Sunday, April 12, 2009

Identical twins; fraternal eaters

Our oldest son is vegetarian.
He is 9 and hasn't eaten meat in five years.
Our 7-year-old daughter makes up for her brother's lack of meat consumption. She routinely eats the meat, fruit and vegetables and she leaves the carbs behind. She'll even leave French fries untouched.
I have always figured their eating habits were genetically influenced. After all, our oldest two children are only 17 months apart and they were raised in the same eating environment. I can't imagine what we might have done that would have made such a drastic difference in their eating habits.
But the twins defy my logic.
The other day, I tried an experiment.
I gave the boys hot dogs, PB&J, cheese and green beans for lunch. As expected, Matthew ate all of his hot dog and most of Jonathan's. He had seconds and thirds on green beans. He had one bite of PB&J and none of the cheese.
Jonathan ate two bites of hot dog. He ate all of his PB&J and polished off Matthew's. He ate his own cheese and his brother's and then asked for more. He had seconds on the green beans, but didn't finish his second serving.
Matthew ate the meat and lots veggies.
Jonathan ate the carbs, non-meat protein and a moderate amount of veggies.
This is the pattern that has been developing over the past few months.
I don't get it.
The twins have the same DNA. They have always been offered the same foods at the same times. I would expect some differences in their eating habits; Even though they are identical twins, they are different people with minds and preferences of their own.
But this goes beyond that.
They are emulating the opposite habits of their older brother and sister.
That might make sense if they were around them more often. But, thanks to school, the four children usually eat only dinner together. And at dinner, our oldest son eats what we eat with either beans, or a soy- or whey-based product as a meat substitute.
They don't see his PB&Js or her rolled up salami.
I just don't get it.

1 comment:

Natalie said...

Do they happen to sit across from the older 2 at the table?

When I was younger, I noticed one night at dinner that my brother & I eat our corn on the cob differently. He eats around the cob, while I eat across (typewriter style).

Then I notice that he ate his like my mom does, and I like my dad. He always sat across from my mom at the table and I sat across from my dad. I assume we adopted our corn on the cob eating styles from who we would watch from across the table!