News: Go for Green, resolutions for better nutrition, fitness, life
Story by Sgt. Barry St. Clair
FORT BLISS, Texas – St. Martin’s Dining Facility at William Beaumont Army Medical Center, here, leads the way in implementing the Soldier Fueling Initiative by changing menu choices, making several menu items, and eliminating fat fried foods altogether. The menu changes began January 2012 with support from leadership at WBAMC, as well as 1st Armored Division and Fort Bliss.
The Joint Culinary Center of Excellence and the U.S. Army Public Health Command publishes Department of Defense guidelines for menu options at dining facilities, which have been implemented by the Nutritional Care Division at SMDF at WBAMC. The menu has remained under development during the past year so patrons are able to provide input on the food products they want.
Lt. Col. LesLee Funderburk, of Olympia, Wash. is the NCD officer-in-charge. She manages nearly 100 employees, a 220-seat cafeteria, carry-out meals, a grab-n-go convenience store. Funderburk also oversees the inpatient and outpatient nutrition screenings and meal care plans. The SMDF provides more than 1000 meals per day to patients, staff and beneficiaries providing menu choices in line with healthy resolutions made by many people this time of year.
“We are also involved in research projects in cooperation with Mission Essential Training at Iron Works Gym on East Bliss,” said Funderburk.
Soldiers in the weight control program are enrolled in eight weeks of training, where half get sports nutrition education, and half just participate in the MET exercises.
“Medical chart reviews of soldiers in the weight control program have high numbers of risk to chronic diseases,” Funderburk said.
The NCD has dieticians at the Soldier Family Care Clinics who provide nutrition assessments.
“We speak AR 600-9 [The Army Weight Control Program] better than anybody,” said Master Sgt. Curtis A. Lawson, senior enlisted nutrition technician at WBAMC.
The SMDF has changed the menu to eliminate fried foods, provide whole grain, low and no fat choices, and leaner meats that benefit a healthier lifestyle for soldiers, staff and beneficiaries. Nutrition is only one aspect of health, but it has a direct impact on the rest of our lives.
“I enjoy cooking – I definitely enjoy people, and we are at the forefront of customer service here at SMDF,” said Sgt. 1st Class Malinda L. Moody-Williams, noncommissioned officer-in-charge of SMDF operations.
Professionals and paraprofessionals provide counseling and encouragement to assist patients in achieving their weight, nutrition and fitness goals.
Education is a huge part of what the NCD provides to patients, staff and beneficiaries of WBAMC and Team Bliss. Knowledge has to be applied to be effective for good. The counselors at the NCD are available to assist individuals in implementing healthy choices any day of the year.
The SMDF cafeteria is open to the general public where all products are individually priced.
For more information, visit http://www.quartermaster.army.mil/jccoe/Operations_Directorate/QUAD/nutrition/nutrition_main.html.