My Ravenous Teens Are Eating All My Food!

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Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 34

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 17:12
Since it's summer, my two boys are home all the time and their favorite pastime is eating. And because they are both amateur bodybuilders, their food of choice is protein. I am trying to increase my protein intake & reduce carbs, so I'm bringing home foods like lofat yogurt, cottage cheese, milk, lean meats, eggs, tuna etc., which are promptly them! If I don't go grocery shopping every other day they eat all their share & start on mine! The grocery store is a place of temptation for me so I hate being there so often. Sending them is a disaster because they don't stick to the list very well. They are good kids & try to respect the "boundaries" but their stomachs rule their brains! The good thing is if I bake something naughty, I usually get only one piece before it's gone. Laughing Oh school, please come back soon.

Joined: Jul 11
Posts: 31

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 17:25
Lol! My 11 year old son is eating everything in sight right now, due to a growth spurt. I seriously don't know where it all goes! I feel like I live at the grocery store, with how often I am there. I can only imagine what it will be like when he is a teenager, and you have two of them! At least you are giving them healthy options to fill up on, so that's a win for Mom!

Joined: Jun 12
Posts: 14

Posted: 17 Jul 2012, 23:37
My mom has that trouble with my youngest siblings, both 16. My brother has a super metabolism and will snack on everything he can readily grab. We joke that he would starve before he would make a sandwich! My sister has recently turned vegetarian and is very health conscious now. Between them they devour all of mom's healthy snacks and produce as well as their own stuff. Mom's solution is to buy them whatever they need and buy twice as much as she needs. She'll put one bag of rice cakes at eye level in the pantry and put the other one out of the way for her own use! (She's still working to tweak this system. Ha!)

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 34

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 00:58
hahah! That's a good idea to buy extra food. It's true they do eat pretty healthfully. I try to buy organic whenever I can so my budget is stretched tighter than my spanx! Besides, they have found all my hiding places! I was at the store at 9pm tonight replenishing Mother Hubbard's cupboard.

Joined: Jul 10
Posts: 2,052

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 02:55
What about designating a drawer or shelf as off-limits for them?

Joined: Feb 10
Posts: 20

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 06:42
Or store your snacks in another room that they're not likely to go to, like your bedroom... or better still; the laundry room? Wink

Joined: May 11
Posts: 102

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 09:21
Sorry but I don't get the "my things", and off limits, and hiding food from family members, especially one's children!

On the contrary, folks should be happy that (assuming all this eating healthier leads to healthier food stocks around) the kids are at least eating better food than munching on junk.

The real point: Why would one "save" the healthy food for themselves because they are dieting, and not feel better if other family members are improving their eating habbits? Perhaps I am missing the whole point? Smile


Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 61

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 09:30
I actually had similar problems with my boyfriend going through my stockpiles. My solution was to involve him in the shopping process. He sees how much is being spent, has the option to pick out extra stuff, and it makes him a bit more conscious when he does reach into the fridge or pantry.

I'm ecstatic that my family is on board with eating clean; however, I don't have the budget to allow for absent minded snacking. Boys eat because they are bored - not just when they are hungry. I try keeping convenient "snacks" available, pre-cooked and in the fridge just for him & my son, and of course I cook all of the family meals.

Another option for teskandar: try stocking up on more food that has to be cooked, like boneless, skinless chicken & eggs. Also, get yourself a can of good quality whey protein & hide it somewhere. Wink
If you can spend years beating yourself up mentally and remain standing, you can HANDLE a few muscle cramps and cravings. A little pain has NOTHING on feeling insecure. Remember that next time you wanna quit. You can do this!

Joined: May 11
Posts: 82

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 10:01
I imagine I'll get myself a Costco membership when my boys become like this and just stock up big time. As long as you can make it through a couple trips without buying a mega pack of something bad...

Joined: May 12
Posts: 117

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 10:24
I'm there too!
Both my kids are home now, one just got her masters and is working at a yarn store and looking for work in her field, she's good, perseverance will out, and one just got his associates at the Culinary Institute and will go back in October.
Our food bill has doubled, at least they are both eating like me, they both want to get fit. Lots of veggies and meat, and it all has to be cooked or prepared. I think the only things we buy you can eat right away is pork rinds, guacamole, and peanut butter.
Like you I'm happy to contribute to a healthy life style for them, so no stock piling. We have to go shopping fairly often, and they go to the store for me, which helps. They also cook. My son will get a summer job in a kitchen here soon, he has a few interviews, so he will eat there, that will help.
Costco membership- definitely. We save quite a bit, eat better and they have big sizes. The mixed greens are gone in 2 days, so we buy 2. I think we buy 2 of everything!
The best measure of a man's honesty isn't his income tax return. It's the zero adjust on his bathroom scale.- Arthur C Clarke

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness. - Mark Twain


Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 61

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 14:36
Honestly, I've had a Sams club membership and I've had a Costco membership. I didn't save NEARLY as much as I do couponing. Buy the sunday paper for the coupons (one for every family member), clip the coupons, and match coupons to sales. I save 50-60% on my overall grocery bill, and have a good stockpile of the household basics (TP, paper towels, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste, etc). This means more money to spend on the quality ingredients I can't get with coupons.

Don't think you can only get junk with coupons, either. I get discounts on milk, cheese, deli meat, eggs, and whole grain cereal for my kiddo (I refuse to give him sugary crap, so I get plain cheerios)
If you can spend years beating yourself up mentally and remain standing, you can HANDLE a few muscle cramps and cravings. A little pain has NOTHING on feeling insecure. Remember that next time you wanna quit. You can do this!

Joined: Oct 10
Posts: 34

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 14:51
So many wonderful replies. Thanks all! I do have a costco membership. I couldn't get along without it. My boys eat very healthfully. When they bodybuild they eat every two hours! This is why I never have food when I need to eat, so rather than go to the store again, I eat something I shouldn't. That is my issue, along with the cost. Eating well is not cheap. I'm not really complaining as it's not a terrible problem to have. I just get a little annoyed sometimes. Once, I was out of town for a couple days and nobody grocery shopped so the boys got a beautiful brisket (from costco) out of the freezer and tried to fry it in a pan! After I stopped laughing (and crying, I was really looking forward to some tender bbq brisket) I asked them how it was. They said it was ok, just kinda chewy. lol They needed protein, it was protein, so they ate it. I don't even think they thawed it out first. What a family.
Someday when they have moved out with families of their own I will miss these times, but I still would like a little food for myself. Smile

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 811

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 15:06
I think it's a good plan to maybe have your own little private 'pantry' in your room that they don't know about - maybe even a little mini fridge where you can keep your own stash of cottage cheese/greek yogurt/etc???

@ToHaveOrToBe: I don't think the issue is about keeping other family members from eating healthy food - it's about thinking that you are going to have all of these great options, and then (as others have stated) the 'mindless eaters' get to it before you can!!

Of course, I don't have any kids, and my boyfriend kind of knows to stay away from 'my' foods, so maybe my opinion will change, but I know I get really crabby if I know that I'm supposed to have 1 greek yogurt left and I have been thinking about it all day and then I get to the fridge and it's GONE because my bf ate it... just things like that...

@teskandar: That's hilarious about the brisket!! Bummer that you couldn't have your bbq brisket, but a pretty funny story to tell!

Someone who is busier than you is working out right now.
There will come a day when you can no longer do this. Today is not that day.

Joined: Sep 09
Posts: 4

Posted: 18 Jul 2012, 15:33
Boy am I there right now! I have one teenage son and a 10 year old daughter who eats like a teenage boy. My baby girl eats almost nothing so she's nothing to worry about.

When my son isn't playing video games, he's eating...A LOT! I'm a single mother so I can't afford to go to the store every day, so I do make some things off limits. For other foods, I'm really emphasizing the value of saving some food for everyone else in the house. So now my kids are in the habit of asking before they eat the last of anything. It's really helped save my grocery bill and my sanity!

Kids are gonna eat what they're gonna eat and I am not the type of mother to deprive my kids of food. Mindless eating is not a big concern of mine because they are all healthy weights. I see nothing wrong, however, with having a stash for myself, or to make it known up front that certain things are for me, not a free for all! They're good kids so they are very compliant.

I'm rambling, but the bottom line is sometimes setting boundaries is a good thing and the kids will take it in stride. Hope this helps some!
I find that my greatest joys come from inside of me...
...and I derive even more joy from watching them grow into my greatest accomplishments

Joined: Nov 11
Posts: 2

Posted: 29 Jul 2012, 20:55
Everything that has been said is great advice, but your missing the overall point. Raising teens is like a game of chess, you get the food, and that's a free meal! it doesn't matter if they are board, or out wearing out the driveway playing basketball, it's all a game to them. (just like Christmas, or birthday presents you get them months before their big day.)
It happens to be part of the "teen" experience? I know, I was there once upon a time ago.

Everything that has been said is spot on, but your not going to end the problem until you help them understand through educating them.

Here is what I mean. 1st. Your boys are smart, and if you don't think so, then they really have you fooled. Think about it, you limit their access because your budget can't handle what they really consume, nothing wrong with that. They would rather eat a twinky then health food anyway.

Bring them on board so they understand the situation, and what your goals are. Teens love goals, show them the budget, and the difference in cost, then give them the responsibility to choose how they can be a part of the goal process so they feel apart of the plan.

Step two, Costco, or where ever, take them with you more than once or twice let them pick what they want that you won't touch, ask them to help you in this, so your not tempted. This gives them a birds eye view of what this is taking for you to fulfill your goals, plus now you have empower them to become apart of the plan to succeed.

This will not be easy however, at first simply because it isn't important to them, so your going to have to make it so.

Give them the responsibility to pay at the register for both selection separately so they see first hand cost. Then help them see the end results if they continue to piece meal. Because as they get older. At 23, if they are not active they will be well on the road to being over weight. And at 25 or 26 they will be in the pocket, so to speak.

Look, I'm not trying to be the expert here, I just know first hand what goes on in the mind of a teen, both male and female. With my two boys, and five girls, two of which followed their big cuddley dad. One tipping the scale at 400 lbs. we are very worried for her, but, Bad habits die hard if you don't go first.

What we are doing is trying to revere bad examples, and habits. And this is no laughing matter, obesity is a modern day war with ones will, and mind. All we have done is show our kids how to feed their emotions, and now it's time to stop and help them realize the end results of our, their choices,

OK, I'll step off my soap box and get to the point. Weight loss is a family affair, even if it's just one of us in need.
Education, and involvement is the overall approach, and I promise it will bring your family closer together in the long run if you can successfully involve them.

Give yourselves a consequence for when you slip that benefits the family as a whole, like weeding the garden, or cleaning the house if the boys slip by eating something they've agreed to leave alone, or whatever is important to you and the rest of the family, as long as it isn't something assigned already. Even having to cover the cost of what is lost because of the slip. If they have to pay for it, it will not be as big of a temptation next time, and if not, paying double the cost will, remember they are very intelligent.

Be involving, educate, give responsibility, be active together, and have a consequence, but most important, make it rewarding for everybody. Reach this weeks goal? Go out to the park, or on a bike ride, whatever is your flavor of family activities, excluding eating out, save it be yogurt icecream. "proportionately", remember it's just your diet, unless they choose to participate.

One thing more, incorporate all the good advice your friends here have given you. And GOOD LUCK with your boys.

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 2

Posted: 30 Jul 2012, 08:12
Wow! How lucky you all are, to have one or 2 boys. I have 4 boys and 2 girls plus my husband who all have ravenous appetites. I always wondered how to describe their eating "mindless eating" is the perfect description, Thanks! They all eat like food will no longer exist the next day, I am the only one in the house eating in portions and being conscious of what I put in my body , so I buy healthy snacks and waters, and such for me cause I love food so these snacks help me when I am craving something bad. For those who keep suggesting to "hide" your stash, take it from me, that never works they will just find it and it will annoy you even more that they went to lengths of looking to get to it. Lol my only suggestion is that you sit and have a talk with them about how important it is for you to have what you need to succeed. Explain that you want to be healthy to be around a long time for them and they are making it hard for you to reach your goals when they "mindlessly" eat the stuff that will help you reach your goals. Hopefully they will hear how much this means to you and back off of your half of the healthy supplies out of not wanting to hinder you reaching your goals. I used to gripe and get frustrated when my family ate my stash but after having the "talk" with my family and them understanding how much it means for me to lose the weight, they have all pitched in with keeping hands off "mom's health foods". I hope this helps cause I know healthy eating is pretty expensive so to shop for stuff you already bout and should have enough of can be a pain sometimes. Good luck!

Joined: Jul 12
Posts: 2

Posted: 30 Jul 2012, 08:29
@Doug I saw your post late, but I agree with all you wrote. It does make a difference when you involve them and help them understand how important it is to you. All my kids aside from my 6 month old are long and skinny they take after dad because he is tall and skinny too. They ask all the time why they need to watch what they eat when they are not overweight but I explain that it isn't about looking healthy on the outside it is about feeling healthy inside.

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