Little E can drink directly from a cup now, without the use of any transition cups currently sold in the market. That was her drinking New Zealand Meadow Fresh Full Cream milk from a glass cup. She started taking sips from normal cups since she was 5 months old (Read post here: http://wp.me/p48223-nQ).
Little E is still breastfeeding, with the frequency reduced to only night feeds and during her afternoon nap. With no breast milk offered to her throughout the day, she is given full cream milk as well as water to quench her thirst.
Little E was 3 days short of turning 16 months old.
A note on UHT vs Fresh Pasteurised Milk
Fresh milk, often referred to as homogenised and pasteurised milk, is sold in the chilled food section of the supermarket. It has a short shelf life and must be kept below 4°C to maintain freshness. Ultra heat-treated (UHT) milk, is heated to a higher temperature which results in a greater reduction in bacteria and heat-resistant enzymes in comparison to milk that undergoes pasteurisation. That is why UHT milk cartons (as long as they are unopened) can be kept at room temperature for months. Once opened, UHT milk must be chilled just like any fresh pasteurised milk.
Cow’s milk contains a number of vitamins, particularly group B vitamins (e.g.: riboflavin, vit B12, vit B1) and vitamin A. Although pasteurisation or UHT may result in small loses in some of these vitamins (below 20% on average), they have negligible effects on the nutritional values of a balanced diet. Besides, the US FDA and Centres for Disease Control and Prevention argues that milk is not a major source of these vitamins anyway. It is important to note that UHT milk contains all the nutritional goodness that you would expect from any dairy product and contains no additives or preservatives. Like fresh milk, UHT milk contains at least 10 essential nutrients.
The difference between fresh and UHT milk is in the method of processing. Fresh pasteurised milk is heated to 74°C for 15 seconds. UHT milk is heated up to 140°C for at least 2 seconds and then packaged aseptically.
An added benefit of UHT milk is that it can be used for cooking in the same way you would use fresh milk, but the advantage about cooking with UHT milk is that it is already at room temperature. As foodies might know, this is a real positive when baking! The best thing about UHT milk is that it can be kept unopened in the pantry for up to 6 months, which means no more unexpected trips to the supermarket.
Whether your toddler is drinking fresh pasteurised milk or UHT milk, you can be assured that either is far better than commercialised toddler formula milk or “Growing Up milk” (as marketed), which has no medical indication from any pediatric groups anywhere in the world for its preference over milk.
One important thing to note on UHT milk cartons is the ingredient(s). Some brands list milk solids and stabilisers in their ingredient list. Other more reputable brands like those from New Zealand and Australia list “Fresh Cow’s Milk” as their only ingredient (which is really what you want for your child).