By Senior Airman Patrice Clarke
50th Space Wing Public Affairs
Team Schriever members dining at the award-winning Satellite Dish dining facility are now urged to “Go for Green” and choose healthier foods with the use of a new labeling system.
The Air Force wide mandated program is a nutritional recognition labeling system designed to provide a quick snapshot of the nutritional value of food choices.
“This is just another effort to help Satellite Dish customers choose wholesome meals,” said Chuck Dietz, dining facility manager.
Food items in the dining facility are labeled green for high performance foods, yellow for moderate performance foods and red for performance limiting foods. Patrons are encouraged to eat green foods often, yellow foods occasionally, and red-labeled foods rarely.
“I think this program is a step in the right direction,” said Airman 1st Class Matthew Mahoney, 50th Space Communications Squadron. “This program will definitely help me to make healthier food choices.”
Green-labeled foods are entrees with less than 300 calories and 10 grams of fat; starchy sides with less than 200 calories; and whole fresh or frozen fruits without added fat, sugar or sauces, or fruit canned in its own juices. Other green-labeled foods include vegetables with less than 100 calories, desserts with less than 150 calories and 6 grams of fat, dairy from fat-free to 1 percent fat, and low calorie or calorie-free beverages.
The new labels were a surprise to Master Sgt. Karen Rouse, 7th Space Operations Squadron, who thought her food was healthier than it was.
“This program opened my eyes,” said Rouse. “I was a little surprised about my baked chicken because it was labeled red. I honestly thought that since it was baked, it would be green or at least yellow.”
Sodium content is also a factor in what makes a food green or red. The high sodium content earned the baked chicken its red category label.
“I absolutely think it’s going to be something that I am going to be paying more attention to,” said Mahoney. “If I see a red card, I’m going to be more cautious. If I see a green card, I’ll think, ok I can eat this and not feel guilty about it.”
The new labeling system is just one more way the Satellite Dish dining facility is helping Team Schriever make healthier choices.
“We recently changed our salad bar and removed some less healthy items and replaced them with items that are Health and Wellness Center recommended such as raisins, sunflower seeds, noodles and bean sprouts,” said Dietz.
Items on the main, grill and specialty lines all carry the new labels. Upon request, patrons can also get a list of green-labeled condiments.
“The new signs are very helpful,” said 1st Lt. Jeffery Brown, 4th Space Operations Squadron. “I know what to get to stay on my diet. I’m getting fit and eating better now. I love the new signs.”
For more information on healthy food choices contact the Schriever HAWC at 567-4292.