I need serious advice... my 11 year old son has no limits when it comes to food. If it is there, he will eat it. If it belongs to someone else, he will eat it. If he knows (and he always does) that he isn't supposed to have it, he will eat it. He eats and eats and eats. If I buy groceries, including snacks for the week, they are gone within a day or two. He will wait until no one is looking and then sneak food. He will wake up earlier than everyone else and eat. He also nags his sisters and tries to get them to give them THEIR food, when he's eaten faster and finished before them while they still have some left over.
Example... There is a hurricane coming. I bought a bunch of non-perishable stuff, including a box of donuts as a treat for the kids... I don't generally buy a lot of junk like that. I went to bed last night with a full box in the cupboard. I noticed just a few minutes ago that there are 3 gone. This means that he ate his share and some of his sister's as well when no one was looking. He just did the same exact thing LAST WEEK with another treat, eating his share plus another plus half of a third.
Besides the obvious problem of this being unhealthy for him (he is tall but still heavy for his age), it's also really unfair to his sisters, and really frustrating for me. I'm a single mom with three kids on a limited food budget. When I buy food for the week, it is meant to last for the whole week. That said, they are never hungry in the sense that they are underfed... they have full means and snacks and have plenty to eat. Our diet is mostly vegetarian with lots of beans and tofu and veggies, and all three of the kids are good eaters. We eat meat or fish only once or twice a week. I'm good at budgeting and planning, and we have good backup plans here (a food pantry and an emergency cc) if we run short.
He will be homeschooled this year, and I have plenty of plans to keep him active and healthy, so that isn't really an issue... but what do I do about this eating thing?? We already don't buy a lot of junk, but he will do this with ANY snacks. He does this with bread and tortillas if I have them in the house. He will do this with cold uncooked tofu. Not only does this upset my girls when they find out that their snacks are gone and they haven't had any, but it messes with my meal planning too. He eats the tofu I bought to have with our pasta, so then we don't have any when it comes time for me to make dinner and we all have to make due without it. Natural consequences don't seem to phase him much either... he gets bummed when his sisters get a chunk of bread with their soup and he doesn't because he already snuck a quarter of the loaf earlier when no one was looking... but that doesn't seem to have an impact on his habit in the long run at all.
I am at my wits end. :(