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Old 06-13-2011, 04:18 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
3,872 posts, read 7,603,466 times
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What does everyone else do during the summer when the kids are home and seemingly have no end to their hunger?

I have 3 kids - a 16 yo boy who is 6'4" and ALWAYS hungry, an 11 yo girl who must have heavy breakfasts and lunches but eats very lightly at dinner, and an 8 yo girl who wishes she could eat sweets and raw veggies 24/7.

For breakfast I think I'm going to buy a waffle iron instead of continuing to buy frozen ones. I also buy frozen pancakes and sausage. Plus they can make toast, oatmeal, cream of wheat, cold cereal.

I try to keep fresh fruit in the house, but that does get expensive when they go through it like water. I keep applesauce and canned fruit in 100% juice also. I also get the veggie trays from Costco, but those are done within 2 days.

I've been buying the large things of lunch meat at Costco for school lunches instead of getting it at the deli counter. Cheaper. I might stock up on ramen also. Not sure what else to do for lunches. sandwiches, chips, ramen, gogurts, fruit, cookies. I'm sure that will get boring after a while, but...
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:25 AM
 
Location: The Hall of Justice
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I hear you! I have three kids (two of them teens) and a husband with an appetite. I have to keep an eye on the snacks because they will plow through them if I don't make them eat real food too.

One thing you might do about the waffles (or pancakes or French toast) is to make a great big batch of them one weekend and freeze them. When they are all the way cool, put two or three in one freezer baggie, and package them all up that way. Your kids can reheat them in a toaster.

Other ideas: string cheese, pasta salad*, trays of enchiladas or lasagna, turkey and cheese with Triscuits. My Costco sells whole boneless turkey breast in the lunch meat section; cut that into bite-size squares, rather than using deli meat.

* Our favorite pasta salad is Barilla Plus butterfly pasta (has added protein, so it's more filling), chopped carrots/snap peas/bell pepper/zucchini/grape tomatoes/celery/etc., chopped leftover chicken, and Trader Joe's sesame salad dressing. It keeps for a few days and is excellent right from the fridge.

Sometimes I throw a bunch of chicken breasts and thighs into the crock pot and cook them on low for several hours with some chicken broth. Strain and de-fat the meat, then shred and mix with BBQ sauce. (Look for one without HFCS, though--a LOT of BBQ sauce contains it.) Keep a container of it in the fridge and some hamburger buns on hand. Or make a batch of Sloppy Joe meat, meat sauce for spaghetti (good on buns with provolone, and also on Triscuits), taco meat, or slow-cooked pork. The pork is good in burritos and quesadillas. I buy a big pork loin at Costco and can make two dinners and a few lunches out of it. Taco meat (I use ground turkey) is also good for burritos and quesadillas, or I'll make a platter of nachos with vegetarian refried beans and black beans to add protein.

Good luck ... I'll post again if I can think of anything else.
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Old 06-13-2011, 07:55 AM
 
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Popcorn, when my boys were growing up I kept lots of popcorn in the house. Quick and easy snack with not too many calories.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
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we definitely keep popcorn in the house. cheap too b/c they love it made in a pot.

Julia, we buy those large bags of string cheese from costco. keep them in the freezer and take out one separate pkg at a time.

A friend just suggested I get flat pita breads and let them make pizzas w/ it, get a sandwich maker or panini press, and also make individual bags of taco meat, freeze them and let them use that in tacos or on nachos.
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:06 AM
 
Location: From TX to VA
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Our 17-yr old grandson is the same way! Skinny as a rail but with an appetite that won't quit! Hour after hour, he's in the kitchen looking for something to eat. I can see that we're going to become frequent customers of Costco and BJ's wholesale stores this summer!

I'll keep coming back to this thread to see if anyone has more ideas too. (My wallet and I will be grateful!)
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Old 06-13-2011, 09:59 AM
 
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5lbs bags of carrots and salks of celery. I make my teens clean them and stick them in the fridge for snacks. Big jars of Costco natural peanut butter. You get the gist.

Also lots of beans and rice. Cook up big pots on weekend, mix together and into the fridge for a bowl of super cheap complex carbs when the eating machines get hungry. Really fill the belly and is good for them.


Protein This is always a tough one to do cheap and nutritious.

All my teens are athletes and compete in sports year round so the protein one is important. I make a browned ground beef 80/20 mixture with frozen peas and carrots, add in some cumin, New Mexico chili powder and simmer with natural chicken stock. Don't skim off grease, it's an important high calorie fuel. Put into fridge and serve through the week with corn tortillas for a high protein low cost meal/snack. It is also a killer filling for lettuce wraps.

The 5 dollar rotisserie chickens at Costco are a super cheap Dinner for a family when served with frozen Costco veggies, which are about a buck a pound.

Fruit- what ever is in season at the farmers market or Costco.
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:28 AM
 
Location: Striving for Avalon
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Well, if they're going to eat, fill the house with healthy foods. I'd recommend Costco/BJ's for buying vast quantities of fruit at a song per unit of weight compared to the supermarket. As most people in Costo/BJ's waddle to the prepared food and goodies section, you'll find the produce section relatively tranquil to shop in.

Protein is what fills bellies up for a longer time. Pasta with meatballs and sausage has traditionally been my "go to" feast (I'm a 21 yr old guy doing that for 5 years). A little physical activity keeps the pasta from working against me. Meatball meat of blended beef, pork, and veal is so tasty that you'll never go back to 100% beef. Chicken is of course the cheapest, and is as versatile as your willingness to find and use recipes.

And yes, do "from scratch" food. It's cheaper. It's healthier. It's tastier. It's more rewarding. They're home to make it, and hungry middle schoolers and teens will have the time to make it. Let them compare the price at the store, too and give them a life's lesson. (Eg: Arrowhead Mills Organic pancake mix: $5.49. Top of the line stuff in both price and quality. BUT, it makes 10x the pancakes you'd get in a frozen Aunt Jemima box.)
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Old 06-13-2011, 10:48 AM
 
Location: Northern VA
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I'll have to remember that next time I'm vacillating between waddling over to the prepared foods section and shuffling over to the produce.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:18 AM
 
Location: GLAMA
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Do they like eggs? I find I can go 24 hours without eating after a 5-egg omelet/frittata.
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Old 06-13-2011, 11:26 AM
 
Location: Richardson, TX
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Wouldn't it be a lot cheaper to make a huge batch of pancakes and freeze them than to buy the store brands? My sister in law does that, although in my opinion her pancakes are awful because she adds too many "weird" grains or fruits to make them more nutrient dense. They're also more texturally dense! I have refrigerated pancakes successfully. They microwave up great.
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