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Ballet Talk for Dancers

feeding them!


Thyme

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I am feeling a bit defeated by the task of feeding the 14 year old 6' tall young man who just doesn't put on any real weight. He gets hungry and tired and I have a hard time keeping quality food flowing. This is not a new job but I am feeling abit defeated. Last night I found myself giving him a snickers bar before class and realised I have dropped the ball. Can you please shower me with bright ideas and strategies because I think I have run out of steam :giveup: . Any by way of background I know about quinoa etc but he just wont eat that kind of thing. Maybe when he is older he will appreciate that food (like I do) but in the mean time he is only 14!

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I have an always hungry 14 year old too. I'm sure you have thought of most of these but here is what I pack as snacks for my DS: snack-sized bags of nuts, string cheese, protein bars, protein shakes, milk (low-fat chocolate or white), snack-sized peanut butters, edamame, yogurt, little bags of carrot sticks, apples, grapes, and dried fruit.

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Thanks boymom2 - so do you just stock up on snacks (which seems easy and practical) or do you do any special cooking? I have made pasta salads, quesedellas (oh dear I really haven't spelled that properly), muesli slices, hamburgers... the list goes on. What do you feed your DS for his packed lunches? Sorry to pepper you with questions but I have decided to get on top of this!

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I started having my son bring a protein shake to the studio. I still have him bring all of the other food, but it makes me feel better when my food choices are not so great.

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hi jamied- can I ask if the protein shakes are pre-made or do you make them? I have made them but he quickly got sick of the banana business....

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If his studio has a microwave then you have lots of options. I would buy a bunch of the healthy frozen burritos, add in clif bars and lots of fruit, or trail mix. There are also those premade healthy protein shakes etc...I'm not going to lie; it's expensive feeding them healthy convenient food which they will actually eat! I always kept bagels and cream cheese around too. That's an easy thing to pack and if he will eat it, you can use veggie cream cheese. We live in a town with lots of healthy convenience foods. Since I don't know where you live, look into things like egg rolls, spanakopita, dumplings, samosas etc...if you can find healthy versions of these its great because they cover a lot of different food groups and are easy to transport and reheat (or are good at room temp). Good luck!

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hi jamied- can I ask if the protein shakes are pre-made or do you make them? I have made them but he quickly got sick of the banana business....

I buy the powdered mix at the health food store. I tried a few brands until I found flavors he likes. He has a shaker bottle and mixes it himself. His AD noticed a difference immediately.

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bluemountain

At what age can they drink protein shakes? Is 12 too early? I am facing the same issue of constant feeding :)

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This thread makes me smile. My teen DS, now 15, seems to be hungry almost 24/7 (though there are rare times when he has no appetite). While he goes out for lunch, other than that, I try to have plenty of water (he prefers bottled) in the house, string cheese, cereal, healthy nut/fruit bars, fresh fruit/berries, peanut butter and jelly, tuna, eggs, pasta, vegetables, bagels, etc. He does not drink protein shakes but does like the Odwalla (though not that brand...) type fruit smoothie drinks. I try to ensure he gets a small amount of red meat each week as well and fish whenever possible.

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Wow. My DS is hardly ever hungry. He is 17. I have begun to wonder what is up with that. I believe he is fighting a strong sugar addiction because its quick energy. He does drink a ton of home made milkshakes. The Doctor suggested i give I started to give him Carnation Instant Breakfast Drink because I was worried about his diet. When he went away this summer, he vowed to detox from the sugar Not sure how that is going. Before he left he started drinking home made yogurt smoothies. It a start. I told him he needs protein to build muscle and give him some energy. :giveup:

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pasdedeuxmama

We haven't reached the teen hungry years yet, but when my son is going through a growth spurt, he never seems to stop eating. He will literally eat anything that isn't nailed down, so I just stock the fridge with as much as possible. Cereal is huge, as are hard-boiled eggs. He loves jerky, tuna-fish (which you can get in packets or eat straight from the can, or mixed into a salad), and leftover grilled meat (sliced flank steak well seasoned with salt or sazon and broiled/grilled is his favorite). Potatoes can be poked with a fork and cooked in the microwave in 4-5 minutes. Those dried cup of soups are good in a pinch (though I have yet to find one that I like). A bunch of companies make good portable soups that can be heated in the microwave. Celery or apple slices and any kind of nut butter (he likes peanut, I prefer almond) are great. You can whiz up a batch of hummus or seasoned white bean spread in a minute or two and he can eat with veggies or pitas. Smoothies are great and can be made with a ton if different ingredients - check out green smoothies, if he wants to shock his friends - google 'Green monster smoothie' for ideas. A good recipe for a filling yogurt smoothie would include a cup of plain/vanilla yogurt, a banana (frozen is great), 1 cup of frozen fruit, 1 cup of milk (any type), and a quarter cup of dry oatmeal (instant or old-fashioned), which gives it body and adds some calories to it. My son also drinks a protein shake before bed - I put in a half scoop of protein powder (chocolate flavor), a spoonful of peanut butter, a half a banana, and fill up with half coconut water/half almond milk, and some ice cubes if the banana isn't frozen. Amy's organics makes great burritos that you can pop in the microwave before leaving the house (and they have a breakfast burrito that is delish). I'm a vegetarian and my kids also really like roasted garbanzo beans and kale chips as a snack.

 

Also, batch cooking on the weekend, so he can dip in and serve himself a bowl of food, is also good - if he doesn't like quinoa, cook up a big batch of brown rice or bulgur, there are so many great whole grains to try. Batch cook a bunch of chicken breast or a flank steak - we also usually have some kind of bean in the fridge (eat AFTER the ballet class with the plies). Greens, like spinach, will wilt on their own if you heat them up in a bowl in the microwave with the rice and the protein. Quesadillas are awesome, especially bulked up with chicken or beans or greens or all of them. As a treat, I keep muffins in the freezer - pumpkin or zucchini or something with veggies/vitamins in them. Waffles and pancakes can be made in bulk on the weekend and frozen (put wax paper in between so they don't stick) - my guy will pop one in the toaster and eat it like it was a slice of bread. Baked oatmeal squares - there are a zillion recipes for them on the internet these days. GORP (good old raisins and peanuts) - he can make his own from nuts, seeds, dried fruit, (and even a little chocolate) at the start of the week and pre-bag it to grab on the go throughout the week.

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pasdedeuxmama

Also, wrap sandwiches - you can throw anything in there. One great combination that I loved before I was a vegetarian was cooked chicken breast strips, a tiny bit of shredded cheese, salsa (not too much or it leaks) and a squeeze of guacamole (there's a brand that comes in portable snack packs). Now I make wraps with hummus, a leaf or two of basil, shredded carrots, red pepper strips, and cucumbers.

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wow pasdedeuxmama! you must be the queen of good food. I am going to print your reply off and post if on my fridge for inspirations. thank you so much for taking the time :flowers: I know this sounds lame but sometimes I just get so sick of feeding him (like a big baby bird). My friends say 'cant he just get his own food?' but that wouldn't be pretty (thinking salt and vinegar chips). :ermm:

 

Terese- don't fret, my DS is rarely actually hungry (meaning stomach growling). He is just like a big pot plant and starts to wilt if you don't water him! Took me awhile to wake up to that. :whistling:

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pasdedeuxmama

I hope they were useful ideas! We do love our food :D

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My son is now 18 and is back home for the summer in between ballet company contracts. All the suggestions given above are tremendous - and once you have found the TYPE of food your son likes, be ready to buy it in bulk! It's not unusual for my son to come home and make a lunch of 4 fried eggs, two sandwiches, yogurt and then re-heat leftovers from last night's dinner! Then, two hours later he is back in the kitchen whipping up a protein powder/banana/peanut butter smoothie. My only additional bit of advice is to make sure that your DS is drinking plenty of water (not juice, or soda, or even sports drinks). If he is using protein powders, it is really important to stay hydrated - and if your DS is anything like mine, they SWEAT, SWEAT, SWEAT!! A gallon of water or more a day is entirely reasonable if he is dancing 2 or more hours.

 

(14 and 6' tall....that's wonderful! My DS is now 6'4 - tell your son not to be afraid of growing taller - today's ballerinas are getting taller, too!)

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