Michelle Obama challenges kids on 'MasterChef Junior'

The Fox reality competition is hosted by chefs Gordon Ramsay and Christina Tosi.
By Annie Martin Follow @littlemannie   |  March 17, 2017 at 12:05 PM
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March 17 (UPI) -- Michelle Obama challenged the MasterChef Junior contestants to cook with healthy ingredients on Thursday's episode.

The former first lady delivered the mystery box challenge via satellite video, and later hosted winner Justise Mayberry at the White House.

"It's a mystery box inspired by the White House kitchen garden," Obama said of the fresh fruits and vegetables. "One of my greatest passions is making sure that kids like you have the nutritious food you need to grow up healthy."

Mayberry won the challenge with her dish of pan-seared shrimp and sautéed vegetables. The 11-year-old asked for Obama's advice during her visit to the White House for a special kids' state dinner.

"There's nothing more important that you can do for yourself than to get an education," the former first lady said. "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 last thing I would tell you to do is to use your voice and help others," she added. "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 encouraged healthy eating and an active lifestyle with her Let's Move! initiative during her time as first lady. MasterChef Junior showrunner Robin Ashbrook told Entertainment Weekly the contestants were "incredibly excited" see Obama on the show.

"She probably got the biggest and greatest reception that we've ever had," he said. "You feel like you're in the middle of a real moment, not just in the kid's lives, but in all our lives when you're doing something that has Michelle Obama at the heart of it. You get a sense of pride and excitement and we all shared it on that day."

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