Mandy Sacher is a mama on a mission to help parents feed their children healthy, nourishing foods right from the start with her new cookbook, “The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook."
Mandy resides in Australia with her 7-year-old son and 4-year-old daughter. We chatted with Mandy about what motivated her to write her cookbook, how she balances it all and her tips for those picky eaters at home.
What inspired you to write your "The Wholesome Child" cookbook?
Being a mother as well as a pediatric nutritionist, I know firsthand how confusing and difficult it can be to wade through all the conflicting information about feeding children. I saw the frustration and overwhelm amongst families I saw in my practice and it inspired me to create a resource to be able to reach and help more people.
I wanted to create “The Wholesome Child: A Complete Nutrition Guide and Cookbook” as a one-stop source of practical information, strategies and recipes to guide parents on how to feed their children healthy and nutritious food, right from the start. My intention has always been to make healthy nutrition feel achievable and manageable without any judgment. Each family is on their own unique journey after all, with their own specific set of challenges.
I was also inspired by my family GP, a highly respected medical professional in Sydney (as well as my mentor), who told me that the results I was having with my clients were exceptional and that I needed to write my book. He actually told me to mortgage my home and go for it!
What was the process of going from the concept to launch like?
It was definitely a roller-coaster adventure! Seeing my dream become a reality in under a year is indescribable. I had a very clear vision of what I wanted to achieve and it has been exhilarating bringing it to life.
I wrote the book in nine months (I call it my third baby!) and ran an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign in order to self-publish. It started out as 160 pages with 60 recipes, and as further needs were identified, it ended up becoming a 296-page book with over 140 allergy-friendly recipes and menu planners!
Managing my own full time practice while writing and managing an editorial team was most definitely a huge challenge and learning curve. I’ve been so blessed to have such a fantastic and dedicated team.
We launched the book first in Australia in September 2017, and the response, feedback and sales have been incredible. I’m proud and delighted to author one of the only self-published books to become an Australian best-seller. I very recently got to experience the excitement all over again, launching in the U.S. to similar success and rave reviews! Hearing how the book has made a positive difference in the lives of so many frazzled families makes all those long months and hard work feel most definitely worth it.
As a mother, how do you make it all work?
It’s always an ongoing juggling act, trying to balance work with family, and spending quality time with my husband and gorgeous kids while meeting stringent deadlines and attending events. I make a concerted effort to have clear boundaries between work and family time (sometimes easier said than done!). However, when I work, I have streamlined processes to make sure I’m as productive as possible, and when I’m with my family I make sure that I am mentally present. Really present. My kids have benefited from this approach—as has our family!
Writing my book and the associated pressure that came with it did require me to work ridiculous hours and I picked up a few “less desirable” habits, like allowing my little ones to sleep in our bed so that we could have extra cuddles. And because of the sheer exhaustion, it was the path of least resistance! Needless to say, this is a habit that has stuck, so when families ask me about sleep patterns, I have a laugh and point out that I’m definitely no sleep expert!
I have an incredibly supportive family and they are a real source of inspiration for me. One memory that stands out was when my book was almost finished. I was emotionally and physically exhausted and had a tearful moment at home. My 6-year-old son came up to me, threw his arms around my neck and said that no matter what, he believed in me and that I shouldn’t cry or give up because he loves me. Honestly, the strength I drew from that! It served as a powerful lesson for both of us.
When did you first feel successful?
When Wholesome Child was first founded and I started seeing the results I was having with clients, I felt truly empowered and reassured of my vision and mission. I think most entrepreneurs remember the successes in the early days because the first wins mean so very much, especially when there’s so much self-doubt and so much to learn.
What's your advice for moms who are dealing with picky eaters?
To realize that it’s an incredibly common issue for most families and to try as much as possible—more easily said than done, I know!—to avoid becoming excessively stressed or frustrated. It’s important to persevere, and to continue to offer up healthy and nutritious options. For most children, fussy eating is a phase, and they will grow out of it. The strategies we implement during this phase will shape their ongoing eating habits. With little ones, change is slow and each “win” can look very different from one family to the next. Positive reinforcement and the celebration of successes can go a long way toward boosting morale for both children and adults! Picky eating is something that I do into depth around in my book, given that it is such a common pain point for families. I offer up a host of strategies, tips and recipe suggestions to help frazzled families.
There is a huge worldwide obesity epidemic and research states that the most successful solution is instilling positive eating behaviors and habits in young children. An appreciation of natural, healthy and nutritious food and its associated well-being is a gift that all children deserve. I always advise families to go slow and make gradual changes. Sometimes just one new food per week is a good goal to have. It’s not an all-or-nothing approach and that change definitely takes time. Try stretching your child … they may surprise you!
What sacrifices have you made as a mom and entrepreneur to keep everything in balance?
I have less time for myself, which is typical of most moms and entrepreneurs. My daily exercise is less than it was previously, and my PR commitments, travel and meetings mean that I have less time to socialize with friends as regularly as I’d like. I have had to prioritize the essentials, compromise on the wants and focus on the needs. I LOVE what I do so although there are the inevitable sacrifices, the rewards outweigh any feelings of deprivation.
If you could have lunch with any business person/mogul/entrepreneur/nonprofit founder, living or dead, who would it be and why?
I am in total awe of Deepak Chopra. In my mind, he is the epitome of success both materially and spiritually, and someone who has made such a positive global impact on humanity.