I did baby lead weaning (blw) with Delia and Teddy. Basically it is a fancy British term for introducing solids. I don't usually like labels and I don't think everyone has to do it this way but I am glad I heard about blw with Delia. It has been a great way to introduce them to the joys of food. Instead of starting with purees or solids that are tiny and mushy you give them food that is easy to pick up and let them take the lead. If they are ready for food they will pick it up and take bites and start chewing. You aren't supposed to help them and you don't cut things in tiny pieces or make it so mushy they can't pick it up. I soften up vegetables but not enough to make them fall apart in their hands. In younger babies the gag reflex is higher in the mouth than when they get older. So they might gag a little at first but it protects them from actually choking on the food. You obviously avoid chokables and watch them closely.
I started purees with Delia but she was grabbing the spoon from me so I switched over to blw. With Teddy I started right away. Delia and Teddy took to food right away. Teddy gagged a little at first but soon was a pro at eating. I liked how it allowed my kids to control their own food and how they learned really fast how to handle food so they were less likely to choke. They knew early on what they could manage and got to practice when their gag reflex was sensitive. Both of them picked up their pincher grasps shortly after starting because they got motivated to use it. Today I finally started with Cora since she is 6 months and most likely has a fully mature gut so her chances of allergies are less. She isn't sitting yet but I figure that is partially from her torticollis.
We started with avocado that I rolled in flax to make it easier to pick up so it wouldn't mush in her hands. I was thinking of doing all local foods for Cora but it is a long way until summer and I don't want to only give her carrots, potatoes and grains until then. Delia and Teddy didn't like avocado but it is good for you and full of healthy fats. Cora mostly sat there and looked at it. Eventually she started trying to go after it with only her mouth. lol. I cheated and gave her a little which she sucked on furiously but spit out. I don't think she ended up eating anything. Oh well it was fun and she will be eating with us soon enough. It is funny how they all took different approaches to food. Delia started off like a pro and was begging for it. She was my earliest sitter so maybe that does have something to do with it.