The 15 Year Old Eating Machine

I have a 15 year old boy in my house.  Do any of you know how much food a 6’2” 200 pound growing boy can eat in a sitting?  A tremendous amount, that’s for sure!  What amazes me even more is how often he can eat.  I made lasagna a few nights ago, and he ate three of the eight pieces I cut the casserole into.  As I was loading the dishwasher 15 minutes later, he returned to the kitchen and bumped me out of the way while he got a huge bowl of cold cereal!

Carl’s walked into the house after wrestling practice and eaten an entire bunch of bananas while waiting for me to finish up supper (all of 15 minutes).  Bags of cereal and gallons of milk can disappear between the time I go to bed and the time I get up.  Loaves of bread, pails of ice cream, cases of soda, packs of hot dogs, boxes of ice cream bars, and packages of cookies seemingly vanish into thin air.  Nothing is safe from my teen age eating machine!

When I ask him if he ate the missing items, he shrugs his shoulders and gives me one of his puzzled looks.  Is it possible that he is eating all this food without realizing it?  I’ve heard of sleep walking:  Is there such thing as sleep eating?  Is it possible that he’s eating so fast that his brain isn’t registering all that is passing between his lips?

I will continue making a stop or two each day at the local grocery store to pick up food for my hungry son.  I feel a little like the adult robin that has a nest full of babies sitting around with their mouths open demanding to be fed.  No matter how many worms daddy bird brings back, they are always looking for more!

I guess the time will come soon enough when the nest will be empty, and I’ll be wishing the hungry bird boy was still around.  When I think about it that way, I’m more than happy to be still needed by my growing son.  He’s at the point where he thinks he’s grown up, but is still mostly unable to take care of his basic needs.  That’s my role in this world, providing worms for my helpless nestling.  I’ll help him grow his own set of wings in the meantime, and I’ll smile proudly as he flies away into the horizon under his own power, praying he has what it takes to make it on his own.

6 Responses

  1. Tom

    I have 10 and 11 year old boys. They seem to take it as a personal affront if there is food left in the cupboards or the fridge more than a day. Are you telling me it’s going to get worse?!?!?

    Saints preserve and defend me.

  2. Abel

    Is you son in sports? Does he lift weights regulary? Considering his weight he is borderline over weight if you go by BMI. Body Mass Index however can inaccurate if he highly active lifting weights. I understand he is probably growing so his body needs more nutrients but a lot depends on how active he is, which you did not mention. This site will calcuate you sons BMI as a kid. BMI is genreally best used for 18 years or older so this may be a good reference for any persons under 18.

  3. sw

    I really enjoyed this article, and it reminded me of stories my mom told about growing up with her 6’4″ brothers. Given the obesity epidemic in this country, I do feel compelled to mention that as a rapidly growing 15 year old, yes, your son needs a lot of calories to sustain his body, but he also needs nutrients to go along with those calories. I’m sure the items you list – “loaves of bread, pails of ice cream, cases of soda, packs of hot dogs, boxes of ice cream bars, and packages of cookies” – that seem to vanish into thin air aren’t the only things he’s eating, but since you are the provider of worms for your helpless nestling, I would seriously consider how much of the food you provide to your son contains empty calories, or food with no nutritional value. He may not appear to be “overweight” now, but the trouble with this food is the unseen damage it does, even at 15. Furthermore, habits can be hard to break, and when his growing slows and eventually stops, will the appetite for unhealthy foods as well? Anyway, I don’t know you or your kid and everything you eat on a daily basis, and I’m not trying to judge, but that list of food struck me. I think it’s important to remember that food is literally a building block for every body, particularly growing bodies. Just as it’s nearly impossible to build a stong, stable structure with rotten wood and rusty nails, it’s equally difficult to build a strong, healthy body with fats and sugar. Good luck with your eating machine!

  4. Lee

    I’m sure he burns off the food faster than he can eat it. The only thing I would suggest is that you take him with you to the store, so that he can make some choices for himself, along with seeing the cost of those items. That will also help him prepare for being all grown up.

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