Mountain Area Child & Family Center, offering care and education to children ages 0-5 and their families, welcomes Bronwen McCormick as its new Director of Rainbow in My Tummy®. The healthy eating program for preschoolers, which kicked off in 2008, aims to prevent obesity by exposing children under five to colorful, nutritious foods that will promote lifelong preferences for healthy eating. The one-of-a-kind program is now being implemented in 11 early education centers in Buncombe County, with plans for expansion into surrounding counties and then beyond.
McCormick comes to MACFC from AB Tech’s award-winning Culinary Arts and Hospitality department, where she graduated first in her class to earn an Associates Degree in Culinary Technology, served as lab manager and instructor from 2004 to 2007 and Department Chairperson from 2007 until 2012. During her time at AB Tech, McCormick helped lead multiple culinary competition teams to state and regional acclaim and to a National Championship in 2007.
Under McCormick’s direction, plans for RIMT’s expansion include additional menus and recipes that significantly exceed minimal requirements for food served in early childhood education centers, training and curriculum for centers, teachers, and parents, an interactive website that will complement the current RIMT program, and an accreditation process for centers that have successfully implemented RIMT.
Long-term plans include teacher certification, assisting families to implement RIMT in the home, and partnering with community restaurants to offer healthier kids’ menus. With funding support from The Community Benefit Committee of Mission Hospital and United Way of Asheville & Buncombe County, MACFC is working to implement Rainbow in My Tummy® in additional Western North Carolina counties in 2013, with a push for state and national reach to follow.