Kate, even with my best intentions, I made lots of mistakes, too. : ) (at least IMO). Great advice! I wish I would have waited a bit longer, rather than following advise of people telling me he "needed" real food. Ah, live and learn! : )
I gave my son commercial rice cereal at 5 months (wish I would have waited longer and skipped the cereal), but stopped after a week or so once I started reading my SBF book. : ) At 6 months, he had avocado, sweet potato, and bananas. He ate everything I fed him!
I mostly made food purees and used the frozen cube method or mushed up whatever I was eating once he got a little older. I also made his cereal ("porridge") which was one of his favorites. In fact, I wish I still made it! I stopped when he was about 18 months old when things were kind of crazy, and never started again. I still make him oatmeal (slow-cooked), but I miss being able to put in the other whole grains and legumes.
Now that he's 2, I am so glad I introduced so many different foods to him when he was younger. There are definately times where he refuses to eat the majority of what I put on his plate, or when he doesn't want his veggies or he boycotts things that were his favorites the day before, but I suppose that's toddlerhood for you.
Anyone have special tricks they use to get their toddlers to eat?
My younger sister laughs at all of the things I do to get my son to eat. He has a great imagination, so we do things like pretend that there are tiny squirrels on our broccoli "trees", and we fling them off and hurry up to eat the brocolli before the squirrels jump back on it. I like to distract him from the fact that I desperatly want him to eat his meals, lol.