Since his inauguration as 45th president of the USA, Donald Trump’s eating habits have become the stuff of legend. Nowadays, who isn’t aware of his unabashed love of fast food, his penchant for a burnt steak, or his inexplicable need to drink a dozen Diet Cokes a day? To many people, Trump’s diet is one of the things that defines his character — for better or worse.
But he’s not the only Trump. The first family is made up of a number of distinctive personalities, and each has their own way of approaching their diets. You’ve got Melania by Donald’s side while moving further down the table you’ve got Ivanka, Eric, Don Jr., Jared Kushner, Tiffany, and Barron (though we’re not too sure what Trump’s youngest son has on his plate). It’s a big family, and although one of them is renowned for his obsession with the unhealthier things on the menu, other Trumps have a love of salads, fruits, fine dining, hearty cooking, and even Slavic cuisine. This is what the Trump family really eats.
It might come as little surprise to find that Melania and Donald don’t share too many eating habits, considering the — shall we say — fraught nature of their relationship. But even bearing that in mind, the contrast between their diets is stark. In a 2012 interview with Refinery29, Melania was asked about her daily food routine. “Well, in the morning, every morning, I have a smoothie with a few ingredients and a lot of vitamins in it — it’s very healthy…,” she explained, “but today I had a bit of oatmeal and juice.”
Smoothie breakfasts with the occasional oatmeal treat is about as far as Melania could get from her husband’s preferred way of starting the day. In fact, the president isn’t a fan of breakfast at all and often skips breakfast. If he does eat in the morning, it tends to be bacon and eggs (although he also has an affinity for cereals and Egg McMuffins from McDonald’s).
Melania: fruit as a snack
Melania’s break from her husband’s food preferences doesn’t end with breakfast, though. Even when it comes to snacking, the two are as different as chalk and cheese. Or maybe apples and Oreos? In her 2012 Refinery29 interview, Melania went deeper into her eating routine. “It’s not a diet,” she said, “I just like to eat healthy because I feel better and have more energy. I don’t have a particular snack I always eat. If I would snack, I would snack on maybe fruit or a little bit of chocolate, because I think your body needs that, too.”
In another interview with GQ, Melania revealed that she used to eat seven pieces of fruit a day while living in New York. Whether she keeps that number so high these days is anyone’s guess, but it’s a fair bet that she’s doing a lot better than her husband, who demands that Air Force One be kept regularly stocked with potato chips and Oreos.
Like many of the Trumps, Melania isn’t exactly afraid to hit the town and dine out every now and again. In a 2010 interview with New York Magazine, she admitted that her all-time favorite New York meal was the chicken Parmigianino at Jean Georges. This restaurant, located inside the Trump International Hotel & Tower, is a French haute cuisine joint overlooking Central Park. Probably no surprise to see a Trump singing the praises of a Trump restaurant though, is it?
Luckily for any Parmheads out there (we hope you don’t call yourselves that), Jean Georges’ recipe for a similar dish is available online. It’s a pretty simple affair, made with chicken breast, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, flour with egg whites (rather than the usual breadcrumbs), and is served with salsify in lemon butter. Pretty good stuff, if a little simple, but you’ve got to admit — it sounds a whole lot better than the crispy steaks that Donald seems to love.
Life in the world of politics can be gruelling, and sometimes it becomes necessary — either for simplicity’s sake or to make a point — to eat out whilst travelling across America. With that in mind, Melania isn’t averse to stopping into a fast food joint every now and again. In 2017, while visiting Texas to meet with victims of Hurricane Harvey, she and Karen Pence showed up at Whataburger for a quick bite, taking the time to buy fries for their accompanying press pool. Just what they ordered for themselves remains a mystery, but considering Whataburger is the closest thing Texas has to an official state cult, it was probably a good choice.
Although Ivanka might be all about healthy eating these days (more on that in a second) that wasn’t always the case. In fact, her diet once wasn’t too different from her father’s. According to an interview with Shape magazine, Ivanka once “ate like a teenager… carbs three times a day, usually in the form of pasta or pizza.” After becoming pregnant, however, everything changed — and now her diet is far healthier than it was before. Just ignore the whole juice cleansing phase, which she admitted did not go well. “I tried a juice cleanse,” she said, “and it was a total disaster. For the eight hours that I lasted, I felt like I was on the brink of starvation.”
Considering Ivanka appears to be the Trump patriarch’s favorite child by quite some way, the idea of her once eating just like her dear ol’ dad doesn’t exactly come as a shock. The only real difference, we suppose, is that she managed to quit.
Read More: Mashed