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With the guidance of its Nutrition Advisory Board, Au Bon Pain has developed an innovative program to provide customers with great-tasting, healthy menu options and keep them informed about the food choices they make. Au Bon Pain relies on the expertise of its Nutrition Advisory Board members to make program recommendations based on the most current advances and research in the field of nutrition.
"As Au Bon Pain celebrates its 30th anniversary, providing our customers with delicious and naturally healthy dining options continues to be top of mind," says Au Bon Pain president and CEO Sue Morelli. "The Nutrition Advisory Board plays a vital role in keeping Au Bon Pain abreast of the most current developments in nutrition, and we are honored to have Karen and Heidi join our team and lend their expertise to our company and our customers."
Glanz is a professor of Behavioral Sciences and Health Education and Epidemiology, a Georgia Cancer Coalition Distinguished Research Scholar, and Director of the Emory Prevention Research Center at the Rollins School of Public Health at Emory University.
Skolnik is the sports nutrition consultant to the New York Giants football team and the School of American Ballet and is a nutritionist at The Women's Sports Medicine Center at the Hospital of Special Surgery. Skolnik is also a contributing editor for Men's Health magazine.
First formed in 2000, other members of Au Bon Pain's Nutrition Advisory Board include: Dr. Caroline Apovian, Director, Nutrition and Weight Management Center, Boston Medical Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Boston University School of Medicine; Judy Phillips, MSRD, LN, Food Industry Nutrition consultant and Program Manager of Weight Initiative Now, South End Community Health Center; Dr. Edward Saltzman, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Tufts University School of Medicine, Medical Director, Obesity Consult Center.
Topics that the Nutrition Advisory Board has brought to Au Bon Pain's attention include the health benefits of removing trans fats from menu items and the value of switching to 100 percent all-natural chicken in the company's signature sandwiches and salads. From its inception, the Nutrition Advisory Board has also highlighted the importance of offering healthier, lower calorie options and smaller portion sizes.
One of the most recent health-conscious additions to the Au Bon Pain menu is a revolutionary new product line called "Portions." The brainchild of Au Bon Pain's award-winning executive chef, Thomas John, Portions features a selection of 14 delicious dishes made fresh daily, packaged individually, and with 200 or less calories per dish. This new meal concept was developed as a direct response to the Nutrition Advisory Board's push for healthier, lower calorie options, while also addressing consumers' desire for smaller, lower calorie meals, providing a unique opportunity for guests to customize their meal experience.
"At Au Bon Pain, we strive to provide a wide variety of menu options that can be mixed and matched to satisfy any appetite and meet any nutrition or dietary needs," says John. "Portions provides another opportunity for guests to create a meal that can satiate their hunger and is fresh, great tasting, and healthy. Guests can eat Portions as a snack, pair them with soup, salad or fresh bread for a light lunch, or combine multiple Portions to create a well-balanced meal."
In addition to identifying ways to increase the wholesomeness of Au Bon Pain's menu, the Nutrition Advisory Board is focused on working with Au Bon Pain to provide easy ways for consumers to find and understand the nutritional content of Au Bon Pain products. Specific tools that Au Bon Pain has developed include In-store Nutrition Kiosks. Guests can access the ingredients, allergens, and nutritional content of all of Au Bon Pain menu items. Au Bon Pain has also added complete nutrition information online. Full FDA nutrition information is available for every Au Bon Pain menu item on www.aubonpain.com/menu. With the online "My Plate" application, consumers can search for foods that fit their specific dietary needs and build healthy, nutritious meals with the click of a mouse.