How about a straw cup?
We have the dunk the food in the liquid problem. DS likes to mix things. I usually give water or milk at the end of the meal to minimize mixing.
When I start training my kids on cups with no lids I start out in the high chair during a meal where I won't be stressed out. (like dinner, b/c DH is home too). I put a teeny tiny amount in there. Seriously, like maybe a couple sips. When and if he drinks it and wants more, then I'll give him a couple more sips. If he starts dumping it, I soak it up if I can, and then I don't give him anymore. (Or maybe he'll get a warning or something before I cut him off.) I have to get up often to refill the cup, but to me it's better than having a full cup dumped all over.
As he gets better and better, he'll get a fuller and fuller cup. I really don't care if he puts his food in it. I figure he's just experimenting, and it doesn't bother me. It's funny, he'll put his sandwich in the cup, then drink it. It's so gross, but he looks so proud of himself.
I think if you are comfortable knowing your todder can USE a cup, then why not use a sippy to keep things contained.
My 29mth old has been drinking out of an open cup for more then half her life, BUT we reverted to sippy cup recently as she started to find delight in dunking food, pouring and mixing and sloshing her little fist around in the beverage.
I figure she knows HOW to drink out of a cup, (and we use one when we are at the dining room table), BUT I have no problem giving her a sippy for snack time or walking around.
We use these plastic re-useable cups w/ a spout & little farm animal lids. Bought three which will last her toddler days.
The more she drinks from an open cup the better her manners will become with it. Right now it is more of a novelty. All means in our hourse after 18m or so are open cup. Outside the house we use a sigg in their carseats and an an open water bottle otherwise. We also keep a few sippies with the valves removed to have in bedrooms. Limits accidents but increases flow. In my experience, using a sippy is a good way to limit water intake. The kids drink a lot more in an open cup.
Kids drink water and very occasionally a bit of milk so it spills aren't messy.
hahahha i saw those and thought they would be so great, because my 18 m twins like to turn there zippy cups upside down and jiggle all the water out to play with. it took one of them about 3.25 minutes to figure out how to invert it and use his finger to let it all gush out. ugh.
My 2yo also sticks her hand, then wrist in her water at the table, puts her food into it etc. If i can deal with it i just let her, if i can't then i remove it. In between meals she still uses a sippy to contain the mess. It's only anecdotal but my 6yo messed about with cups and was poor at drinking from one until she was about 4! EVENTUALLY she learned to drink without the mess/messing about. Now she's 6 and no one can tell she still had a sippy at times until she was 4. Try not to worry about it, they all get it in the end.