Hudson Valley Parent

HVP July 2015

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38 Hudson Valley Parent ■ July 2015 important to that process," she says. "Caffeine, which has been shown in studies to disrupt sleep, may have ad- verse effects on brain development as a result. Caffeine also decreases the time you spend in slow-wave sleep, which has a critical role in learning and memory. At the same time, more awakenings during sleep leads to daytime sleepiness, which prompts you to consume more caffeine. It's a vicious cycle." Marketing to children In a 2011 report by the Ameri- can Academy of Pediatrics entitled "Sports Drinks and Energy Drinks for Children and Adolescents: Are They Appropriate?," the group calls the marketing of sports drinks and energy drinks toward children inappropriate. "Sports drinks are fl avored bev- erages that often contain carbohy- drates, minerals, electrolytes … and sometimes vitamins or other nutri- ents. Although the term 'energy' can be perceived to imply calories, energy drinks typically contain stimulants, such as caffeine and guarana. ... Using energy drinks instead of sports drinks for re-hydration can result in ingestion of potentially large amounts of caffeine or other stimulant substances," says the 2011 report. Barbara Crouch, executive director at the Utah Poison Control Center, said in a 2013 interview with CNN that unlike coffee drinkers, energy drink consumers (especially teens) like to chug down not just one, but two or three to get a good jolt on before a hardcore workout or sports practice. "When you pound down more than one energy drink verses sipping a cup of coffee, you're not metab- However, Jarden Home Brands offers an inexpensive starter kit, perfect for small canning projects such as this one, that includes a rack and lifter designed to fi t a regular stockpot (for under $15). Prepare the fruit Rinse berries quickly under cool water in a colander. Drain briefl y. Next, in a large bowl, mash the fruit, a small amount at a time using a potato masher. Children particular- ly enjoy this part of the process so assign them the role of smashing the berries. Prepare containers Wash jars, rims, and lids in hot soapy water. To prevent jars from breaking, bring water in your canning pot to a low boil. Turn off heat. Then submerge clean jars for 10 minutes. Cook jam Transfer mashed berries to the sauce pot in quantity indicated in pectin instructions. Add pectin. Heat to boiling, then add sugar according to pectin manufacturer's recom- mendations. Stir until dissolved and return to rolling boil. Cook for one minute, stirring constantly. Be careful to follow times exactly, as the jelling process requires precision. In our house, the kids like counting down the seconds and announcing when time is up. Skim o foam Once the jam has cooked, remove from heat and skim foam from sur- face of cooked jam with metal spoon and transfer to a separate bowl. Set aside. Jar the jam Pour water out of each heated jar just prior to using. Then, using the funnel and ladle, scoop jam into jars, leaving a ¼" gap between the top of the jar and the jam. Carefully wipe lip of the jar clean, then put on the lid and rim, closing fi ngertip tight. Process in hot water bath Place jars on raised rack in can- ning pot as soon as they are fi lled and capped. When rack is full, slowly low- er rack with jars into heated water, until jars are submerged. Return to boiling and boil for 15 minutes. Turn off heat. Carefully remove jars from pot using jar lifter and set on wood cutting board, trivets, or thick towel to cool. Celebrate While you clean up, listen for the sound of jar lids popping as the seals set. Cheer with each pop. You did it! Your jam is made. Spread it on bread and enjoy! Parenting journalist Lara Krupicka enjoys making jam every summer with her daughters after they go blue- berry picking. WEE JAMMIN' (Continued from Page 35) 6 ways to involve your kids in making jam • Picking fruit, even small hands can help. • Counting jars, rims, and lids. • Smashing the berries. • Watching the timer during jam cooking. • Handing rims to an adult as jars are fi lled. • Eating the jam! IS YOUR TEEN OD'ING ON CAFFEINE? (Continued from Page 37)

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