Surviving Teenagers Or Why Boys Eat So Much

Surviving Teenagers Or Why Boys Eat So Much

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My 16-year-old daughter is furious with her brothers.

'Whenever I eat anything,' she says, 'I get A Boy standing next to me wanting to eat some, too.'

It's Sunday. It's 1pm. She's making toast. (She's just got up.) Her eldest brother, who has also spent the morning asleep, has asked her to put a couple of slices of bread under the grill for him, too.

'Why can't I just eat my breakfast in peace?' she says, flapping him with a tea towel.

'I'm hungry,' he says, with an expression of pained innocence. 'I've been asleep for 13 hours.'

Food disappears at an alarming rate in our house. Whole packets of biscuits are reduced to crumbs during The Apprentice. Anything that can make a snack between meals – ham, bread, cheese, bacon – never hangs around in the kitchen for longer than a few hours.

'It's not me,' says my daughter. 'It's them. It's the boys.'

She's got a point. Her brothers' rapacious appetites run through a trolley-load of shopping before she's even noticed what's in the fridge.

This feeling of being under attack by a plague of locusts is beginning to affect me, too. Last Friday, I went into our local butcher and asked for a large chicken.

The woman behind the counter manhandled a huge pink carcass on to the slab for my inspection. I looked at it doubtfully.

'Have you got anything bigger?' I said.

'Bigger than that?' she said, her eyes wide with astonishment.

'I've got teenagers,' I said.

Her expression changed to one of extreme sympathy. 'Frank!' she yelled to the back. 'What's the biggest chicken we've got?'

Does this sound familar? Do your sons get through loaves of bread as a snack?