I really dislike feeding pureed solids. My kids don’t seem to take to them as enthusiastically as others might. It takes forever to feed them. I tried postponing solids for as long as possible – some parents start as early as 4 months and I waited till the 6th month, and even then, I waited till I noticed they were not satisfied despite drinking enormous amounts of milk. We are about two weeks away from 7 months and the girls are really drinking milk like crazy (37oz each! a day) and I decided its time to give them solids to cut down on their milk intake.
Even though they are hungry, feeding solids to a 6-month old is not fun. They tend to push out the food because they are not used to being fed, so you have to keep pushing the food back in. They get used to it after a few weeks of practice. In this sense, I would like to jump to 8 months when they take to solids like champions and can even start eating soft foods that do not require puree.
Given I have triplets, I have resorted to large-batch industrial home-cooking. I really like the ice-cube method of freezing purees but I have a tiny freezer. Our ice tray is pathetically small. So I use a combination of Avent storage cups, mason ball jars, and ordinary food containers for freezing solid purees. So far I have made and stored in my fridge and freezer brown rice cereal, ground oatmeal cereal, apple sauce, pumpkin puree, avocado puree and sweet potato puree. It should last a week (I hope). I have pears, potato, barley lined up next. I have always used this chart from wholesome baby food and pasted it on my kitchen wall so I have an easy reference when I want to change things up as they get older. You can find a lot of recipes on http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/ and about allergies, when to introduce what food, and ways to store purees and such.
If you are a first time parent and looking to start on solids, I recommend making them at home. Its really so cheap and healthy. You just need a blender or food processor. I did not have a blender or food processor when I had Livia, so I went out and bought a Braun Multiquick 5 food processor/hand blender. I like that its handheld and can be easily dismantled and stored, but on hindsight, I wish I had gotten a Vitamix (except that a Vitamix is very expensive and only great if you cook a lot). The Braun one chops, blends, crushes ice, purees, whisks, etc. You can click on the link to find out more. I am very satisfied with it, it purees really well and its quite powerful. I use it for chopping too but have not used any other feature. They now have an updated version of the Multiquick 5 called the Multiquick 7. If you are shopping for a handheld blender, I highly recommend it.
I have used store-bought cereal powders and purees. They taste odd if you ask me. So I never bought them again. And I have a problem with the fact that even the organic store-bought ones have GMO (genetically modified organisms) in them.