The hardest part about feeding my family is my kids. Their appetites range from voracious to miniscule and it depends on the day which one you’ll get. Some one or two kids are super hungry, some days none. These past few days it seems I can hardly make enough food at any given meal.
Brendan goes through this a few times a year. He usually has a big growth spurt right around his birthday. So I’m not too surprised to see that he’s eating twice his weight in food at every meal. I don’t worry too much about it. He’ll put on a little weight over the next few weeks, then shoot upward like a little rocket. I’ve seen it happen year after year and don’t believe that this year will be any different.
Kaylee is by far my best eater. She comes to the table with a full appetite at just about every meal. We’re more surprised when she doesn’t eat than when she does. She’s pretty willing to try things too. Like when I’m eating something that I didn’t serve to the kids, she’ll generally watch me eat it for a while then ask for a bite. If it’s something she likes she will continue to beg for bites until it ends up that she’s eaten more of it than I have. I’m actually pretty good at predicting how much of something she will eat since she’s generally so consistent. But even she is out eating herself as of late.
Then there’s Cameron. Calling him a picky eater would not do justice to describe his eating habits. I mean, he IS a picky eater (I thank Matt’s genes for that one), but on top of that he’ll get into one of his stubborn moods and won’t eat a bite of dinner even if you serve him his all time favorite food. There are just days when getting him to eat is like pulling teeth. I try not to worry too much about it. I’ve heard many many times over the years that a kid will eat when they get hungry, but knowing the amount of meals my middle child has skipped it still worries me to some degree.
The feeding frenzy began within the last few days. One day at breakfast I served waffles, and between the three of them they ate about a dozen waffles. Last night at dinner I didn’t feel like cooking since Matt and Kaylee were kind enough to share their colds with me, so we had GYO for dinner (stands for Get Your Own). They ate a dozen or more chicken nuggets, a dozen or more pizza rolls, a corn dog, two cans of pears, and half a bag of cheetos. And they still wanted to have dessert before they went to bed.
Although I’m finding it difficult to keep up with the quantities of food the kids are consuming these days, at least I can plan for it. Like I said, the problem is at any given meal I don’t know how many hungry kids vs how many picky kids are going to show up. So I always end up cooking like they’re all going to be starving, and sometimes that bites me in the butt. I’ll end up with tons and tons of leftovers for that meal. Leftovers aren’t too big a deal, the little kids and I use those a lot for our lunches during the day. But there are some things that just don’t save very well, they’re best cooked fresh, and its those meals where I’m disappointed that more didn’t get eaten.
But I’ve learned over time that the best thing for me to do is cook too much food rather than not enough. More than one meltdown has started because I ran out of one particular type of food, and Brendan wanted more of that food. It doesn’t seem to matter that I have more of everything else. He had his heart set on that one thing and it’s gone.
I know this feeding frenzy won’t last forever, but until it subsides I’m worried that my kids may actually eat me out of house and home. And if they don’t, their upcoming growth spurts are sure to bankrupt me as they all grow out of their current clothing size at the same time. Gotta love it.