I’ve heard cliches about “hungry, growing boys,” but I’ve never had to deal with one until now. Ever since Andy turned 8, he just can’t seem to get enough calories to burn.
For years, I would cook enough for Paul and I, and then simply divvy up a few bits and scraps from off our plates onto 4 kid plates. If I made anymore than that, we’d have leftovers. And leftovers are never a big hit in these here parts. I’d usually grill up 2 chicken breasts, or 2 salmon fillets. When I was feeling rich, I’d cook three and divide up the third into equal parts for the kiddos.
I did this the other night and Andy just looked at my full-portioned plate, looked at his kid-portioned kid plate and then back at me.
“Where’s mine? I’m starving over here!”
I switched him plates to see if his eyes were bigger than his stomach. He gobbled it clean.
My poor growing boy! How long has he been fighting these hunger pangs? What with all the sports, lessons and activities, multiplied by having to triple his muscle mass over the next ten years, of course he’s hungry. I need to start feeding my man-cub properly.
But here’s my predicament: he needs the calories, but I really, really, really do not want to start buying what my mother calls “grab food.” (i.e., chips, cookies, etc…) Sooner or later, that metabolism will slow down, and when it does, I want him to have healthy cravings and eating habits. So how do I keep my growing boy full and full of nutrients?
I once heard a woman who raised 7 strapping boys give this advice, “if you bake it, they will come.” For one year, she had made it her goal to bake something for her growing boys everyday. Sure enough, her home became the hang out and the hot spot for her boys and all their friends.
Another seasoned mom I know made what her boys dubbed “horse bars.” They were more or less cookie bars, but made with whole wheat, oats, wheat germ and other whole grains worthy of a champion stud’s feed bag.
So tonight I made cinnamon rolls. But not just any cinnamon rolls. These were made with whole wheat flour I ground myself, oat flour I ground myself, and flax seed. With all that health, I saw no reason to skimp on the butter or frosting and let me tell you, they are a huge hit.
I stopped growing in 1991 and I’ve had 4.