Let's face it, feeding a baby is messy. As they get older, even drinking out of a bottle can be a fun way to get a reaction out of mama with spit bubbles or yanking it out of her hands. And then the spoon feeding of purees happens, and sweet potatoes are smeared all over baby's face, mama's hands, even the walls.
So, it can be a welcome break when baby starts to eat on his own (under supervision, of course). When he figures out how to pick up pieces with his thumb and finger, it's a whole new world for both of you. Dry cereal, chunks of cooked carrots, peas, and soft meats are all things that your baby will continue to practice picking up and putting in his own mouth. It's a new kind of independence for him, and a few minutes of two free hands for you.
Unfortunately, he will also learn how fun it is to toss pieces over the side of the high chair, and if you have a dog, the dog will discover a new favorite place to sit in the house (right under the flying food). While this makes clean up a little easier for you, it can also make begging a little more common for the pup!
For a while, your baby may not always hit his mouth when he brings a piece of food to it, but at least he's working on his hand-eye coordination (and getting some nutrients at the same time). And that is an invaluable skill. How else will he be able to pick up a dog toy and chew on it, and give you some extra exercise as you run to get it out of his mouth?