DEAR HARRIETTE: My teenage son, "Alex," eats large amounts of food. This is to be expected for a growing boy, and I’d estimate he eats six full meals a day. He eats everything in the refrigerator, on the counters and in the pantry.
I've noticed my daughter, who is 10, eating less and less because Alex devourers her favorite foods without thinking. I believe he eats inconsiderately because he never asks for anything from the grocery store, yet eats all the food that everyone else requests. How can I balance life with a human vacuum in the kitchen? -- Moderation, Madison, Wisconsin
DEAR MODERATION: You need to talk to Alex to teach him about using his brain when he reaches for food. It is important for him to think about others, even as he is a growing teenager who craves food. You may also want to resort to an extreme measure that many other families have had to put in place -- lock some food away that he cannot access. Put the foods that you want reserved for your daughter and for the rest of the family into a separate refrigerator that you literally lock. That way, Alex cannot eat it even if he wants to.
Finally, you can continue to ask Alex to give you a list of food items he prefers. Put his name on those items, and put your daughter’s name on her favorites, yours on your favorites and so on. At least this will begin to raise the awareness in your home that food is there for more than one person’s consumption.