Multinational early childhood education and care (ECEC) provider MindChamps has appointed Mandy Sacher of Wholesome Child as its Global Chief Nutrition Officer (CNO), a move which is believed to be the first time a CNO position has been appointed for a major provider.
Ms Sacher is a pediatric nutritionist and author with a background in supporting families and ECEC services to improve the nutritional status of children in their care. She is also known for her role in co-developing a childhood obesity prevention and treatment program known as MEND (Mind Exercise Nutrition Do It!)
Based in the UK, MEND was developed with over 10 years of research and has been rolled out in Australia, New Zealand and the USA, working with over 130,000 children and parents on implementing healthier eating behaviours.
In her new role, Ms Sacher will be working with MindChamps’ Dean of Research and Program Development, Brian Caswell to conduct research into child nutrition before rolling out a program and regime for MindChamps centers globally.
In the first phase of her role as Global Chief Nutrition Officer, she will begin training MindChamps chefs in Australia to provide a nutritional meal plan for every MindChamps child.
“We are delighted to welcome Mandy to our MindChamps global family” Founder, CEO and Executive Chairman David Chiem said, noting that one of the major gaps in today’s society is an understanding of nutrition.
“In fact most of us have the wrong mindset and are ‘illiterate’ when it comes to nutrition,” he said “and there is no better time to fill in this gap than from the early years.”
By elevating nutrition to the CSuite level alongside CEO, CFO and COO, he continued, MindChamps is making a deliberate and decisive effort to elevate its status as a priority for ECEC.
“We have a huge responsibility to our children,” he continued. Emerging research shows now, more than ever, that the mind and the body are one. With the appointment of this role being in the works for more than seven years, Mandy as CNO will create a Wholefood Nutrition Literacy Program that will impact our educators, cooks, parents, children and society at large. “
Ms Sacher said she was proud to join MindChamps and lead the way for a children’s food revolution where poor quality nutrition in care is no longer acceptable.
Many facets of the Australian ECEC sector, she continued, view food as “an afterthought not a focus”.
“A large number of areas need to be addressed in childcare including the rise of food allergies, the use of low-quality ingredients and a lack of training for in-center cooks,” Ms Sacher added.
“Having worked with so many families and children for over two decades, and having been a consultant in many childcare centers globally, it has never been clearer that the path forward is about nurturing an understanding and love for good nutrition from a young age.”
To learn more about MindChamps Australia see here. Ms Sacher’s website may be accessed here.