Malaysian moms are the best and the scariest. Why? Because they will beat you with a spatula while giving you an earful in the name of love. To all foreigners reading this article, please note that THIS is not a form of abuse. It is just a way our mothers show that they care.
In everything that we do, our mothers will want us to do it properly and this includes our eating habits. It does not matter if we hate our taugeh, taukua, tomato or spinach because the only thing they care about is that our plates are clean of all food and crumbs after a meal. Here are a few hilarious ways that our mothers have employed to ensure that we are good and do as we are told.
Let us walk down memory lane together then shall we?
1. The Choo-Choo Train
Everybody knows this trick well because Malaysian moms love to do it to babies and small toddlers. To do the ‘Choo-Choo Train’ is simple. All you need is a spoonful of unappetising porridge and bring the spoon flying towards the child’s waiting mouth while making the sound of an incoming train.
You might look silly but who cares? The ones that you have to please are the laughing babies and toddlers who are amused with your antics!
2. Hantu Coming
The second most favourite method that Malaysian moms employ to make their kids eat is by using fear. Malaysians love everything horror and even though we call ourselves modern, we do abide by certain rules of the paranormal like closing our doors and windows at dusk to avoid ghosts from coming into the house.
Thus, using the irrational fear of ghosts seems to be the perfect way of getting kids to eat their food. A mom may say, “The Momok will come and eat your feet if you do not finish your veges.” Thanks a lot, mom!
3. Sinetron Mothers
Malaysian moms also tend to be very dramatic due to their pension of watching a lot of Indonesian sinetrons and 7pm Malay dramas. Therefore, they know very well the power of a good guilt trip to get you to finish your taugeh. She may say something along the lines of, “You do not love me, is it? Of course, you don’t if not you will eat the taugeh I cooked for you.” If you still do not eat your taugeh by then, tsk, tsk, tsk…
4. Unrealistic Promises
Malaysian moms will do anything to make their kids eat including telling a few white lies. Have you ever heard your mom saying things like, “If you eat long beans, adik, you will be tall like a model!” or “Superman is strong because he eats his spinach. Eat it if you want to be like him?”
Perhaps this is the root cause of many of our unrealistic expectations today. Yet, we must remember that a mother has gotta do what she gotta do.
5. Religious Blackmails
Another way Malaysian moms convince their active children to sit and eat their food is by making religious threats. No, no, we do not mean ISIS-level threats, just the ones that are just believable enough to make you think you are not worthy of entering heaven.
Some frequently used ones are: “God hates those who waste food!” or “The Devil loves to befriend naughty, ungrateful children.” If that does not make a child rethink his eating habits, then I do not know what will.
6. Shame, Shame, Shame (Look up for GoT reference)
One common thing that my mom has said done to me is by comparing me to other children. Yes! Malaysian moms love to play with their child’s need for attention and care by pretending to like or God forbid, praise the neighbour’s children.
So, of course, it is natural for a kid to prove his or her mom wrong about the neighbour kid who finishes their plate of rice AND vegetables by forcing down every. Piece. Of. Boiled. Carrot. Because they’re better than THAT kid.
7. Unicef Speech
The last and final way Malaysian moms choose to ensure that their kids eat their food is by assuming the role of a Unicef ambassador. Can you hear that long drawn out speech about kids in Africa, starvation and eating mud? The talk usually ends with how lucky you are to be born into a family that can afford to feed you.
And then comes the reminder that you’re provided with good food and sweets which indirectly makes you feel like an ungrateful child for choosing not to eat the fried tauhu your mom made for lunch.
So, there are the seven cunning yet hilarious ways Malaysian moms commonly use to make sure their children finish their food. Some might say these tactics are just plain mean but I call them ingenious because it took me almost 20 years to realise it. Got naughty kids at home that do not want to eat? Just use these feeding tactics that guarantee 100% success!