Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Food Intake


I don't write much about my boys' food intake. It isn't that I purposefully avoid the subject, it is just that the subject is kinda boring for me at this point. The subject, of course, being: the huge amount of food that they consume. I mean, it is just always the same old thing: "Oh good golly!!?! They eat sooooooooo much!!!!!!!" It has been like this from Day One with them. They have always eaten a ton. Especially now, with Meera being about the age K & O were when we brought them home, the comparisons are always looming. She eats very well, and she eats plenty (just look at any photo of her and you'll see that she's not lacking in the chub department, that's for sure!!!)... but compared to Kyle and Owen... she eats like a bird. At first, for obvious reasons (i.e., malnourishment), our baby boys just couldn't get enough. They'd eat and eat and eat and then pound down a full 8 ounce bottle of formula like it was nothing. People who witnessed it would be astounded, just watching in shock as these tiny babies ate more than you could imagine. I remember calling our pediatrician when the boys were about 11 or 12 months old (one of many phone calls about their food intake), asking her, "How many bananas should I let Kyle eat per day?" She ended up giving no limit (that was her philosophy and it worked well for us), and neither boy ever once ate so much that they threw up (although that was astounding and shocking in itself if you could see how much they'd sometimes ingest). But there were a few months there, from about age 11 months to about age 15 months, when I was buying bananas in bulk each week because Kyle was averaging 3-4 bananas per day. And Owen wasn't too far behind him. You do the math. (That's a lot of bananas.) Anyhoo.... they are now 4 1/2 years old, and, although I'm quite accustomed to the insanity that is the food-production-project for them (note: I am the sole food provider/preparer for the family, Braydon does none of it. Also note: I do not do laundry. ever.), there are still times when even I am truly astounded. Last night was one of them. During dinner, Kyle singlehandedly ate an entire 16 oz bag of baby carrots (with nothing on them, simply steamed). That is in addition to a nice size piece of fish, a huge helping of rice, and some spinach salad. The rest of us ate not one carrot. He ate all of them. He had seconds, thirds, fourths, and then finally just pulled the serving bowl over next to his plate and started just eating them straight from the bowl. Until none were left. And Owen... last night Owen ate so much fish I kinda felt sick to my stomach just thinking about it. I know how much I bought (a full 2 pounds), and I know how much Kyle, Braydon, and I ate (I dished it out). Thus, I know that Owen ate at least 3/4 pound (if not a full pound) of fresh tilapia. Granted, I prepared it his favorite way (blackened, with lemon butter sauce). But still. That is a lot of fish for a little boy. Especially when you consider he had thirds on the spinach salad, ate a mound of rice, and a big chunk of bread heavily slathered with butter. Seriously, whenever I get on this topic, I always circle 'round to the same thing: If they eat like this now, what on earth will they be eating when they're 16??? (and more to the point: how on earth will I keep up with them from the kitchen?!??) But don't get me wrong-- The Kyle-Owen-food-production-project is a problem that I love. There is nothing better than watching my boys devour a meal that I just cooked up at the end of a day. I'm pretty sure I'll feel the same way as I do now when they're 16.

13 comments:

Heather said...

And you ARE doing such a great job. Those are two of the most beautiful, HEALTHY looking boys I've seen!

Karen Vitek said...

Here's the thing... When they are 16 they can cook and prepare their own food. But there's a hitch! You will have to constantly overlook the condition of your kitchen and especially the stove and fridge. I try to close my eyes and just feel my way through the kitchen when I get home (It's the room I enter the house through :-) because I would have a heart attack if I didn't. That's what life is like with a bottomless stomach boy (just 1 who is 15) and a girl that eats barely the normal amount (she's 16). The next step is to let them drive themselves to the store to stock up! Scary thought...
Seriously though they are great kids and it is fun to hear what they do eat!

Mark and Sarah said...

Seriously HEALTHY! A pound of steamed carrots? Every mother's dream. I think I might just eat a TON if I was eating what you cook too...sounds delicious! And after a day at the office? Wow.

Christina said...

When you talk about their activity level, though, it all makes sense. And the earlier poster has a good point...when it's safe for them to be in the kitchen preparing their own food, that'll be a help. Who knows, you may have two young chefs in the making!

Lucie said...

Your boys are good eaters for
4 yr olds! I have 2 teenage boys
and they are HUNGRY! They want meals not snacks- and are always saying what is there to eat?
My fourteen year old grows a
1/4 of a inch a week! It is
easier having hungry kids than
picky eaters.

Braydon said...

Owen already really loves to cook with his Mommy and Kyle loves to watch. But it really is amazing to me what Heather is able to accomplish after a full day at the office. Tonight we had Penne with Turkey sausage and broccoli-rabe - it's one of my favorites. She is awesome!

Anonymous said...

Do they eat out of hunger?

Heather said...

Anon,
Yes, at this point, they eat out of hunger. Within six months of coming home their food issues related to their early traumas were gone. It was a beautiful thing to watch that dissolve over a period of a few months. The boys 100% eat out of hunger now. And they are HUNGRY boys! They are so ridiculously active and their bodies are so incredibly *FIT* (they have six pack abs, every muscle in their bodies ripples, they have 0% body fat -- seriously), I am sure they are just burning calories like crazy. And clearly they've been blessed with amazing physiques and incredible metabolism. They are go go go all day long every day. It is hard to get them to sit still long enough to eat-- but when they do, yes, I can say with total certainty-- they eat out of hunger. And they totally stop eating when they're full (and are very good at healthy self-regulating).
HBJ

Mark and Sarah said...

Obviously they eat out of hunger, anon, or they would be chubby...those boys are trim!!!

Alexandra said...

Dear Heather,
I have been reading your site for a while now, but never left a comment. So, today's my first;). We have siblings from Haiti too (girl, Léane and boy, Davidson). Davidson is JUST like your 2. He's the same age, has the same physique, incredibly muscled (six pack, very defined & toned arms & legs) and just NEVER sits still. Both of them have an amazing appetite, eating grown-up portions unless they are ill, like Davidson is at the moment. They continually amaze us with their ability when it comes to sports or movement in general, but Davidson is definitely the more talented of the 2. Biking at 3, skiing at 4 (and I mean grown-up skiing, his speed is pretty scary) and climbing like a 7 year old. Sometimes it's exhausting just to watch them go, go, go, but it also never gets boring around here;).
Greetings from Germany,
Alexandra with Léane and Davidson

Amy said...

I just spent 4 weeks in Haiti with our son. I would have preferred to bring him home but we are still waiting after 3 1/2 years. Anyway, he eats a crazy amount of food too. He's 11 and puts away more food than I could imagine. We're going to have to take out a loan to feed him if we ever get him home, LOL. I love that your kids eat so healthy and aren't picky. Oh, J loves to be in the kitchen and prepare food too. He especially likes to scramble eggs.
Amy (still waiting in TN)

ali said...

our Haitian son (adopted at about age 7...5 years ago now)is still a HUGE eater and i would say that *most* of his food issues have dissolved, but i will admit that if dinner is running late, he will wander, look around... makes a strange face, seems concerned...if the schedule gets messed up i try to fill him in early, and hes fine if i do that. he weighed 39 lbs when we met, hes a lanky, tall 90 lb. 12 year old now. he also loves healthy foods best, just like your boys do. hoping to finally make it to the PA reunion this year, maybe we will meet!

Anonymous said...

Boy I wish I had their energy and appetite. I love to eat and would love to get away with eating a lot!
Your boys are cute!