epidemiology lesson — kind of ::::
Little did I know my epidemiology training would be useful as a mother. The hypotheses:
Alternate hypothesis: Children exhibit a higher rate of whining when bored and hungry rather than when having fun and well-fed.
Null hypothesis: Children do not exhibit a higher rate of whining when bored and hungry rather than when having fun and well-fed.
Sub-hypothesis also includes the length of time of whining seems longer (“time sense”) to a parent than the child doing the given whining, whereas it often paradoxically shrinks time sense to anyone under the age of 10, bimodal peak at ages 3 and 6. At least in this house.
The sustenance component is an important consideration for us. Food in our family means an inordinate number of snacks throughout the day, especially for Grub. Our Grub, now age 3, is our jokester, eating most every meal like he hasn’t eaten for days. I found that keeping up with the snack factor decreases whining throughout the day. One of our favorite snacks is fruit “chewies,” named by the kids. Since we often go through a store-bought box quickly, I thought about making my own when we were inundated with fresh fruit. I discovered a similar recipe for these homemade fruit snacks, when Grub was immersed in bowls of ripe apricots and strawberries. Fresh is best, but thawed frozen fruit is fine, which works well for cooler climes not able to produce fresh fruit.
No matter what fruit you use, you will easily see a decrease in whining time. My time sense of a calmer household has also increased. No need for statistically significant p values. This is purely anecdotal research.
- 1¼ cups fresh or thawed frozen fruit puree (I've used blueberries, apricots, and strawberries each with good success)
- ⅛ to ¼ cup lemon juice (I vary the amount depending on the sweetness of the fruit)
- 2-4 tablespoons of honey (depending on how much sweetness you want and how sweet your fruit already is)
- ¼ cup of powdered gelatin (I used Knox brand)*
- Put fruit puree and lemon juice into small saucepan and cook to just bubbling. Slowly whisk in gelatin, little by little, to avoid clumps.
- When your mixture is mixed well, pour into silicone candy molds or into a parchment-lined 8x8-inch baking dish.
- Chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours or allow to sit at room temperature overnight. (Popping the snacks out of the molds works better if refrigerated first.) If using a pan, cut into 1 cm cubes to serve. Store in an air tight container at room temperature or in the fridge.
- My molds (see in photo above) yielded 45 snacks exactly for each fruit used.