U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sertaba Campbell, 354th Force Support Squadron chef, pours jalapenos into a food container as part of the Go for Green program Feb. 26, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Go for Green program uses a stop-light color labeling system to identify healthier food items. (U.S. Air Force photo/Racheal E. Watson)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Sertaba Campbell, 354th Force Support Squadron chef, adds parmesan cheese to Jefferson noodles as part of the Go for Green program Feb. 26, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. Entrees labeled green are less than 300 calories, less than 10 g of fat and less than 480 mg of sodium. (U.S. Air Force photo/Racheal E. Watson)
Food is labeled according to the Go for Green program, a nutritional recognition labeling system, at the dining facility Feb. 26, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The labeling system provides a quick snapshot of the nutritional value of food choices. (U.S. Air Force photo/Racheal E. Watson)
U.S. Air Force Airman 1st Class Ben Love, 354th Civil Engineering Squadron operations management technician, picks up a bowl of fruit Feb. 26, 2013, Eielson Air Force Base, Alaska. The Go for Green program is an easy-to-use labeling system to guide Icemen towards healthier food choices. (U.S. Air Force photo/Racheal E. Watson)
by Senior Airman Racheal E. Watson
354th Fighter Wing Public Affairs
3/7/2013 - EIELSON AIR FORCE BASE, Alaska -- Many have heard the Iceman mantra "ready to go at 50 below," but how many know the role proper nutrition plays in meeting that charge?
Go for Green, an Air Force-mandated nutrition program to aid Airmen with their physical training, was implemented Air Force-wide in April 2012 and introduced to Eielson Air Force Base in May 2012.
The program uses an easy-to-use labeling system at dining facilities to guide Airmen toward healthier food choices.
"It is a point-of-decision labeling system," said Capt. Jordan Hayes, 354th Force Support Squadron sustainment services flight commander. "It helps you decide what is going to positively or negatively impact your performance and health in a one-stop kind of manner."
The Go for Green labeling system is divided into three categories: green, yellow and red. Green items are low-calorie, low-to-non-fat foods that should be eaten often. Yellow items are higher in calories, fat and sodium and should be consumed occasionally. Red items are the highest in calories and fat and should be consumed rarely.
"It gives the customer a bit more awareness of what is healthier than other items," said Staff Sgt. Shaun Collette, 354th FSS dining facility shift leader. "We have a nutrition report that we print out every day, but it's timely for a customer to go there and read every single fact."
The program allows Airmen to visually make quick healthy decisions, no matter what stage they are at in their lives.
To offer Airmen variety in selecting healthy menu choices, Go for Green was paired with Operation Refresh, offering a once-a-month menu change.
According to Hayes, the combination of the two programs introduces a variety of new and exciting healthy meals for dining facility customers to explore. Salmon, for example, was added to Eielson's entrée menu due to its popularity.
Although a rotating menu and simple labeling system are in effect, the choice to eat healthy ultimately rests with the customer.
"We are still leaving the health decisions up to the Airmen, but this helps make their decision," said Hayes.
For more information on ways to improve your health, to live a healthier lifestyle or how to eat better, contact the Health and Wellness Center at 377-9355.
3/11/2013 1:32:33 PM ET Way to represent A1C Campbell Great Job