Although American pediatricians recommend introducing meats last, it is actually one of the best first foods. Did you know that in Africa meat is the FIRST food introduced to babies? Also, the iron found in meat is the most easily digestible (which makes one wonder why pediatricians want you feed your kid synthetically iron fortified baby cereal and not meat). I am not a red meat eater, so I decided chicken would be Buttercup's first meat. I pan fried chicken breasts in a bit of olive oil (no salt) and let Buttercup's cool. I cut it into strips lengthwise before giving them to her.
She liked it a lot, and kept squawking whenever she'd accidentally drop a piece. She was working hard to get bits off, though she didn't seem to mind. She did manage to soften the pieces up impressively well with her gums.
Hubby suggested that next time I cut the chicken width-wise ("against the grain") so that it comes apart in Buttercup's mouth easier. Also, I'm wondering if dark meat would be a better option for babies. It is higher in iron, and the fat would probably make for easier munching.
PROS: a good source of nutrients and iron, not too messy
CONS: a bit difficult to chew and swallow