Story by Mass Communication Specialist 3rd Class Aime Lykins
BREMERTON, Washington – USS John C. Stennis’ (CVN 74) food service division is preparing to implement the Department of Defense’s (DoD) ‘Go for Green’ healthy dining program in its galleys before October 1.
‘Go for Green’ is an evidence-based nutrition program designed to improve overall readiness and performance by encouraging service members to make well-informed dietary decisions while eating in DoD dining facilities.
“This will benefit [John C.] Stennis Sailors because they will understand what things they should be eating often, occasionally and rarely,” said Chief Warrant Officer Robert Compton, John C. Stennis’ food service officer.
Using a familiar traffic light color-labeling system, the program uses color-coded cards and food placement on the serving line to help patrons identify the most nutrient-rich foods and beverages.
Each item on the serving line will feature new label cards, which are green, yellow and red, with sodium content labeled as low, moderate or high, and a consumption recommendation indicating whether diners should eat the item often, occasionally or rarely.
‘Go for Green’ also uses food placement strategies as a means of encouraging patrons to choose options in the green-coded category. Green-coded foods will be presented first and in a more prominent location on the serving lines to increase the likelihood that diners will select them.
Compton stated the ‘Go for Green’ program would replace the current practice of providing calorie count information on each menu item with an overall snapshot of the nutrient density of a menu item to help patrons make the best choice for their dietary and weight management needs.
“It’s really all about eating healthy,” said Culinary Specialist 1st Class Esmeralda Bajit, from Mililani, Hawaii. “Some people really look at the nutrition, so I think for them it will be helpful.”
Both Compton and Bajit said they hoped this program would help John C. Stennis Sailors make informed mealtime decisions while on the ship, and educate them to make healthier choices while shopping in the commissary and dining in their off-duty time
For more information about the ‘Go for Green’, programs and guidelines visit http://hprc-online.org/nutrition/go-for-green.