I have heard over and over here and other places that before one year, solids are for fun, for learning how to chew, understand textures and flavors, etc. But then I keep reading (eg here: http://www.cdc.gov/nutrition/everyon...mins/iron.html) that after 6 months, baby's iron stores start to be depleted and that breast milk is relatively low in iron so the need to start taking it in in solids in the form of iron fortified cereal or meat.
We started solids at 6 months as recommended and my baby is 7.5 months now. We've introduced iron-fortified oatmeal, winter squash, sweet potato, applesauce, pears, bananas, avocado, green beans, broccoli and mango. My husband and I eat mostly vegetarian diets and to be honest, I am just squeamish about cooking and pureeing meat. (As for the pureeing issue, I've read a lot about baby-led solids and we do offer her whole, non-pureed foods for some items, but with meat I think I would worry about her choking. Also, I have read that the iron in pureed meat is better absorbed than when it's in chunks.)
I'm happy to offer her meat but I feel totally lost. Should I be doing this now? Can anyone out there hold my hand a little bit and explain in a lot of detail how they feed meat to an infant? Or is the oatmeal enough for now?