Michelle Obama Encourages Kids to Cook Healthy on MasterChef Junior

Fox screenshot
Fox screenshot

Michelle Obama is still spreading her message of keeping kids healthy through food and exercise, even after leaving the White House. (Please come back, Michelle!) Anyway, although Aunt Shellie has been keeping a low profile since January, she was in the spotlight Thursday night with an appearance on MasterChef Junior. And unsurprisingly, she bade competitors to cook the healthiest meal they could.


Obama was a special guest for the “Mystery Box Challenge” portion of the child cooking show, which was taped last year, while her husband was still president, according to CNN. In the episode, celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay picked up a red phone and asked to speak to “the boss of the house” before quipping, “No, not him; I need the real boss of the house.”

A man dressed in a suit and sunglasses with an American flag spoke into his wrist, and then a TV screen descended from the ceiling amid smoke.


Then the real boss appeared.

“I’m Michelle Obama, and tonight I am thrilled to deliver your next Mystery Box Challenge. Please head back to your stations,” the then-first lady said.

The young cooks, ages 8 to 13, all gasped and screamed.

“I’m, like, about to die. RIP me, oh my God. I mean, Michelle Obama is a wonder woman and I look up to her so much. She is my idol,” contestant Jasmine, 11, said.


“For your Mystery Box Challenge, I’m asking all of you to come up with an original recipe that’s healthy and follows the ‘my plate’ symbol, filling half your plate with fruits and veggies, and the rest with whole grains, lean protein and dairy,” Obama told the 14 young competitors.

However, since kids will be kids, not all were enthusiastic about the challenge.


“Michelle Obama wants me to cook vegetables. Not happening. I don’t like vegetables; they’re evil,” 9-year-old Donovan said. Donovan, according to reports, was eliminated later in the episode.

Justise Mayberry, 11, won with her pan-seared shrimp and sautéed bell peppers, carrots, eggplant and quinoa.


She attended the Obamas’ last Kids’ State Dinner in July 2016 as part of her prize. Justise got to sit down with Michelle Obama during her visit to the White House and ask the first lady a few questions. When asked what advice she had for Justise, Michelle Obama told the young girl: “There’s nothing more important that you can do for yourself than to get an education. Doing your best not just in the kitchen, but you gotta be your best in the classroom. I want you all to keep pushing and preparing yourself for college and doing well.”

The first lady added that kids like Justise should use their voices to help others.


“A lot of kids don’t know how important it is to eat healthy, so you guys have to be our ambassadors and introduce them to new vegetables and fruits,” Obama said.

Read more at CNN.

News Editor at The Root, animation nerd, soca junkie, yogi

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One thing I recall about Obama and Michelle was kids were *thrilled* to meet or see them. Kids would almost swoon and faint if one of the Obamas showed up. They seemed to genuinely love the President and First Lady. I’m trying to recall any interactions between Trump’s clan and children. I think Melania tried to read to children once, and it was all very cold, uncomfortable and impersonal.