"The only real stumbling block is the fear of failure. In cooking, you have got to have a what-the-hell attitude." ~ Julia Child

A Letter to Teenagers who are Starving

by Julie on June 30, 2015

in Stuff the Kids Won't Eat

eat ALL the food!

eat ALL the food!

Dear children:

Now that you are nearly grown, I must ask you to take responsibility for feeding yourselves. Indeed, one of you is legally an adult and the other is fully two feet taller than I am. You can fend for yourselves, and I, your mother, have made it easy for you to do so. Because that is still my job.

I am going to work in a few minutes. And as the two of you slumber peacefully as only those early into summer vacation can, allow me to offer this list of what is available for you to eat when you decide to finally arise for the day.  Please do partake of any or all of the following foodstuffs. For I have purchased them with the idea of feeding you in mind.

There is:

Bacon, farm eggs, bagels, cream cheese, butter, cheese of several sorts, yogurt (the kind you, boy, have indicated you will eat). There is bread. There is frozen fruit for smoothies. There is a mango on the kitchen table and a cut up cantaloupe in the fridge. There are citrus fruits. There is oatmeal, two kinds. There is milk and almond milk and pineapple juice and orange juice.

No, there isn’t much dry cereal left. And no, I am not inclined to pick up more Rice Krispies on my way home from work.

For luncheon – I beg you both – Do not go through the coin jar trying to cobble enough together for In n’ Out when we have the following items in the larders:

Soup (girl, your favorite), beans (all kinds), rice (even the microwavable kind), salad fixings of all sorts, celery, peanut and almond butters, bread, cheese, sliced turkey, tuna, potatoes, pasta, couscous, jarred sauce, tomatoes, freshly roasted chicken from last night, freshly roasted beets from last night. There is delicious turkey and tomatillo sauce I made from scratch Sunday night – delicious with a salad! Indeed, that is what your old mother is bringing for her lunch, and if it is good enough for her…

Did I mention the mango on the kitchen table?

Children. I am sorry you feel you must call me at the office with your tales of starvation. I am sorry you feel deprived because there is no cash in an envelope for your use to order a pizza and garlic knots. Please be forewarned that every day when I walk in the door, after a long day and an hour commute on the train, I take in your cries of hunger and queries as to what are we having for dinner and can we get burritos or Chinese or In n’ Out, and I find myself increasingly inured to your situation.  Especially when I see the dishes from all the cereal you have eaten today still in the sink and the fridge still stuffed with good, healthy food that I bought for you to eat.

Dearest children. Please eat the food in the house today or there will be unspeakable consequences. I don’t know what those are yet but you do not want to go there.

The mango on the kitchen table had best be gone by 7 p.m. tonight.



Your loving mother.



{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Joey June 30, 2015 at 10:14 am

The battle lines formed! Love it!


Jennifer June 30, 2015 at 10:59 am

Every word speaks to my current pain … From your own to my kids ears!


Dorothy at Shockingly Delicious July 1, 2015 at 6:02 am

Are you eavesdropping at my house?


Kelli Johnson July 1, 2015 at 8:34 am

My offspring have even gotten their grandmother involved. It was gingerly suggested by said grandmother that maybe I should go to the store, because the kids were complaining that there was no food in the house. I had to share with grandma that was code for “can we get thai food”, or “maybe we should go to Kafe Neo!”. For while there is nothing to eat, there is basil in the garden, and buffalo mozzarella in the fridge. There are chives in the garden and yukon gold potatoes in the basket. Today is July 1st and the summer feed yourself program is launched!


Mazzy July 1, 2015 at 10:23 pm

Ha! I love this! Natalia received a similar instagram message from me when she posted a picture of her with a sad face stating she was hungry . A friend commented “eat something” she responded “that there is never food in the fridge or house and that she is always hungry”. Numerous friends felt bad for her. Teens are so dramatic. I responded with a huge list of edible items and a picture of our currently stuffed fridge with a warning not to lie on social media sites that her own mother is friends with her because I will call her out on it every chance I get. That post was deleted within seconds after I commented. Lol. She obviously couldn’t tell the difference of having no food in the house versus having food she only likes.


Bryce August 2, 2015 at 3:27 pm

I found your site doing research for a school assignment and this letter made me feel for my mother when I was growing up. I am guilty of depending on her for sustenance way to much as a teen. I really enjoyed how you gave them a jump start on ideas on what to eat along with your list of things to use, and lets them see what you have to go through on a daily basis. I kinda wish my mom would have left this on the fridge for me!


Emily Moore August 24, 2015 at 8:40 am

I just love this so much – thank you for posting it!


Julie August 24, 2015 at 8:49 am

You’re so welcome, Emily! Thanks for reading.


Rosy April 23, 2017 at 8:40 am

HA!! This really reminds me of myself years ago!!


Linda March 20, 2018 at 9:54 pm

What if you have a husband who is worse than teenagers?


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: