literally grabbed the spoon and yanked it into her mouth. There was not gagging, no major tongue thrusting, and no spitting things out. We call her baby bird now because when she sees you getting her food together, she just opens her mouth and waits.
The only things she hasn't accepted were fresh bananas (I think they were over ripe and a bit too sweet) and fresh pureed peas, which I am sure was a textural thing.