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I don't subscribe to the mindset of some around here that spoon-feeding is wrong. I have a 9 month old as well, and we do a combination of both spoon and self-feeding. I follow his cues - if he's into the spooned stuff at that particular time, that's great, if not, I don't force it. He nurses 4-5 times a day, so he's getting nutrients regardless of what solids he has.

Have you read the book Child of Mine by Ellyn Satter? It's a great resource for how to feed a child and respond appropriately to hunger cues. Her main point is we provide what the child eats and it's up to the child to decide if and how much he will eat.

I don't do ground meat. How well does your baby chew? I've had great success with just offering bits of shredded chicken and turkey as finger foods. We don't eat red meat, so I can't offer ideas there.

As for allergies, I started yogurt and cheese at 6-7 months. I'm interested in what people say about wheat. I gave my 9 month old a piece of toast yesterday but am wondering if I should hold off for another few months.
 
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