On the Living Like Noone Else forum, a woman posted that her teenage son was eating so much that she didn’t know how she could afford to feed her family. She gave the example that he had just eaten an entire bag of Aldi Chex Mix and was still hungry. I thought my response to her might be helpful to others and am posting it here.
DH and I raised three sons to adulthood and also had an 18 yo girl living with us for a year. It is expensive, especially if you feed them junk food that contributes nothing but empty calories to their growth.
Protein is going to be much more filling. Make sure everything that goes into their mouth has real food value. Carbs with fiber (fruit, starchy vegetables, 100% whole wheat bread or brown rice) will keep them filled up longer, too, and be less detrimental to their health.
I shop at Aldi, too, so I know that for the price of a bag of Aldi Chex Mix, you can buy an 8 oz package of cheese. Or some produce. Or natural peanut butter. Or even a chicken breast or two. Depending on where you live, maybe even a gallon of milk or a carton of cottage cheese. 2 dozen eggs! Two pounds of carrots. Three pounds of bananas. A stalk of celery. A loaf of 100% whole wheat bread (at least at Aldi or Walmart)
If you are okay with snacking, make good snacks available. Boil up some eggs. Devilled eggs are cheap to make (just add a small amount of mayo and mustard). Cut up celery and fill it with peanut butter. Have the carrots cut up so they can snack quickly. As someone else mentioned, teach them to spread apples with peanut butter. If they are little, slice up the cheese for them. Let them make peanut butter sandwiches.
I love to feed the boys’ guests. A crowdful of noisy young adult males is so fun. But that is when I break out the carbs – homemade cookies, popcorn, muffins, brownies, gingerbread… and even cheap pizzas. The other night, we fed 4 of them with 4 frozen pizzas. They are nice guys and usually have a few bucks they can contribute, but this time we paid for it – Red Baron pizzas were 3/$10, so we paid $13.50. They drank about $1 worth of milk and also water. I felt like that was pretty reasonable for a “party”.
BTW – I was at Walmart last night and got a box of their generic Triscuits. They were about $1.50, and they contain 100% whole wheat (not just the flour), oil, and salt. So it cost about the same as a bag of Chex Mix, but it’s much more wholesome and can be a base for the peanut butter, cheese, or other good toppings and they don’t eat the whole box at once.