What to feed a 19 year-old girl who eats mostly junk food?

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  • CalicaCalica Registered User regular
    Would anyone seriously have these problems if I was doing it for a guy? Perhaps some of you should think on that.

    I initially assumed you were a woman, and I still thought it was weird.

    If someone had offered to feed me like this when I was 19, I would have been very uncomfortable with it, because that person would have been inappropriately stepping into a parent's role, which comes with all sorts of implications about intimacy and power dynamics. Like others have said, while your intentions may be pure as the driven snow, that doesn't necessarily matter. You should not do this for the same reasons you should not walk up to a despondent looking stranger and give them a prolonged hug to comfort them.

    Incidentally, while growing up I also had some trouble learning the boundaries between appropriate and inappropriate behavior re: my kind impulses toward people. I see my younger self in your question and I cringe a bit.

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  • AkilaeAkilae Registered User regular
    Something something road to hell something something good intentions.

  • BillyIdleBillyIdle What does "katana" mean? It means "Japanese sword."Registered User regular
    If some random person in my class offered me food everyday because they found out I eat tv dinners for lunch at work...I would have an inner debate to see if I'm a bad enough dude to use someone as a free meal ticket and not have to do anything for it.
    Also, if a 19 year old girl told me she only ate gummy worms for dinner I would have a really, really hard time believing that. I would assume she is messing with me.

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  • Sir Red of the MantiSir Red of the Manti Registered User regular
    Taking the question of "What to feed a 19 year-old girl who eats mostly junk food" at face value, schnitzel with a light smattering of dill sauce on a kaiser.

  • naporeonnaporeon Registered User regular
    For the love of God, if you must make a lunch for her, only do so once. At the very best, this is intense, "coming on too strong" stuff, and at the worst, it is super creepy and stalkerish. This is without even getting into the insultingly presumptuous nature of assuming you should be making a more or less total stranger's lunch for her. It's galling and it's gross.

    I mean, honestly...look at the level of accord in this thread. What you are planning to do is in no way appropriate at all.

    Don't be surprised if she starts avoiding you once it becomes clear that, yes, you really do plan on feeding her every day.

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    I am 25 years old, I am not trying to get into her pants, I am just being friendly.

    I guess it was kind of silly of me to not be more explicit about this, but I do not wear a trilby, call women m'lady, nor act like a caring human being with the expectation of being rewarded with sex.

    Day 1, I am about to sit down for lunch, see her sitting alone and ask if I can sit at her table. Friendly chatter about classes commences, etc. The only thing she has for sustenance is a milkshake from Sonic, which she asks me to finish when she doesn't want any more.

    Day 2, Immediately before class starts, I see her in the hall eating a Pop Tart out of the bag. Again friendly chatter, then we head into our respective classes.

    A week of not running into her follows, until today I ask where she's been going for lunch. She hasn't been eating lunch, she says. Doesn't have money, apparently. Well, she did that morning, but her younger brother took it for his lunch. She mentions her nourishment for the day later via text when I ask her, and I say I'm making her a sandwich for lunch tomorrow. She laughs and says to make it for her Friday instead.

    The end. I don't have ulterior motives, I am just genuinely concerned for a random person I innocuously made friends with on the first day of classes. Because I am a friendly person.

    Three face-to-face meetings and one text does not equal friendship. You're assuming a familiarity with her you haven't earned yet. I had lots of class buddies in college, but I would never jump in and assume the duties of a caregiver for them.

    It's admirable you want to help, but you've gone from friendly acquaintance to mother hen in frighteningly fast time.

    If you're adamant about this (and I really think it'll blow up in your face one way of another), don't make her a sandwich, but just casually buy her a smoothie while you're on campus or something. Something that's calm and not you trying to figure out a daily lunch menu for her (seriously, you can't see how that's unhealthy on your end?).

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  • DasUberEdwardDasUberEdward Registered User regular
    Let's not throw around the word admirable lightly. This is kind of a series interaction.

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  • Mr_RichardMr_Richard Registered User regular
    I have read many posts trying not to seem creepy and failing in my life, and this is definitely one of them.

    Absolutely, categorically do not make this woman lunch on Friday.

    If, on Friday she asks about her lunch, go ahead and buy it for her.

    Do not make an almost stranger a daily meal. Do not make her a laborious edible sign of overcommittment.

    If for some reason you are convinced that she is, improbably, in actual real danger from malnutrition, you should try to communicate this to her friends, family or counselor instead of this majestically wrongheaded pursuit you seem committed to undertaking.

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  • NightslyrNightslyr Registered User regular
    Let's not throw around the word admirable lightly. This is kind of a series interaction.

    I meant admirable in a general sense. Like, "it's nice you're not a complete asshole and feel some empathy for your fellow humans" sense, not in a "making a daily lunch for a young woman you barely know" sense.

    Because, yeah, it's really weird/not healthy to jump to the latter after fewer interpersonal interactions with her than the number of fingers on one hand.

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  • KetBraKetBra Dressed Ridiculously Registered User regular
    Mr_Richard wrote: »
    I have read many posts trying not to seem creepy and failing in my life, and this is definitely one of them.

    Absolutely, categorically do not make this woman lunch on Friday.

    If, on Friday she asks about her lunch, go ahead and buy it for her.

    Do not make an almost stranger a daily meal. Do not make her a laborious edible sign of overcommittment.

    If for some reason you are convinced that she is, improbably, in actual real danger from malnutrition, you should try to communicate this to her friends, family or counselor instead of this majestically wrongheaded pursuit you seem committed to undertaking.

    I think 'majestically wrongheaded pursuit' is probably an appropriate summary of this whole scenario.

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  • BYToadyBYToady Registered User regular
    Avoid making something heavy in fats and protein since a sudden swap from a carbohydrate intensive diet would probably just upset her stomach. I'd suggest a turkey or chicken sandwich, with lettuce, tomato, and mayo. This also avoids heavy spices.

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  • dispatch.odispatch.o Registered User regular
    Go to an army surplus store and buy a box of MRE's. Keep them in your car with some water. Good idea anyhow. One day when the opportunity presents itself, hand her an MRE.

  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    dispatch.o wrote: »
    Go to an army surplus store and buy a box of MRE's. Keep them in your car with some water. Good idea anyhow. One day when the opportunity presents itself, hand her an MRE.

    Please don't do this(handing an MRE the to the girl, I mean. I agree keeping a couple in your car isn't a bad idea).

    Handing someone a sandwich says that you're a normal person. Handing someone an MRE says that you're waiting for the apocalypse to start.

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  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    The nutritional requirements of a 19 year old woman do not differ significantly from that of a 25 year old man. Make 2 of what you feed yourself. If you cannot adequately feed yourself then you probably shouldn't be taking it upon yourself to feed others.

    noir_blood
  • LiiyaLiiya Registered User regular
    As a female who has always been short and skinny all her life it is rude to try and "feed someone". I don't have enough fingers or toes to count the amount of times I have heard "Eat a sandwich!" "Get some meat on your bones!" "Do you want this?? You must be hungry!"

    How do you know she's not just got a fast metabolism? Maybe she just doesn't get hungry easily? You don't know her situation enough I don't think to know whether she is genuinely going without food, or eating stupid things.

    She's 19 and going to eat stupid things, we all did at 19. She'll realise at some point how much better it is to eat something other than sweets, but she has to decide this on her own. Its not odd to offer to buy a friend lunch casually, but to make someone lunch on the assumption they are not capable their selves is kind of patronising.

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  • Grunt's GhostsGrunt's Ghosts Registered User regular
    First, have you said anything about your concerns to her?

    Second, the old saying about fish and teaching comes to mind. You shouldn't be feeding this girl. If you can, later in the friendship, teach her about shopping on a budget and couponing. Sounds to me she is wasting her money on expensive junk food instead of buying sandwich meats and cereals. And Raman Noodles.

  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Why is anyone assuming that this girl needs to be taught to eat?

    If she's 19, she clearly hasn't starved to death, which indicates to me she probably knows how to chew food.

    Since you've only talked to her three times (is that correct?), you're probably missing sarcasm or something in her responses. If she literally ate nothing but a ring pop and some candy every day, she would be dead inside 2 weeks, which she obviously is not.

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  • CelestialBadgerCelestialBadger Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Since you've only talked to her three times (is that correct?), you're probably missing sarcasm or something in her responses. If she literally ate nothing but a ring pop and some candy every day, she would be dead inside 2 weeks, which she obviously is not.

    Junk food isn't as fatal as all that. You can consume nothing but water for two weeks and survive, if healthy otherwise.

    That's why all those "Hiker lived for two weeks on nothing but twigs and a Mars bar" headlines are funny and should be more accurately "Hiker lived two weeks on his own stored body fat."

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  • XaquinXaquin Right behind you!Registered User regular
    Xaquin wrote: »
    Since you've only talked to her three times (is that correct?), you're probably missing sarcasm or something in her responses. If she literally ate nothing but a ring pop and some candy every day, she would be dead inside 2 weeks, which she obviously is not.

    Junk food isn't as fatal as all that. You can consume nothing but water for two weeks and survive, if healthy otherwise.

    That's why all those "Hiker lived for two weeks on nothing but twigs and a Mars bar" headlines are funny and should be more accurately "Hiker lived two weeks on his own stored body fat."

    haha I guess my sarcasm didn't translate well =)

  • JuliusJulius Registered User regular
    naporeon wrote: »
    For the love of God, if you must make a lunch for her, only do so once. At the very best, this is intense, "coming on too strong" stuff, and at the worst, it is super creepy and stalkerish.

    I think the OP is unaware that you can come on too strong in friendship too. A friend of mine is making dinner for me this tuesday and it's not weird because I've known this person for years. We are actually friends so it's not weird when she makes dinner. But if this happened with a girl I had seen only a few times I would consider this way too strong a come on.

    Nightslyrspaboolly
  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    edited January 2014
    Julius wrote: »
    naporeon wrote: »
    For the love of God, if you must make a lunch for her, only do so once. At the very best, this is intense, "coming on too strong" stuff, and at the worst, it is super creepy and stalkerish.

    I think the OP is unaware that you can come on too strong in friendship too. A friend of mine is making dinner for me this tuesday and it's not weird because I've known this person for years. We are actually friends so it's not weird when she makes dinner. But if this happened with a girl I had seen only a few times I would consider this way too strong a come on.
    Concur.

    You're probably over-engineering the nutrition plan angle. I wouldn't think too far past today's sandwich least you come off as an over-reaching parent-figure rather than a new acquaintance doing a small favor.

    Maybe just pitch her some of the cheap/delicious/nutritious lunch ideas* over your sandwiches; but don't actually offer to provide them to her.

    *(Ideas of which I was hoping these two pages were going to be primarily composed. So that was a bummer.)

    ArbitraryDescriptor on
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  • ceresceres When the last moon is cast over the last star of morning And the future has past without even a last desperate warningRegistered User, Moderator mod
    I think (hope) the OP gets where people are coming from now. If he doesn't by now he's not going to, so I think we can stop harping on it.

    In fact, let's do that.

    And it seems like all is dying, and would leave the world to mourn
  • tarnoktarnok Registered User regular
    So, some nutritional advice:

    If someone is actually subsisting entirely on candy and junkfood the first problem I'd think of is vitamin deficiency. Lack of protein probably second. Something with cruciferous vegetables, some kind of citrus fruit and some sort of lean protein (fish or chicken) would probably fill a lot of nutritional needs. Maybe some yoghurt for dessert.

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  • MulletudeMulletude Registered User regular
    BillyIdle wrote: »
    If some random person in my class offered me food everyday because they found out I eat tv dinners for lunch at work...I would have an inner debate to see if I'm a bad enough dude to use someone as a free meal ticket and not have to do anything for it.
    Also, if a 19 year old girl told me she only ate gummy worms for dinner I would have a really, really hard time believing that. I would assume she is messing with me.

    How is it not just an exaggerated statement? "All i've had today is candy!"

    Shit, I say that about my son after he's eaten three complete meals but found the bag of marshmallows and gorged himself. "All he ate was a bag of sugar!"

    What i'm saying is, I agree

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  • stevemarks44stevemarks44 Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    To not speak about the nature of the proposal, and just the content of it, people are by and large pretty dumb. This group of pretty dumb people is largely comprised of people between the ages of 18-25. They're literally a demographic. They market commercials at them. Because they are dumb.

    I love to cook and eat and when I was a freshman in college there was LITERALLY a day where I stopped dead in my tracks, looked at a friend and said "holy shit I haven't eaten in 36 hours".

    I also was as of a couple weeks ago, simply too poor to buy groceries. I wasn't eating and when I told a good friend she told me I was dumb and demanded I come over for dinner. I did because she's a good friend and she cares and we have a history. Beyond that, I've been very embarrassed about my financial situation, and would've been largely embarrassed if I knew someone had caught wind of it and started giving me food without my solicitation on the reg.

    What you are offering to do, all analysis aside, is a nice thought. Throw some lunch her way to finish out the bit that you two started via text. "Ha ha remember when I said I'd make you lunch? Here it is!"

    Because everyone has already talked on the other points, I'd just warn you, as someone who has had similar spells as this girl, proceed with caution for no other reason than that you don't want to accidentally embarrass a potential friend. It'd be good to get her confident permission first, as communication is paramount to friendships forming and you don't want to cross a social boundary without realizing it.

    tl;dr

    1) I highly doubt she is genuinely malnourished, nor will her weight be any indication of this. Some people have erratic eating habits. There is no real danger here. So any motivation driven by fear for her is unfounded.

    2) For no other reason than personal space, I'd make her lunch once and see if she brings it up again after she's more comfortable. Again, not a reflection on you. But if I knew someone had caught wind of my financial woes that I really wasn't close to as of yet, I wouldn't be weirded out I'd just be rather embarrassed, as that's something personal I hadn't chosen to share with someone.

    Everyone has already said more than enough on the other facets of this. If you do/did decide to lunch her up, I'd say go with something simple. Make a large salad with some chicken and almonds and split it between the two of you. It will be cost-effective for you and protein-rich and delicious for her. Everyone wins.

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  • WiseManTobesWiseManTobes Registered User regular
    Can you act? Eat your food in such a way that it looks so delicious no one can resist asking to try it!

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  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    People in my dorm often shared food, they did so after cooking large batches because they were experienced with cooking and had skill. Never have I had a friend approach me with food.

  • AvrahamAvraham Registered User regular
    A cool thing is that one of my former roommates taught me how to cook for myself, over a period of several weeks.

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  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    Avraham's story actually makes me think of one way for you to approach the girl in question without it seeming too creepy, perhaps (although she may still feel it's too much intimacy from too little acquaintance) - you could buy yourself a cookbook, and mention to her that you've decided to try out this new cookbook, but the recipes aren't single serving, would she be interested in sampling your experiments so you don't have to eat it all alone and gain undue weight. This frees her from the burden of responsibility - it's not some gift you're forcing on her which could create obligation that she doesn't want, and might be enough to make the offer casual and friendly instead of ponderously intimate.

    Of course this does mean you'd have to have different recipes each time, which may be more than you want to be responsible for, which is perfectly natural.

    RoyceSraphimKristmas Kthulhu
  • RoyceSraphimRoyceSraphim Registered User regular
    I also want to opint out that the cookbook recipie is a good idea and helps you deal with my next point, food allergies.

    I don't know if anyone else mentioned this and I was negligent to notice, but some people have them and of those that do, some may be shy about sharing them. Cookbook idea protects you on this front.

  • LilnoobsLilnoobs Alpha Queue Registered User regular
    I also want to opint out that the cookbook recipie is a good idea and helps you deal with my next point, food allergies.

    I don't know if anyone else mentioned this and I was negligent to notice, but some people have them and of those that do, some may be shy about sharing them. Cookbook idea protects you on this front.

    Probably the best cookbook for this or any family occasion.

  • TaekoTaeko Miami, FLRegistered User regular
    This has been one of my favourite threads to read on H/A. Being exposed to such a different perspective on what one sees as socially appropriate behaviour is fascinating. I am curious to know how things played out. Kristmas Kthulhu, I do hope you update us on how you ended up approaching this situation and the reception of your meal(s).

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  • MadpoetMadpoet Registered User regular
    I don't have much that hasn't already been said, but I just want to make sure that if you go through with this, you tell her:
    I just met you, and this is crazy: Here's a sack lunch, eat it maybe.

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  • ShogunShogun Hair long; money long; me and broke wizards we don't get along Registered User regular
    Instead of, "hey I'm gonna bring you lunch everyday from now on" just bring extra portions and if you see her and you're eating and she looks hungry or whatevs be like, "hey have you eaten anything today? I've got some more of this [lunch thing] if you're interested."

  • CambiataCambiata Commander Shepard The likes of which even GAWD has never seenRegistered User regular
    "Have you eaten anything today?" has a little bit too much judgement in it. "Hey, are you hungry?" is way less disapproving mother.

  • Kristmas KthulhuKristmas Kthulhu Registered User regular
    Sorry, I peaced out of the thread for a bit because the condescension from many of the posters in here was really getting on my nerves, but I'm back! I didn't have a chance to give her the sandwich Friday because she wasn't at school that day. She did know it was there for her if she'd been there, however. We met up between classes yesterday, though, and I gave her an extra sandwich I'd made that day that I hadn't told her about beforehand.

    In an unfolding of events that may surprise many people in this thread, she didn't call me a creep or a stalker, nor immediately submit to my will as a guardian figure so that I could run her life as I saw best. She accepted it graciously and we hung out for the next hour or so. She offhandedly remarked that she felt bad for taking my food, to which I responded that I'd brought extra specifically because I was worried she wouldn't have anything to eat. Which she admitted was fair because she didn't.

    But who knows, maybe I've been reading things all wrong and she only ate it because she's afraid of what I might do to her if she says no!

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  • ArbitraryDescriptorArbitraryDescriptor Registered User regular
    I was afraid of this: Accepting favors is classic reverse-stalker behavior.

  • BillyIdleBillyIdle What does "katana" mean? It means "Japanese sword."Registered User regular
    I still feel you might just be getting used by this girl as a free meal ticket. Unless she looks like a walking skeleton, then maybe you are onto something Kristmas. You might want to see if your school has any info on affordable meal plan, or if she's down, try to get her an EBT card because of her finances.

    Cambiata
  • noir_bloodnoir_blood Registered User regular
    edited February 2014
    Sorry, I peaced out of the thread for a bit because the condescension from many of the posters in here was really getting on my nerves, but I'm back! I didn't have a chance to give her the sandwich Friday because she wasn't at school that day. She did know it was there for her if she'd been there, however. We met up between classes yesterday, though, and I gave her an extra sandwich I'd made that day that I hadn't told her about beforehand.

    In an unfolding of events that may surprise many people in this thread, she didn't call me a creep or a stalker, nor immediately submit to my will as a guardian figure so that I could run her life as I saw best. She accepted it graciously and we hung out for the next hour or so. She offhandedly remarked that she felt bad for taking my food, to which I responded that I'd brought extra specifically because I was worried she wouldn't have anything to eat. Which she admitted was fair because she didn't.

    But who knows, maybe I've been reading things all wrong and she only ate it because she's afraid of what I might do to her if she says no!

    Show her your original post and then let us know if she continues to think that this isn't creepy.

    The fact that you not only continue to be defensive about this whole thing, but absolutely do not want to see anyone's point of view makes me think that sooner or later this, or something very similar to this is going to end up blowing up in your face.

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  • TubeTube Administrator, ClubPA admin
    I think this one is resolved

    geth, close the thread.

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