Re: finger foods
I can't remember when we did cheerios, but around 8 months. If you're nervous about choking with them you can always soak in breastmilk first so they mush in his mouth quicker.
You could also try single puffed grain cereal (puff rice). If you mix with a bit of cut up fruit it soaks up the fruit juices and has a nice flavor for them.
Longer pieces of fruit (think french fry shaped) they can hold and gnaw on the ends are also nice for first finger foods.
We also did turkey breast as a first finger food.