6/22/2011 9:00:00 AMRegis Balaban wins Original Health Nut Competition, CMSD’s head of food and child nutrition earns national honor
For Immediate Release: June 15, 2011
For More Information Contact: Charisse Ausbrook, 216.574.8143, Roseann Canfora 216.858.6510
Regis Balaban wins Original Health Nut Competition
CMSD’s head of food and child nutrition earns national honor
Regis Balaban, executive director of food and child nutrition services for the Cleveland Metropolitan School District, has won the national Original Health Nut competition sponsored by the California Walnut Commission. Balaban was chosen the Original Health Nut by Internet voting at the originalhealthnut.com Web site. The commission will present the award June 23 in New York City in conjunction with a research conference.
Balaban was nominated for the competition by Emma Steinberg, a researcher at the Wellness Institute in Cleveland, who said she was impressed by Balaban’s dedication to creating healthy meals for CMSD students. Officials at the Institute “spoke highly about Regis great work to keep Cleveland ahead of the country in nutrition,” Steinberg said. “He is a really nice guy and he cares a lot about the kids.”
Balaban was chosen as one of the six Health Nut finalists by the judges -- Dr. Michael Roizen, Chief Wellness Officer at the Cleveland Clinic; Dr. Brian Wansink, a leading expert in mindless eating behavior; Mollie Katzen, author of the Moosewood cookbooks; and Petra Kolber, fitness expert – who were looking for the person in America who leads by example and inspires others to make health decisions in their everyday choices.
Balaban has been a nonstop health nut and health nut advocate for the CMSD community for more than 30 years. Today his department serves 19,000 breakfasts and 36,000 lunches, available free to all CMSD students, or a total of 9.8 million meals served during the school year.
Thanks to Balaban’s efforts, Cleveland schools participate in a U.S. Department of Agriculture program to bring fresh produce into the classroom three times a week so teachers can introduce fruits and vegetables to students. He also started a program to provide fresh salads at least two days a week at 44 schools and has worked with local dairy companies to develop a corn-syrup free and fat-free chocolate and strawberry milk for school meals. He also has eliminated sodas from all Cleveland public school vending machines.
As for his personal health regime, Balaban starts every day by walking at least 20 minutes at a quick pace. Every other day he does stretches and sit-ups and lifts weights. For the past 26 years he has used the stairs to get to and from his fifth floor office in the CMSD Administration Building, an activity which has motivated other school employees to take the stairs.
Balaban, a healthy eater feels strongly about having nutritional snacks available. He always has a fruit basket in his office and he makes his own trail mix of walnuts and dried fruit which he carries around to share with others.
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