Michelle Obama: I Ate the Same Breakfast ‘Every Morning for Most of My Life’

Michelle Obama: I Ate the Same Breakfast ‘Every Morning for Most of My Life’

Michelle Obama appeared on the first episode of Your Mama’s Kitchen hosted by Michele Norris.

Michelle Obama may have eaten at the White House, formal state dinners, and restaurants around the world — but her palate hasn’t always been so adventurous.


On the first episode of Your Mama’s Kitchen, an Audible podcast hosted by journalist Michele Norris and co-produced by Higher Ground (Barack Obama and Michelle’s media company), the former first lady discussed her decades-long aversion to breakfast.


“I was kind of a picky eater. I didn’t like any breakfast-anything. And my brother, who ate breakfast all the time, thought I was crazy,” she said. “We had big breakfasts because my brother, he was a growing athlete. So it was everything — cereal followed by scrambled or fried eggs followed by lots of toast and bacon and link sausage. So breakfast was big.”

She added later in the podcast that “everybody else in the whole household, on the whole planet, loved breakfast food except for [me] … I despised breakfast.”


Your Mama’s Kitchen host Norris asks all of her guests about their childhood kitchens growing up, and how their “earliest culinary experiences helped shape their personal and professional lives.” Future episodes, which drop weekly, will feature stars like Kerry Washington, Gayle King and Matthew Broderick.

Michelle’s food memories include desperate attempts from her mother, Marian Robinson, trying to “force” her daughter to eat breakfast. Michelle said she was “really stubborn” and instead opted for an unconventional morning meal: peanut butter and jelly.


“[I ate] peanut butter and jelly every morning until I went to college. That was all I really liked,” she said. “It was sort of a compromise that I made with my mother because it’s got peanuts, that’s protein, a little bit of oil. Nothing’s wrong with bread if we’re having toast, why can’t I have it in a sandwich form and jelly? Everybody was having jelly on their toast.”


While she said she would “literally” eat the peanut butter and jelly sandwich “every morning for most of my life,” Michelle admitted that she finally got around to liking eggs in college. “I’m big into all of it now. Give me eggs benedict. Any eggs, any way,” she added.

When Norris asked if she ever indulges in her childhood sandwich go-to, she said, “I think I kind of OD’ed on it. I don’t do it as much anymore.” Another big reason? Her daughter, Malia, was allergic to peanut butter as a child.

But she does cherish plenty of other formative recipes that are meaningful to her family and her upbringing in the South Side of Chicago.


“There are a couple of things that taste like home. [My mom’s] homemade cakes because she used to bake us our birthday cakes each year,” she said. “She tried to [make them] in the White House, but she felt that the ovens weren’t right. And there’s something different about a homemade cake…”


Another dish that “feels very much like home” is her family’s “hand-me-down recipe from our South Carolina elders.”

“My father’s mother learned how to cook this dish and my father loved it so much, my grandmother taught my mother. And it’s something called red rice. Red rice is a rice that is steeped in tomato sauce – not runny — where the tomato mixture soaks it up, so that the white rice becomes red,” she said. “Then in that you add bacon, a spicy kind of sausage and shrimp. But it’s not Creole…it’s not a jambalaya. And it’s dryer, but it’s so flavorful.”

Michelle is known for her commitment to ensuring hearty and healthy food is widely available for all Americans. In fact, during the former president’s administration in the White House, Michelle implemented Let’s Move, a healthy-eating task force to combat childhood obesity. Most recently, she starred in her own children’s cooking show, Waffles + Mochi.

Her passion for paving a healthy path for young Americans was influenced by her own childhood. From being a mother to leading as an “impactful first lady,” she said all of her “life journey” was influenced by the kitchen.


“All of that, it was imparted around that little table with that yellow checkerboard plastic tablecloth as my mom did dishes on that formica sink and talked to us little girls as we played jacks on that linoleum floor,” she said. “The conversations around my household about fairness and honesty and how to be a person in this world. How to treat others, the compassion — that all happened around the table.”

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