Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Boys and their appetites

In my last post, I profiled Daniel Greenlees, a teenager who lost 70 pounds at a gym with the help of a personal trainer. The topic brought up some questions for me: How much do teen boys eat anyway? Should you limit calories or carbs or anything? Or should you just encourage more activity?

I had two sisters, who each had two girls. I had no close male cousins or even an uncle. By having a boy, I broke up the family sorority. So I know nothing about boys and their eating habits. But I hear they're prodigious. Already, I feel like a short-order cook. The eating orgy seems to last from the minute he's home from school to the minute he goes to bed.

As my son approaches puberty, I can see his body changing. He's not a stick on chicken legs any more. But I don't know what's normal. Will he pack on pounds and then stretch out? Should I be concerned about his dimply middle? Or should I just trust that he'll get enough exercise to even it all out in the end? His diet is not the worst it could be, but it's not the best. Should I keep a closer eye on sugars and fats?

Any advice from you who have experience feeding boys would be great. I'm totally in the dark here. My mother says she had -- and lost -- a monumental battle with me and my sisters over breakfast. We refused to eat it apparently. She finally gave in. Should I be worried about my son's habits yet? Or should I just give in and hope for the best?


  1. I have 2 teen boys and my sister has 3. My oldest is just naturally thin even though he eats junk. My youngest almost 15 has always been a little thicker even though is active and eats healthy. Almost overnight when my son hit puberty he shot up 6 inches and thinned out. Encourage healthy eating but allow treats. Make sure there is plenty of physical activity. Keep pop and juice to a minimum. Focus on health not weight. Teen boys are ALWAYS hungry! My sister had the same experiences.

  2. Thank you for those suggestions and words of encouragement! I do limit soda and juice. In fact, my son asked the other day if he could have a Coke sometime when he wasn't sick. (I give it to him to settle his stomach.) I'm just worried about lifelong habits. My husband and his brothers all carry too much weight around the middle, but they can't seem to stay away from the junky foods they've always had -- pizza, subs, donuts, fried chicken, chips, etc. Childhood habits are hard to break.