Feeding Teenage Boys (including three recipes)

This boy right here is 18 today. We are celebrating the emergence of our firstborn into adulthood. As a mom, I can’t help but reflect on the experience of raising this young man. I have learned so much. I have enjoyed the journey these past 18 years, immensely. So much to be thankful for. IMG_1372But I am going to stay away from sentimentality here and keep this post purely practical.

When Joshua was 13 years old, I read this classic blog post about raising teenage boys. The point she makes about food really stuck with me. “What you think of as a meal is really a snack,” Leila says in her classic style. I took it to heart. I started buying food in bulk and using large buckets with sealed lids to store baking ingredients like flour. We started buying several gallons of milk at one time. Boys becoming teens combined with numerous younger ones coming behind– it was time to step up my food game to the next level.

Cooking for teenage boys can be very good for your self esteem. They devour pretty much everything you make. They always perk up anytime they perceive activity going on in the kitchen.

Joshua (spying a chicken recipe on the counter): When are you going to be making this?
Me: Sometime in the next week or so.
Joshua: How about in the next 30 minutes or so?

See? You feel so appreciated in your humble efforts. You feel so needed.

So, in celebration of this occasion, I thought I would share three recipes that are tried and true for filling up ravenous young men (as well as the rest of the family, of course).

I’m sorry I don’t have pictures to go with these recipes. Just click the links and you will see some pictures of deliciousness.

First, Easy Cheesy Pasta and Ham. A good old-fashioned dish with simple ingredients.  In fact, we just ate it for supper two nights ago. It was delicious with green beans and salad.

Second, Cream Cheese Chicken Chili. This is a taco soup style of chili with black beans and Rotel tomatoes. This is one of those crock pot meal that cooks all day and tantalizes everyone with the aroma. We always eat it with tortilla chips. (Thanks to my sister Rachel for sharing this recipe with us during our visit exactly one year ago.)

Third, Cheddar Cheese Quick Bread. A yummy side with soup or pretty much any main dish. (Reminds us of the cheese biscuits at Red Lobster.) I try to serve homemade bread with our evening meal as often as I can. It helps fill everyone up. This cheese bread is a nice change from our usual white bread. As I was writing this post, I pulled two loaves of this cheese bread out of the oven. Mmmmmm…. and then Joshua came in asking “What smells so good?” 3.jpgOk. I guess I can’t totally stay away from the sentimental….. allow me this one picture of Joshua and Ethan [2003], who are now my two hungry teen boys.