Promote fruits and veggies the G4G way

Military Service Members often fall short of achieving key nutrition habits, including eating the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Supporting nutritional fitness includes improving the availability and access to nutritious choices through programs such as Go for Green®. Learn more ways to promote nutrient-rich fruits and veggies using G4G strategies.

Create a menu refresh

If you’re involved in creating, reviewing, or collaborating on the menu at your local dining facility or galley, market, grab ‘n go, or snack bar, there are plenty of opportunities to serve more fruits and veggies. Most fruit and veggie recipes code Green, an easy way to increase your percentage of Green-coded menu items.

  • Service Member preparing salads as part of a performance nutrition menu at a military dining facilityUp the amount of fruit and veggie options on the menu. Add veggie sides at breakfast and on the Grill. Include diced fruit as toppings at Specialty Bars and whole fruit or fruit salad for grab ‘n go too. These are great nudges to encourage Military Service Members to eat a more colorful plate. Check out Armed Forces Recipe Service (AFRS) recipes for inspiration.
  • Serve different cuts of fruits and veggies. Offering a variety of sliced, diced, and whole options is more appealing to diners.
  • Offer Green- and Yellow-coded desserts. Fruit-based desserts often code Yellow, sometimes even Green. Yogurt parfaits are also popular options and make great on-the-go choices.
  • Use an appealing name for menu items. “Citrus Twist Carrots” sounds more enticing (and flavorful!) than “Roasted Carrots.”
  • Place fruit and veggie choices front and center. You can put them either first in line (serving station) or at eye-level (shelf, fridge, etc.), so diners are more likely to choose them.

Promote produce as performance fuel

Fruits and veggies are nutrient powerhouses. The vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants they provide are valuable for optimal mental and physical performance. Educate Military Service Members on ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies throughout their day.

  • Connect the dots with performance nutrition. Link good eating habits, such as consuming plenty of colorful fruits and veggies, to better performance, readiness, and health to show diners how powerful nutrition can be.
  • Advertise power plates. Encourage Military Service Members to fill ½ their plate with veggies and enjoy fruit as a snack or dessert.

Power Plate Eat to fuel your performance Image of round plate divided into sections: ½ plate for Grains + Starchy Veggies, ¼ plate for Veggies, ¼ plate for Lean Protein—plus a small circle in the center of thte plate for Healthy Fats.  GRAINS Such as whole-grain bread and pasta, brown rice, cereal, and quinoa  Focus on whole grains  STARCHY VEGGIES Such as corn, peas, and potatoes  VEGGIES Aim for variety—the more color, the better!  LEAN PROTEIN Such as fish, poultry, meat, yogurt, cheese. cottage cheese, soy/tofu, beans/lentils, nuts/seeds, and nut and seed butters  Choose high-quality, less-processed options    Small circle in center of plate:  HEALTHY FATS Such as olive oil, Avocado, Nuts/seeds    Text and graphics around the sides of the plate:  Apple icon (top left of plate): Fruit as snack or dessert  Drink cup (top right of plate): WATER OR UNSWEETENED DRINKS: Coffee*, tea*, milk/nondairy milk, 100% juice (limit 4 oz/day); sports drinks as needed. *watch caffeine content  Runner image: BE ACTIVE! For optimal performance, match your portions with your activity level (this can change day to day)  Boxed right of plate: POWER UP: Increase grains & starchy veggies to ½ of your plate for intense training or operations  STAND DOWN: Decrease grains & starchy veggies to ¼ of your plate on easy/rest days or for weight loss  Graphic of fork (left of plate): EAT MINDFULLY  Slow down Take smaller bites Chew more Focus on flavor Adapted from: Team USA’s Athlete’s Plates  For more information, visit HPRC-online.org/nutrition  Human Performance Resources by CHAMP, THE CONSORTIUM FOR MILITARY AND HUMAN PERFORMANCE  HPRC-ONLINE.ORG

  • Educate military personnel on how to find out what’s in season. It’s easy to build a power plate with fruits and veggies that are at their peak of nutrition and taste!
  • Direct Warfighters to fruit- and veggie-rich on-the-go options for quick meals and snacks. Encourage them to look for a Dietitian Approved Fueling Station at their local commissary for the best high-performance choices.

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References

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Bray, R. M., Pemberton, M. R., Hourani, L. L., Witt, M., Olmsted, K. L., Brown, J. M., & Scheffler, S. (2009). Department of Defense survey of health related behaviors among active duty military personnel: A component of the Defense Lifestyle Assessment Program (DLAP). Retrieved October 5, 2021 from https://prhome.defense.gov/Portals/52/Documents/RFM/Readiness/DDRP/docs/2009.09%202008%20DoD%20Survey%20of%20Health%20Related%20Behaviors%20Among%20Active%20Duty%20Military%20Personnel.pdf

Lutz, L. J., Gaffney-Stomberg, E., Williams, K. W., McGraw, S. M., Niro, P. J., Karl, J. P., . . . McClung, J. P. (2017). Adherence to the Dietary Guidelines for Americans is associated with psychological resilience in young adults: A cross-sectional study. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 117(3), 396–403. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2016.09.018

Purvis, D. L., Lentino, C. V., Jackson, T. K., Murphy, K. J., & Deuster, P. A. (2013). Nutrition as a component of the performance triad: How healthy eating behaviors contribute to Soldier performance and military readiness. U.S. Army Medical Department journal, 66–78.

Smith, T. J., Dotson, L. E., Young, A. J., White, A., Hadden, L., Bathalon, G. P., . . . Marriott, B. P. (2013). Eating patterns and leisure-time exercise among active duty military personnel: Comparison to the healthy people objectives. Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, 113(7), 907–919. doi:10.1016/j.jand.2013.03.002