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3 Bumps

Is there anything wrong with limiting food, is this normal?

I have my own 3 children who are 3, 7 and 10 plus my 3 nephews (who are 9, 12 and 15) living with my and DH right now. My sister's DH has cancer and he is out of state for treatment, she is with him but since they don't know how long they would be, they didn't want to bring the boys plus, this way they can stay in a studio apartment since they still have to pay their mortgage for their own home. Anyway the boys are all big eaters, if I let them they would eat all day long. It really does get expensive, my sister doesn't have any money to help right now so me and dh are just doing the best we can. Luckily, I have an orange tree and a plum tree in my back yard (they both make LOTS). So all the children know they can have oranges or plums any time but if they want anything else, they have to ask and the answer will not always be yes. If someone asks me if they can have a snack an hour or 2 before dinner, I'm gonna say no because dinner is soon, it won't kill them to be hungry for an hour. Well my nephews are used to eating anytime and anything they want and keep telling me that I am mean and am not treating them right and they are going to tell their mom. I don't want to stress their mom out, she is already at her wits end, but I just don't see whats wrong with not having the kitchen open all day long. Also, meal times anyone can have seconds, thirds as much as they want as long as they at least eat one serving of veggies, these boys will have 2 or 3 rolls each, 2 servings of meat and 3 servings of mashed potatoes or whatever starch I make plus one serving of veggies then before I even finish cleaning the kitchen, they want snacks. Is it possible they have something wrong with them that makes them this hungry. I did grow up with 3 brothers so I know they eat a lot but I have never seen anyone eat like this in my life. Last week, I spent over $400 on groceries just for one week, before the boys came, I spent usually $150 or less for the 5 of us, it's really taking a strain on our finances too.

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Anonymous

Asked by Anonymous at 3:11 PM on Sep. 12, 2011 in Parenting Debate

Answers (24)
  • It is fine to limit food the way u r doing it is good. They just need to get used to following your rules in your home.
    dancer

    Answer by dancer at 3:16 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • I think they're normal, growing boys that are hungry. I don't think they have a diagnosis or anything unusual. Why not keep some air-pop popcorn in the house. It's high fiber which will fill them up, it's cheap and they can munch 'til their hearts' content.
    MegMurry

    Answer by MegMurry at 3:17 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • Food is a non issue in my home and I try to make it non taboo. We have plenty of snacks available for my kids anytime they want them, and guess what? They eat less then you might think. Just knowing it is there is comforting for my kids. Your problem is two fold. First of all these kids are going through alot. They dont have their mom around all the time. Their dad is dying. They are in a new home, new rules, and they want to eat (comfort food comes to mind). Second, because you are making an issue of food their minds are telling them they are hungry, so they are thinking about it more, thus asking more, and eating more.
    Why dont you look into getting food stamps while they are with you? Your sister can write a note stating they are living with you temporarily and you can then buy more food & itll take the sting off your finances.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 3:18 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • Feeding three near teenaged boys is bound to inflate your food bill! They need a LOT of energy to grow those bodies and their big growth spurt is right around the corner.

    I think it's a mistake to make food into a battle. It might be easier if you make available a larger selection of "any time foods", in addition to the oranges and plums. My boys are allowed to eat whenever they want, but they have to pick between fresh fruit and veggies (and just oranges and plums is bound to get boring after a bit, not to mention, they won't be in season forever) and/or whole grain bread at the in-between meal times. This way they don't feel so deprived, they aren't likely to spoil their appetites, and you can gain a little sanity.
    Dr.Donna

    Answer by Dr.Donna at 3:18 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • Growing boys eat and eat and eat and eat and eat. And milk, holy cow, the milk they drink!!
    adnilm

    Answer by adnilm at 3:19 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • I do it . My DH and I feel you have to teach kids self control. We have three boys and three nephews too! They stayed w us an we had similar issues. I feel if we don't teach our kids portion control it can come back to bite us later. Kids eat alot but kids also eat when they are board, nervous, sad, and happy. We have to teach them that that's not healthy. No one wants to say no to there kids when it comes to food but when our kids grow up healthy they will thank us:) good job an GL
    specmominmt

    Answer by specmominmt at 3:20 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • gem gem, my DH makes over $60,000, there is no way we would qualify but it is still hard to spend close to $2,000 a month on food when we used to spend less about $600
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:23 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • You might be surprised that you could qualify for just them because of the circumstances. Either way I never make food an issue in my home. I have 5 kids and when they were all home I spend around $250 a week in food, sometimes more.
    gemgem

    Answer by gemgem at 3:25 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • Maybe make something cheap like pasta if they are hungry after dinner. A box is only $1. Throw on some sauce for $3 a jar. Good luck! I know boys eat a lot. Also, buy store brand cereal for them to snack on.
    mompam

    Answer by mompam at 3:26 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

  • Thanks I might try the popcorn thing. We also always have veggies on hand, they just never want them, even with dip
    Anonymous

    Comment by Anonymous (original poster) at 3:27 PM on Sep. 12, 2011

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