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What's the Normal Amount of Food for a Teenage Boy?


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A relative who has two super tiny girls and a boy in Kindergarten just messaged me about my 13-year-old eating a lot of food.  He ate two burgers at her house and she's surprised he didn't throw-up!  I have three teenage boys and our food bill is horrifying.

I smiled and nodded and accepted her concerns while laughing on the inside, "Just wait until your son is a teenager."  Years ago she was concerned about how often my kids got sick when my oldest had just started school.  She had one baby at the time and after she implied that I must not be cleaning well enough to kill the germs in our house, I awaited the day all heck would break loose in her house. Sure enough, she ended up with three kids and it was one thing after another once her oldest started school.  Strep throat multiple times.  The actual flu. Mystery viruses with high fevers.  Barfing.  More barfing.  I never said I told you so, but I know she must think back to that conversation and cringe.  She and my mom both said that my kids must be passing a virus around over and over again.  I asked them to talk to my pediatrician because she said you can't pass a virus around repeatedly, but anything bacterial, yes.  But kids get 2-3 intestinal viruses a year in school and I think it was 7-8 respiratory viruses!  Times that by 3 kids and yes, it must have seemed at the time that our family was always sick because of course, they couldn't just get everything all at once. They had to take turns slowly and painfully.  

I do want to ask though, is it abnormal for a teenage boy to eat two burgers?  Yes, he does have a belly on him, but I think it's more about his sweet tooth.  

 

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It's absolutely normal for my 15 year old to eat two burgers and then chips or fries too (and then still want a snack after the meal is over).  I pretty much always plan our meals so that he can have seconds now.  My 12 year old is just barely starting to get to that point but doesn't consistently have more than one helping yet.

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2 hours ago, MorningStar said:

A relative who has two super tiny girls and a boy in Kindergarten just messaged me about my 13-year-old eating a lot of food.  He ate two burgers at her house and she's surprised he didn't throw-up!  I have three teenage boys and our food bill is horrifying.

I smiled and nodded and accepted her concerns while laughing on the inside, "Just wait until your son is a teenager."  Years ago she was concerned about how often my kids got sick when my oldest had just started school.  She had one baby at the time and after she implied that I must not be cleaning well enough to kill the germs in our house, I awaited the day all heck would break loose in her house. Sure enough, she ended up with three kids and it was one thing after another once her oldest started school.  Strep throat multiple times.  The actual flu. Mystery viruses with high fevers.  Barfing.  More barfing.  I never said I told you so, but I know she must think back to that conversation and cringe.  She and my mom both said that my kids must be passing a virus around over and over again.  I asked them to talk to my pediatrician because she said you can't pass a virus around repeatedly, but anything bacterial, yes.  But kids get 2-3 intestinal viruses a year in school and I think it was 7-8 respiratory viruses!  Times that by 3 kids and yes, it must have seemed at the time that our family was always sick because of course, they couldn't just get everything all at once. They had to take turns slowly and painfully.  

I do want to ask though, is it abnormal for a teenage boy to eat two burgers?  Yes, he does have a belly on him, but I think it's more about his sweet tooth.  

 

My 13 year old grandson does the same.  Solid muscle...he does karate, but once he is out of his teens unless he gets a major growth spurt (possible), he is going to have to learn restraint.

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An 16 5'4" 130# boy with a sedentary life style needs 1890  calories to maintain that weight.   Yes it is common for a 13 year old to eat two hamburgers.   But it is still a good lesson to teach to eat by the brain (and stomach if they eat slowly enough to know what their stomache wants), and not their eyes or their nose, or their tastebuds ETA or their stress or boredom.  It is useful to require children to drink 6-8 oz of water before every meal.  That way they don't eat for thirsty reasons, and their stomache doesn't feel empty when they've eaten enough.

Edited by rpn
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MS...  I remember always hearing about teen-age boys with a hollow leg and how much they could eat... so two burgers sounds par for the course...

GG

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I told my 17-year-old about this conversation last night and he laughed, "Sometimes I eat four burgers!"  :lol:

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There's no such thing as a "normal" teenage boy.  By definition, teenage boys are abnormal. Therefore, there's no such thing as a "normal" amount of food for a teenage boy.  You're welcome.  Glad I could clear that up! :D 

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My oldest really didn't eat more than we did.  We did talk as he was entering into his teens that you don't have to eat more just because that is what everyone says. We understand "you will get hungry" and we are fine with you eating more,  just don't think that you have to.  So he rarely did eat more than one hamburger.  Now that he is 23 it is not uncommon for him to eat more,  but I think it is more stress eating. 

My 16 year old is different.  He has always been lean and he still is.  He never ate much and he was constantly moving.  Now he is still lean, constantly moving and has added pushups, situps, going to the gym etc, has some really nice muscles and some days he hardly touches food and other days it is constant eating. A hungry lion. Those days he can't seem to eat enough. 

Edited by Rain
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17 hours ago, Rain said:

My oldest really didn't eat more than we did.  We did talk as he was entering into his teens that you don't have to eat more just because that is what everyone says. We understand "you will get hungry" and we are fine with you eating more,  just don't think that you have to.  So he rarely did eat more than one hamburger.  Now that he is 23 it is not uncommon for him to eat more,  but I think it is more stress eating. 

My 16 year old is different.  He has always been lean and he still is.  He never ate much and he was constantly moving.  Now he is still lean, constantly moving and has added pushups, situps, going to the gym etc, has some really nice muscles and some days he hardly touches food and other days it is constant eating. A hungry lion. Those days he can't seem to eat enough. 

I think that's a good point.  Not every teenager is going to be an eating machine, and sometimes, for health reasons, it's not good for them to feel like they can just eat all they want whenever they want.

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