G4G at Military Dining Facilities

You might notice at your local military dining facility or galley that foods and drinks are labeled with stoplight colors—Green, Yellow, and Red—to represent their nutritional quality. G4G labels can help you choose high-performance foods anywhere! Foods (except fruits) are also labeled Low, Moderate, or High based on their sodium content. G4G figures out the nutrition so you don’t have to!

Build a “Green” plate

Healthy meal with roasted veggiesHow do you feel when you’re low on energy? You might find it hard to focus at work, at home, or during training. The best way to energize is with foods that are high in nutrients. These “Green” foods help boost your mental and physical performance. No matter where you’re starting from, aim to increase the amount of “Green” items on your plate.

Need inspiration? Look for “Featured Meals” or “Featured Items” at your dining facility. Build your own bowl or plate with a wide variety of high-performance ingredients from different stations. For example, pair a salad or veggie side from a Specialty Bar with an entrée from the Mainline.

  • Tip from the field: If you’re an active-duty Service Member (pay grades E-1 through E-4), your dependents might be eligible to eat at your local dining facility at a reduced cost. Check your dining facility’s website or social media accounts for availability and meal rates.

Rethink your drink

You can use caffeine to boost your mental and physical performance in certain situations. However, too much caffeine can negatively impact health, performance, and sleep. It’s important to be mindful of your daily caffeine intake both inside and outside the dining facility. Since G4G doesn’t include caffeine amounts when identifying drinks as Green, Yellow, and Red, use the chart above to estimate how much caffeine is in drinks commonly found at your dining facility. Plus, consider what you drink outside the facility to get an idea of your usual caffeine intake. Visit Operation Supplement Safety to learn more about caffeine and performance.

Rethink your drink: Caffeine Do you know how much caffeine is in your favorite drink? Average amount of caffeine for a 12oz serving Herbal tea – 0mg Juice – 0mg Decaf coffee – 3mg Iced tea – 8mg Cola – 32mg Green tea (brewed) – 42mg Citrus flavored soda – 54mg Black tea (brewed) – 70mg Coffee – 143mg Hprc-online.org/nutrition/go-green

G4G hydration station

Infused water stationWhen you dine in military dining facilities or galleys, let G4G guide your drink choices to hydrate smartly without all the extras. If your facility has a hydration station, head straight to it to find tasty Green-coded options. If you don’t see a dedicated hydration station, look for these low-calorie, low-sugar Green-coded drinks:

  • Water (plain or carbonated)
  • Naturally flavored water, including fruit-, vegetable-, and herb-infused varieties (no artificial sweeteners)
  • Herbal tea
  • Unsweetened or very lightly sweetened iced or hot tea (≤ 11 grams of sugar per 16 oz)
  • Unsweetened or very lightly sweetened iced or hot coffee (≤ 11 grams of sugar per 16 oz)
  • 100% vegetable juice
  • Milk, unsweetened (skim or 1%)
  • Plant-based milk alternatives: unsweetened or plain soy, almond, or rice milk with added calcium and vitamin D
  • Tip from the field: Chocolate milk is considered “Green” when used as recovery fuel.

Choose “Green” on the go

Looking for convenient and nutritious to-go meals? Check out your installation’s Grab and Go station (at the main dining facility or market) for meals that “travel well,” help you refuel, and power your post-workout recovery plan. Look for Green-coded labels that identify high-performance options. Don’t see G4G labels? Choose meals that provide a balanced mix of lean protein, nutrient-rich veggies, and whole grains.

Fuel your recovery with G4G

Your facility might offer a G4G-labeled Recovery Bar with items to fuel your post-training recovery during meal periods or for takeout. Optimal Recovery Bars feature options to build meals or snacks with the right amount of carbohydrates (50­–80 g), protein (16–24 g), and fluid to boost recovery. You might find G4G-labeled ingredients or pre-packaged recovery kits. If these options aren’t available, build your own recovery meals and snacks with items from your local dining facility, snack bar, or market. Here are some ideas:

Green coded food  Kit #1: PB&J sandwich + 8 oz chocolate milk

Green coded foodYellow coded food Kit #2: Greek yogurt (single-serving container) + ½ cup trail mix + piece of fruit

Green coded food Kit #3: Toasted oat cereal (single-serving container) + 8 oz milk (1%) + handful of nuts

Green coded food Kit #4: Whole-wheat pita + ½ cup hummus

  • Tip from the field: Not all “convenient” foods and drinks are created equal. Look for these on-the-go, high-performance snacks at markets, snack bars, and Grab and Go stations to fuel your performance and recovery.

Green coded food Water (naturally flavored, carbonated, or plain)

Green coded food Unsweetened tea or coffee (*be mindful of caffeine)

Green coded food Fresh fruit

Green coded food Fresh veggies (carrots or celery) with hummus

Green coded food Nuts or seeds

Green coded food & Yellow coded food Trail mix (*no added sugar preferred)

Green coded food & Yellow coded food Dried fruit (*no added sugar preferred)

Yellow coded food Jerky

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