If you're anything like me, you may be eager to start table food with your baby. After all, not all babies like stage 3 baby food in a jar. Speak to your pediatrician about when you can start table food. Babies are able to "gum" food with some force. However, your baby should demonstrate the pincer grasp before starting table food, usually at around 8-10 months.
If you want your baby to practice chewing without the risk of choking on the food before 8-10 months, I recommend a teething feeder, and there are several brands available.
These are mesh bags that allow you to insert food, such as fruit. The baby can chew on the mesh bag without the risk of choking on larger pieces of food. This is good for babies that are teething as well.
I started with a banana inside. I think it works best with fruit, but other food items can be used as well. I will caution you, this can be messy. Follow the manufacturer's directions, and of course contact your baby's pediatrician before changing his diet.