My 16 Year Old Son Could Eat A Horse!

Meal Planning. Protein packed.

I have a son, who is my heart.  A wonderful young man, daring and loving and strong and kind…. Maya Angelou

I have a teenage son who apparently I cannot keep full. Do you have teenage boys?  If so, you may understand.  They are hungry ALL THE TIME.  Luckily, he is health conscious.  He LOVES to eat balanced, healthy meals that include protein.  

He came up with the idea to ‘meal prep’ lunches to eat during the week.  He carefully thought out a plan, browsed through Pinterest and Google and wanted 6-7 lunches with rice, vegetables, and a protein of sort.  He decided on a mixture of chicken and shrimp for his first week of lunches (in later weeks, we tried different beef recipes as well).  

Lunch Menu Ideas:

  • Honey Garlic Shrimp
  • Honey Garlic Chicken
  • Mexican Shrimp
  • Mexican Chicken
  • Cashew Chicken
  • Lemon/Butter Chicken
  • Jerk Chicken

Vegetables of choice (carrots, broccoli, peppers, tomatoes) and toppings of choice (avocado, chickpeas).  Yes, that is white instant rice in my picture.  An even healthier option would be brown rice or quinoa.  

Honey Garlic Sauce: 1/3 C honey, 1/4 C soy sauce, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1/4 tsp ginger, sesame seeds for garnish, Adapted by:

Mexican Sauce: 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp paprika

Cashew Chicken Sauce: 1 Tbsp sriracha, 1/4 cup soya sauce, 1 Tbsp hoisin sauce, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp minced garlic, 1 tsp sugar, 1 Tbsp vinegar, Cashews. Adapted by:

All protein was sautéed in olive oil prior with sauces and spices added. 

Meal prep for a teenager

One thing I have learned is that my boy is amazing in the kitchen.  He loves to cook.  He carefully and methodically chooses his vegetables and protein options and packages them all neatly in the awesome meal prep containers (my amazing husband bought for me for Christmas from Bed Bath and Beyond).  Seeing him as a ‘chef’ in the kitchen just brings so much joy into my heart.  Words cannot express the motherly love of sharing time together, laughing, learning (I learn a lot from him) and teaching.  This ‘meal prep’ for me is not about just making sure he is having healthy meal options, but more about the connection, the bond that we have as a mother and a son.  Even at 16, that bond is stronger than ever.  

Whether you have a son or a daughter.  Regardless of their age.  Spend time in the kitchen.  It’s not about how elaborate or fancy the ‘meal’ is. It could be as simple as making scrambled eggs, cookies or yummy protein bites (click HERE for recipe). It’s about what you learn FROM your child in those moments that will create lasting memories.  

What Did I Learn From My Son?

  • He finds me funny
  • He’s not afraid to try something new
  • He cares deeply for his friends 
  • He desperately wants a puppy
  • He is amazing at meal prep
  • He’s not afraid to work hard
  • He has abs of steel
  • He is a planner (a trait he has acquired from yours truly)
  • He sings/hums while is is prepping 

At the end of the day, reflecting on my cherished time spent with him, I am not only grateful and proud of the young man he has become, but I see so many pieces of myself, my husband, his sister, and my own Dad in him.  

Just like a meal – a lot of ingredients and ‘pieces’ make up that special dish.  We are ALL made up of ‘pieces’ from our past and present; a recipe of such.  Each piece that God has chosen from our loved one creates the recipe for one amazing person.  

Which leads me to #10 on my list of ‘What Did I Learn From My Son?’.  He is an AMAZING gift and blessing from God.  

Furthermore, Each piece. Every intricate trait, role, job, hobby and characteristic you have are all pieced together to create YOU – a masterpiece.

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