Teenaged boy eats like a starving wolf -- normal?

For reasons too boring to bother explaining, a teenaged semi-nephew of ours had to stay at our house from after school yesterday until leaving for school this morning.

His mother had said “he’ll eat anything” and “he likes a ham sandwich and milk for a snack.” Since we didn’t have those last two things (Mr. Strong isn’t supposed to eat salty foods and neither of us drink milk) I went to the grocery store and bought a pound of sliced ham and a half gallon of milk and figured that covered it. (We do have bread, butter, cheese, and a half dozen kinds of mustard on hand.)

He ate SIX ham sandwiches between afternoon ‘snack’ and watching tv ‘snack’ and 'bedtime ‘snack’ and drank the entire carton of milk before 10 p.m.!

This was on top of eating three servings of chicken and two pieces of chocolate cake at dinner and another piece of cake later on.

Is this possibly normal? Is that just how teen aged boys eat?? (We didn’t have children, and Mr. Strong says he never ate like that himself when he was young.)

The kid is about 5’ 8" and maybe 20ish pounds overweight to my eye, so I don’t think his own family has been starving him or anything.

If allowed, quite a few teenaged boys will eat like that, yes. Especially if they’re gearing up for a growth spurt, or in the middle of one–but often just on general principle.

If there’s a next time, give him smaller amounts and tell him that’s what you’ve got. He probably looked at that stuff and thought “All for me, oh boy!”

I used to eat like that. Was thin as a rail until about 22. After that, not so much.

Starving wolves are generally neater and fussier about their food. :smiley:

Sounds normal to me.

Having had some experience on this, I’d say it is quite normal and possibly even healthy.
Make sure he gets some greens as well.

Six sandwiches seems a kind of high but not abnormal. I’ve seen teens that were beanpoles put away two Chipotle burritos, which I would have said was not possible.

He may have been showing off a little. He might have known you bought all that for him and he wouldn’t be there the next day.

Both my brother and I inhaled food at unbelievable levels. I remember often eating 6 or 8 slices of bread all at once in a wad. It’s metabolism.

Yes, it does seem that many teenage boys go through growth spurts while consuming mass quantities of food.

I didn’t. Maybe that is why I’m short.

I recall making 2 dozen chocolate chip cookies once, and them being gone after dinenr that night. My Mom went and searched my brother’s room thinking he must be hoarding them, because he also ate three pieces ofchicken, mashed potatoes and veggies at dinenr.

Nope, he had eaten them all. He was just about to turn 12, and that continued for the next 13 years or so.

Sounds like my grandson (19) AKA The Human Garbage Disposal. Have anything in the pantry you won’t use? They will make it go away. In record time! :stuck_out_tongue:

Hell, my husband’s turning 40 next week and he STILL eats like that.

At the risk of posting a “me too” – me too. The thing is when I hit my early 20s I was pretty much in denial about how I could ever get overweight. And so I got overweight.


My husband was in a blended family, with SIX teenage boys. His mother served a lot of rice, beans, bread, and other cheap starches. As a general rule, they went through two loaves of bread (the long sandwich loaves) each night at dinner, plus whatever was consumed during the day for breakfast and lunch.

Not surprisingly, his mom encouraged the teen boys to get after school jobs at restaurants. My husband worked at a pizza parlor, and his first chore each day was to remove the leftovers from the lunch buffet. He’d put all the slices in a box on top of an oven, and whenever he had a free moment, he’d munch out. Since the leftovers would be thrown away otherwise, and my husband is a fast worker, his boss was OK with this. Plus, my husband was entitled to a free dinner if he worked a certain number of hours each day…and he managed to scarf down dinner, too.

I used to have a D&D group at my house every week, and we’d usually play for at least 6 hours. I generally made at least one meal, plus snacks, for each meeting. There was a core group of 3 adults and 3 teen boys, and occasionally other people as well. The teen boys were very polite, but they could certainly put away the food.

I remember my brothers eating like that when we were teens. They are just 18 months apart. I remember the entire top shelf of the refrigerator (not the side-by-side type) filled with gallons of milk. We’d seriously buy 6 or 8 gallons at a time. Of course there were three other kids (two of them preschoolers) plus the parents, but still, it knocks my socks off how much food and milk those two boys consumed.

My own two teens, a boy and a girl, plus the first grader, are eating me out of house and home, but not at those levels. Forget a package of cookies lasting more than a day around my house, though. Ramen noodles, too: gone, gone, gone.

Many teenage boys do eat what seems like ridiculous amounts of food. They need it to fuel their growth. The trick for them will be to recognize when they no longer need to eat that way. A fair few don’t and that is one reason we have the cliche of the lardassed ex-high school athlete.

Ha; that takes me back to when I’d eat whole loaves of garlic bread in one sitting. A loaf (of the long & skinny style) would just barely fit in our microwave if you put in diagonally.

who the hell are all these kids who could eat like that? I didn’t eat anywhere near that much and I was still fat.

My son seems to be good at recognizing his fluctuating needs, but not at knowing in advance if it’s going to be a three gallon of milk week or a one gallon week.

As long as the comparison is quantity of food and not table manners, then yes. Within the range of normal.

My brother at 18 would fry half a pound of bacon with six or eight eggs for breakfast, and still be ready for lunch at he usual time. It was amazing the amount of food he could put away. At that time he was skinny. Now, 40 years later, he doesn’t eat like that and is no longer skinny!

Boys eat like birds, and I think birds eat >25% of their body weight in food each day.