A week or two ago(5 months old) we started feeding Brayden whole solid foods and he LOVES it! He still does get some purees since they are easier for him to to eat in larger quantities but he loves the idea of feeding himself!!
Obviously we are very cautious about what we give him. I make sure that all of the pieces are large enough for him to hold on to and are not a choking hazard. Babies don't choke on slices of apple or a whole strawberry they choke on little things, so we just watch him carefully while he is eating.
So far he loves everything he has tried, or has warmed up to it after "playing" with it for a few minutes to see what it's all about. My feeling in all of this is along the same lines as making his food. If he is use to the textures and tastes of real food now at such a young age he will grow up liking a larger variety of foods. Of course all kids go though a stage of being picky but that is to be expected. We still do purees in addition to whole foods and he seems to enjoy them both. We also don't do cereal as a meal. It may seem unconventional but in his case he gets a LOT of cereal in each of his bottles to help with his reflux so he gets more than he probably should over the course of a day.
Some of the foods he's tried include apple slices, strawberries, mashed up grapes(which i fed him b/c i didn't want him to choke), tilapia, plain wheat pizza crust, steamed broccoli and potato. Based on what I have been reading it seems like introducing foods vs with holding different types for the sake of "allergies" is actually counterproductive. We do know that he does have milk protein sensitivity on top of his reflux so we stay away from things that could possibly aggravate his tummy. So for now we are going with the flow since he is content with how we are doing things :)
MMM wheat pizza crust!